It was not easy to watch at times but Rafa Benitez came up with a tactical plan against Chelsea intended to maximise our chances of coming out with a result.
Only DeAndre Yedlin’s failed attempt to clear Marcos Alonso’s effort on goal meant we came away with nothing from the encounter.
However, there was strong criticism of Rafa’s tactics, with many pundits criticising the fact that we only had 19% possession in a home game. When I asked fans for their opinion, the majority felt the manager had the right idea:
I’m kind of in the middle on this. Setting up an organised defence to play on the counter-attack looked to be the right strategy against a team like Chelsea. However, the lack of an out ball so we could spring out of defence into attack was concerning.
I doubt it was Rafa’s intention to be as defensive as we were, and I would say we were certainly a bit too cautious. It must be said though that due to the injuries to two of our best players in Jamaal Lascelles and Jonjo Shelvey, it made the defensive approach a much more sensible choice considering the lack of options available. The manager may employ the same approach against Manchester City but we shall see.