Another positive result at St James’ Park today, as we earned a hard fought point against a supremely talented Liverpool side.
Here’s my thoughts and marks out of 10 for the starting 11 today:
Elliot – 7 – As ever made the odd big save when called upon and was sharp off his line to cut out Liverpool’s threat in behind. Could do little to stop Coutinho’s first half pile driver.
Yedlin – 8*- Didn’t get much chance to get forward, but put in one of his best defensive displays since arriving on Tyneside. Read the game well, got into their faces and barely gave Mane an inch all afternoon. Our best player today for me.
Lascelles – 7.5 – A strong display from the captain. Made a crucial first half block to deny Sturridge and led by example throughout. A committed and commanding performance.
Clark – 7 – Very nearly gifted Liverpool a second goal and was caught out for pace at times, but generally did a solid job alongside Lascelles to keep the visitors at bay.
Manquillo – 6 – Got drawn out of position on occasion in the first-half, allowing right-back Gomez to cross a little too easily. In the end though, he did a decent job against one of the Premier League’s top performing wingers Mohamed Salah considering he’d been thrown in at left back for the first time this season.
Shelvey – 6.5 – Allowed Coutinho to cut inside an score a little too easily for Liverpool’s goal, but was vital at the other end in setting up Joselu’s goal with defence splitting pass. Showed the odd sign of rustiness, but made a few great passes to turn defence into attack.
Merino – 7 – Risked the ball in some dangerous areas on the odd occasion in the first half, but got in their faces, carried the ball well and put in another huge effort.
Ritchie – 7 – Didn’t get a great deal of chances to get at Moreno down the right, but as ever with Ritchie, he put in a dogged display and never stopped working for the team.
Perez – 5 – Failed to have any real impact on the game. Didn’t get himself in good positions to latch onto Joselu’s flick ons and was chasing shadows all too often. Needs to offer more in the 10 role.
Atsu – 6 – Offered an outlet down the left and tried to make things happen when he got a chance, however his final product let him down at times.
Joselu – 7 – Managed to take his big chance today, albeit fortunately, and put in a big shift up top. Was isolated up top for the most part, but put himself about, won some flick ons and linked up the play nicely when he had runners around him.