Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has admitted that he was shocked that Newcastle set up so negatively in their 2-1 win at St. James’ Park.
DeAndre Yedlin’s late own goal preserved Chelsea’s perfect start to the new Premier League season as stubborn Newcastle saw a point snatched from their grasp.
The Magpies thought they had banked a point when substitute Joselu headed home an 83rd-minute equaliser to cancel out Eden Hazard’s penalty seven minutes earlier.
However, their joy was short-lived when Yedlin could only help Marcos Alonso’s drive into his own net with three minutes remaining as Rafael Benitez’s ultra-defensive masterplan failed to deny the visitors a first league win at St James’ Park since December 2011 in front of a crowd of 51,791.
“I have never seen a Rafa Benitez side play with five defenders,” Sarri told Sky Sports.
“I think it is very difficult to play here for every team – not only us. We were a bit unlucky when they scored to make it 1-1.
“The match was very difficult and it was impossible to have space. We were good, better in the second half, but it was very difficult.
On Chelsea’s penalty: “I don’t know I was far from the incident and I am not the referee, and I don’t want to be a referee either.
“Eden (Hazard) has played very well but maybe it was better if he played for only 75/80 minutes, but (Mateo) Kovacic asked me to be replaced so it was not possible.”
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