NOTTINGHAM FOR 3 NEWCASTLE 1 (Rondon)
Darlow, Sterry, Schär, Fernandez (Pérez 69), Clark, Atsu, Longstaff, Ki Sung-yueng, Kenedy, Muto (Murphy 77), Joselu (Rondón 82)
Subs: Elliot, Dummett, Diamé, Yedlin
Rafa Benitez admits he’s not concerned with how Newcastle United played in their Carabao Cup defeat to Nottingham Forest, nor did he think the hosts were the better side.
The Toon were beaten 3-1 at the City Ground by Aitor Karanka’s Reds, with three of the four goals coming in added time at the end of a fascinating tie which had a dramatic twist.
Benitez, who made a host of changes to the side that were beaten 2-1 by Chelsea in the Premier League on Sunday, looked to have watched his troops send the tie into a penalty shoot-out when substitute Salomon Rondon drove the ball into Luke Steele’s net in the 92nd minute.
Their joy was shortlived.
Matty Cash’s terrific finish two minutes later after Gil Dias had forced a save from ex-Forest goalkeeper Karl Darlow put the hosts back in front, before Dias added a clever third to dump the visitors out of the competition just as they did a year ago.
Despite Forest dominating against a lacklustre Newcastle for long periods in front of the television cameras, Benitez admitted he’s not worried by the manner of his side’s display, and disagreed with the notion that Karanka's men were worthy winners.
United were a goal down inside two minutes when Sam Byram surged down the right to pick out former Magpie Daryl Murphy at the near post.
The Premier League outfit rarely looked like getting back into the tie that was until West Brom loanee Rondon fired them level, with the Toon boss pleased with what he saw.