By 90Min
March 04, 2018

Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez insisted his side's failure to execute their game plan for the full 90 minutes was crucial to defeat to Liverpool on Saturday.

Despite putting Liverpool through their paces with a valiant defensive performance, Newcastle suffered a 2-0 loss at Anfield, with in-form attacking duo Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane helping the Reds back into second place in the league.

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The Magpies' defence was incredibly stubborn throughout much of the game, with the hosts only registering three shots on target against them.

While their admirable performance against one of the league's top teams may provide some solace for members of the Toon Army, Rafael Benitez was not too quick to accept any praise offered to his side, telling Sky Sports"I'm not happy because I don't like to lose, even if the game plan is good for 40 minutes. It has to be good for 90 minutes.

"We saw one of the best teams in the Premier League and we were for 40 minutes controlling defensively the game but you cannot make mistakes because with these things, normally you pay for that."

Benitez later went on to state that he wasn't convinced Jamaal Lascelles - who was somewhat lucky to avoid a red card for fouling Mo Salah - deserved to be dismissed: "Watching from the bench maybe, watching the replay it was not very clear.


"The referee maybe had the same opinion, that it wasn't very clear. Watching the replay, both situations was not very clear."

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“We knew they were dangerous, the way they pressed quickly, we knew that we had to be careful with that. You cannot guarantee you won’t make mistakes, and when you make mistakes, with the players they have up front, you will pay for that."

Although Newcastle did their best to stifle the Liverpool attack, they were bested, in the end, by two incisive passes to play their attackers in one-on-one against Martin Dubravka.

Newcastle's next game sees them come up against fellow strugglers Southampton, who sit one point behind Benitez's side in 17th place following their 0-0 draw against Stoke City earlier on Saturday.

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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)