Photo: The Benitez and Townsend reaction that says it all for Newcastle

Newcastle United defeated Crystal Palace 1-0 at St. James’ Park.

As shown by the photo above, the budding relationship between Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez and star player Andros Townsend was in full view on Saturday as the duo embraced at full-time.

The Magpies took one step closer to Premier League survival as they claimed an all important 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace - extending their unbeaten run to four matches.

The hero of the hour for Newcastle was winger Townsend, with the former Tottenham Hotspur man settling an evenly-contested encounter with a superb free-kick in the second period.

The England international has now incredibly scored more league goals for Newcastle in just over three months than he did for Tottenham in his entire spell at White Hart Lane.

There is no doubt that Benitez is getting the best out of Townsend, and in doing so he is giving the Magpies the very best chance of preserving their Premier League status come the end of the season.

While speculation has mounted regarding the winger’s future at St. James’ Park should the club be relegated, on current form such talk may soon disappear with the club now well positioned.

Newcastle’s victory over Palace saw them leapfrog both Norwich City and Sunderland into 17th position in the table, and they will back themselves to pick up another win at Aston Villa next weekend.

The turnaround has been remarkable, and two men who have largely been responsible for that is of course Benitez, having tactically improved the Magpies, and the free-scoring Townsend.

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