A totally uninspiring performance, with us losing 4-0 to Braga at the Estádio Municipal de Braga.
After watching the full 90, 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, Lascelles Clark, Dummett – Hayden, Diame – Ritchie, Perez, Atsu – Gayle.
SUBS: Darlow, Elliot, Manquillo, Sterry, Schar, Yarney, Ki, Fernandez, Longstaff, Murphy, Roberts, Armstrong, Joselu.
Dubravka – 7 – Impressive double save from corner early on. Could do nothing about their well taken opener.
Lascelles – 5 – Sloppy on the ball at times and not as alert at the back as we’re used to seeing him. Was replaced at half time.
Clark– 7 – Our best defender on the night. Put in several big blocks and did well on the cover on a number of occasions. Defence was all at sea so he did well in the circumstances.
Dummett – 3 – Switched off at the back a number of times. Poor positionally and cheap in possession. Looked way off the pace. This was only his second appearance of pre-season.
Hayden – 4 – Second touch a tackle a few too times. Looks pretty sluggish considering how slick he looked when he first arrived at NUFC.
Diame – 5 – First to press and was the only man trying to turn over the ball for us in midfield. Some sloppy moments however, with him giving away the ball for their first goal and giving away a few free kicks.
Ritchie – 6 – Made several positive forward passes in the first half. Plenty energy but can only do so much when there’s such a lack of quality and ideas around him.
Pérez – 3 – Had two very decent chances early on but was unconvincing with both. Energetic first half but needs to look after the ball much better as a number 10. Doesn’t show nearly enough composure when it comes to making that final pass as a creative force. Little to work with but very poor.
Atsu – 4 – Showed the odd burst of pace and showed plenty energy but was wasteful more often than not. Had big chance when slipped in by Gayle but couldn’t control.
Gayle – 3 – Made some good runs to offer himself on the break but barely touched the ball and didn’t have a single sighting of goal. As a lone striker in a team that doesn’t have much of the ball, he doesn’t offer enough.
Schar (for Lascelles at HT) – Showed his confidence on the ball but wasn’t helped with how open we looked at the back. Will need time to settle.
Ki-Sung-Yueng (for Hayden on 62 mins) – Had one of our best efforts of the game, forcing the keeper into a good save from a long range. Some neat and tidy touches.
Murphy (for Atsu on 62 mins) – Barely got into the game. A player woefully short on confidence who needs game time – but can Benitez afford to give him any based on his time at NUFC so far? Championship loan move would be ideal.
Darlow (for Dubravka on 69 mins) – Couldn’t do a great deal about their goals. Conceded three in 20 minutes after late capitulation.
Manquillo (for Yedlin on 69 mins) – Didn’t do enough to stop some of their crosses for the late goals. Ok on the ball but not a defender.
Joselu (for Gayle on 69 mins) – Had the ball in the back of the net after being rolled in by Perez but was disallowed for offside.
Longstaff (for Perez on 80 mins) – Tried to make things happen. Useful on the ball and plenty energy but a lot to learn.
Roberts (for Ritchie on 80 mins) – Looks tricky. Didn’t have much time to impress but can definitely beat a man and has a nice low centre of gravity about him.