Shaqiri was happy with his own contribution and goal at St James Park but says that his team lost too many other ‘individual battles’.
He looks nothing like a football player in terms of his physique, and his diving will always mark him out for away fans, but he was by far the biggest threat to Newcastle and their three points yesterday.
Newcastle should have been out of sight before Shaqiri scored his excellent solo effort with just over half an hour to go.
NUFC rocked a little bit before then Jamaal Lascelles once again won the game for United, showing the aggression to ‘win headers’ which the Stoke winger felt was a weakness for his own team.
As a kind of backhanded compliment, Shaqiri says that Newcastle ‘only tried to play counter attack’ but that the home side ‘created some very good chances because of that’ tactical approach.
Saturday was by far the best Newcastle have played this season and arguably against the toughest opposition since Spurs and the opening day of the season, the only thing missing was the two or three goal winning margin that Rafa’s players deserved.
Shaqiri speaking to official Stoke site:
“I was happy that I scored my first goal of the season, but at the end of the day we lost, and that is disappointing for us.
“Newcastle only tried to play counter attack; they gave us the respect to have the ball more and they created some very good chances because of that.
“We have some positives to take from the game as well as negatives that we need to work on. We made a lot of chances but we needed to take them and score more than just one goal.
“Defensively, we needed to stay better and communicate. We didn’t do that as well as we did last week or in the games before.
“Then on the corners we have to concentrate more and be more aggressive to win headers and our individual battles.
“When you lose a game you are always disappointed and of course that is what we are feeling.
“That’s pretty normal but we will stand up and go again, we have a lot of games this season and we have to learn from this type of game.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 2 Stoke 1
Newcastle: Atsu 19, Lascelles 68
Stoke: Shaqiri 57
Possession was Stoke 58% Newcastle 42%
Total shots were Stoke 10 Newcastle 16
Shots on target were Stoke 13 Newcastle 14
Corners were Stoke 5 Newcastle 7
Referee: Stuart Attwell
Elliot, Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Mbemba, Ritchie, Hayden (Shelvey 69), Merino, Atsu, Perez (Diame 86), Joselu (Gayle 78)
Woodman, Manquillo, Murphy, Lejeune
Crowd: 51,795 (approx 1,500 Stoke)
(Phil Thompson admits he could have been wrong about Newcastle players – Read Here)
(Read what Rafa Benitez had to say after beating Stoke Here)
(Alan Shearer a very happy man after Newcastle went top four – Read it Here)
(The instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to win over Stoke – Here)
(Give us your Newcastle v Stoke player ratings Here)
(Mark Hughes’ comments Here – he was watching a different game!)