Published: Mon, August 27, 2018
Sport | By Ashley Hunter

Rafa Benitez reacts to criticism of his Newcastle tactics against Chelsea

Rafa Benitez reacts to criticism of his Newcastle tactics against Chelsea

The win propelled Chelsea to second place in the table, only behind Liverpool on goal difference, with nine points while Newcastle's slump at home continues and the loss could be a cause for concern.

Maurizio Sarri is considered to be implementing a winning blueprint in west London, with the Italian seeking to embrace a more expansive footballing philosophy than his predecessor Antonio Conte .

Sarri warned that he generally experiences defensive difficulties when he first arrives at a new club, but is adamant that Chelsea's players are perfectly capable of putting his ideas into action with time.

"But we did work very well".

That gave Chelsea a helping hand after 76 minutes of frustration, the Blues having until then failed to break down a Newcastle side set up to soak up pressure. "I don't think the trailing leg gets Alonso".

"If you're a Newcastle player in that dressing room, you're embarrassed because you know you can play more".

The match official awarded Chelsea a penalty after an incident involving Fabian Schar and Marcos Alonso but replay suggested that the defender had clearly got the ball when he lunged in for a challenge. "In the other way, you defend on the movements of the opponent".

However, much like it was against Huddersfield in the Blues' Premier League opener, the £70 million man failed to make any kind of impact on the game.

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Newcastle, however, have just one point from their three games, yet Benitez remains optimistic and refused to apologise for his approach to the game.

Sarri is unconvinced that he could ever resort to such a radical Plan B.

"I like to be organised defensively, but now, again, I was watching teams yesterday playing 5-4-1 and it was said they are great tactician because someone has an opinion on TV".

Former Liverpool star Jamie Redknapp, working for Sky Sports, said: "I don't buy into those tactics".

"I am very proud to be Watford coach".

On Chelsea's penalty, he added: "It is the same, I saw from far".

"I want to enjoy, I want to have fun, press the ball", he said. "It's not easy, but I have to try". "It's very hard to get results in the Premier League and to win three in a row is something special, something unbelievable", Gracia told the club's website.

"We tried to stay in the game until the last minute but this is football - we conceded an own goal and it's an unlucky result for us".

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