Rafa Benitez saw his team put in plenty of effort on Monday night but struggled to create many real chances.
He felt that his team did have the opportunities, or at least enough good situations, to win.
A desperate first half should have seen Newcastle take the lead and if so, almost certainly win the game judging on the lack of cutting edge shown by both sides.
Kenedy charged down Pickford’s attempted clearance and Perez only had to slip a simple 10 yard pass to an unmarked Slimani for a simple finish…
However, summing up much of the passing on both sides, the former Tenerife player somehow managed to mess it up.
It was obvious that Rafa was referring to this moment in particular when he bemoaned the final ball by his players last night.
Rare poor defending let in the home side for the winner, Newcastle failing to deal with a hopeful cross into the box and the scousers got a lucky deflection into Walcott’s path, though his finish was very good.
Rafa Benitez has been keen in the build up to this match to say that things need to change in the transfer market for Newcastle this summer, or else progress will be all but impossible.
The manager when asked about what had divided the two teams on Monday night, replied simply ‘do the numbers’, a reference to the chasm in backing that the respective managers have had.
Everton have spent over £180m in the past 10 months and that included £50m in January alone on Tosun and Walcott.
Rafa saying it is unrealistic for Newcastle to be expected to come and win ‘easily’ in games like this, when the opposition are spending £100,000+ a week wages on the likes of Rooney and Walcott, plus the amount spent on transfers overall.
Rafa won’t be expecting to get £180m+ this summer but obviously there is a lot of wriggle room compared to the minimal net spend he was allowed this season, including having to rely on loan deals in January when fighting relegation.
Rafa Benitez asked what was the difference between the two teams:
“Do the numbers.
“If you do the numbers then it is very easy.
“The difference is that they have players with experience in the Premier League.
“I don’t know how much they spent this year exactly…but it’s very simple.
“For us to come here and [people] expect us to beat them, it is not easy.
“We do have a chance but normally when you go away against these teams, it isn’t easy to get anything.
“To play against this team here [away from home] and to expect we have to beat them easily, it is not right.
“They have very good players who can make the difference.
“We battled and fought until the end and we had the chance to draw, to maybe even win, but we lost against a good team.
“That is it.
“We did have chances and when I talk about chances, I talk about final passes too.
“The final pass, and in the final third, we didn’t take our chances.
“That is the difference when you have Walcott or Rooney on those wages, they can make the difference.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Everton 1 Newcastle 0
Evertonl: Walcott 51
Possession was Everton 57% Newcastle 43%
Total shots were Everton 9 Newcastle 9
Shots on target were Everton 1 Newcastle 2
Corners were Everton 4 Newcastle 6
Referee: Robert Madley
Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett, Ritchie (Murphy 79), Shelvey (Merino 83), Diame, Kenedy, Perez, Slimani (Gayle 63)
Darlow, Manquillo, Clark, Hayden
(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the game HERE)
(To read the match ratings on all Newcastle players after this defeat go HERE)
(Sam Allardyce up to usual tricks with post-match comments – Read HERE)
(DeAndre Yedlin has his say after the defeat at Everton – Read HERE)