Reflecting on another job well done at Derby County, Rafa Benitez said ‘We know this is a player who had problems in the past’ when talking about man of the match Yoan Gouffran.
However, the Newcastle boss says that the former Bordeaux player is ‘a very good professional’ and he ‘cannot expect more’ after Gouffran’s performance, especially when topped off with that quality goal (watch both goals here).
As for the second goal in the final seconds, Rafa evaded the question when asked if he’d have been unhappy if when Jonjo Shelvey had put the ball into the box instead of wasting time in the corner, Newcastle hadn’t scored.
Instead the United boss accentuated the positives saying the players ‘did brilliantly’ and ‘it was the perfect finish’.
Interesting though that he revealed that the team’s preparation in training has even extended to how to waste time in the corner in those final seconds, to kill off a match.
Rafa Benitez talking to NUFC TV:
“We have to give him credit, he is working hard and scoring goals, we cannot expect more.
“We know this is a player who had problems in the past but he has reacted really well, a very good professional.”
‘Second goal – were you pleased they put it into the box, would you have been unhappy if they hadn’t scored?’
“To be fair we were practising this type of situation, keeping the ball and having control of the ball in the last minute.
“They did brilliantly, everybody was there pushing and pushing and then they switched, it was the perfect finish.”
Here are the stats from BBC Sport:
Derby 0 Newcastle 2
Newcastle: Gouffran 20, Yedlin 90+1
Possession was Derby 53% Newcastle 47%
Total shots were Derby 9 Newcastle 11
Shots on target were Derby 2 Newcastle 3
Corners were Derby 2 Newcastle 5
Team: Sels, Anita, Mbemba, Lascelles, Dummett, Colback, Shelvey, Gouffran (Yedlin 73), Ritchie, Diame (Hayden 88), Gayle (Perez 76)
Unused Subs: Darlow, Clark, Lazaar, Mitrovic
Referee: James Linington
Crowd: 30,405 (Newcastle 3,200)