An unfortunate late own goal by DeAndre Yedlin on Sunday was the difference between one point and none for Newcastle United when they faced Chelsea at St James’ Park.
Despite coming within minutes of securing a draw against one of England’s biggest clubs, Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez’s tactical approach to the fixture has come under fire in the wake of the match.
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The Magpies boss clearly set up his side to prioritise keeping a clean sheet above all else. The home side could muster only 18% of the possession and managed only 2 shots on target throughout the course of the 90 minutes.
However, this style of play was very nearly enough to earn a point for the side in black and white stripes.
After the match, many Newcastle fans took to Twitter to debate Rafa’s tactics. Whilst some thought it was a sensible approach to take given the calibre of the opposition, others felt that to play so negatively at home in the Premier League is never a smart idea.
Here’s a look at some of the reaction…
All the media criticising #NUFC and Rafa’s tactics yesterday do not have our interests at heart. They want neutrals to be “entertained” by us getting a pasting. #Rafa you don’t have to explain anything to me.
— Michael (@michaelrob401) 27 August 2018
19% possession at home will get you nothing, FACT. Regardless of the team you play against. Lack of quality at Newcastle due to lack of investment from Fat Ashley. Bored of Rafa’s tactics against the bigger teams, I’d rather they actually had a go for once!
— Kev Potts (@PottsyKev) 27 August 2018
Even Alan Shearer would struggle with Rafa’s defensive tactics…18% possession at home
— Paul allan (@Paulall10592775) 26 August 2018
I actually think Rafa got it massively wrong yesterday, are Chelsea that good that we need to park the bus at home? Not at all, nee baals, not good enough!!
— Davey Whizzbang (@daveynicnufc) 27 August 2018
Id rather fight for a point then stupidly get hammered. As last season showed – goal difference is important.
— T00nRmy (@T00nRmy) 26 August 2018
Totally agree. Even when so called minnows play the big boys in cup competitions at home they have a go. Terrible tactics I’m sorry but rafa got it wrong
— Ska’d 4 life (@cyptoon) 27 August 2018