A stunning win for Steve Bruce’s side on Wednesday night as we put SEVEN past Morecambe – sealing our biggest EVER away win in the club’s history!
Here’s an assessment of each player’s performance along with my mark out of 10:
Gillespie – 7.5 – Rarely called into action, but did make one great stop to deny Diagouraga at 0-2. He again claimed crosses well and looked comfortable with the ball at his feet as we played out of the back. Two clean sheets in as many games and good to see him look solid once again. Settling in well!
Krafth – 7 – Had little defending to do all evening, but was assured on the ball, pretty solid when called upon at the back and could’ve scored if his effort wasn’t cleared off the line in the second half.
Lascelles – 8 – He was awful on Sunday, but he responded well here. A goal and an assist for our skipper to go alongside a physically dominant showing. Won everything against Morecambe’s direct approach in the first half and was influential at both ends.
Clark – 7 – A bit like Lascelles, he didn’t let Morecambe have anything in our third and nullified any threat throughout the first half. Mirrored his performance against Blackburn – without having nearly as much to do – and will be pushing for a start in the Premier League.
Yedlin – 7 – It seems as though the American’s Newcastle career is almost over, but tonight was a decent showing from the full back. Played on both sides in the end and was tidy in possession and offered a good outlet down our left in the first half.
Murphy – 10* – I doubt there’ll be a better performance in round three of the Carabao Cup! Murphy was an absolute nightmare for the Morecambe defence throughout and glided past opposition players at will. Scored a stunner and set one up, but showed a brilliant blend of pace, awareness and final ball throughout. His deliveries and decision making were perfect all evening, with him unlucky not to come away from tonight with another three or four assists to his name. Steve Bruce said he will NOT be letting him leave on loan after the game, and rightly so!
Hayden – 8 – Back at it tonight after Sunday’s sub-par performance. Broke up play, rarely lost the ball, moved it quickly and fired a stinging shot into the corner from range to cap off a strong night for the midfielder.
S Longstaff – 7.5 – Looked out of sorts against Blackburn, but was so much better tonight. Was hacked to bits by the Morecambe midfield and could’ve been seriously injured by Diagouraga – who saw red via a two footed challenge. Rose above the challenges and put in a tidy and composed showing. Came close from range on a few occasions and was busy, both on and off the ball.
Ritchie – 7 – Finished the evening off with the seventh goal but his performance was mixed at times. Kept the ball well and came close on a few occasions, but his crosses from open play were hit and miss. That said, he comes away from the game with a goal and assist, with Lascelles heading in his corner to make it 0-6 in the second half.
Almiron – 9 – Another all action showing which featured moments of real quality once again. Has started the season on fire and tonight was no different. His link-up with Joelinton was good throughout and he set up the Brazilian for the first. He then rounded the keeper to score the second and is surely a nailed on starter against Tottenham on Sunday. That’s now THREE assists an a goal in just two starts for the Paraguayan!
Joelinton – 9 – It was only against a League Two side, but this was definitely one of Joelinton’s best performances for us. He won everything in the air, looked comfortable on the ball and rarely lost it, linking up nicely in attack and driving forward well with the ball when he came short. His first goal was smart and his second was exceptional, with him turning, bursting past his man and curling a 30-yard shot into the top corner! Should’ve had a hat-trick but it was a brilliant night for the Brazilian.
Fraser – 7 – Showing signs of reaching full fitness and tonight was a decent run out for him. Hit the bar, was busy on and off the ball and seems like he’ll be able to add movement, energy and a bit of quality to our attack.
Carroll – 5 – Will be very frustrated he didn’t score. A handful in the air (as always!) but missed an easy header from close range and miscued another that fell for him in the box. A harsh rating in a 0-7 win, but he wasn’t easy on the eye and had to score.
Barlaser – 7 – We may yet see Barlaser leave St James’ soon but he gave a good account himself when he came on. Always wanted the ball, worked hard and played a lovely through ball into Ritchie for our seventh. Can clearly dictate the game with quality passes, but it remains to be seen whether he can cut it at the top level.