Newcastle's Salomón Rondón Shows That Chivalry Is Alive And Well
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Salomón Rondón is an absolute unit of a man. At 6 feet 2 inches and 200 pounds, the Venezuelan is a menacing presence when leading the line — which he typically does by his lonesome in Rafa Benítez’s preferred 5-4-1 formation at Newcastle United.
And goals have been hard to come by for the Magpies. Heading into Saturday’s relegation six-pointer with Cardiff City, the Toon had managed only 16 in 22 games, which makes Rondón’s remarkable display of sportsmanship during the match all the more impressive.
Playing in front of a raucous St James’ Park crowd desperate for three points and to air a bevy of grievances at owner Mike Ashley, the incendiary atmosphere erupted with Fabian Schär’s opener for Newcastle in the 24th minute.
However, that nervy 1-0 scoreline engulfed the ground well into the second half. Then, in the 58th minute, Newcastle’s all-important second seemed imminent.
First, Ayoze Perez would get through on goal and force goalkeeper Neil Etheridge into a save. With Cardiff’s defense scrambling, the ball fell to Rondón and he attempted to shape one on goal. However, it struck defender Joe Bennett square in the face before ricocheting back to the feet of Rondón.
Newcastle’s chance for a second — with Bennett now on the floor and Rondón in acres of space — was now glorious. But with the defender seemingly knocked out cold and the referee’s whistle not forthcoming, Rondón took the issue of player safety into his own hands.
Karma would then reward Newcastle with a goal only five minutes later, and then Perez would find the third at the death to guarantee all three points for Newcastle.
Rondón is rightfully being praised for his actions, and he’s beginning to accumulate a commendable record for this sort of thing.
Last January, Rondón was involved in a terrible accident with Everton’s James McCarthy. McCarthy attempted to block a shot from Rondón, and the Venezuelan inadvertently struck the Irishman in the leg, resulting in a horrible break.
Rondón was inconsolable and one of the first to offer his condolences to the player.
And then there’s also the famous indecent when Rondón somehow managed to save DeAndre Yedlin from himself.