'Proud' Rafa Benitez reacts to Newcastle's 4-1 defeat to Man United

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez insisted there was pride in defeat for Newcastle United at Old Trafford.

Manchester United came from behind to win 4-1 this evening.

Newcastle took the lead through an early Dwight Gayle goal, but two strikes from the home team late in the first half turned the game.

And Man United, inspired by fit-again Paul Pogba, netted two more goals after the break.

“I think it's a very simple analysis," said manager Benitez, whose side remain 11th in the Premier League.

"It was a very good first 30 minutes and everything was great. We were working hard, we had a clear idea of what to do and we were doing well.

"But then we conceded a goal, and the second goal made a big difference in terms of the mentality.

"We had the chance through (Isaac) Hayden but couldn’t score, and we lost the belief we had in the first half.

"We couldn’t keep the belief after the (second) goal, and then they scored a third goal too.

"Then it was a different game, but I’m really pleased and proud of my players in the first 30 minutes. Then after, if you pay big money for players, they can make the difference.

“You could see the difference in terms of the money spent. But it’s not as if we didn’t know that, we knew. There was a big difference in that respect between the two teams, but I was really pleased with the first 30 minutes.

“We had a couple of good chances in the first half on the counter-attack, but couldn’t score.

"We were quite strong physically and technically, but to concede the second goal in the way we did and not to score with the chances we had made it more difficult to cope in the second half and have the same belief. But we tried.

"We conceded the third goal, and that is a big difference against this team.

“My team was creating problems. They were doing well and working hard. It was Newcastle United against Manchester United, and they are different teams at different levels.

"I was really proud of my team."