- Sarri commends his team's performance at St James' Park
- Chelsea were 2-1 victors over Premier League side Newcastle
- The former Napoli coach hails his boys for showing resilience
Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has hailed his team's character after the Blues had a hard-earned victory against Newcastle at St James' Park.
The Blues under Antonio Conte lost 3-0 to the Magpies in the final game of last season and new boss Sarri was thrilled with their persistence this time around.
When asked if his side had passed a test of character, he said: "I think so. To win here is difficult for Chelsea — it's difficult for every team here.
"To be drawing five minutes from the end, for us it was more difficult. I think this team, from the character point of view, is a strong team."
The win continued Chelsea's perfect start of the new season but the Italian was taking nothing for granted when asked how it felt to see them joint-top of the table.
He said: "Nothing, I think, because the honour is after 38 matches, so after three... it's important to start very well, as well as possible, but now the table is not important, I think."
Toons boss Rafa Benitez, who was unhappy with both the penalty decision and the free-kick which led to the Chelsea's winner, mounted a staunch defence of his tactics in the face of criticism from television pundits with Jamie Redknapp claiming his players would be 'embarrassed'.
He said: "When I was at Liverpool, we beat Real Madrid 4-0 at home; we were very offensive. When I was at Napoli, we were attacking all the time; we were offensive.
"When you are at Newcastle United, you have to manage because you are in the Premier League and you have what you have."
Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles was missing from the starting line-up amid reports of a training ground row with the Spanish manager, but Benitez, who insisted the defender was injured, said he had no problem with players making their opinions known.
He said: "All my life, I've liked to talk with players, so I talk with players, we decide what to do and then we stick with the plan, so everybody knows that.
"If any player has different opinions, they can give their opinions and after we have to stick with the plan, that's it."
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com had earlier reported that Chelsea continued their impressive performance this season in the Premier League defeating Newcastle United 2-1 at the St James' Park.
The match was a tough encounter for Maurizio Sarri's men who had to wait towards the end of the match before DeAndre scored an own goal that gave Chelsea the win.
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