Valentino Lazaro reflects on his full debut after Newcastle United 'mess up'

Valentino Lazaro says Newcastle United “messed up” against Arsenal.

Tuesday, 18th February 2020, 6:00 am

The 23-year-old, fielded at right wing-back by Steve Bruce, attacked well in the first half as Newcastle pressured their hosts. However, it was a different story after the break, and there was no way back for a ragged United after Mikel Arteta’s side scored two goals in a three-minute period.

“I think it was a really good first half from us,” said Lazaro. “We showed that we came with the desire to take points and maybe win.

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Valentino Lazaro challenges Arsenal's Bukayo Saka in Sunday's Premier League game at Emirates Stadium.

“We came out in the second half and within two minutes lost our game, and we have to learn from that. Of course, 4-0 is a bit harsh, but if it’s 2-0, 3-0 or 4-0, it’s a loss that we have to take on our shoulders.

“We messed up second half. We’ve got to keep our heads up and learn from that, and hopefully bounce back next week.”

Lazaro was particularly frustrated at Arsenal’s first two goals.

The Austria international said: “First half, I felt very good and confident on the pitch. I had a lot of ways forward, and also with the set-pieces. We had some chances to score.

“For my first start, I was really happy with the first half. Second half, after those two quick goals, we fell apart. Unfortunately, for the second goal, he gets the ball between me feet, and that was very unlucky.

“Unfortunately, after that, the whole team fell apart. We have to work on that, to bounce back from those mentally tough situations.”

Lazaro is a natural winger, but he has played as a wing-back for Inter and Hertha Berlin.

“It’s a position I’ve played over the last maybe two years,” said Lazaro. “I’m adjusting to that. You can see that I’m a winger, and my strengths are in attack. I’m trying to learn more and more defensively.

“I’m trying to learn more there. With team-mates like this who help me out, it’s a lot easier.”