Rafael Benitez admitted that Jonjo Shelvey’s red card was a mistake, but believes Harry Kane made a worse challenge.
Spurs ran out 2-0 winners at St James’ Park thanks to goals from Dele Alli and Ben Davies, both of which came after Shelvey was sent off for standing on Alli’s ankle.
Newcastle’s afternoon was compounded by injuries to defensive pair Paul Dummett and Florian Lejeune, who limped off the field following a robust challenge from Harry Kane.
While Magpies manager Rafael Benitez accepted the Shelvey red card, he felt Kane’s tackle, for which he received a yellow card, was worse.
Asked if he felt let down by Shelvey, Benitez said: “It’s not me, it’s everyone. We have been talking about that for a while. He knows that he had made a mistake, he apologised, but still we lost the game.
“To be fair, I was happy with the effort of the players and there were a lot of positives, but still if you want to win games, we cannot lose our focus for just one minute.
“We know that we are in the Premier League and we have to do everything really well if we want to win games.
“All the effort that we put on the pitch was lost because we made a mistake.”
If Benitez could have few complaints over Shelvey’s punishment, he felt Tottenham striker Harry Kane should have suffered a similar fate for a robust challenge of Florian Lejeune which ended his debut after 33 minutes, but cost the England international only a yellow card.
Benitez said: “I would like to say that the tackle from behind by Harry Kane I think was worse, but the rules are the rules and we paid for that.
“I’d say that is worse because as you saw, I had to change one player and Dele Alli had nothing. Watching the replay from the bench with the fourth official in front of everyone, I was surprised [he was not sent off].”