Rafa Benitez reviews Newcastle 1 Manchester City 1 ‘Vurnon is very clever’
Rafa Benitez was no doubt fuming about the shocking decision of the linesman not to stick his flag up but preferred to stick to the positives.
Attacking the Gallowgate, Manchester City prepared and then took a free-kick from the left with the linesman obviously in line with strikers/defenders.
At no point was Aguero less than a clear yard offside as Kolarov prepared to take the set-piece and then when he delivered it.
In open play it is a quite ridiculous expectation that is put on linesmen/lineswomen to call many offsides, especially now that technology is available instantly to call the decision.
However, how last night’s official failed to spot this infringement is quite bizarre.
If Rafa hadn’t picked up the point which was the very minimum he and his players deserved, then he might well have taken a stronger line.
However, he settled for saying that the decision should have been called correctly ‘but we cannot change it’.
A lot happier talking about the equaliser, Rafa Benitez was full of praise for Vurnon Anita, describing the midfielder/full-back as ‘very clever’ as he chose the perfect moment to scuttle forward and score a quite sublime goal.
Rafa Benitez is pleased with the ‘reaction of the team’ and the eventual result and display against a team of Man City’s calibre.
However, no doubt like the rest of us he is wondering ‘what if’ the linesman had been doing the one job he had been given to do at that moment in time…
“I have to be pleased because against a team like Manchester City – to do what we have done from 1-0 down – the reaction of the team…you have to be pleased.
“I haven’t seen the replay of Sergio Aguero’s goal but they tell me he was offside. You cannot change anything. I think they should get it right but we cannot change it. That’s it.
“The team has more belief now, the fans are behind the players and they will fight to the end – today was an example of that.
“Vurnon Anita is very clever, he knows when he has to go forward. The players are doing what they have to do, they are playing with passion, with the commitment that the fans expect.”
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