Newcastle, in contrast, executed their game-plan perfectly, aided throughout by Benítez’s open telephone line to his backroom staff.
They nearly did go in front when Ayoze Perez forced Fabianski into saving with his outstretched leg.
For Benítez, the outcome was just what the doctor ordered.
Newcastle assistant manager Francisco de Miguel Moreno said: “Rafa wanted to come and wanted to do everything he could to attend, but the weather conditions were not the best”.
Rising star Dan Barlaser will be hoping for his first Premier League appearance against the Swans.
Paul Clement introduced returning striker Wilfried Bony in his place but the fan favourite could do little about Lascelles’ thumping victor, the captain getting above Alfie Mawson to leave Fabianski with no chance. Swansea’s head coach sounded baffled, frustrated and annoyed by the way his team had played. The actual game, what I saw was nothing like I expected.
He said: “Although the margin of the defeat is small I am more disappointed with our performance. We have been very successful on it since the manager took over”.
“There was a lot of expectation around him, which is normal, and he is a player that will get better and better with us, the more he gets to know team-mates and system and the more he understands the culture”. That wasn’t good enough. We got the overload in midfield but we never got control of the game. We got sloppy and got punished. “He said we are now under way”. I take responsibility for it. We had good training week and the meetings were good.
The Newcastle skipper was the hero at both ends, as prior to scoring, he produced a superb sliding block to prevent Tammy Abraham from finding the net after the Swansea midfielder had gone round Rob Elliot.
Matt Ritchie’s deflected cross from the left was met by Mikel Merino, whose glanced header seemed destined for the far corner before being brilliantly tipped away one handed by the Swansea keeper.
“With zonal marking, I am not a fan”.
The Welsh club enjoyed an impressive end to the transfer window, as they secured the deadline day signings of Wilfried Bony and Renato Sanches. When I look at the performance and the week we had going into it – really positive – I didn’t expect that at all.