Despite a tough test against a strong Porto side, Newcastle maintained their unbeaten record so far in pre-season, earning a 0-0 draw at in front of almost 45,000 fans at the Estadio do Dragao.
After watching the full 90 live on NUFC TV, here’s some thoughts on each player’s performance and the marks out of 10 for each.
NUFC XI – (4-2-3-1): Dubravka – Yedlin, Clark, Lascelles, Dummett – Shelvey, Diame – Ritchie, Perez – Murphy, Joselu.
SUBS: Elliot, Darlow*, Longstaff*, Sterry*, Schar*, Yarney, Roberts*, Fernandez, Armstrong*, Hayden&, Roberts*, Gayle. (* = they came on)
Dubravka – 9 – His first appearance of pre-season but he looks every bit as good as he did last season! Made a good stop to deny Brahimi late on in the first half and several world class saves in the second half, denying them from close range on at least three occasions. You can hear (and see) just how well he communicates from the back as well. What a signing at just under £4m.
Lascelles – 8 – Aboubakar and Marega were a real handful up top for Porto but Lascelles handled them well. Cleared our lines on several occasions and made a few crucial last ditch interceptions – blocking one goal bound shot from Aboubakar superbly.
— Total:NUFC (@Total_NUFC) July 28, 2018
Clark– 7 – Did pretty well against a talented Porto attack. Looks a little sloppy on the ball mind – something he really wasn’t during his superb season in the Championship. A solid display though and good to see given Lejeune’s bad injury!
Dummett – 6 – You could tell it was his first appearance of pre-season at times, with him a little slow to react at times and sloppy in possession. Still put in a solid shift for 45 minutes though.
Diame – 7 – Lead the press and was the first Newcastle player getting into their faces and making it physical for them. A few nice passes pinged into wide areas too. Wasn’t at his brilliant best but plenty positive signs from him.
Shelvey – 6 – As ever, he was the main man trying to unlock the door with a few pinged passes out wide or in behind, but he didn’t see much of the ball and didn’t really make much of an impact. A few wasteful corners and a few wild challenges.
Ritchie – 6.5 – Some decent ball into the box, the only player who had a few efforts on goal and plenty energy, but didn’t quite manage to get much support, with Yedlin often forced deep due to their dominance on the ball. Dogged in his defensive work.
Pérez – 6 – Showed glimpses of quality and the odd bit of spark in the first half but flattered to deceive on the main and struggled to get anything going up top, being isolated in attack alongside Joselu. Needs to look after the ball better as a number 10 and make better decisions/show more quality in the final third. Struggled to make any impact in the second half.
Murphy – 5 – Spent most of the game tracking back given their dominance, but was pretty ineffective whenever he got on the ball in good areas. He’s got pace but he looks so raw. Looks low on confidence. Does he need a loan back to the Championship?
Joselu – 5 – Starved of service but he’s very limited. Puts himself about, wins the odd flick on but, once again, didn’t offer much of a threat and showed a real lack of composure on the ball.
Schar (for Clark on 62mins) – Looked solid enough on his first appearance for the club. Some strong clearances. Positioning seemed good.
Ki-Sung-Yueng (for Shelvey at 62 mins) – Didn’t see a great deal of the ball but looks comfortable receiving it. A tidy player.
Sterry (for Yedlin on 62 mins) – Put in a good cross late on, giving Roberts a big chance at the back post.
Atsu (for Murphy on 71 mins) – Made a few decent bursts forward on the counter.
Roberts (for Ritchie on 71 mins) – Had half chance late on but couldn’t keep it down. He’s done pretty well over pre-season though.
Longstaff (for Joselu on 71 mins) – Worked hard in a bid to impress Benitez again. Struggled to get himself on the ball mind.
Armstrong (for Perez on 71 mins) – Back in the squad tonight and almost latched onto a late cross from Sterry.
Darlow (for Dubravka on 71 mins) – Was a bit hesitant from crosses but did make one superb save late on to keep it at 0-0.
Hayden (for Diame on 71 mins) – Filled in at centre-midfield this time after a poor showing at CB at Hull. Clearly looking for a move.