Another frustrating result at St James’ Park, with Man Utd’s good form continuing at our expense.
Here’s an assessment of each player’s performance and my marks out of 10:
NUFC XI – (3-4-2-1): Dubravka (5)– Schar (6), Lascelles (6), Dummett (7) – Yedlin (6), Hayden (5), Diame (6), Ritchie (5) – Perez (4), Atsu (7.5), Rondon (5).
Dubravka – 5 – Aside from one big error that lead to their opening, he was solid. Unfortunately, he spilled Rashford’s swerving shot, allowing Lukaku to tap in – a costly error but not a reflection of his all round display. Was quick off his line and a safe pair of hands before the mistake.
Schar – 6 – Much better on the ball than he was in our last home game vs Fulham and made some decent challenges to stop Man Utd breakaways. His communication with Lascelles doesn’t seem all there and he was ball watching a little for Rashford’s goal but aside from that he did a decent job.
Lascelles – 6 – Much better than he has been in recent home games. A few strong challenges on Rashford (albeit a little risky at times) and far more no nonsense defending, looking much more dependable than he has recently.
Dummett – 7 – Our best defender for the second time in as many games for me. Played in a left-sided centre-back role (in a three man defence) and was very good positionally, made some vital clearances and was pretty composed on the ball too. Read the danger well and kept them very quiet down their right.
Yedlin – 6 –Struggled with the pace and directness of Martial early on but recovered pretty well and got the better of Sanchez when he came on. Final ball a bit mixed on the rare occasion he got into good position going forward, but did a decent job at the back considering what he was up against.
Diame – 6 – Was making more tackles than any other Newcastle player but there were a few too many sloppy and wayward passes in the first half. He needs to improve on the ball but his work off it is so important for us – something which was noticeable given we concede two soon after he came off.
Hayden – 5 – He works hard and gets himself about the pitch but he never looked comfortable on the ball – with his lack of quality being clear given how more inventive we looked when Shelvey came on. Can’t knock him too much but he’s one of many who just doesn’t look good enough, despite his effort.
Ritchie – 6 – Worked pretty well with Atsu and Dummett down the left-hand side once again but didn’t manage to get nearly as many deliveries into the box this time. He doesn’t give up and has brilliant intensity, but he is looking a bit limited if he can’t manage to work space and get balls into Rondon. Would’ve given him a 5 if it wasn’t for his constant energy and enthusiasm.
Perez – 4 – The best thing he did was boot the ball in Martial’s face in the first half. He was anonymous for the most part and wasted one of our biggest chances, failing to make the most of a great pass in behind from Shelvey. Made fewer passes than any other NUFC player and the least amount of touches on the pitch (goalkeepers included!). He runs around a bit, but aside from the odd nice first time finish I’m not sure what he’s offering.
Atsu – 7.5 – Caused them real problems down our left and was our best player tonight for me. It must be said that his final ball really was lacking, with too many crossed hitting the first man, but he was the one player finding space, running at them and unsettling their back line. It probably sums up where we’re at when he was our best player tonight yet his final ball was so poor.
Rondon – 5 – Struggled in this one. The service up to him was poor and he was left pretty isolated, but he just didn’t look at his best tonight. A few slack touches, looked a little sluggish and didn’t quite get the better of a Man Utd defence that I fancied him to bully.
Shelvey – 6 – Very mixed. Played some brilliant incisive passes into the final third but didn’t look great off the ball. Could’ve been sent off for a late tackle on Pogba and looked slow to get back when Man Utd broke.
Kenedy – 5 – Didn’t do much in all honesty. Has a tendency to try and take players on in areas he can’t afford to lose it. Says quite a lot about his form when Atsu is looking much more threatening.
Muto – N/A – Wasn’t on long enough to gain a rating. Looks quick and pretty switched on but never seems to get enough time to show what he can really do. He’s now away to the Asian Cup..