Salomon Rondon defended Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez after his attempts to shackle Chelsea came up just short. Benitez was criticised by some television pundits for his defensive tactics at St James’ Park in Sunday’s Premier League clash, which saw the visitors snatch a 2-1 victory courtesy of DeAndre Yedlin’s unfortunate 87th-minute own goal.
The Spaniard adopted that approach on a number of occasions last season too when his side were up against potential title contenders.
Striker Rondon, who was making his full debut for the Magpies after joining on loan for the season from West Brom, insisted he and his team-mates had done what they had to do.
Rondon said: “When you play against teams like this, you try not to concede goals.
“We did that in the first half, but in the second, we conceded a penalty and an own goal then they get the three points.
“I’m happy to make my first start, but it’s a shame because we lost the game. We lost to a big team with big players.
“But we did work very well. That’s all we can do in that moment – try our best.”