I said before the game that a draw in this one would leave most of St James’ Park feeling flat, but to lose it is an absolute disaster – a result that leaves us bottom of the table on just 2 points after Cardiff’s win over Fulham today.
Brighton hadn’t won a game on the road since November (failing to win any of their last 17 away from The Amex), so that says everything you need to know about how poor this defeat is.
Perez had a huge chance early on, but after their goal they wasted time, got 11 men behind the ball and continually frustrated us – with us having no answer despite almost 70% possession. We were too slow, lackadaisical and lacking that flair and urgency needed to unsettle them.
Shelvey and Kenedy had a go and tried to make things happen, but the thread ahead of them was non existent, with Dunk and Duffy cutting out just about everything that put into the box.
Ryan may have made a few decent saves, however just 6 of our 27 shots were on target. We had plenty of the ball in the second half, but we looked lost, with no one able to take the game by the scruff of the neck.
We look like a side visibly low on confidence and it’s no surprise really. This result leaves us without a win in our first NINE game – the first time this has happened since 1898.
We know who’s really to blame for the mess we find ourselves in, but Benitez and the players can’t escape from criticism here. Rafa had to take Perez off and change it up when things weren’t working and the players had to do more against a very ordinary Brighton side.
Southampton away next. To say that one’s massive is an understatement.