Rafa Benitez revealed his shock following Newcastle United‘s 1-0 defeat at Blackburn Rovers on Monday afternoon, claiming it was “incredible” his side didn’t get anything.
The Magpies arrived at Ewood Park off the back of a vital 3-1 win over Nottingham Forest last Friday, recovering from their 1-0 defeat against Sheffield Wednesday on Boxing Day. With Brighton & Hove Albion keeping pace with them at the Championship summit, Benitez would’ve targeted another victory, but it all went wrong on Monday.
Despite dominating for long periods, Newcastle couldn’t make the breakthrough against Owen Coyle’s men, hitting the woodwork through Mohamed Diame while seeing two goals disallowed from Dwight Gayle and Ciaran Clark. However Blackburn’s Charlie Mulgrew tucked away a late free-kick against the run of play to leave Benitez stunned.
“I don’t know the stats from the first half, but in terms of chances and possession and corners everything was in our favour,” the Spaniard said (via the Chronicle). “It’s difficult to explain. What we have to do is keep doing the same things in the second half as in the first.
“We started the second half with two goals disallowed. We had the same idea and same control. Then we lost control of the game for five minutes and we conceded the goal.
"In the end when they have more problems and more bodies in the box it’s not easy to find the space. As you say it’s difficult to explain.
“How did we not even draw this game, never mind lose it. It’s incredible.”
Newcastle have scored 48 goals and conceded 20 in their 25 Championship fixtures this term, with a shot accuracy of 51%, as they sit second on 52 points, two behind leaders Brighton.
Next up for them is an away clash at Birmingham City in the FA Cup this weekend, before taking on Brentford at Griffin Park.