It wasn’t pretty, but it was almost a point, with DeAndre Yedlin’s late own goal giving Chelsea a 2-1 lead at St James’ Park.
After watching the full 90, here’s my thoughts on each player’s performance and my marks out of 10.
NUFC XI – (5-4-1): Dubravka – Yedlin, Schar, Fernandez, Clark, Dummett – Ritchie, Diame, Ki, Murphy – Rondon.
Dubravka – 7 – Secure handling when shots were fired at him. Calm on the ball without been guilty of overplaying. Couldn’t fault him for the either goal. Steady game.
Yedlin – 7 – Very unfortunate to concede an own goal. An unusually disciplined defensive performance from him. Tracked his man, covered well and got assist for the goal with good cross. Decent game.
Diame – 6.5 – Worked tirelessly and left little space for Chelsea’s attacking quality to show, using his physicality well to unsettle them when he could. Could’ve been better on the ball when he had it, although opportunities were limited.
Murphy – 5.5 – Tried to get counter attacks going when he could but ultimately was starved of options or simply outmuscled off the ball. A tough afternoon for him, but he gave it a good go.
Rondon – 6.5 – Missed a great chance to take the lead with a close range header. He was an isolated figure for large parts. At times he held the ball up effectively and brought others into play, although it was a tough ask for him, with so little support around him.
Joselu – Took his goal very well with a powerful near post header but barely had a touch other than that
Perez – Tried to take the game to Chelsea when he came on but couldn’t really make anything happen. The ball got stuck between his feet and his efforts generally amounted to nothing bar a late strike from outside the box which sailed just over the crossbar.
Muto – Didn’t really have an impact he made one good run down the right and played a ball inside, but it was hard to do much from an attacking perspective when we saw so so little of the ball and sat so deep.