It's the return of the Rafael Benítez magic hand
BACK: Benítez('s magic hand) (Image: Doha Stadium Plus Qatar)

VIDEO: Rafael Benítez magic hand returns for Fulham 1-0 Newcastle

Sends infographic whooshing across screen almost a decade on from original feat.

It’s the Rafael Benítez magic hand that first caught the eye at Liverpool, and it made a return for his first match in charge of Newcastle United.

Rafa’s sorcery couldn’t prevent a 1-0 defeat at Fulham but it can still send an infographic whooshing across the screen.

As the above clip shows, the Spaniard can still perform incredible feats even while his side are losing a Championship opener.

The Rafael Benítez magic hand first appeared in 2007 during a Merseyside derby victory over Everton:

Almost a decade later and it has reappeared for a match settled by Matt Smith’s header shortly before half-time.

Along with Aston Villa’s Roberto Di Matteo, Benítez is one of two Champions League winning managers in this season’s Championship.

But he’s going to need more than the ability to summon infographics if he’s to restore the Magpies’ top-flight status.

With back-to-back home games against Huddersfield Town and Jaap Stam’s Reading up next, he’ll be hoping to get some momentum going.

And a number of high-profile signings bode well for Newcastle, who pulled off something of a coup in convincing Benítez to stay.

But can he match Chris Hughton’s 102-point season in 2009-10? He’s certainly up against it after this start.