Preston North End 1 Newcastle United 1: Aleksandar Mitrovic gives Rafa Benitez a timely reminder of his talents

Aleksandar Mitrovic
Aleksandar Mitrovic
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Jacob Murphy and Javier Manquillo made their Newcastle United debuts at Deepdale this afternoon.

Rafa Benitez's side was held to a 1-1 draw by Championship club Preston North End.

Aleksandar Mitrovic's early goal was cancelled out by Tom Barkhuizen at Deepdale, where Newcastle were backed by more than 2,000 fans.

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Winger Murphy, signed from Norwich City on Wednesday for £12million, came on for the second half.

While defender Manquillo – who completed a move from Atletico Madrid yesterday – was sent on late in the game by Benitez.

Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez

The friendly match had followed a week-long training camp in Ireland.

Benitez was without captain Jamaal Lascelles, while Matt Ritchie, still working his way back to fitness after a summer groin operation, was also not involved.

Newcastle made a positive start. Siem de Jong had an early shot tipped over the bar by Chris Maxwell, and the breakthrough came in the eighth minute.

Paul Dummett seized on a loose ball and his fierce shot was parried towards Mitrovic at the far by Maxwell.

The striker – who had spoken about his fight for a place at the club this season –took his chance to take his tally against Preston to five goals from four games.

Mitrovic also had a shot stopped on the line by Marnick Vermijl.

But that was as good as it got for United before the break, and the home side seized the initiative.

Barkhuizen levelled in the 33rd minute after a cross was headed into the box, and Chancel Mbemba blocked another shot.

Newcastle lacked ideas in the opposition half and looked leggy after a week training in Ireland.

Rolando Aarons, so impressive in the club's opening pre-season friendly against Heart of Midlothian, found it harder to stay on the ball and United spent the latter par of the half on the back foot.

Benitez made eight changes at the break – and the rest of his substitutes would eventually make it on to the pitch.

Murphy came on for his debut, while Darlow, left out of Benitez's squad for the Hearts match, made his first appearance of the campaign.

De Jong set free Ciaran Clark with a clever pass, and the defender set up fellow substitute Dwight Gayle, who was denied by the legs of Maxwell.

Darlow denied Jordan Hugill at the other end of the pitch, and Maxwell stopped a shot from de Jong, who was replaced by Callum Roberts in the 62nd minute.

Freddie Woodman came on for the last 20 minutes in another goalkeeping change. Manquillo came on for the last 13 minutes.

Maxwell kept out a stinging shot from Mbemba, and the game ended all square.

PRESTON NORTH END: Maxwell, Vermijl, Huntington, Davies, Cunningham, Pearson, Browne, Barkhuizen, Johnson, Robinson, Hugill. Subs: Hudson, Boyle, Grimshaw, Spurr, Earl, Meulensteen, Pringle, Horgan, Harrop, Doyle.

NEWCASTLE UNITED: Elliot (Darlow, 46, Woodman, 70), Mbemba, Hanley (Yedlin, 46), Lejeune (Manquillo, 77), Dummett (Clark, 46), Atsu (Murphy, 46), Diame (Colback, 46), Shelvey (Hayden, 46), Aarons (Perez, 46), de Jong (Roberts, 62), Mitrovic (Gayle, 46).

Goals: Mitrovic 8, Barkhuizen 33

Referee: Jonathan Moss (West Yorkshire)

Attendance: 7,380