EPL

Benitez blames Dubravka for Wolves' last-gasp equaliser

By Sports Desk February 11, 2019

Rafael Benitez felt Martin Dubravka was partly to blame for Wolves' dramatic late equaliser against Newcastle United on Monday.

The Magpies looked to be heading for victory at Molineux thanks to an Isaac Hayden strike, but Nuno Espirito Santo's side levelled in the fifth minute of injury time through Willy Boly.

The centre-back jumped with Dubravka to meet Adama Traore's looping cross and headed home after the Newcastle goalkeeper failed to catch the ball, with referee Graham Scott deciding no foul had been committed.

Benitez looked furious on the touchline and confronted the officials after the final whistle but, speaking afterwards, he felt Newcastle's defending and Dubravka's failure to punch the cross clear were the more significant problems.

"Everybody knew we had the three points and it was really disappointing to concede the way we conceded," he told Sky Sports.

"They were pushing, and we could do better. With this kind of ball, you can do a little bit better - just punch the ball and finish.

"It was not very clear [if it was a foul], watching the replay, but we have to defend better. We know it's England and people will come against the keeper. You have to be strong enough."

When asked about his remonstrations with the referee, Benitez said: "I was not happy with some decisions but, overall, I think he was fine, so we cannot complain about that.

"We were winning, that is football. In both games [against Wolves this season], we have been really unlucky against a good team."

The result lifts Newcastle a point above the relegation zone, leaving Benitez content with the way his side are playing but feeling there is also scope to get better.

"When you go to the final minute winning, you cannot be happy [with the result]," he said. "The main thing is the team seems to be solid, well-organised. There is plenty of room for improvement."

Wolves boss Nuno was unsure whether the goal should have been allowed to stand, but he felt his side deserved at least a point despite their failure to be more clinical earlier in the game.

"I didn't see the images yet," he told BBC Sport. "I don't judge the work of the referees because it is so hard. The referees are so well prepared and must decide in a second.

"It came late, but the performance deserved goals. We created situations but the final touch was not there. It is something we must improve and be more clinical.

"Credit to Newcastle - they were so organised. [Scoring in the] last minute shows the character of the team."

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