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Rafa Benitez sends message to Mike Ashley after emotional night against Liverpool at St James Park

2 months ago
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Rafa Benitez was left to reflect on an eventful night at St James Park.

A night packed with emotion and plenty of action on the pitch.

A match that Newcastle United never deserved to lose, on a night when the visitors carried all of the luck.

Liverpool had four efforts on target and scored three goals, whilst Newcastle had more shots and more efforts on target.

Only the woodwork (Perez) and the match officials decided Newcastle would lose this one.

Newcastle were missing Lejeune, Almiron, Longstaff and Yedlin through injury and you certainly have to wonder whether the result would have been different, especially if the first two players of that quartet had been available.

As for those who did play though, they did manager and fans proud: ‘I am really proud because it was a difficult game against a very good team but the players gave everything. The fans appreciate that and were behind the team, we couldn’t have asked for more.’

Last night was of course about so much more than a result of a football match, it encompassed the whole emotion of where this football club is going  to head now.

Rafa Benitez sending this message to Mike Ashley: ‘It is so simple, you have the potential, you can feel the potential and the passion of the fans and what it means to them. We have to compete with the teams that are around us but it’s not easy. I am really proud and pleased because we stayed up but I would like to compete for something more. Hopefully we can go closer and match the ambition of the fans.’

Rafa Benitez:

“I am really proud because it was a difficult game against a very good team but the players gave everything.

“The fans appreciate that and were behind the team, we couldn’t have asked for more.

“We made a few mistakes at set-pieces but in terms of effort and desire we did quite well.

“We are trying to make sure we don’t make so many mistakes.

“I don’t know about the third goal but the first two we can do much better.

“We have been quite consistent, working really hard as a team and as a unit, staying very compact. It was a great performance from us.

“This game was special, I have a relationship with both sets of fans.

“It’s always special when you do well and go around and see smiles on the fans’ faces, it’s emotional but really good at the same time.

“We have had and will have conversations over the next couple of weeks [about the contract position] and see where we are.

“It is so simple, you have the potential, you can feel the potential and the passion of the fans and what it means to them.

“We have to compete with the teams that are around us but it’s not easy.

“I am really proud and pleased because we stayed up but I would like to compete for something more.

“Hopefully we can go closer and match the ambition of the fans.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 2 Liverpool 3

Goals:

Newcastle:

Atsu 20, Rondon 54

Liverpool:

van Dijk 13, Salah 28, Origi 86

Possession was Liverpool 69% Newcastle 31%

Total shots were Liverpool 11 Newcastle 14

Shots on target were Liverpool 4 Newcastle 7

Corners were Liverpool 3 Newcastle 2

Referee: Andre Marriner

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Manquillo, Schar (Muto 90+1, Lascelles, Dummett, Ritchie, Hayden, Ki, Atsu, Perez, Rondon

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Barreca, Diame, Shelvey, Kenedy, Fernandez

Crowd: 52,206 ,587  (3,200+ Liverpool)

(Read NUFC fan/writer reaction to the match HERE)

(Jurgen Klopp blown away by the game and atmosphere – Read it HERE)

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