It wasn’t pretty but we got the job done, with Rondon’s second half goal giving us all three points.
Here’s an assessment of each player’s performance and my marks out of 10:
NUFC XI – (5-2-2-1): Dubravka – Manquillo, Schar, Lascelles, Clark, Kenedy – Diame, Ki – Atsu Perez – Rondon
Dubravka – 7 – Made a brilliant save to deny Billing’s long range free kick that was heading in the top corner. Another assured display where he didn’t disappoint whenever he was called upon.
Manquillo – 7 – He gets plenty stick (and rightly so at times), but he stuck to his task pretty well today from a defensive perspective, also chipping in with the vital assist that set up Rondon’s goal.
Schar – 8* – Another big performance on his return from suspension. Won some vital headers towards the end of the game as Huddersfield threw the kitchen sink at us. Came across well to cover for Manquillo on occasion and read the play very well. Showed his quality on the ball to calmly pick a pass when so many were booting it
Lascelles – 7 – He was lucky not to have been sent off with a high and reckless challenge on Depoitre early on, however he was far better than he was last weekend. Won his battle against the huge Depoitre and steadied himself well after a shaky start.
Clark– 7 – Another very solid display from Clark. Had a lot of covering to do with Kenedy struggling to contain them down their right and made several timely blocks and clearances
Kenedy– 3 – He had a real stinker. He struggled with simple passes, allowed their full back to get far too many crosses into the box in the first half and just did not look comfortable both positionally or on the ball as a left-wing back.
Diame – 5 – His first half performance was very poor, with him looking slow, sluggish and clumsy, however he put in a huge shift in the second – tracking his man, constantly closing down and winning a few important battles.
Ki – 5 – Looked tired and that showed as he struggled to keep with Billing who glided past him on occasion. Still one of our more composed players on the ball today, but failed to really dictate the play as he has at times recently.
Atsu – 7 – One of few players showing any sort of urgency and will to break forward with the ball in the first half. He did what he hadn’t been doing earlier in the season and actually tried to use his pace to run at them.
Perez – 6 – Played a big part in our counter-attacking goal, slipping in Manquillo before he squared to Rondon. Worked very hard and kept on going, but just needs to work on his ball retention as he had a tendency to give it away cheaply just when we need him to be stronger. Still put in a very good shift today and was unlucky to have a goal wrongly disallowed.
Rondon – 7.5 – Was isolated and had so little service in the first half, but stepped up the to plate just when it mattered to prod home our all important second half winner. Some nice link up play to help take the pressure off us in the second half too after a frustrating first 45.
Hayden – 6 – Did a good job in adding some energy and physicality to our midfield in the latter stages. J
Ritchie – 6 – Worked hard and showed his experience to run down the clock.
Dummett – N/A – Not on long enough for a rating. Came on for Kenedy in the final few minutes.