RAFAEL BENITEZ has refused to take heart from an encouraging first half performance from Newcastle United at Anfield after Liverpool secured a 2-0 win.

The former Reds boss was back on Merseyside looking to see the Magpies record a surprise result that would have given the fight for survival a real boost.

But Liverpool got the job done to climb to second courtesy of a goal either side of half-time from Mo Salah and Sadio Mane; two of just three shots on target from the home side.

“I am not happy, I don’t like to lose games” said Benitez. “The game plan has to be good for 90 minutes. We were defending well and we need to be more dangerous on counter attack.

“We had a chance with Mo Diame and that changed everything.

“The second half we had another mistake, conceded another second goal, I had to change things and we were then more open. I am happy with the approach of the team, the work rate but not the result.

“We knew they were dangerous, the way they pressed quickly, we knew that we had to be careful with that. You cannot guarantee you won’t make mistakes, and when you make mistakes, with the players they have up front, you will pay for that.

Newcastle skipper Jamaal Lascelles could have seen red in the dying seconds for a challenge on Salah but he got away with it.

Benitez said: “Watching from the bench maybe, watching the reply it was not very clear. The referee maybe had the same opinion, that it wasn’t very clear. Watching the replay, both situations was not very clear.”