Thursday 21 February 2019

Benitez boost at first home points

Newcastle 1 Watford 0

Newcastle United's Spanish manager Rafael Benitez (L) celebrates with Newcastle United's US defender DeAndre Yedlin. Photo: Getty
Newcastle United's Spanish manager Rafael Benitez (L) celebrates with Newcastle United's US defender DeAndre Yedlin. Photo: Getty

Damian Spellman

Rafael Benitez was relieved after seeing Newcastle claim their first Premier League win of the season at the 11th attempt. The Magpies rode their luck to claim their first points at home this season and got them despite losing Yoshinori Muto, Jamaal Lascelles and Jonjo Shelvey to injury before the hour mark.

"I will say that in so many games, there were so many things that we were trying to do in a different way with players, analysing everything," said Benitez, "and still we couldn't get three points when I think we deserved to get the three points in a couple of games - Cardiff, Manchester United, Brighton, they were very clear.

Ben Foster of Watford is beaten by the shot of Ayoze Perez of Newcastle United for the only goal of the game Photo: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images
Ben Foster of Watford is beaten by the shot of Ayoze Perez of Newcastle United for the only goal of the game Photo: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

"It was a pity, but today we won. There's a little bit of relief and we can enjoy it, but keep working hard because (next opponents) Bournemouth are also another team that is in form and it will be difficult."

Ayoze Perez's 65th-minute header from Ki Sung-yueng's driven free-kick won it for Newcastle. But Watford will have left Tyneside frustrated with themselves after Gerard Deulofeu passed up two first-half opportunities, Roberto Pereyra rattled the crossbar and substitute Stefano Okaka missed from close range.

It was just what the home side needed after another bruising week on Tyneside. "The fans have been fantastic during the whole season and today was another example," added Benitez. The players are giving everything. We are making mistakes, starting from me, but still we are trying our best and the fans appreciate that.

"You could see even in the worst situation, still they were behind the team. Now we have to enjoy it and relax a little bit."

Federico Fernandez of Newcastle United is challenged by Gerard Deulofeu of Watford. Photo: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images
Federico Fernandez of Newcastle United is challenged by Gerard Deulofeu of Watford. Photo: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Sunday Indo Sport

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport