Rafa Benitez reacts to Martin Dubravka's stunning Newcastle debut

Martin Dubravka makes a save
Martin Dubravka makes a save

Rafa Benitez hailed Martin Dubravka after the goalkeeper kept Manchester United at bay on his debut.

Benitez signed Dubravka on loan from Sparta Prague last month.

And the 29-year-old helped Newcastle United to a hugely-important 1-0 Premier League win over Jose Mourinho's second-placed side this afternoon.

Dubravka made a superb save to deny Anthony Martial and also turned a deflected Jesse Lingard shot round his post.

“He was doing well," said United manager Benitez. "It was his first game, and to keep a clean sheet against Manchester United is fantastic for him.

"But it wasn't just about the goalkeeper. It was about everybody working together and working as hard as they did today and trying to defend.

"At the same time, now, we have more competition in goal, and that's always positive for the team."

Newcastle withstood a late onslaught from their visitors.

"The way that we were playing, with everybody giving everything, was absolutely fantastic," said Benitez. "And to do it in front of our fans was even better.

"We have been so close in so many games, and it was a pity not to win those. Today, we did well, although still we were a little bit lucky at the end.

"But I think the team deserved the three points."

The result has lifted the club up to 13th place in the league.