Moral victory for happy Rafa Benitez – Manager talks after Newcastle 1 Liverpool 1
The centre of today’s story was always going to be Rafa Benitez.
After a battling performance by his current team against his former club, the point was surely a moral victory for the Spaniard.
A net spend of only £11.5m in the summer, Rafa Benitez was up against an array of attacking talent that looked a little bit unfair, when you consider Joselu and Perez cost less than £7m between them.
For all their attacking options, all it took was a brilliant ball from Shelvey and a ‘classy’ finish from Joselu to earn a point.
Rafa Benitez says ‘we cannot be happy’ when drawing at home but then admitted you ‘have to be a little bit happy’ when getting a point against Liverpool after just getting promoted.
Rafa says his relationship with Liverpool fans was built up over (six) years, however, after only 18 months at St James Park, the United boss says he is ‘enjoying every minute’.
“When you get just one point at home we cannot be happy….but against a top six like Liverpool, creating so many chances, you have to be a little bit happy.
“The way our players were working, tackling and trying to win every ball, was fantastic.
“We have two or three situations when we could be more composed on the ball but we lost these situations.
“This could make a difference if we can score, then they are under pressure and can make mistakes.
“If you see the points (10 after seven games) and see we are a promoted team, then we are pleased, but against Huddersfield and Brighton we could have done something more.
“We have what we have – we are happy with that.
“Obviously. my relationship with the Liverpool fans is very good.
“My relationship with Liverpool fans comes from years, here it is a fantastic relationship too and I am enjoying every minute at Newcastle.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 1 Liverpool 1
Newcastle: Joselu 36
Liverpool: Coutinho 29
Possession was Liverpool 68% Newcastle 32%
Total shots were Liverpool 17 Newcastle 8
Shots on target were Liverpool 2 Newcastle 5
Corners were Liverpool 5 Newcastle 1
Referee: Craig Pawson
Elliot, Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Manquillo, Ritchie, Shelvey, Merino (Hayden 74), Atsu (Diame 90+1), Perez, Joselu (Gayle 79)
Darlow, Lejeune, Murphy, Gamez
Crowd: 52,303 (approx 3,000 Liverpool)
(Read instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Newcastle 1 Liverpool 1 HERE)
(Read Jurgen Klopp’s post-match reaction HERE)
(Read the match ratings of all Newcastle players HERE)
(Read Alan Shearer’s reaction to the match HERE)
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