A dismal display from Newcastle in this one, with us struggling throughout in a painful 90 minutes of football at St James’ Park.
Here’s an assessment of each player’s performance along with my marks out of 10:
NUFC XI: Dubravka – Manquillo, Schar, Lascelles, Dummett, Willems – Hayden, Shelvey – Almiron, Atsu – Joelinton.
Dubravka – 6 – Decent save to deny Gross and gathered shot from Bissouma well. Looked frustrated when he couldn’t release the ball quickly due to lack of movement.
Manquillo – 5 – Torn apart in the first half. Slightly better in the second half but looked uncomfortable and a little lost at wing back here.
Schar – 7 – Always trying to get us playing forward. Exceptional goal line clearance to save a certain goal and as usual one of our best players.
Lascelles – 6 – Didn’t do too much wrong but I lost count of how many times he threw his hands up in the air in frustration. A few key blocks but he was at the heart of a disorganised defence early on.
Dummett – 6 – As usual some well timed tackles and interceptions, but caught on his heels a couple of times. Looked sluggish at times in the first half but helped steady the ship in the second 45.
Willems – 4 – Positionally woeful at times in the first half. Started at left wing back, then left wing, then central midfield. Offered nothing in all of them. Erratic crossing, sloppy in possession and slow to get back.
Shelvey – 3 – Woeful. Lethargic, lost his runners many times, lost the ball several times, awful body language (head down) and offered absolutely nothing. These are the sort of games where he needs to step up and be the difference, yet he was so poor both on and off the ball.
Hayden – 5 – Tried to press but was bypassed by Brighton’s midfield all too easily. Told Bruce it wasn’t working after just 15 minutes. Hardly able to get on the ball. Spent his time chasing shadows and it wasn’t his fault.
Atsu – 5 – Worked hard. Always wanted the ball. But didnt do enough to hurt Brighton when he got it. Battled away but this was more like the old Atsu and not the one who’s impressed over the past few weeks.
Almiron – 4 – Should have scored in the first half but smashed it straight at the keeper. Had a sumptuous turn in the second half to break clear but hit a tame shot straight at Ryan once again. Looks lost, was cheap in possession, totally lacking in confidence and a shadow of last season’s player who energized the team.
Joelinton – 5 – Isolated and given so little service aside from long hopeful balls. Looked frustrated and but is far better than what he’s showing at the moment. Another frustrating afternoon for him.
Ki – 5 – Moved the ball quicker at times and was an I mprovement on Shelvey, but set pieces were poor and often overhit.
Saint Maximin – 7 – Looked fluid, an immediate threat and energetic. Glides past players and scares defenders. Had one brilliant run which saw him take on a few players and slip Joelinton in behind.
Carroll – 6 – Came onto a huge reception and immediately put himself about. Caused two Brighton players to flatten each other and created panic, but mainly gets a 6 because his introduction lifted the crowd.