There’s nothing pundits would like better than Newcastle going head to head with Chelsea’s strength and try to attack them at home.
Other teams have done that over the years and have been taken apart by the Blues.
Rafa didn’t want to do that – for one reason goal difference may be important at the end of the season.
The boss wanted to keep the game close so that near the end of the game anything could happen.
Rafa explained that when we went behind yesterday due to a very soft penalty – Newcastle attacked and it was only then that Chelsea had clear-cut chances when they counter-attacked,
Oh no – a DeAndre Yedlin own goal with just 3 minutes to go
And with the expensive players they have in their side they do that extremely well.
Their goalkeeper alone was more expensive than our whole team put together.
Rafa explained his tactics to Sky Sports after the game:
“We wanted to stay in the game and try to take our chances. We were very close but the penalty was soft, the foul was soft.”
“Maybe they could have scored at the end with the quality they have on the counter-attack but, no, these two situations.”
“It’s a pity because we were very close.”
“We knew playing open against them, with their quality and ability, they can beat players in one-versus-one situations.”
“Between the lines, they are very dangerous.”
“We needed to be compact, maybe we could frustrate them into mistakes and we’d have chances.”
“The penalty changed everything and we had to be more open.”
“We scored a goal but we were so open they had two or three counter-attacks.”
“If they scored from one of these chances, fine, but they had a soft foul and a second ball from a free-kick where we needed to be more aware.”
That makes sense to us, and we’ll see that again next Saturday at Manchester City and hopefully, in that game, we could have a little bit of luck on our side.
If we had come out and attacked Chelsea like we did after we conceded the first goal yesterday, we could have lost by a lot more than just one goal.