Newcastle boss Benitez hits back at pundits over Chelsea tactics


Their ideal start continued until their 10th Premier League game of the season, a 1-1 draw with Everton at Goodison Park. Elsewhere, the defensive unit remains unchanged, with Jorginho and N'Golo Kante starting in midfield.

Newcastle, however, have just one point from their three games, yet Benitez remains optimistic and refused to apologise for his approach to the game. In all, the Spaniard has made six changes to his side, with last week's flop, Chelsea loanee Kenedy dropping out due to the terms of his loan deal.

"When I was at Napoli we were attacking all the time and ideally I'd like to play with five strikers but now I'm at Newcastle and I have to manage what I have".

Newcastle's DeAndre Yedlin deflected Alonso's low drive goalwards and it found the back of the net in the 87th minute, but Alonso said he should get the credit. "It was frustrating to concede two goals, to a penalty that was doubtful and the other from a free-kick that was doubtful".

Chelsea have been warned that they "must do more" in order to challenge for the Premier League title, with Ruud Gullit questioning an apparent over-reliance on Eden Hazard. Most of the consternation seems to stem from the idea he is not suited to play as a traditional left back, having spent the last two seasons as an aggressively offensive wingback under Antonio Conte.

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We didn't show the same patience and it was a more open game and there was absolutely no need for that. I thought over the 90 minutes they would have chances but I thought we did too.

Maurizio Sarri's stylistic overhaul at Chelsea is certainly well underway, as evidenced by the Blues' impressive passing display in defeat of Newcastle at St James' Park this afternoon.

"I think he played very well", Sarri said of Hazard. "It was a good win and the three points are massive for us".

Making his first Premier League start since leading Belgium to a third-place finish at the World Cup, Eden Hazard renounced his position as Sarri's main man.

"I have never seen a Rafa Benitez side play with five defenders", Sarri said. I think it's very easy and, if you defend by looking only at the ball, you can stay very high up the pitch.

Asked what he thought about seeing his side joint-top of the table, he said: "Nothing, I think, because the honour is after 38 matches, so after three..." "If any player has different opinions, they can give their opinions and after we have to stick with the plan, that's it". The league is on 38 matches, so after is important to start very well.