Rafa Benitez was left with a frustrating sense of deja vu as Newcastle succumbed to West Ham for the second time this season, calling Saturday's 2-0 defeat at London Stadium 'the same situation' as the Magpies loss to the Hammers at St. James' Park.
After losing 3-0 to West Ham at home in December, Benitez would have hoped that his recently revitalised Newcastle side would put in a significantly better performance in the reverse fixture. However, after an unconvincing 90 minutes in East London, Benitez was left bemoaning frustratingly similar mistakes.
As quoted by Chronicle Live, Benitez said: "We made our own mistakes. We started with a lack of concentration and we conceded two goals from set-pieces against a good team. It was the same situation that we had at home.
"We had to take the risks when we are losing and we were open. But still, we had 17 attempts and I think they were lucky in some of the situations. They were blocking some shots. But we’re all really disappointed with the first half when we conceded two goals from set pieces."
Despite a second-half performance that included much grit, albeit a lack of quality, Benitez will understandably be left frustrated by his side's opening 45 minutes.
Slack marking from Newcastle allowed Declan Rice to rise, unimpeded, to head home a sixth-minute corner before more sloppy defending saw Florian Lejeune concede a penalty five minutes from the half-time interval with a late challenge on Javier Hernandez.
Mark Noble made no mistake from the spot to give West Ham a two-goal cushion, and all but kill off any chance of a Newcastle comeback.