In a way, it’s surprising that there was even a goal in this fixture.
Newcastle United suffered a disappointing loss Monday evening at Burnley, falling 1-0 thanks to a late goal from Jeff Hendrick. It was a match that did not feature great attacking play, and a large part of that outcome was due to the approach from both sides.
Managers Rafa Benitez and Sean Dyche utilised variations of a 4-4-2 shape with their line-ups, with an emphasis on the midfield and defensive work at the back. Five shots on-target for both the Clarets and the Magpies exemplifies the issue, and Newcastle should have found a way to adapt to the flow of the game.
An approach centrally could have helped more, but Benitez does not have the proper personnel for this strategy at the moment.
An uphill climb
Perez’s mistake in possession led to the game’s only goal, and Joselu has difficulty creating his own chances when on the ball. It was a perfect storm of problems for the Magpies.
With their wingers shut down and central attackers in poor form, there was little that could be done. To their credit, the match probably should have finished level. However, one mistake allowed Burnley to grab all three points at Turf Moor under the lights.
Newcastle United will expect better results against AFC Bournemouth on Saturday. Rafa Benitez is comfortable with his approach, but he may need to modify that philosophy within a match more often when it is not working properly.