Rafa Benitez – Impressed but also disappointed for these people
Rafa Benitez reflected on a job well done after Sunday’s match but says still room for improvement.
Newcastle went to Southampton and were the better team for much of the game, Rafa’s overall take was ‘a good performance and a great game to watch for everyone’.
The United boss especially happy at the fact that when Southampton equalised, his players went straight up the other end and Perez made it 2-1.
Not so happy though with the two goals conceded.
Manquillo maybe should have done better in cutting out the first but certainly Rob Elliot was far too slow in getting down to a shot that didn’t have a great deal of power.
Whilst Florian Lejeune marred an excellent first full 90 minutes in the Premier League with one of those penalties where the player is going nowhere but the defender has a rush of blood to the head.
Another excellent away point but Rafa Benitez saying that his biggest disappointment was that thousands of travelling supporters didn’t get what was maybe a deserved win.
“It’s this kind of game that you are disappointed because you could win, but at the same time happy, because you go away and get another point against a good team.
“My bigger disappointment though was to see 3,500 of our fans on Sunday, playing away, not getting the three points. Hopefully they can be happy with the point.
“We were more or less in control, they had to take more risks, when we conceded the goal the reaction was good.
“We have to be better in defence, have a little bit more possession. We were still trying to score, we finished strong.
“I wanted a little bit more, we worked so hard.
“I liked the team in a lot of the things that we did but I’m not happy with the two goals that we conceded.
“Overall though, I think it was a good performance and a great game to watch for everyone.
“I’m happy too because the team finished strong and were creating chances, even with Dwight Gayle when he had a little problem and we were playing with 10 players the last 10 minutes.
“Pleased overall but still we can improve.
When Dwight Gayle came on we were expecting to use his pace but he had a little problem with his calf, he was working very hard but with a problem.
“In the last 10 minutes we were playing with just 10 players but even then he was still running, chasing balls and passing.
“After the run he did, he was feeling a little bit stiff in his calf and couldn’t run in the same way.
“I think he was managing well and I told him to drop off a little bit and stay a little more closer to the midfielders.
“He managed well, made the effort, which is good for the team, but it’s what you have to do. You have professionals and they have to give everything for the team.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Southampton 2 Newcastle 2
Newcastle: Hayden 20, Perez 51
Southampton: Gabbiadini 49,75 (pen)
Possession was Southampton 62% Newcastle 38%
Total shots were Southampton 12 Newcastle 19
Shots on target were Southampton 2 Newcastle 5
Corners were Southampton 3 Newcastle 8
Referee: Kevin Friend
Elliot, Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Manquillo, Ritchie, Shelvey, Hayden, Atsu (Murphy 82), Perez (Merino 63), Joselu (Gayle 68)
Darlow, Clark, Gamez, Diame
Crowd: 31,437 (Newcastle 3,200)
(Read the instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the match HERE)
(Alan Shearer’s reaction to the match HERE)
(To view the player ratings and to add your own go HERE)
(Read Alan Pardew’s take on the game HERE)
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