Pardew pleased despite Newcastle Europa League defeat

Alan Pardew was not too downhearted despite seeing his Newcastle United side slip to a 3-1 defeat against Benfica in the Europa League, Sky Sports has reported, with the manager pleased to have grabbed what he feels could be a crucial away goal.

Newcastle took the lead after 12 minutes through Papiss Cisse but the striker later hit the woodwork twice before Benfica came back into the tie. Rodrigo, Lima and Oscar Cardozo all scored to give the Portuguese side the advantage ahead of next week’s return leg at Newcastle.

Pardew however feels that at St James’ Park, Newcastle can give Benfica a tough challenge, and will look to use their away goal as a springboard to a come-from-behind victory. “Anything is possible. If we can put Benfica under pressure at home, pressure can do funny things to you,” Pardew said.

I think at our place the away goal could come into it. We need to score first, I think, to have a realistic chance in that game, but I think we showed enough tonight to prove we can cause them problems.

Pardew’s Benfica counterpart, Jorge Jesus, agreed that the game has not been put to bed. “ Newcastle showed tonight they are a strong team and they are even stronger at home and more aggressive,” he said, adding that he expects the second leg to be an open encounter.

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