Rafa Benitez reacts to DeAndre Yedlin's 'mistake' in Newcastle United's defeat to Crystal Palace

Rafa Benitez says Newcastle United "paid the price" for a defensive mistake against Crystal Palace.

Sunday, 7th April 2019, 11:33 am
Updated Sunday, 7th April 2019, 11:39 am
Rafa Benitez shouts at his players.

A late penalty from Luka Milivojevic gave the visitors a 1-0 Premier League win at St James's Park on Saturday.

DeAndre Yedlin had brought down Wilfried Zaha with 10 minutes left on the clock.

Benitez, however, felt that his team did enough to take the three points, having created a number of chances in the first half.

“I think we did enough to deserve the three points," said United's manager.

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"We had chances, we were attacking, and although we knew they would be dangerous on the counter-attack, we had the control of the game. We made a mistake, and we paid for that.

"We knew how dangerous Zaha is, and we were watching the clips of situations like that. There were four defenders around, so we made a mistake."

Benitez, however, refused to blame Yedlin for the defeat, having also been frustrated at his team's reaction to going behind.

“I cannot be disappointed with one mistake," said Benitez. "I'm disappointed with too many things that we didn’t do well, especially after conceding the goal.

"During the game, we were attacking, but we could have been more clinical or made better decisions in the final third.

"But that's something that we have seen during the whole season. When we concede a goal, we have to manage the minutes after that much better.

"We were clearing the ball in a rush and making the wrong decisions. Even doing the right things, we might not have scored a goal and got a point, but at least you have to do the right things, not play under pressure.

“My frustration is because we lost a game we deserved to win and it was a massive game.

"We did everything to try to win the game for 80 minutes, but we didn’t do it and that is something we have to learn from. We have to be better in the final third, the final decisions, and in managing the game.

"We were attacking, but at the same time we have to be aware that they are very dangerous on the counter-attack.

"We were doing this for 80 minutes, but we were not capable of managing the last 15 minutes in the end.

“A team that is dangerous, you cannot give them two or three chances to play on the counter-attack in the last few minutes. Even if you have to score, you have to keep the team well organised and regain the ball, like we did for 80 minutes.

"I was so disappointed, because we were talking about that in the whole week. It was clear for a while, but after we made a mistake, we made more mistakes in the last few minutes.

“We knew it was an important game, and we were doing a lot of good things, but my disappointment is that what happened is what we knew might happen."

Newcastle are 15th in the Premier League, and seven points above the relegation zone, with five games left to play.