PLAYER RATINGS – Sheffield Utd 0-2 Newcastle: A perfect 10, one 9, several 8’s & a few 7’s

Another fantastic result for Steve Bruce’s Mags, with goals from Allan Saint-Maximin and Jonjo Shelvey securing a brilliant win at Bramall Lane.

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

STARTING 11:

Dubravka – 10 – A top draw performance from the Slovakian. He was outstanding in the first half, making several key stops to keep our noses in front heading into the break. Showed superb reflexes, was strong from crosses and quick off his to narrow the angle when he needed to. We defended well tonight, but there’s no way we would’ve got the clean sheet without him. Our best player on the pitch in a faultless display at Bramall Lane.

Manquillo – 8 – He was solid on Saturday against Man City and did yet another brilliant job here. Not only crossed well to set up Saint-Maximin’s header but stuck to his task defensively, got stuck in and ran himself into the ground. Our best right-back on this form? He’s making a strong case for it?

Fernandez – 8 – Won just about everything in the air and put his body on the line from first minute to last. Commanding but classy, with him also stepping up to carry the ball out defence when we were under pressure. Give the man a new deal!

Clark – 8 – Some questioned if he was good enough for this level since we won promotion, but he continues to prove any of his doubters wrong. Was the main man organising our back five in the heart of defence and won his battles throughout.

Dummett – 8 – Solid as a rock. Was quick into the tackle, no nonsense and switched on throughout. He was poor in our last away outing at Villa but barely put a foot wrong here.

Willems – 7 – Wasn’t always able to get on the ball and link up with Saint-Maximin down our left, but did another solid job defensively, showing he’s a capable footballer at both ends of the pitch.

Hayden – 7 – His performance was summed up by a crunching challenge in the opening stages which immediately told the Blades they were in a game – despite their dominance. Wasn’t always pretty, but made some vital interceptions and was a vital presence in front of our defence when times got tough.

Shelvey – 9 – Another measured display from the midfield maestro. He was disciplined off the ball and intelligent on it, with his moment of quick thinking being absolutely essential for our second goal. As all in red and white stopped, the skipper continued and calmly slotted home, giving VAR something to think about when most may have stopped. He’s been criticised for his lack of consistency, his wastefulness on the ball and his lack of work rate or discipline, but none of those concerns were evident tonight. Brilliant.

Almiron – 7.5 – Energy levels were incredible, with him constantly getting back to help Manquillo out, but also bursting forward at the other end to give us an outlet on the break. Some of his touches, decision making and efforts on goal were poor, but he linked up well on the whole, won crucial free-kicks and ran himself into the ground.

Saint-Maximin – 8 – The French flyer opened his account for the club, leaping high to head home a Manquill cross early on. He took it brilliantly and gave us something to protect against a frustrated Sheffield United. It wasn’t one of his most electric games, but he was a constant outlet who didn’t shirk his defensive duties – despite a sore anke.

Carroll – 8 – The big man found himself dropping into midfield at times, but his bravery, leadership, battling spirit was key throughout, with a clever flick on also landing him the assist for Jonjo Shelvey’s goal. He also played his part defensively, heading away several dangerous corners early on.

SUBS:

Joelinton – Benefited from the fact he had fresh legs and seemed to have the beating of Sheffield United’s defenders whenever he ran at them. Slipped at the vital moment after some clever footwork and was perhaps too slow to get his shot off at times, but gave us an outlet and some spark in attack just as Carroll was out of gas.

Atsu – A little bit wasteful and indecisive when bursting away in good positions on the break, but he gave us that energy and running we needed late on – especially when ASM was struggling to get about the pitch late on.

Krafth – Came on late on for Almiron, slotting into the right wing-back role with Manquillo ahead of him.

(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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green