Arguably the biggest drama of the day was when Rafa Benitez revealed his team an hour before taking on Chelsea.

Only four outfield players survived from the team who took on Cardiff the previous weekend.

The biggest talking points of course were the absence of Jamaal Lascelles and Jonjo Shelvey.

With Manquillo, Kenedy, Perez and Joselu also missing out.

Yedlin was always going to replace Manquillo, even if the Spaniard had been fit to play.

Kenedy couldn’t play against parent club Chelsea, whilst I didn’t hear anybody moaning about Joselu and Perez being dropped to the bench.

However, the absence of Jamaal Lascelles was the big one, especially when journalists reported that there had allegedly been a training ground disagreement.

Jamaal Lascelles allegedly asked to play on the right in a set-up of three centre-backs and insisting he should be in the middle, leading to Rafa leaving him out supposedly.

After today’s defeat, Rafa was asked about the rumours of a bust up and indicated that whilst there may have been a discussion on tactics, Jamaal Lascelles WAS injured according to the Newcastle boss.

However, he did say that whilst Jonjo Shelvey won’t be back until after the international break, Jamaal Lascelles should be fine to face his old club Forest in only three days time – if the captain does indeed play on Wednesday then it will leave fans wondering just how ‘injured’ Lascelles really was on Sunday.

Rafa Benitez:

“All my life I like to talk with players.

“We decide what we have to do.

“Everyone knows that. If players have different opinions, then we have to speak about it.

“That’s it…and then we stick to the plan.

“We had six players out of the team,.

“Lejeune, Manquillo, Jamaal and Jonjo were injured, Kenedy couldn’t play and Hayden was suspended.

“For a team like us to lose six players, we had problems.

“Jonjo was tight – maybe he will need a couple of weeks.

“Jamaal, hopefully, will be fine for the next game.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 1 Chelsea 2


Newcastle: Joselu

Chelsea: Hazard 76 (Pen), Yedlin 87 (OG)

Possession was Chelsea 81% Newcastle 19%

Total shots were  Chelsea 15 Newcastle 6

Shots on target were Chelsea 3 Newcastle 2

Corners were  Chelsea 5 Newcastle 4

Referee: Paul Tierney

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Yedlin, Schar (Muto 79), Fernandez, Clark, Dummett, Ritchie, Ki, Diame, Murphy (Perez 73), Rondon (Joselu 62)

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Sterry, Longstaff, Atsu

Crowd: 51,791 (3,200 Chelsea)

(Alan Shearer finds result a ‘sickener’ – Read HERE)

(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Newcastle 1 Chelsea 2 – Read HERE)

(Was Rafa Benitez right to use such negative tactics considering players he had available and quality of opposition? Vote HERE)

  • Jate Legend

    Haweh Rafa mate, just admit you hoyed the towel in.


    I would be surprised if Lascelles was dropped. Rafa made him Captain and made him into a premier league defender, got him an improved contract and on the verge of the England squad. There can only be 1 gaffer and he picks the team and decides what formation they play. That is the way it should be, I think the Richard Dinnis era proved that.

    • Lewis SG

      Chill, it’s just rumours. Since it has been clarified that it is an injury and he should be back next game, there shouldn’t be any questions about that anymore.

  • Geordiegiants

    Jabba PR in full swing trying to upset the harmony. Lascelles was injured 100%.
    Whatever his team get out of this sort of rubbish is pathetic.

  • glassjawsh-got-banned

    losing Shelvey is probably worse than losing Lascelles. not that it’s going to matter against Citeh.

    • fistsofsteel2

      Well Wolves certainly gave City a game, and Brighton beat Man U last week……then again they have managers who at least try and let the players play the game instead of turning it into a training ground exercise for the opposition.

    • Andy Mac

      Who have we got apart from JJ and maybe Kennedy who you could say is anywhere near “creative” ? Buying players at bargain basement prices generally means just that.

      If the Fatman refuses to pay the market rate for quality playmakers/strikers its no wonder we struggle to take on the very best. One decent striker and a No 10 would make a world of difference to our team and our attacking play