Newcastle secured their first away win in the Premier League since December 2015 this afternoon, seeing off Swansea by 1-0 at the Liberty Stadium thanks to a towering second-half header from Jamaal Lascelles. It was an organised display and team effort, but there were some stand-out performers.
Here are our thoughts and marks out of 10 for the starting 11 and substitutes from today’s game:
Elliot – 7 – Didn’t have a great deal to do but did what was required of him when called into action. Saved well from a first half Ayew shot and commanded his box well when Swansea hoisted balls into the box late on.
Manquillo –6 – A little sloppy on the ball in the first half, but stayed solid in the end and was rarely caught out. Some nice forays forward, including a clever piece of play to put Perez in on goal.
Lascelles – 9* – A captains performance from the centre-back. Won his duels, looked assured in possession but crucially cleared off the line to deny Abraham a certain goal, followed by his thumping header at the other end to give us all three points.
Clark – 7 – Didn’t have a great deal to do, but dealt with pretty much everything thrown at him by Abraham, Ayew and Bony in a calm and classy manor.
Gamez – 7 – It raised a few eyebrows seeing the Spaniard start at left-back but he faired well on his Premier League debut. Defended well and showed his quality in possession.
Hayden – 6 – Combative as always, making it hard for Swansea to play, but had a few too many lose touches and was caught out on occasion.
Merino – 8 – Controlled the midfield superbly. Turned over possession several times and showed some real quality on the ball. Got in their faces and
Ritchie – 7 – Put it on a six pence for Lascelles’ goal and worked hard throughout, covering well defensively while being busy at the other end to try and unlock the door.
Perez – 6 – Came into it in the second half after a slightly anonymous first 45 minutes. Still needs to impose himself on games a little more and toughen up physically.
Murphy – 5– Struggled to get into the game and should have done better in the first half after blazing over a pretty a decent chance. Needs time.
Joselu – 7 – Was a physical threat throughout, with Swansea struggling to cope with him in the air. Won flick ons and had several headers on goal in the box, one of which being superbly saved by Fabianski after looking an almost certain goal.
Christian Atsu – 5 (Murphy, 59′) – Some good bursts of pace, but surrendered possession far too cheaply on two occasions late on, which thankfully didn’t cost us.
Mohamed Diame – 6 (Hayden 69′) – Won some headers and helped break up Swansea’s play.
Dwight Gayle – 5 (Joselu, 79′) – Was a little isolated as we sat deep to protect our lead. Didn’t see much of the ball.