Newcastle 'must improve' - Benitez hits out at sloppy finishing

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The Magpies held a comfortable 2-0 lead going into the final 10 minutes but had to settle for a share of the points

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez was left to rue a host of missed chances as his side threw away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday.

The Magpies looked like making it back-to-back Premier League wins after Dwight Gayle twice pounced on poor goalkeeping from Asmir Begovic.

Bournemouth pushed to find a way back into the game, and a lifeline arrived courtesy of a fantastic long-range effort from Adam Smith 10 minutes from time.

And parity was restored in the 89th minute as former Newcastle midfielder Dan Gosling turned home from Nathan Ake's ball into the box.

Jonjo Shelvey squandered a golden opportunity to put the game to bed from close range before the Cherries mounted their impressive comeback - much to Benitez's frustration.

"It is always difficult when you have a team that is pushing at home but we had the chances to finish the game and didn't do it, we have to improve on that," Benitez said.​​

"We were in control of the game and had a clear idea of how to do things.

"They didn't have too many chances, I would say that the chance that we missed [Shelvey's] and then the goal they scored quickly after, that changed everything. After that, we lost control. We have lost two points."

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe admits his side failed to turn up for the first 80 minutes, but was full of praise for the way his players salvaged a point during a thrilling finale.

"We had been flat and Newcastle were dogged and made it difficult for us, but you have to complement the players for the last 10 minutes," he told BBC Sport .

"That is what we wanted to be, we showed a lot of quality and character to come back.

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"We started OK but conceded a poor goal and the second one wasn't pretty either. They were both self-inflicted really, and it is incredibly difficult to lift yourself up from there.

"It's another point that nudges us towards where we want to be - every one could be vital at the end of the season."

 

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