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Men's Football Rafa Benitez focusing on the team as Newcastle owner Mike Ashley continues negotiations to sell the club

Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez said it was “business as usual” for himself and his players following a 1-1 draw at Everton last night.

Newcastle are in the midst of what could be an important time in the club’s history, with owner Mike Ashley recently admitting that talks regarding the sale of the club “are at a more progressed stage than they have ever been.” 

The Newcastle fans, who made their feelings towards the club’s current owner known throughout the match, celebrated the draw and Benitez also admitted that it was a good result.

“To defend well for 95 minutes was not easy but we did well,” said the Spaniard. 

“We had chances to win it at the end, but we are happy with a point. [Everton] have players with a World Cup experience, Champions League experience, but our players are doing a great job.”

Benitez saw his side open the scoring through Salomon Rondon, who stole in behind Yerry Mina to turn home Jacob Murphy’s excellent cross.

Richarlison nabbed Everton’s equaliser pouncing on a loose ball after Mina had caused trouble in the box at a Gylfi Sigurdsson corner

It was a frustrating night for the home side who were looking to restore some confidence after a demoralising late defeat in the Merseyside derby last weekend.

There was no respite for Jordan Pickford, whose unfortunate error gifted Liverpool the win at Anfield, as the former Sunderland man had the Newcastle fans in his ear for the entire first half. 

He will have been pleased to take his place in front of the Gwladys Street end for the second period, and though it was one which his side dominated, he was still called into action to save smartly from Christian Atsu on two occasions.

Everton boss Marco Silva, whose side finished the game having enjoyed 76 per cent of the possession, said Pickford showed “quality and he helped the team again.” But their attacking players rarely showed their own quality, failing to make this dominance count in front of goal.


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