A bubble-bursting defeat at Burnley that is sure to leave quite a few bitterly disappointed, but let’s not overreact after what has generally been a very solid start to life back in the Premier League so far this season.
A result that does serve as a sobering reality check, but perspective is needed – we’re still 9th and are closer to the top four than we are the relegation zone!
Here’s our thoughts and marks out of 10 from the 1-0 defeat at Turf Moor:
Elliot – 6.5 – Did what he could for most of the game, claiming crosses well and making the odd save when he needed to. His kicking remains one of his real limitations, however.
Yedlin – 5 – Got into some great positions down the right but his cross so often let him down. An off night from the energetic American, who was caught out by Hendrick’s back post winner.
Lascelles – 7 – Generally mopped up well and read the danger when he needed to, but will be disappointed with the scrappy nature of Burnley’s winning goal.
Lejeune – 7 – A decent performance from the big Frenchman who generally read the game well, got tight to Burnley’s Barnes up front and looked confident on the ball. Good to see he’s a confident footballer, but must make sure he doesn’t take too many risk with the ball.
Manquillo – 5.5 – Aside from letting a few too many crosses come into the box, he did OK defensively, however struggled to get forward and support Atsu in an attacking sense. Great try late on with a looping header.
Diame – 5 – His physicality helped disrupt Burnley’s direct play through the middle, however he faded as the game went on and didn’t make the impact he would’ve hoped for on his first start in the league this season.
Shelvey – 7 – Our brightest player in a pretty poor performance all round from NUFC. Some great deliveries from set pieces and a few perfectly executed through balls which we failed to make the most of.
Ritchie – 5 – Struggled to get into the game. He worked away as always, but nothing quite came off for him.
Perez – 5 – Lost the ball in a dreadful area in the build up to Burnley’s goal and despite having very little to feed off, he didn’t do enough going forward yet again for all his efforts.
Atsu – 6.5 – Our biggest attacking outlet in the first half. Caused them problems when we got the ball out to him and didn’t give up.
Joselu – 4 – Put himself about as ever, but looked low on confidence. The odd dangerous shot towards goal, but too many poor touches and misplaced lay offs. Didn’t offer nearly enough up top and may be struggling to hold onto his starting slot on Saturday.