Sarri surprised by defensive Toon

Jo Caldwell
August 27, 2018

Newcastle United lost 2-1 at home to Chelsea in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon, but despite the defeat the Magpies fans were impressed with one of their debutants in the match.

A day of protests outside of the stadium, the last thing Newcastle want is for their key defender feuding with the manager.

Manager Maurizio Sarri, continuing his good start in English football, said he was surprised that Newcastle played with five defenders, which Rafael Benitez said was forced on them with so many players missing.

As Newcastle showed today, the 5-4-1 works better than packing numbers in midfield because although great passing sides will look to pass through the centre of the pitch, that kind of approach can be effectively blocked by a four-man midfield working hard defensively.

DeAndre Yedlin's 87th-minute own goal proved the difference at St James' Park after Joselu's header had cancelled out Eden Hazard's penalty as Chelsea maintained their flawless start to the new Premier League season, but not without encountering significant difficulties.

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Prior to that winning goal though, Fernandez was a dominant player at the back for the Tyneside club.

"But when I saw it again, he does get the ball for me - I know Ruud's going to disagree though!"

The action did not end there though as Yedlin deflected goalwards a low drive from Alonso, and Chelsea held on to claim all three points.

"When you play against teams like this, you try not to concede goals", he said. It depends on the auto you have, you have to drive that vehicle in the best way.

"When I was at Napoli, we were attacking all the time; we were offensive". Last season we were the best team in the bottom 10 and we hope to do the same again if we can. The stats are just for the TV.

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His header against Chelsea marked his second goal in three matches for the Magpies.

Watford's victory meant they have begun a season in the top tier with three successive wins for the first time, although their captain Troy Deeney felt his team had luck on their side.

While the referee's decision to grant the penalty for Chelsea may have come under scrutiny, it is sure that Alonso did not make any attempts to earn a penalty at the crucial moment of the game. "Our character is strong".

"We had five players out and thought if we were compact we could maybe frustrate them", Benitez said.

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