Diamé hails 'massive achievement' after Magpies earn comeback win
Written by Tom Easterby
Mo Diamé hailed Newcastle United’s thrilling comeback victory over Arsenal on Sunday as a “massive achievement”, as the Magpies passed the 40-point mark.
Goals from Ayoze Pérez and Matt Ritchie cancelled out Alexandre Lacazette’s opener and earned the Magpies another valuable three points at St. James’ Park, keeping them in the Premier League’s top ten.
Crucially, the result - Newcastle's fourth home win in succession - means United now have 41 points, surpassing the target of 40 set by manager Rafa Benítez in recent weeks.
And midfielder Diamé - who was at his industrious best in the win over the Gunners - told nufc.co.uk he believes his side are good value for their place in the top half after a fine recent run of form.
“It’s a massive achievement. This team has been working hard since the beginning of the season and I think we deserve it,” he said. “It’s very good what is happening in this club, in this city. We are where we deserve to be, I think.
“It’s been tough - a few seasons before this club went down, then we got promoted and enjoyed last year. This season, everyone was thinking about fighting until the last game of the season, and getting that 41 points is a massive achievement.
“Everyone is happy to fight for each other. This team has that spirit that gives you an extra breath, and the stadium - you saw how the fans were again, amazing, they were pushing us. It's just the atmosphere - that’s what we’re trying to enjoy as much as we can.”
The Magpies fell behind to Lacazette’s early strike, but weren’t troubled too often by the Gunners as they fought back to claim the points.
Diamé, whose outstanding display earned him the man of the match award, reckons organisation proved key against Arsène Wenger’s men.
“We knew that they are a good team. Technically, they are very good and they play balls through the lines. It hasn’t been easy and we were running a lot, but we were keeping our shape,” said the 30-year-old.
“The manager did very well to make sure this week we worked hard about that and just kept our shape. We knew we were going to have some opportunities to score, and that’s what happened.
“We’ve been fighting hard, even in training. It’s not been easy but everyone has been focussed since the beginning, and I think we deserved it today.”
Newcastle now have a week to prepare for their trip to Everton a week on Monday.
Having consolidated their position in tenth, United are now looking upwards - and Diamé insists there will be no reduction in effort in the final month of the campaign.
“The target is still the same as it was last week – to finish as high as possible. We’re going to enjoy it for a few days, then get back to work to prepare the game against Everton and try to win it again," he said.
“We know what we want between us, and we want to finish as high as possible, so we are going to keep working.”
"It’s very good what is happening in this club, in this city. We are where we deserve to be."