Rafa Benitez was left wondering how his players didn’t finish off Aston Villa.

Totally dominant in the first half, Newcastle went one up through an Elphick own goal but it should have been two or three goals to the good for United by the break.

As Rafa Benitez says: ‘We could have finished the game – now we are talking about another thing’.

However, the Newcastle Manager has to take his share of responsibility as Newcastle went far too deep and defensive in that second half.

Rafa says that Newcastle ‘allowed them to stay in the game’ and I think we have to say that this applies to both the players on the pitch and those negative tactics employed by Rafa himself in the second period.

Rafa Benitez:

“We were so dominant in the first half, we could have finished the game – now we are talking about another thing.

“That is football, you have to take your chances and we didn’t do it.

“We made some mistakes defending in the second half and we have to give credit to them but…

“For me, the positives were the first half and the negatives were the mistakes in the second half and that we allowed them to stay in the game.”

Here are the stats from BBC Sport:

Aston Villa 1 Newcastle 1

Goals – 

Newcastle: Elphick (OG) 28

Aston Villa: Tshibola 88

Possession was Aston Villa 51% Newcastle 49%

Total shots were Aston Villa 10 Newcastle 18

Shots on target were Aston Villa 3 Newcastle 4

Corners were Aston Villa 8 Newcastle 5

Newcastle starting 11:

Sels, Yedlin (Tiote 75), Clark, Lascelles, Dummett, Gouffran, Hayden, Shelvey, Ritchie, Diame, Gayle (Mitrovic 80)

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Hanley, Lazaar, Atsu

Referee: Chris Kavanagh

Crowd: 32.062

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