Newcastle 2 - Bournemouth 2: Gosling salvages point for Cherries in relegation battle

Rafael Benitez believes Newcastle need to quickly become more streetwise after a late collapse saw them squander a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at Bournemouth.

Rafa Benitez believes performances are now more important than league position after Newcastle threw away two points at Bournemouth.

Adam Smith came off the bench to help kickstart the late revival, however, before Dan Gosling bagged an equaliser against his former club in the 90th minute.

Dwight Gayle's double at the Vitality Stadium took him onto five goals for the season, meaning that he surpassed Perez as Newcastle's top scorer.

"It is always hard 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. That bet has paid out in six of Bournemouth's last seven home matches in the league, and four of Newcastle's last five Premier League outings.

"We should have been talking today about a great game and three points", shrugged Benitez.

Newcastle United midfielder Jonjo Shelvey failed to impress with his performance against Bournemouth.

"When you go to the last days of the window in this situation, it is always a risk to sign an injured player, but we had to do it".

Cherries boss Eddie Howe said: "I think my heart this season is being tested, despite my age".

"We weren't very good for 70 minutes, to be honest, but once again I have to praise the character, the attitude, the spirit of the team to come back because it's not easy at this level to do that". Thus, any efforts that net three points for either Bournemouth or Newcastle will be huge to create some breathing room from the clubs trying to stave off a relegation battle. Two weeks after his players showed faultless concentration in their defeat of Manchester United, for 79 minutes they were repeating the feat on the freezing South Coast.

  • Steve Townsend