Benitez praises Slimani's performance against Arsenal

Darnell Taylor
April 17, 2018

Newcastle deservedly defeated Arsenal 2-1 at St James' Park on Sunday to all but secure their Premier League status for next season.

Realistically, Arsenal already had no chance of making the top four and Wenger had been prioritising their Europa League campaign for several weeks.

Regardless, there were some huge gulfs in class between Newcastle and Arsenal, the kind that I hold Arsene Wenger primarily responsible for.

They also have a two-legged Europa League semi-final with Atletico Madrid to come, with the return date of that encounter set to take them to the Spanish capital on May 3.

Newcastle have 41 points in 10th place with sixth-placed Arsenal on 54 - 13 points behind fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur. That is the same date as Arsenal had been planning to face Atlético Madrid as part of an worldwide tournament in Singapore that also includes Paris St-Germain.

They have won the FA Cup three of the last four years and yet it doesn't appear to register with them at all, they only want to ask why aren't we winning the Premier League?

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I remember going down to London for a meeting nearly a decade ago and stayed over for a few days, Arsenal were playing a Champions League match and I watched it with another Newcastle fan who was also down for this business meeting.

That helps the team to go out when you're under pressure or to play in the way that we were playing in the end.

After taking the lead, the visitors took control of the game for the next ten minutes or so and they nearly got a second goal when a good passing move ended with Alex Iwobi forcing a good save from Martin Dúbravka. As such, I do hope Wenger was taking notes, because there is a lot he could have learned from Rafa Benitez.

Last week, it was announced that Premier League clubs voted against the use of VAR for the Premier League in the 2018/19 season after a vote from the top 20 English sides.

"I think Liverpool have got the potential if they go out and spend reasonably big in the summer, then they might have a chance".

He said: 'The fact that you get linked, it is something positive because it makes you proud of your career trajectory.

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