Salomon Rondon backs Newcastle's defensive tactics in Chelsea loss

Ruben Holloway
August 27, 2018

Marcos Alonso said he would be claiming Chelsea's winning strike despite it going down as an own goal and also defended a controversial penalty decision as the Blues escaped with a 2-1 win at Newcastle on Sunday. "It was a good win and the three points are massive for us".

Referee Paul Tierney pointed to the spot and Blues talisman Eden Hazard cooly powered the ball past Martin Dubravka.

After the match Sarri praised the resilience his players showed to take three points at St James' Park for the first time since December 2011, and expressed surprise that Benitez - whom he faced numerous times in Italy - had set Newcastle up primarily to nullify Chelsea.

Newcastle managed just 19% possession after the game but Benitez argued that statistics count for very little.

Although Sarri said in midweek that he would only be able to play until the hour mark, Hazard completed the full 90 minutes and was rightfully named as the Man of the Match.

"It is not about me and tactics, it is about players, the bigger picture. I don't even think the trailing leg gets him anyway". As a manager, you have to make decisions; as a pundit, you have to give opinions.

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"Chelsea lost here last season, so did Manchester United and Arsenal".

"A long time ago, Barcelona had 80% and they lost the game".

"Possession means nothing", he said.

"You have to do what you have to do". I would say that as a defender if you go to ground in the box, then you are giving yourself a problem.

"We tried to stay in the game until the last minute but this is football - we conceded an own goal and it's an unlucky result for us".

"We're disappointed with the second ball".

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On Chelsea's penalty, he said "I don't know if it was a penalty".

"I will have to analyse (it) carefully". I will not complain too much about that. Today we were close.

"I have to give credit to my players for the effort they have".

Even though Newcastle did defend valiantly, especially in the first half, it is believed that Lascelles voiced his disapproval at being told he would play on the right of Benitez's three central defends.

Significantly, though, most fans have backed their manager, who in turn pointed out that the Magpies finished tenth last season, with the best goal difference of any team in the bottom 11 in the Premier League.

"We're not happy about the foul".

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