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Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez hits out at Mike Dean’s poor decisions

UK Sport | Published:

Matt Ritchie salvaged a point for the Magpies with a late leveller.

Rafael Benitez claimed Newcastle were denied two points by a series of refereeing decisions, despite snatching a dramatic 2-2 draw at Bournemouth.

The Magpies looked set to leave the Vitality Stadium empty handed before Matt Ritchie smashed home a stoppage-time equaliser against his former club.

Although the late leveller sparked wild celebrations among the travelling fans, Benitez was left bemoaning the performance of match official Mike Dean.

He felt his side could have been awarded penalties for challenges on DeAndre Yedlin and Salomon Rondon, and was also annoyed about the hosts being given a spot-kick after Federico Fernandez manhandled Nathan Ake.

Rondon’s 25-yard free-kick at the end of the first half put the visitors ahead on the south coast, before Joshua King levelled with the disputed penalty and then claimed his second nine minutes from time.

“I think we have lost two points,” said Benitez.

“Everything changed with a decision (the penalty). We are not happy with too many things and we cannot change that.

“I think that we did enough – and especially going 1-0 up – to manage the game and to get three points.

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“There were too many things that were against us and then we had to react.

“The penalty of DeAndre in 10 minutes that was not given – you can check that.

“You can check the pulling of Rondon and then we can check the other one (Bournemouth’s) that you will give 100 penalties.

“But I don’t want to say too much. I’m not happy with the way things were going on, I’m happy because one more point and one less game.”

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Mid-table Bournemouth looked set to banish any lingering relegation doubts after King’s double turned the game in their favour.

But Ritchie, who was sold to the Magpies in the summer of 2016, returned to haunt the Cherries by crashing a half-volley into the roof of the net in the fourth minute of added time.

The result moves the hosts 10 points above the bottom three, with Newcastle three points behind.

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe admitted conceding a late equaliser to a former player was a bitter pill to swallow.

“It’s bizarre how football can find these stories, really,” he said.

“It was probably the one player on the pitch we didn’t want the ball to fall to on his left foot because we know he can strike the ball from distance and he’s hit it well into the top corner and that’s what makes the game so special.

“It’s a horrible feeling as a football manager and I’m sure I speak on behalf of the Bournemouth supporters when you concede so late in the game and when you think the referee is just about to blow.

“But, as I said, that’s what makes the game so special – it’s not over until it’s over.”

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