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Rafa Benitez loving beating Leicester: “It was amazing…a proper English match!”

12 months ago
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Rafa Benitez was a proud man as his players made it 13 points from the last 18 and moved into the top half of the season.

Newcastle were well worth their victory and indeed should have had better than a one goal winning margin.

After the final whistle Rafa said ‘We managed a team with very good players, very well’.

Vardy might have scored the consolation goal but overall, Newcastle dealt superbly with both him and Mahrez.

Maybe the moment that best summed up the match and which I am sure will be picked up by the various TV highlights programmes, was a 15 second spell in the second half when four or five ‘committed’ NUFC challenges went in, one after the other.

A great day to be a Newcastle fan as Rafa’s team outfought and played better football against a side who have had plenty of both those qualities in the last year or two.

Rafa Benitez:

“I am really pleased.

“The players worked really hard, fighting for every single ball.

“Every single player was trying their best and that is what you need to do if you want to stay up.

“Obviously, you always have a game plan, but it is down to the players – and they executed it very well.

“We managed a team with very good players, really well.

“There were three, four tackles going in at once… a proper English match!

“We are very close [to safety] but still need two more points…

“Obviously we are closer than three hours ago. We will see next week.

“It was amazing, the effort of the players, the way they were working, creating chances and the connection with the fans, who were amazing too.

“Leicester are always dangerous, they have the players who can hurt you, but we had three or four counter attacks where we could have done better.

“You cannot complain…We are closer [to safety] but we have to carry on. Nearly, but we have to carry on.

“The main thing for us was the performance of the team, we deserved to win.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Leicester 1 Newcastle 2

Goals:

Newcastle: Shelvey 18, Perez 75

Leicester: Vardy 83

Possession was Leicester 66% Newcastle 34%

Total shots were  Leicester 8 Newcastle 8

Shots on target were Leicester 1 Newcastle 4

Corners were  Leicester 7 Newcastle 5

Referee: Stuart Attwell

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett, Ritchie, Shelvey, Diame (Hayden 81), Shelvey, Kenedy (Atsu 64), Gayle (Joselu 70)

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Manquillo, Clark, Merino

Crowd: 32,066 (3,200 Newcastle)

(Read Alan Shearer’s reaction to the result HERE)

(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the 2-1 victory HERE)

(Leicester boss Claude Puel reacts to the defeat HERE)

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