PLAYER RATINGS: West Ham 2-3 Newcastle – 7’s, 8’s & one 9 for much improved Mags

A brilliant performance and well deserved win for Newcastle in a game where the scoreline didn’t tell the full story. It could’ve been 5 or 6!

Here’s an assessment of each player’s performance along with our marks out of 10:

STARTING 11:

Dubravka – 7.5 – Made one key save to tip over a goal-bound header from Balbuena to keep it at 0-2 just moments before the break. Could’ve got a stronger hand on the corner that lead to their first goal, but was quick off his line when he needed to be and a reliable presence when we were under pressure late on.

Yedlin – 7 – A steady display from the American, who coped much better against Felipe Anderson than he did in our two meetings last season. A little wayward on the ball at times, but he put in a good shift.

Fernandez – 8 – Made it 0-2 with a looped header over Roberto and was a class act throughout, reading the play well on the right-hand side of a back three and covering for Yedlin well when called upon.

Lascelles – 7.5 – A commanding display from the skipper, who cleared several balls that were flung into our box. Also dealt with Haller well, restricting him to very few sightings of goal.

Clark – 8 – He’s had to be patient for his chance in the NUFC side over the past few years, but he’s continuing to do a brilliant job now he’s back in. Opened the scoring with a powerful header and was reliable at the back, making several key blocks to keep West Ham at bay.

Willems – 8 – Another impressive outing. He got an assist for Fernandez’s header, didn’t give Yarmolenko a sniff, wriggled out of some awkward situations with ease and was constantly releasing Saint-Maximin into good areas on the counter.

Hayden – 8 – A very solid performance following his return from a three-match ban. Screened the defence expertly, was steady in possession and made a countless number of well timed tackles to turn over possession.

Shelvey – 9 – A brilliant display from the midfield maestro – and one he needed after Matty Longstaff’s emergence. Played a part in the build up to our opening two goals and ended up getting what was to be a vital third, placing a 30-yard free-kick into the bottom corner. He showed his calmness and quality on the ball all afternoon and was key to setting Almiron and Saint-Maximin away on the counter. West Ham backed off and played to his strengths, but Shelvey was outstanding today and ran the show.

Almiron – 8 – He’s yet to get that elusive first goal, but his all round performance and commitment to the cause was superb. His energy both on the break and to get back was excellent, he looked after the ball well and constantly had West Ham on the back foot with some darting runs. Had one close-range shot blocked early on and could’ve done better with a few chances that fell his way in the second half, but he was everywhere today and played a big part in our much improved display in attack.

Saint-Maximin – 8 – A constant menace once again, with him running rings around former Man City right-back Pablo Zabaleta, who never got near him. Wasted two BIG chances after being put through on goal, but had one curled effort tipped around the post and very nearly set Almiron up for his first NUFC goal. Deserved to score today, but it will come before long if he keeps getting himself into good positions in the final third. Few can handle his pace and skill, which takes the pressure off our defence brilliantly at times.

Joelinton – 7.5 – Put in a real shift up top and played a key part in Clark’s goal, heading back across to set up the centre-back. Ran the channels, put himself about and held the ball up well. He had the odd unconvincing moment when he found himself in good position in the final third, looking a little low on confidence in key areas, however his all round performance was much better today.

SUBS:

Atsu – 7 – Came on for a tiring Saint-Maximin for the final 15 minutes and did well. Skipped past a few West Ham players with ease to get us up the pitch late on and looked after the ball pretty well.

Dummett – N/A – Slotted in for Willems in the last five minutes to help keep Fredericks quiet.

Carroll – N/A – Held the ball up quite well at times late on, but you can tell he’s not nearly as mobile as Joelinton – which limits him on the break.

(Fancy writing for us? Get in touch at NUFCblogsubmissions@gmail.com & we’ll get back to you!)

About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

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