Eddie Howe reflects on Benfica defeat, the red card, travelling fans and disappointment
Eddie Howe left with plenty of food for thought.
A night of drama in Lisbon ended with a 3-2 defeat for Newcastle United but a game full of incident, that will have possibly helped the head coach make some major decisions ahead of the new season.
Only 10 days to go now until Newcastle kick off against Nottingham Forest and plenty of positives despite the final score.
Newcastle United didn’t deserve to lose as they proved at least a match for their hosts, Miguel Almiron with two excellent goals to cancel out two set-piece goals for Benfica.
Eddie Howe admitted he was particularly disappointed on two fronts, the red card for Joelinton and the fact that Newcastle failed to see out the 2-2 draw with ten men. Although with a penalty shoot out set to decide things, no doubt most NUFC fans would have feared the worst anyway!
Benfica scored that winner with only a minute left on the clock, Eddie Howe reflecting on the game overall and kicking off with his reaction to a red card having been handed out in a friendly, by a referee who did Newcastle no favours all night…
“I’m disappointed, in pre-season friendlies the last thing I want to see is a red card for either team, unless there’s a tackle that’s really out of the spirit of the game.
“I don’t think Joelinton’s tackles were (that got the two yellow cards), the second one was late and he (Joelinton) acknowledged that and stayed to try and look after the lad.
“It spoiled the last ten to fifteen minutes but it was a good test for us, we just weren’t quite good enough to see the game out (with ten men), which is disappointing from our perspective.”
Overall performance / match
“A very good performance from us today, a high quality game, one worthy of the Premier League and it was what we needed at this stage of preparation for the season.
“The Portuguese League is very strong technically and you can see it in Benfica’s style of play.
“The style suits the Premier League.
“We look at all the leagues around the world, looking for players for Newcastle…
“The intensity of the game was very good.
“Pre-season has been very intense and now we are looking forward to returning home, starting our domestic games and competitions.
“Benfica have an incredible stadium, passionate fans….and a good team.
“It turned out to be, despite the result, a very good experience for us.
“Let’s hope the team improves during the season.”
Travelling Newcastle United fans
“They were a long way from us, up high, but I hope they enjoyed what they saw.
“I’m sure they did and I hope it was worth the effort and the time and expense to come out and see us, support us.
“It means the world to us and a big thank you from me to them.”
Benfica 3 Newcastle 2
Almiron 22, 44, Joelinton red card 82
Ramos 15, Grimaldo 32, Araujo 89
Newcastle team v Benfica:
Pope, Trippier, Lascelles, Botman, Targett, Sean Longstaff, Bruno G, Anderson, Almiron, Saint-Maximin, Wilson
At half-time eleven changes:
Darlow, Krafth, Schar, Burn, Matt Bondswell, Shelvey (Matty Longstaff 75), Willock, Joelinton, Murphy, Ritchie, Wood
(Match Report – Benfica 3 Newcastle 2 – Miggy at the double, Joelinton late red card and then later goal – Read HERE)
(6 injury worries ahead of season after official Newcastle United update – Read HERE)
(Newcastle United goals and assists in pre-season friendlies – The absolute stand out player – Read HERE)
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