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’.

Rafa Benitez:

“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

Goals:

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

Newcastle United:

Elliot, Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Manquillo, Ritchie, Shelvey, Merino (Hayden 74), Atsu (Diame 90+1), Perez, Joselu (Gayle 79)

Unused Subs:

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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  • Wor Lass

    That`s the sort of point we would never have battled it out for pre-Rafa. The lads were magnificent today and followed the plan to the letter. I thought Yedlin, Ritchie and Lascelles were outstanding but everyone put a shift in – including Perez, the new whipping boy. When Moussa the Great took scoring lessons from Manu Riviere Joselu must have sneaked into the training ground to watch! The Sky team were beside themselves today to emphasise what a great point it was for us and how disappointed Liverpool must be.

    • Kneebotherm8

      We’d have collapsed under Mclaren and Pardew,you’re absolutely right there.

  • Malcolm Fisher

    “A classy goal” from joselue, you serious? He nearly lost the ball because he was so lax, and the ball bounced off his shin!
    Granted a goal is goal,but classy it was not.