Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri surprised by Rafa Benitez's defensive tactics

Toby-Tottenham

Fabian Schar of Newcastle United fouls Marcos Alonso of Chelsea inside of the penalty area, leading to Chelsea being awarded a penalty during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Chelsea FC at St. James Park on August 26, 2018 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. Joselu's poor form last season is what led Benitez to bring in Salomon Rondon and Yoshinori Muto. "I think he played very well".

Newcastle managed just 19% possession after the game but Benitez argued that statistics count for very little.

Prior to that winning goal though, Fernandez was a dominant player at the back for the Tyneside club.

However, Chelsea restored their lead just four minutes later after DeAndre Yedlin, who served an elbow to Olivier Giroud's face during the buildup to the equalizer, toe poked a shot from Alonso into his own net to complete a freakish turn of events.

The Magpies manager Rafa Benitez slammed the decision as "soft", and Match of the Day pundit Murphy agreed with his viewpoint.

'You have what you have, so I want to give credit to my players for the effort they make in every game.

"I learned a lot, sometimes you have to be patient, sometimes you have to take care of your body, sometimes you have to learn from outside to be good in the future. That's all we can do in that moment - try our best".

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Experienced Chelsea defender Gary Cahill has yet to feature under Sarri and with the England worldwide out of favour he could leave the club before Friday's transfer deadline across Europe.

'When I was at Napoli I was attacking all the time.

"But it has been more hard because in Italy I never saw Rafa play with five defenders at the back", said Sarri, who arrived in the summer after leaving a job at Napoli where he had succeeded Benitez.

Watford's victory meant they have begun a season in the top tier with three successive wins for the first time, although their captain Troy Deeney felt his team had luck on their side.

"This team from the character point of view is a very strong team".

The Stamford Bridge faithful have been praying all summer that Eden Hazard will remain a Chelsea player this season, despite being heavily linked with a move to Real Madrid.

Chelsea's path to the title was never seriously imperilled, even as they substituted glitter for grind in the second half of the season.

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