Another stalemate at St James’ Park, with us lucky to come away with a point against a bottom of the table Norwich side.
Here’s an assessment of each player’s performance along with our marks out of 10:
Dubravka – 8 – Where would we be without him?! On our way back to the Championship is the simple answer. Made a point blank save from a Norwich corner in the first half, tipped one over moments later and kept us in it in the second half.
Yedlin – 3 – Absolutely woeful. Actually got himself into good positions but his final ball or touch was atrocious, with him putting in just one good ball (for Joelinton’s header) all afternoon. Constantly gave the ball away and was caught out of position. Booked for a cynical foul before being mercifully withdrawn for Lazaro on 53 mins. His barnet seems to get worse by the week as well.
Fernandez – 7.5 – Didn’t do much wrong defensively and saved an almost certain goal, catching up Pukki and blocking his one-on-one shot with a superb last ditch tackle. Was one of few who took responsibility, always looking to push us forward – although he’s no Schar or Lejeune on the ball.
Lascelles – 5 – Way below par from our skipper. Caught under the ball a lot, struggled with Pukki’s movement and a few sloppy half clearances when he should’ve put the ball into row z. After a brilliant return against Chelsea he’s had a couple of poor games.
Clark – 7 – Struggled at times with the movement of Pukki, but always stuck to his task and did the simple things well 9/10. Some important clearances.
Ritchie – 5 – Couldn’t get forward and struggled defensively, being all action but a little slow to get out at times. Will probably return to being a forward option once Rose is match fit.
Hayden – 5 – Poor afternoon. Ponderous on the ball and was over run in the first half by the energy of the Norwich midfield. Came off for Longstaff on 60 mins.
Bentaleb – 6 – Clearly has ability, with some nice first time passes. Can be a big player for us, but also clearly isn’t match fit yet. Another start against Oxford won’t do him any harm.
Almiron – 6 – Worked hard and always looked to get on the ball, but ran down far too many blind alleys. Missed a good chance with a header in the first half.
Saint-Maximin – 8 – The only player who looks capable of creating anything. Was the one player running at Norwich and ran rings around Aarons at times. Got a few decent shots away and was the only attacking spark. The buzz when he gets on the ball is audible. So was the disappointment when he went off.
Joelinton – 6 – Typical performance. Some nice touches with his back to goal, won most of his headers, completely isolated, never looked like offering any threat other than a header in the first half which Krul saved well.
Lazaro – 7 – Immediately looked much more assured than Yedlin. Was sharp on the ball, played a few nice passes down the line to Almiron and stayed switched on defensively.
S Longstaff – 6 – Looked a little more forward thinking than Hayden did on the ball. Threw a few decent balls into the box late on.
Rose – 6 – Hard to give a rating, with him on for the final 10 minutes. Got stuck in and looked tidy on the ball.