What a win! Another massive three points and the step that surely secures our Premier League safety, with goals from Jonjo Shelvey and Ayoze Perez handing us a well deserved win at Leicester.
After just watching the full 90, here’s some thoughts on each player’s performance and my marks out of 10.
NUFC XI – (4-2-3-1): Dubravka – Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett – Diame, Shelvey – Ritchie, Perez, Kenedy – Gayle
Dubravka – 7 – Didn’t have a thing to do before their late goal and, in fairness, could and should have done a little better, with him being in no-mans land and failing to come out and deal with the initial cross. That being said, he remained calm and responded well, taking two crosses confidently in the closing stages.
Yedlin – 8 – Didn’t get forward a great deal but didn’t have to. He and Ritchie combined superbly to keep Chilwell and Albrighton quiet down their left. He was sharp, got into them quickly and seemed more switched on than we’ve seen him at times this season. A bright display from the American.
Lascelles – 8 – Was a monster at the back once again. Maguire (Leicester’s CB) may be getting picked for England, and rightfully so, but Lascelles outshone him in just about every department today. Another colossal display from captain fantastic.
Lejeune – 8 – .Another classy display from the Frenchman who continues to look more and more like a brilliant piece of business at £8.7m. He won several big headers when they loaded the box from set pieces, defended very well whenever he was ran at on the ground and looked confident with the ball at his feet once again.
Dummett – 8 – Had one hairy moment where it looked like he may have brought Mahrez down for a penalty (which wasn’t given), but generally defended brilliantly, keeping Mahrez quiet and enjoying the odd little burst forward whenever he had space to run into. An assured display from the man whose fast become one of our most reliable performers.
Diame – 9 – Outstanding, yet again. There’s not enough superlatives to describe just how incredible his turnaround in form has been, and his performance today summed up everything that’s been great about him since the turn of the year. He got in to so many challenges (and won 90% of them), was constantly pressing and unsettling any rhythm they tried to create and showed real maturity and composure on the ball. Class.
Shelvey – 8.5 – Took his goal well, with a lovely drop of the shoulder and a neat finish into the corner from the edge of the box. Showed his class with some quality moments on the ball, calming our play down when the game sometimes became a little frantic. Never stopped running either, with no signs of him failing to track his man in this one. His partnership with Diame continues to go from strength to strength. A mature and measured display.
Ritchie – 8 – Looks a lot more like the old Matt Ritchie. Didn’t always get a chance to really go at his man and do damage in the final third, but he was bright in everything he did, helped us keep possession well and put in 110%. Great to see him looking back to something like his best following a few goals at St James’ Park in recent weeks.
Perez – 9* – Many people have rightfully criticised Perez for his lack of final product, but today he’s backed up his top class work rate and hounding with a crucial goal and assist. He carried the ball well and teed up Shelvey for our opener, pestered Leicester’s centre-backs throughout and showed real composure and skill to lob Schmeichel for our all important second. There was the odd frustrating moment where he could’ve done better, but he’s played a pivotal role in our big win today.
Kenedy – 8.5 – Another classy display from the Brazilian, but another one which also proved he’s ready to track back and get stuck in off the ball as much as he is willing to make things happen and excite on the ball. He never stopped running, showed some sublime pieces of skill and quality on the ball. A great performance, but one that makes me worry that Chelsea will have second thoughts about selling him!
Gayle – 7.5 – Worked tirelessly up top and gave Morgan and Maguire something to think about all afternoon. Put himself about and fought for every ball, also making a few good runs in behind to always have them looking over their shoulders. He needs to add that confidence in front of goal to his game if he’s going to keep Slimani out the team, but he’s doing a great job for the team and has been selfless in his work over the last few weeks.
Atsu – 7 – Did a good job when he came on, using his pace on the counter and working back well to pressure his man. A useful sub to replace a tiring Kenedy.
Joselu 7 – Played his part. Drew a few important free kicks late on and some nice flicks ons to keep us in possession in the final third.
Hayden came on late but had no time to make any real impact.