Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Sports | By Brooke Harris

Benitez rewards Newcastle players with two days off after Arsenal win

Benitez rewards Newcastle players with two days off after Arsenal win

The Gunners boss spoke out after seeing his side lose 2-1 at Newcastle on Sunday afternoon, during which Magpies midfielder Kenedy might have been fortunate to escape any more punishment than a free-kick for a challenge on Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang saw a shot hit Jamaal Lascelles' hand.

Matt Ritchie who scored the victor for Newcastle United in the 68th minute ignored Aubameyang's greeting and instead embraced fellow goalscorer Ayoze Perez on St James' Park pitch.

Their dismal run has seen them go down 2-1 to Bournemouth, 3-1 to Swansea, 1-0 to Tottenham and 2-1 to Brighton in addition to their defeat at St James' Park.

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The Gunners have now lost their last five away games in the Premier League and their only chance of qualifying for next season's Champions League is by winning the Europa League.

"Everyone was pulling in the same direction and I'm really pleased because we played against a really good team".

Arsenal could act on manager Arsene Wenger over their dwindling attendances.

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After taking the lead, the visitors took control of the game for the next ten minutes or so and they nearly got a second goal when a good passing move ended with Alex Iwobi forcing a good save from Martin Dúbravka.

Indeed, Newcastle actually had more efforts on target [4 v 3] and in the second half looked more and more risky on the counter-attack the longer the game went on. We collectively made a number of mistakes at the same time which led to their goal, and we devalued our work during the game with a situation like that.

Some 40 countries are using, trialling or interested in VAR technology, and both Germany and Italy introduced VAR across their top leagues this season.

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