Fighting talk from Matt Ritchie
Nobody will have been more disappointed at 5pm on Saturday than Matt Ritchie.
Coming up against his old club for the first time since leaving in summer 2016 and hitting the post, as well as bringing a world-class fingertip save from Begovic.
Then to have Bournemouth score a winner in injury time…Matt Ritchie obviously not a happy man.
However, the winger declares ‘If we continue to perform the way we played in the first half, we’ll pick up points for sure’.
Newcastle the far better side in the first half and should have been a goal or two up, only to then be a distinct second best after the break.
Ritchie insists you have to look at the game overall and says ‘It wasn’t a bad performance and you can’t look at it and say we’ve lost and haven’t performed well’.
As fans you can be guilty of forgetting positives from earlier in the game when it eventually ends in defeat – but there was still cause for concern when nobody took charge in the second half and got them back playing as a team.
Matt Ritchie kind of contradicts himself though when stating ‘It’s a bit harsh to say we haven’t been clinical enough…’ before later adding ‘Sometimes, it just comes down to who can take their chances’.
Newcastle’s run of goals from set-pieces has massively covered up the failure to create enough chances in open play and take them – with the Palace and Burnley matches showing very few clear chances created. At least on Saturday Newcastle did carve out a significant number of opportunities, now they just have to start taking them…
“I think it’s a bit harsh to say we haven’t been clinical enough, as you are playing against top defenders, some of the best defenders in the world, and you have to work hard for your chances.
“It would be wrong to say we haven’t been clinical enough, but each to their own, everyone will have their own opinions.
“But my opinion is that, yes, it would be nice if when you create a chance you score a goal, but it doesn’t always work like that.
“You are playing against top defenders and it’s so quick out there, you are not going to score with every chance you create.
“You have to continue to create chances and hopefully the more chances you create, the more goals you will score.
“I think we performed really well in the first half, good off the ball and we were good on it too.
“I was a little bit disappointed not to score, Asmir (Begovic) has obviously made a fantastic save for the first one. I couldn’t see him, so it was impossible for him to see the ball, so he has pulled off a really good save.
“With the second one, I have just set it off a little bit too far outside the post, and it has not come in enough and hit the post.
“That could have been a defining moment but it wasn’t to be.
“I think it’s positive that we’re creating and getting into goalscoring areas though, we created some good chances but then in the second half you saw a reaction from them.
“We became a little bit stretched but that is the Premier League for you, they are a good side and it was always going to be a tough game. It’s a horrible way to lose in the last minute, but we’ll go again.
“I think that just shows how tight the Premier League is.
“We have won a few games like that already this season and it just shows that the small margins are massively important.
“Sometimes, it just comes down to who can take their chances.
“It wasn’t a bad performance and you can’t look at it and say we’ve lost and haven’t performed well. If we continue to perform the way we played in the first half, we’ll pick up points for sure.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 0 Bournemouth 1
Bournemouth: Cook 90+2
Possession was Bournemouth 52% Newcastle 48%
Total shots were Bournemouth 16 Newcastle 16
Shots on target were Bournemouth 6 Newcastle 4
Corners were Bournemouth 9 Newcastle 11
Referee: Paul Tierney
Elliot, Yedlin, Lascelles (Clark 55), Lejeune, Manquillo, Ritchie, Shelvey, Hayden, Atsu (Murphy 82), Joselu (Perez 68)
Darlow, Gamez, Mitrovic, Diame
Crowd: 52,237 (Bournemouth 1,600)
(Sam Allardyce verdict on Newcastle 0 Bournemouth 1 HERE)
(Read what Rafa had to say after the match HERE)
(Read the instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the game HERE)
(A worthwhile experiment Rafa Benitez will not be repeating..? Read HERE)
(Update on Jamaal Lascelles injury – Read HERE)
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