MX23RW : Saturday, June 19 14:59:24| >> :600:275911:275911:
Aug 26, 2018 at 4pm UK at St James' Park
Attendance: 51,791
NewcastleNewcastle United
1-2
Chelsea
Joselu (83')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Hazard (76' pen.), Yedlin (87' og.)

Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez defends conservative tactics in Chelsea loss

Benitez defends tactics against Chelsea
© Reuters
Rafael Benitez explains his defensive tactics following Newcastle United's narrow 2-1 Premier League defeat at the hands of Chelsea on Sunday afternoon.

Rafael Benitez has defended his conservative tactics as Newcastle United fell to a narrow 2-1 defeat at the hands of Chelsea on Sunday afternoon.

The Magpies lined up in a 5-4-1 formation at St James' Park and, despite being overrun in possession, were level with the Blues in the latter stages of the game.

Three minutes from time, however, a Marcos Alonso shot took a deflection off DeAndre Yedlin and breached the Newcastle goal to condemn the hosts to defeat.

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri admitted after the game that he had "never seen a Rafa Benitez side play with five defenders" but the Spaniard stated that he had little choice in who he could deploy.

Asked by BBC Sport about his system, Benitez replied: "It depends on the players you have.

"If I had [Eden] Hazard I would give it to him and he would make the difference. We know that we can be better with the ball, but I think we did well until the end."

Joselu's goal in the 83rd minute was Newcastle's first shot on target since the sixth minute and their only shot on target in the second half.

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Eden Hazard in action for Chelsea on August 20, 2018
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