A brilliant Salomon Rondon brace secured back to back wins at St James’ Park today, with NUFC securing a well deserved 2-1 win over an in-form Bournemouth side at St James’ Park.
Here’s an assessment of each player’s performance and my marks out of 10:
NUFC XI – (4-4-1-1): Dubravka – Yedlin, Schar, Fernandez, Dummett – Ritchie Diame, Ki, Kenedy – Perez – Rondon
Dubravka – 8 – Dealt with everything expertly, whether it be coming quickly off his line or the stunning point blank save he made to deny Cook’s header in the first half. His kicking was bang on up to Rondon as well.
Yedlin – 7.5 – Played a big part in the first goal, making a great bursting run before crossing for Rondon’s opener. Defensively he was mixed, with positioning and sloppy passes *sometimes* letting him down, however it was a much better all round performance from the American after he struggled last time out.
Schar – 8 – Looks a proper ball player, with him confident when stepping out of defence and finding several perfectly places passes out wide and into midfield. Also defended very well, with him soldiering on with a broken nose in the second half.
Fernandez – 9 – Signing him for just shy of £6m looks more and more impressive as the weeks go on. He was strong in the tackle, put in several crucial blocks and read the game brilliantly. Outstanding once again.
Dummett – 8 – Stuck to his task superbly, making it difficult for Ibe all afternoon and put in some crunching recovery tackles that the Gallowgate End didn’t half enjoy. Another solid display from one of our most improved players under Rafa.
Ritchie – 7 – After a very poor display last weekend, he was much more effective. Sharp on the ball and put some brilliant deliveries into the box from both set pieces and open play.
Diame – 6 – Perhaps the only NUFC player who struggled today. He got stuck in and broke up the play well early on, however there was a few loose touches and clumsy tackles from him today. Signing another CDM in January to compete with him could help get the best out of him once again. He did play a big part in the first goal, however, with his clever pass in behind setting up Yedlin – who set up Rondon’s opener.
Ki – 8 – A classy display from the South-Korean. He looked so calm and confident on the ball, with him always seeming to pick the right pass – whether it be a positive slipped pass into Rondon or a pinged pass out wide. Shelvey may have his work cut out to get back into the team after that performance.
Kenedy – 8 – Was a brilliant out ball for us down our left hand side, with him making several lung-busting runs to get us up the pitch. Put in a superb cross to set up Rondon’s 2nd and gave his all at both ends.
Perez – 8 – His best game of the season by some distance. Did things much quicker and showed more confidence on the ball, with him making some great runs and playing some great little passes to set us in behind. Much, much better!
Rondon – 10 – Absolutely outstanding. Without doubt one of the most complete performances we’ve seen from a NUFC striker over the past few years. He scored two (and his second was one of the best headers you’ll see all season), his hold up play was superb, he won so much in the air and he ran himself into the ground. A performance worthy of the Newcastle number 9 shirt.
Atsu – 6 – Gave us an out ball as we tried to break late on. Had a decent effort tipped wide by Begovic after cutting in well from the right.
Hayden – 6 – Gave us the energy we were lacking as Diame tired. Did a solid job as Bournemouth piled the pressure on late in the game.
Clark – N/A – Came in and did a solid job at the back.