Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez: 'Brighton were playing for everything'

Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez felt Brighton & Hove Albion's performance in their 1-1 Premier League draw this afternoon showed 'they were playing for everything'.

Saturday, 27th April 2019, 9:51 pm
Updated Sunday, 28th April 2019, 2:58 pm
Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez. Picture courtesy of Getty Images.

An abject Albion first-half saw the Magpies lead 1-0 at the break thanks to Ayoze Perez's seventh goal in seven league games.

But the Seagulls fought back in the second-half and were rewarded with a Pascal Gross goal that saw Brighton open up a four-point cushion over third-from-bottom Cardiff City.

The two halves could not have been more contrasting. Benitez felt Newcastle 'had control over almost everything' in the opening 45 minutes, but conceded the Magpies 'didn't match' Albion in the second period.

He said: "In the first-half we did really well. We had control of almost everything, it was a pity for us not to score the second goal.

"At the same time we knew that it would be tough and difficult in the second-half because they had to push and press us.

"We didn't match them the way we did in the first-half. We missed a couple of passes to start a counter attack and it was a pity.

"They were controlling with set-pieces, second balls. They were more aggressive in the second-half and we missed a lot of quality on the ball.

"They were playing for everything and we were playing for almost nothing. I say almost nothing, we want to finish as high as possible in the table but it's a different kind of pressure."