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Burnley 1 Newcastle United 0: Rafa Benitez's side suffers disappointing defeat without Mikel Merino

Florian Lejeune and Ashley Barnes
Florian Lejeune and Ashley Barnes

Newcastle United suffered a disappointing defeat at Turf Moor tonight.

Rafa Benitez's side were beaten 1-0 by Burnley, who claimed all three points thanks to a 74th strike from Jeff Hendrick.

Newcastle's best opportunity fell to Ayoze Perez, who had a second-half effort saved by Nick Pope.

The result saw the club drop down to ninth place in the Premier League ahead of Saturday's home game against second-bottom Bournemouth.

Benitez, without injured midfielder Mikel Merino, surprisingly recalled Mohamed Diame to his starting XI in place of Isaac Hayden, who dropped down to the bench.

Otherwise, United's manager named an unchanged side for the televised fixture.

Neither team created much in the first half – and things didn't improve much after the break.

Perez tested Burnley Pope with a curled effort after Joselu found him with a flick, but chances were few and far between.

Benitez held back from making a change, and Burnley seized the initiative. Perez lost the ball and Burnley worked it to Cork, who had a shot saved by Rob Elliot.

Johann Berg Gudmundsson crossed for an unmarked Hendrick, who controlled the ball and rolled it into an empty net.

Benitez sent on Hayden, Jacob Murphy and Dwight Gayle after going a goal down, but Hendrick's strike was enough to claim all three points for Burnley.

NEWCASTLE UNITED: Elliot; Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Manquillo; Diame (Gayle, 83), Shelvey; Ritchie (Murphy, 79), Perez (Hayden 76), Atsu; Joselu. Subs not used: Darlow, Clark, Gamez, Saivet.

BURNLEY: Pope, Lowton, Cork, Tarkowski, Mee, Barnes, Brady, Hendrick, Defour (Westwood, 76), Gunmundsson, Ward. Subs not used: Lindegaard, Vokes, Wells, Bardsley, Long, Arfield.

Goal: Hendrick 74

Bookings: Gudmundsson 45, Cork 62

Referee: Mike Dean (The Wirral)

Attendance:

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