Rafa Benitez has been left with a lot to ponder about his team after Newcastle threw away a two-goal half-time lead to draw 2-2 away at Bournemouth on Saturday.
Newcastle were comfortable going into the break following a brace from Dwight Gayle, his fourth and fifth goals of the season, only for Bournemouth to rally in the final 10 minutes and deny the Magpies a fourth away victory of the season.
Three points would’ve moved Newcastle above The Cherries into 10th, four points above the bottom three and a position of relative comfort. Instead, they sit 15th in the table and just two points ahead of 18th place Swansea with 10 matches remaining.
Understandably, Benitez was visibly angered by the late collapse, knowing the ramifications, and will surely question the mentality of a team that beat Manchester United a fortnight prior, whilst the performance of certain individuals will come under intense scrutiny when the United boss analyses the game.
A return to Anfield to face former club Liverpool awaits Benitez this weekend and the Spaniard’s inquest into how his team collapsed in the final stages at the Vitality Stadium will undoubtedly shape his selection and approach for what will be a tough test on Merseyside against Jurgen Klopp’s in form side.
Click here to see what Benitez will be pondering ahead of the trip to Liverpool.