Christian Atsu’s sublime free kick leads Newcastle United to victory

The Magpies defeated Cardiff City 2-0 with the other goal coming from Isaac Hayden to move one point behind Championship leaders Brighton

Christian Atsu fired in a sublime free-kick from the edge of the box to set Newcastle United on the way to a 2-0 win at Cardiff City on Friday night.

The 55th-minute goal, curled above the wall and beyond the goalkeeper, was the Ghanaian midfielder’s fifth of the campaign as the Magpies, who have already been promoted to the Premier League, edged to within a point of Championship leaders Brighton and Hove Albion.

The visitors scored their second goal through Isaac Hayden to put the game beyond their Welsh hosts.

Atsu’s future has come under speculation in the last few days as Rafa Benitez prepares to take his side back to the top tier of English football, one season after they were relegated.

The Ghanaian who is on loan from Chelsea would be expected to make a permanent move to Tyneside but it is not yet clear if the Geordies want to keep him.

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He has endured five straight loan spells since signing with the Blues in 2013 and has not played any official game for them. He has already played on loan at Vitesse, Malaga, Everton and Bournemouth.

It is hoped that this season that has been his best so far will lead to a permanent move either with Newcastle or another club as the Pensioners have shown they do not trust his abilities.