Rafa Benitez: Newcastle '˜100% deserved something' from Tottenham defeat
Rafa Benitez felt Newcastle United '100% deserved something' from the club's first visit to the rebuilt Wembley.
A second-half goal from Harry Kane gave Tottenham Hotspur a 1-0 win tonight.
The club remains 10th in the Premier League ahead of Sunday’s final game of the season against Chelsea at St James’s Park.
Newcastle created the better chances before the break, but they were denied by the post and Hugo Lloris.
Dwight Gayle also put a header over the bar.
Kane struck in the 50th minute to claim all three points for Tottenham, lifting them into third place.
United manager Benitez felt that his team should have had two penalties at Wembley.
“Absolutely, 100% we deserved something,” said Benitez.
“We did really well. To have 14 attempts against Tottenham at home means something we did was right.
“But two penalty decisions that for us were clear, but they were not given.
“Still, we had enough chances to score, we put a very good team under pressure, but I think we deserved more.
“There was a foul on (Matt) Ritchie and another on Ayoze (Perez) too. You could see both.
“There was even another one on Ayoze from behind, but two clear penalties.”
It was a fourth consecutive defeat for Newcastle, who secured Premier League status with a 2-1 win over Arsenal last month.
Benitez said: “I’m really pleased, because it’s not easy when you are safe with five games to go, for a team like us, with a squad like ours when everyone’s talking about ‘oh, they are one of the first candidates to go down’.
“It’s not easy to carry on with five games to play.
“In the games that we couldn’t win, we were very close.
“The last game against Watford, in the first half we didn’t play well, but, in the second half, we had a great reaction.
“Against Tottenham, from the first minute until the last, you could see from the touchline they were doing what they had to do – and we deserve credit for that.”
Substitute Jacob Murphy also had a chance seconds after replacing Kenedy, who made the final appearance of his loan from Chelsea.
“We had some good chances, and especially we created enough situations to have even more chances with the final pass in the final third,” said Benitez.
“But that’s the reason why the Premier League is so difficult.
“They have maybe one good chance and score a goal.”
Meanwhile, the result secured Champions League football for Tottenham. “It’s a massive achievement to qualify again,” said boss Mauricio Pochettino. “I want to congratulate the players. I also want to congratulate all the staff. It’s a massive effort. Thirty eight games away from home is a huge effort. Next season it will be fantastic for Tottenham to be playing in a new stadium and in the Champions League.”