Jonas Gutierrez

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter

 

Just before stepping out on the St. James' Park pitch on Saturday, Jonas Gutierrez offered up a little prayer.

By his own admission, this season the Argentine winger has been well below the high standards he sets himself.

So he called upon the guidance of his late grandmother in a bid to get back to his best and, with it, drag Newcastle up the Premier League table.

The result? A dramatic and memorable 3-2 victory over Chelsea, a performance much more like the Gutierrez of old and breaking the deadlock with his first goal in almost a year

Wheeling away towards the Strawberry Corner, having nipped in front of John Terry to guide a brilliant header past Petr Cech, there was no trademark Spiderman mask of celebration.

Instead, it was replaced by a poignant look to the sky and a message of thanks, before celebrating with 50,000 Geordies as the roof came off the stadium.

"My celebration was for my grandma, who passed away a few years ago," Gutierrez told nufc.co.uk in an exclusive interview.

"I always remember her and I asked her to give me a hand and help me. That is why when I scored I thought about the fact that she is always with me and I said thank you to her."

"It has been a hard time for me so the goal was a good starting point for me to be a better player again.

"I haven't been playing as well as I wanted to and that has made me feel sad, so it was important for me to score and build my confidence again. I now want to continue to get better in the games over the next few months."

Gutierrez opened the scoring just before half-time, only for Chelsea to hit back after the restart with a couple of stunning strikes from Frank Lampard and Juan Mata.

But home debutant Moussa Sissoko had the last laugh on Tyneside, bagging a brace - including a last-minute winner - to ensure back-to-back victories for the Magpies.

"It was such an important win for us," continued Gutierrez.

"We knew that it would be a tough game against a Chelsea team who towards the top of the league.

"We had to be strong at home and we were, so the three points were really important.

"Over the 90 minutes I think we were the better team and deserved to win. We tried to press high, didn't allow them to play and then we tried to create opportunities.

"In the first half we were the only team that wanted to win the game. In the second half they came back at us and scored two fantastic goals, and then from there the game went a bit crazy - it was going from keeper to keeper!

"But overall we played a great game and had the gift of the final goal.

"We are now closer to the sides in the middle of the table and pulling away from those in the relegation zone. If we continue to pick up points like we have done this week then we will be fine."

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