Ayoze Perez scored his first away league goal of the season with a glancing header against Leicester City as Newcastle United recovered from back-to-back defeats to move 10 points clear of the relegation zone on Friday. The two managers – Rafa Benitez and Brendan Rodgers offer their thoughts thereafter.
Concise News reports that the Foxes started confidently, having won their previous four matches under Rodgers, but they struggled to play through their disciplined visitors.
Salomon Rondon almost handed the visitors a spectacular lead when he struck the crossbar with a powerful free-kick from 35 yards.
Newcastle remained resolute and were rewarded when Perez struck the decisive blow with over half-an-hour played.
The Spaniard rose well inside the Foxes‘ box to meet Matt Ritchie’s cross and nod the ball over Kasper Schmeichel.
The loss was Rodgers’ first home defeat as Leicester boss and it sees his side remain in seventh, although eighth-placed Wolves are level on points with two games in hand.
‘Our final pass wasn’t there’
Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers says: “It’s difficult to break down a team like that. It’s an area we will get better at. There wasn’t a lot in the game, our final pass just wasn’t there but we gave everything. We couldn’t break down their defence.
“We will learn from it; this is why I am here. In games like that, you have to stay patient and have tactical discipline. The players have been first class since I came here but if you’re not quite on it, a result like this can happen.
“The speed of our passing, in particular, can be much better. We let them get into shape too early. It needs to come quicker. We changed it around a few times but it was one of those evenings. It will be good for our learning going forward.”
‘Good game against a good team’
Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez says: “It was a good game against a good team. We did very well. Our players worked so hard. This relationship between the players and fans means a lot to us. The players and fans tried to do their best.
“As a coach, you always have a game plan. You can prepare however you want but it depends on the players to make the difference.
“The problem against James Maddison or Jamie Vardy is you have to concentrate from the first minute to the last. We are really pleased with the clean sheet and three points. You have to enjoy today and be ready for the next one.
“We had two or three counter-attacks that we could have had a little more composure and scored more.”