Bournemouth 2 Newcastle United 2: Hosts in thrilling fightback after Gayle double

Lawrence Cooper
February 25, 2018

It seems nearly implausible that Rafa Benitez, a fierce advocate of regular squad rotation, won't name the same staring XI that vanquished Manchester United for the match against Bournemouth on Saturday.

The visitors had been cruising towards successive league wins for the first time since September after Dwight Gayle ended his 14-game goal drought by scoring twice before the interval.

Newcastle head into the match 13th in the table, three points behind Bournemouth.

"Everybody is disappointed, especially him (Shelvey) because he knows it was a good chance".

"I think it's a pity because the team was doing well and had chances to score the third goal but that is football and the Premier League", he told Sky Sports.

In the second half, things took a dramatic turn in favour of the home side.

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"Everyone was expecting him to make the difference, but after the game against Manchester United we at least feel we have enough quality in the squad", the Spanish manager added.

Benitez said: "We missed a chance, we conceded a goal, and then we lost the control we'd had for 70 minutes". In the end, they were pushing with corners and crosses and it was very hard for us.

The first came on 17 minutes when Begovic and Bournemouth defender Steve Cook got in a muddle trying to clear the a square ball into the box from Matt Ritchie - the former Bournemouth winger making his first return to his old club.

Benitez was asked whether he felt Newcastle are on track to stay up. Sometimes, you have to give credit to the other team.

They kept up the pressure and had their reward in the 89th minute, this time Gosling being on the receiving end of some generous defending.

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