Rafa left cursing Magpies’ lack of luck in Spurs defeat
PUBLISHED: 14:00 14 August 2018
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Mauricio Pochettino’s team claimed all three points at St James’ Park, but had luck on their side
Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez insisted his team deserved at least a draw in their opening-day loss to Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on Saturday.
Spurs took the lead at St James’ Park in the ninth minute when Jan Vertonghen was able to flick home Davinson Sanchez’s header.
The Magpies levelled almost immediately, however, with Joselu nodding past Hugo Lloris in the 11th minute.
But the frantic start didn’t finish there, as Dele Alli made it 2-1 to the Lilywhites in the 18th minute following a fine Serge Aurier cross.
Although Newcastle had further chances to equalise, they failed to take them and lost for the second consecutive season on the opening day at home to Spurs.
Benitez said: “We deserved at least a draw. We played against a very good team, you could see the quality that they have.
“But at the same time, you could see our team spirit, our work-rate and also the chances that we had, so I think we deserved a little bit more.”
Tottenham had the better of the opportunities in the first half, but rode their luck in the second 45.
Mohamed Diame hit the woodwork and late on substitute Salomon Rondon almost made it 2-2.
He controlled in the area and shot towards goal, but Jan Vertonghen chucked himself in front of the effort and managed to deflect it onto the crossbar.
It proved decisive as Tottenham held on to claim three points to get the new term off to a positive start.
Additional reporting by Press Association Sport.