Rafa Benitez has revealed that he was congratulated by Jose Mourinho for Newcastle’s performance after the 1-0 win over Manchester United.
The Magpies produced a stirring and resolute display to secure a vital three points against Mourinho’s side at St James’ Park on Sunday that propelled them up to 13th in the Premier League table after dropping into the bottom three before the match.
Matt Ritchie was the match-winner, firing past David De Gea in the 65th minute to register his first goal of the season, and Benitez acknowledged that long-term adversary Mourinho was complimentary about the Newcastle performance.
“He said ‘congratulations and you did well’, more or less what he said before that,” Benitez said when speaking to the Shields Gazzette.
“The team was working so hard. They had chances, and he could have been thinking that they would score, but the way that we were working, we were doing really well.”
Newcastle defended for their lives to thwart Mourinho’s mega-stars and the pragmatic Portuguese manager admitted that it was a “beautiful thing” to witness despite it resulting in a defeat for his side.
Newcastle now have a two-week break before an away trip to Bournemouth, whose defeat at Huddersfield temporarily dumped Newcastle into the relegation zone.