Furious Rafa Benitez hits out at ‘clever’ Henri Lansbury after Newcastle’s controversial defeat to Forest

Newcastle's players complain to referee Stephen Martin following the 2-1 defeat to Forest. Picture by Frank Reid
Newcastle's players complain to referee Stephen Martin following the 2-1 defeat to Forest. Picture by Frank Reid
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Furious Rafa Benitez hit out at Henri Lansbury after his nine-man Newcastle United was controversially beaten at the City Ground.

Benitez accused the Nottingham Forest midfielder of play-acting after he was involved in the dismissals of Jonjo Shelvey and Paul Dummett in the 2-1 defeat.

Matt Ritchie opened the scoring, but a strike from Nicklas Bendtner and an own goal from Jamaal Lascelles saw the home side claim all three points.

Shelvey was sent off for reacting to provocation from Lansbury, while Dummett was shown a red card after the 26-year-old went down under a challenge from him.

Benitez admitted Shelvey made a “mistake” in reacting to Lansbury, who went unpunished.

But United’s manager felt Dummett should not have been dismissed by referee Stephen Martin.

“In both situations, I think he was doing something (play-acting) that normally in England everybody criticises,” said Benitez. “I was really surprised by that.

“I don’t know if they can look at the images, but maybe they can consider their No 10 (Lansbury) in both situations, because I think he was creating a mess.

“I will not ask for anything. If they want to do something, fine. If they do not, it is up to them.

“We made a mistake, but he was kicking Jonjo first, and after that he was waiting and diving.

“It was so obvious, so clear, so if they want to do something, fine. If not, forget it. We will carry on and do what we have to do, and make sure we do not make these mistakes like Jonjo.”

Benitez – whose side still lead the Championship by two points – was also angry that Ciaran Clark had a first-half goal disallowed.

“We can also talk about the goal that was disallowed or the penalty that was not given,” said Benitez.

“The first goal (from Nicklas Bendtner) was also maybe offside. We can talk about so many things, but that is not going to change the score at the end.

“We just have to praise the players for the effort and the work they were doing, and make sure that we do not make these silly mistakes in the future.”

On the Dummett incident, Benitez added: “It could be a yellow card, but, if you see the replay, he was waiting with his leg out and then he was diving. I suppose it was very clever.”