English Premiership

Benitez rues soft penalty decision

Rafa Benitez.(Getty Images)
Rafa Benitez.(Getty Images)

Cape Town - Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez was disappointed that his side failed to score a second goal and conceded a 'soft penalty' in the 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace.

The Magpies did well in the first half of their Premier League clash at Selhurst Park, and took the lead through Mohamed Diame's strike, but they failed to extend their advantage before the break and faced a reinvigorated Eagles side in the second half.

Palace won a penalty early in the second half when Ciaran Clark was adjudged to have fouled Christian Benteke in the box, and Luka Milivojevic converted the penalty to salvage a point for the hosts.

"Scoring the second goal could change everything," Benitez told SkySports. "We didn't do it and we conceded what I would say is a soft penalty because he was pushing my player and my player was pulling.

"That changed everything because obviously they had more confidence and they were pushing and we know they have very good players up front.

"We had to be strong in defence and it was difficult. To come here and to get a point, before the game I would say no, but after the second half maybe.

"But I still feel in the first half we could have scored the second goal."

Newcastle next welcome Jose Mourinho's Manchester United to St. James' Park in an English Premiership clash on Sunday.

Kick-off is at 16:15 (SA time).

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