(Reuters) - Newcastle United were left to rue a host of missed chances as a deflected goal from Beram Kayal gave Brighton and Hove Albion a 1-0 Premier League win at St. James’s Park on Saturday.
The defeat, Newcastle’s seventh in nine league games this season, left them bottom of the standings with two points. Brighton are 12th with 11 points.
Brighton lost Glenn Murray early on after he appeared to be knocked unconscious in a nasty clash of heads with Newcastle defender Federico Fernandez. The striker was carried off on a stretcher and replaced by Jurgen Locadia.
Play resumed after a lengthy stoppage and the visitors took the lead in the 29th minute when Shane Duffy headed a corner back to Jose Izquierdo and his shot from the edge of the box was deflected into the net by Beram Kayal.
Newcastle should have drawn level at the break but Yoshinori Muto sent his header over the bar from point-blank range after Jonjo Shelvey’s shot was parried.
Newcastle desperately searched for a second-half equaliser but their efforts were in vain and they slumped to a third league defeat in a row.
“This is the reality,” Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez sighed in a post-match TV interview.
“So many games, people were talking about ‘you don’t have the possession.’ We have the possession, shots and corners, free kicks, everything, and we didn’t score,” the 58-year-old said.
“It’s difficult to complain when the team is working so hard and doing what they have to do in a lot of things, but still we have to be more precise and more clinical when we have chances,” Benitez added.
Reporting by Philip O'Connor; Editing by Pritha Sarkar and Tony Lawrence