Rafael Benitez feels Newcastle deserved a point against Tottenham
Rafa Benitez thought Newcastle's performance deserved at least a point in their 2-1 defeat at home to Tottenham.
Last Updated: 11/08/18 4:16pm
Rafa Benitez thought Newcastle's performance deserved at least a point in their 2-1 defeat to Tottenham at St James' Park.
Spurs dominated for long periods of the first half and led at the break thanks to goals from Jan Vertonghen and Dele Alli,
However, it was a different story after the break and Mauricio Pochettino's side found themselves in a second-half battle, during which Mohamed Diame and Salomon Rondon both hit the woodwork as the Magpies fought for some reward.
The equaliser didn't come in the end, but Benitez was happy with his side's performance.
"From my point of view we deserved at least a draw," Benitez told Sky Sports.
"We were pushing them all the way. We were fighting until the end and we had some chances, especially in the second half against a good team.
"You could feel the fans had the belief that we could do something, so it was a pity."
Before the game there was plenty of debate as to who would start in attack for Newcastle. Joselu got the nod and he rewarded Benitez for picking him ahead of summer signings Rondon and Yoshinori Muto by scoring his side's goal.
And Benitez thinks Newcastle have a very healthy competition for places in attack.
"It's always important for the strikers to score," he added. "When you bring in new players it increases the competition, which was the idea.
"Also you can see the new players will need some time to understand their team-mates and what we want them to do but at least we have the competition.
"Joselu scored a great goal and that's really good for the rest of the season because they will be pushing each other."
There was an injury blow for Benitez as DeAndre Yedlin limped from the field late on, leaving Newcastle, who had made all their substitutions, to finish the game with 10 men.
Whan asked about the seriousness of the injury, Benitez said: "I don't really know. We'll have to wait and the doctor has to assess the injury. We will need some time to know exactly."