Rafa responds to criticism of approach against City

Ian Watson

Rafael Benitez has responded the criticism of his “embarrassing” tactics during Newcastle’s defeat to Manchester City.

City turned in a dominant display on Tyneside as Benitez’s men sat deep and in numbers in an effort to frustrate them, and they had only Raheem Sterling’s 31st-minute strike to show for their efforts when the Magpies launched a late assault which might have snatched them a point.

Benitez’s tactics were slammed by television pundit Gary Neville, who branded them “embarrassing”, while Shay Given and Jamie Carragher were equally damning.

However, the Spaniard said: “When you play against Manchester City, you have to be aware of the way they are doing things now. You just have to look at what happened when they played against Tottenham, Bournemouth or Swansea.

“We were in the game right until the end, it was very close. Our fans are clever and they know we needed to do things this way.”