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Rafa Benitez rues mistakes at West Ham, failing to score with 17 shots and players losing focus

4 months ago
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Rafa Benitez has been reflecting on the two goal defeat at the London Stadium.

The Newcastle boss pointing to the statistics (17 shots to West Ham’s 10 and six NUFC corners to their one), yet failing to score a goal.

For once though it was at the other end where Rafa’s players really let themselves down.

The Newcastle boss talking about what they’d been doing in the build-up to Saturday: “We were analysing set-pieces, knew what could happen, but we made mistakes.”

No wonder Rafa Benitez looked less than happy on the touchline.

Rice allowed a free header for the first and then Lejeune left with a two on one situation for the second, then making that situation all the worse by lunging in and giving a penalty and second goal to the Hammers.

Rafa Benitez speaking to BBC Sport:

“We made our own mistakes.

“We started with a lack of concentration and conceded two set-pieces to a good team.

“We still had 17 attempts and they were a bit lucky with some of their blocks.

“The second goal was a free-kick that we knew could happen.

“When they have this quality up front you know you can be punished.

“When you go away and have 17 attempts you have to score at least one goal but it’s not easy when you are 2-0 down too soon.

“We are where are, we are doing a lot of good things, but we must keep focus and concentration from the first to last minute.

“We have to be sure we learn from these mistakes and prepare for the next game.

“We didn’t start well, we didn’t do what we have to do at the start.

“We conceded two goals at set-pieces that we could have avoided easily.

“We had attempts in the first and second half but it’s difficult when you are 2-0 down already and exposed in the counter attack.

“We were analysing set-pieces, knew what could happen, but we made mistakes.

“We must learn for the future, starting against Everton [on Saturday].

“The reality is we were doing well away, then we have good games at home.

“The disappointment comes from that as today we started very poorly.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

West Ham 2 Newcastle 0

Goals:

Rice 7, Noble 42 pen

Possession was West Ham 56% Newcastle 44%

Total shots were West Ham 10 Newcastle 17

Shots on target were West Ham 4 Newcastle 2

Corners were West Ham 1 Newcastle 6

Referee: Chris Kavanagh

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Manquillo, Schar (Dummett 65), Lascelles, Lejeune, Ritchie,  Hayden (Atsu 79), Longstaff (Diame 45), Almiron, Perez, Rondon

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Ki, Yedlin, Muto

(3 positives and 3 negatives from West Ham 2 Newcastle 0 – Read HERE)

(Alan Shearer verdict on the defeat HERE)

(Match ratings of all NUFC players HERE)

(David Pleat analyses the match but dodgy Mike Ashley comment – HERE)

(Instant NUFC fan/write response to the defeat at West Ham – Read HERE)

(Sean Longstaff leaves London Stadium on crutches – Read HERE)

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