Rafa Benitez reacts to Martin Dubravka's error in Newcastle United's defeat to Tottenham Hotspur

Rafa Benitez says he doesn't blame Martin Dubravka for Newcastle United's defeat at Wembley.

Saturday, 2nd February 2019, 2:25 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 4:06 pm
Hugo Lloris, left, consoles Martin Dubravka.

An error from the goalkeeper – he fumbled an 83rd-minute shot from Heung-Min Son – gifted Tottenham Hotspur a 1-0 win this afternoon.

The result left the club 14th in the Premier League ahead of the later round of fixtures.

"We played against one of the best teams in the Premier League, and it’s disappointing as we had good chances against a good team," said manager Benitez.

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“They were pushing really hard, and we concede a goal we could have avoided. It was something we were not expecting.

“But I give great credit to my players for their efforts, although we have to improve on the ball in the second half.

“We pushed hard with possession and we had chances without going through with it. We worked hard.

“It wasn’t perfect defensively, and they scored with a bit of quality from Son. I was pleased with the attitude of the players, especially in defence."

On Dubravka's mistake, Benitez said: “I don’t blame anyone for the goal – anyone can make a mistake.

"It’s a goal that we could have avoided. We now have to look forward.

“It’s been a positive week, but overall to get three points against Man City, which no-one was expecting was a big boost, and to get new faces in will boost the competition."

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino said: "Newcastle was a very well organised team, playing deep and not giving us much space."