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Rafa Benitez speaks about 6 missing players and when Lascelles and Shelvey are expected back from ‘injury’

8 months ago
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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

Goals

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)

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