A missed chance to earn all three points for us today, with us failing to show that cutting edge in attack against a beatable Watford side.
Here’s an assessment of each player’s performance along with my marks out of 10:
NUFC XI: (3-4-2-1) Dubravka (7) – Schar (7), Lascelles (6.5), Dummett (6) -Krath (7), Hayden (6), Longstaff (6), Willems (7.5) – Atsu (7), Almiron (5) – Joelinton (7) SUBS: Manquillo (6), Muto (6), Fernandez (N/A),
Dubravka – 7 – Made a few key saves to deny goal-bound efforts from Success and Pereyra in the second half. Some say it’s 2 points dropped, but Dubravka did well to make sure we didn’t get beaten today.
Schar – 7 – The entire defence looked pretty shaky in the first half, but he was the one player who was looking to create from the back, always looking to carry the ball out of the back or chip balls in behind for the front three. He was unusually sloppy at times – almost being punished by one hospital pass early on – but he took his goal well and battled on at the back, despite not being well according to Bruce.
Lascelles – 6.5 – Tracked several of Gray’s runs well in the first half and made one great burst forward with the ball in the second half that almost led to an Atsu goal. He showed his limitations on the ball in the first half and was too casual at times, seeing us lose possession in dangerous areas, but he put in a steady display all in all.
Dummett – 6 – Last Sunday’s hero at Spurs was unusually sluggish in the early stages of this one and also had a few aimless punts up the pitch to no one in black and white. That said, he was solid in the second half and did a decent job.
Krafth – 7 – A solid display from the Swedish international. He was rarely beaten and often read the play well and looked cool under pressure, although he doesn’t look like an attacking full-back, seeming reluctant to burst forward into space. He seems more of a right-back than a right wing-back, but did deliver a good ball into the box in the build up to Schar’s goal.
Hayden – 6 – He covered plenty ground as ever, but he did look a little bit leggy today, with him possibly suffering after playing the full 90 against both Spurs and Leicester in midweek. He never gave up though and had a brilliant long range strike well saved by Foster.
Longstaff – 6 – He struggled in the first half, under hitting passes and having a few too many lose touches, but he improved in the second 45 after looking noticeably off the pace early on. His passing improved and he began to do things quicker, almost setting up Schar late on with a brilliant whipped ball into the box.
Willems* – 7.5 – After catching the eye vs Leicester in midweek, the Dutchman put in another impressive display here – and he needed to now Ritchie’s set to miss 2 months. He got forward well and looked sharp on the ball, showing good vision with some sharp passes into forward areas and dangerous balls into the box. He was sometimes caught too high up the pitch for his own good, but he was one of our key creative forces.
Atsu – 7 – A bright and busy performance from the Ghanaian, who continues to do a decent job in Saint-Maximin’s absence. He didn’t pull up any trees, but he looked quicker and more confident on the ball, linking up well and making some good runs into dangerous areas.
Almiron – 5 – A frustrating performance. He huffed and puffed, but failed to put away a few big chances (although one was well blocked in his defence). I like him a lot and love his pace, energy and enthusiasm, but he sometimes needs to slow things down and compose himself. He also looked a little bit lost at times today, failing to get himself into good areas against a Watford defence that would’ve struggled to deal with his pace in behind.
Joelinton – 7 – Didn’t get enough service and often dropped into a false number 9 position to get a hold of the ball, but showed impressive all round play and put in a good shift, working hard and battling for every ball. A promising performance after his goal at Spurs, but he needs more help from his fellow attackers.
Manquillo – 6 – Showed a bit more attacking intent than Krafth and did well to skip past a few Watford players on one occasion.
Muto – 6 – Made plenty good runs but was a little wasteful the one time he actually got in behind, with his touch forcing him too wide and his shot hitting the side netting.
Fernandez – N/A – Put in one brilliant ball which just evaded Muto at the back post. Hard to give him a rating when he was brought on in the 85th minute.