A valiant effort from the lads, but a stunning long-range strike from Kyle Walker was the difference in the end, seeing Man City
After watching the full 90, here’s my thoughts on each player’s performance and my marks out of 10.
NUFC XI – (5-4-1): Dubravka; Yedlin, Lascelles, Fernandez, Clark, Dummett; Kenedy, Diame, Ki, Perez; Rondon.
Dubravka – 9* – Was very quick and decisive off his line. A safe pair of hands who exuded confidence from the back.
Yedlin – 7.5 – Showed brilliant energy and ambition to make the forward run for the goal, finishing well when he finally got onto Rondon’s ball across the box. Sterling was a constant threat but he competed well and gave us an outlet down the right on the rare occasion we got forward.
Lascelles – 7 – Endured a shaky start, giving the ball away cheaply for Sterling’s opener, but he responded very well over the next 80 minutes. Plenty blocks, headers and clearances.
Fernandez – 8 – Read the play very well and carried the ball out of defence positively at times too. Very solid and assured and a player who I expect to start alongside Lascelles once we revert to a back four.
Clark – 7 – Put in a steady display against City’s top class attackers. Was caught square and beaten a little too easily in the box on the odd occasion, but can’t fault him.
Dummett – 7 – Did pretty well against Mahrez/Walker and stuck to his task. A few important headers and tackles to clear the danger.
Kenedy – 6 – Looked more confident and energetic than we’ve seen him recently which was good to see. Things didn’t always come off for him but h was noticeably better than he’s been after consecutive horror shows vs Cardiff/Forest. Played a part in the goal with ball out to Rondon.
Diame – 6.5 – Got into them and was the main man breaking up the play and closing down in front of our defence. Played a few nice forward passes and didn’t stop running from first minute to last.
Ki – 5 – He looks assured and calm on the ball, but a few of his passes went astray today – which was frustrating given we didn’t get much of it. I get the feeling he’s a player who we’ll see the best of when we’re in the ascendency, being someone who’s better on the ball in an attack than off the ball in a defensive role.
Perez – 5 – A bit frustrating. Was a little weak and laboured when he got the ball. Didn’t have a stinker by any means, but didn’t offer enough for me. Would’ve preferred to see Murphy start out wide.
Rondon – 7.5 – Looks a real powerhouse. Was quite isolated, but held the ball very well at times and showed his power – with him also laying on the assist for Yedlin’s goal, with a brilliant ball across the box to put it on a plate for him. He worked hard, fought for every ball and looks a real handful; even if he is still a little rusty after no pre-season prior to his move.
Atsu – 4 – Looked very poor from the bench once again. He looks totally switched off dnd failed to make any positive contribution. Needs to wake up.
Murphy – N/A – Gave us some pace down the left but we struggled to get him into it. Had one decent cross into the box cut out by the City defence.
Joselu – N/A – A thankless task during his brief spell on the pitch, but I noticed things didn’t stick to him nearly as well as they did to Rondon..
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