By 90Min
August 19, 2018

Rafa Benitez refused to comment on the performance from referee Craig Pawson after his involvement in a number of controversial decisions during Newcastle's 0-0 draw with Cardiff on Saturday. 

Pawson was at the centre of the talking points which emerged from the game after failing to penalise Newcastle's Kenedy after he kicked out at Victor Camarasa in the opening term before showing Isaac Hayden a straight red for his tackle from behind on Josh Murphy in the second.

It was not all she wrote, however, as the Magpies were awarded a spot kick in stoppage time when Cardiff skipper Sean Morrison was deemed to have blocked an incoming cross with his arm, only for Kenedy to see his effort saved by Neil Etheridge. 

Cardiff City v Newcastle United - Premier League

The result saw the Magpies pick up their first point of the season, but Benitez felt they were not given the rub of the green in Cardiff as Harry Arter could also have been dismissed.

"I don't want to talk about the referee," Benitez told Sky Sports at the conclusion of the game. "I saw a lot of things, and that is why I don't want to talk about the referee.

"It was a difficult game, we knew it was going to be difficult. We had problems at right-back, Javier Manquillo was injured and Hayden was sent off.

"Too many things were against us, but in the end we had a penalty and could have got three points. We knew this game was, on paper, one where we could fight with them. That was the case, we were fighting until the end.

"It's a pity but at least you get a point with 10 players. You cannot complain about the referee or the players, they were great, so we have to do something a little bit better to get the points. We had a couple of chances in the first half that could have been different."


Kenedy had the opportunity to secure all three points late on but his miserable afternoon - which saw him fail to complete a single pass in the first 45 - saw his tame attempt saved which had many questioning if he was in fact the designated taker. 

Benitez looked to clear up the situation as he added: "Yes [Kenedy was the designated penalty taker]. The designated penalty taker was Ritchie, he was not on the pitch, the second one was Kenedy." 

Newcastle will host Chelsea next week in the hopes of securing their first three points of the campaign. 

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