After a workmanlike and organized performance from Newcastle in the first half yesterday, when we took a 1-0 lead at halftime due to a terrific goal from Isaac Hayden, the game ar St. Mary’s in the second had turned into a bit of a classic and was end to end.
And in the final 10 minutes, it was anybody’s game, and Florian Lejeune had an excellent header from a Matt Ritchie corner cleared off the line in the dying minutes.
Perez had restored the lead early in the second half after Gabbiadini had been allowed too much time and space in the penalty area and had equalized.
Rafa Benitez – on the touchline at St. Mary’s yesterday
Then Florian Lejeune with 15 minutes to go made a mistake when he challenged Shane Long in the area, and the Irishman went down to get a penalty for the home side.
And Gabbiadini converted for his second goal of the game.
Rafa was pleased with the performance but was a little frustrated we could not take all 3 points:
“It’s this kind of game that you are disappointed because you could win.”
“But, at the same time, happy because you go away and get another point against a good team.”
“I’m disappointed also because 3,500 fans were also coming on a Sunday, another long trip, and it was a pity not to give them the chance to go back with the three points.”
“But I am sure that they will happy with the point.”
“I liked the team in a lot of the things that we did, but I’m not happy with the two goals that we conceded.”
“Overall, I think it was a good performance and a great game to watch for everyone.”
“I’m happy too because the team finished strong in the box and were creating chances, even with Dwight Gayle, when he had a little problem and we were playing with 10 players in the last 10 minutes.”
“Pleased overall, but still we can improve.”
With that performance yesterday we can see Newcastle becoming a popular team on TV because we play good football, and we have Rafa Benitez on the touchline – who is always good to watch in any game.
We are definitely improving this season under Rafa and were just a mite unlucky yesterday.