Another fortunate win for Newcastle United, as Jonjo Shelvey redeemed himself late on to send the game to penalties – which we won 5-4 to scrape through to the Carabao Cup quarter finals!
Here’s an assessment of each player’s performance along with my marks out of 10:
Gillespie – 5 – His error was inexcusable and hard to look past. He might’ve saved one penalty, but got his hand to another earlier in the shootout that he could’ve done better with. Redeemed himself by saving a spot kick, but his error early on was a shocker!
Manquillo – 3 – Probably the poorest he’s played in a long while, with him wayward on the ball and fragile defensively, with one awful clearances almost gifting Newport a second in the first half. He was sloppy in possession and his final ball was shocking as he overhit several simple crosses in the second half. Not up to his usual standard that saw him win a new contract a few months ago.
Krafth – 4 – Never looks convincing at centre-back, although that’s hardly surprising when he isn’t one! His marking was poor and he was slow to close down the shot that beat Gillespie to make it 1-0. A few of his long balls were wayward too, hence why Schar replaced him late on.
Fernandez – 4.5 – Normally his excellent defending distracts us from the fact that he’s not great on the ball, but tonight he was shaky in both departments. Lost his man from a few crosses and was guilty of some very sloppy passes as we pushed for an equaliser late on.
Lewis – 5 – Looked really hesitant in the first-half and never established an effective bit of link-up play with Fraser down the left. He slowly grew into the game and did offer a decent outlet at times. However, it was an otherwise ordinary performance that hardly replicated some of the confident displays we saw him put in for Norwich last season.
Shelvey – 5 – To be brutally honest; without his goal he gets a 2 out of 10. In the main his attitude was awful, his passing wild and he often just trudged back after losing the ball (see their goal!), with him also picking up yet another needless yellow after letting Scott Twine’s get to his head. However, his goal was the moment of quality we were crying out for and without it we’d be out of the competition.
S Longstaff – 5 – He was tidy at times but again spent too much of the game chasing shadows and playing little other than sideways passes. He did play one brilliant ball in behind to Fraser, but there was little else. Shelvey did little to help him out, but he really needs to step up if he wants Premier League minutes. He looked a little bit lethargic and limited on the ball – certainly lacking the edge he had when he first burst onto the scene.
Murphy – 7 – The only played who looked likely to unlock the door here. Ran at them, got some decent shots away and was the only one in black and white who was making things happen, with his enthusiasm on the ball standing out above his below par team-mates. His final ball and poor decision making cost him at times, but he did himself no harm here.
Almiron – 4 – He’s normally a bright spark but it was a dull night for the Paraguayan, who was anonymous for the vast majority. He’s started the season in fine form, but tonight was ordinary at best. His creativity was nowhere to be seen and and he wasted a big chance – shooting straight at the keeper when he should’ve played Fraser in behind.
Fraser – 5.5 – A little bit rusty tonight and his decision making wasn’t the best. He did put in a few dangerous deliveries, including one for Murphy that should’ve resulted in a goal, and made a few decent runs in behind too. It’s clear to see he’s building back up to his best after barely playing over the past six months, but his performances will only get better.
Carroll – 4 – He was dominant in the air at times but that’s sadly the only positive I can draw from his performance. He looked immobile, stiff, sluggish and never looked like scoring. In fact, he was rarely even able to get himself in the box on the odd occasion we got into good areas! Desperately needs the first goal of his second spell, however he’s been painful to watch at times since his influential display on the opening day.
Joelinton – 6.5 – The penalty miss will overshadow what was another decent showing from the Brazilian. He looked more confident and really comfortable in possession when he came on, with one burst of pace and through ball into Fraser creating a good chance late on. We have to hope that the missed penalty won’t get to him too much!
Wilson – 6 – Got himself into much better positions than Carroll and looked lively, but was often feeding off scraps in and around the box. Scored his penalty to get us off to a good start in the shootout and looks to be our new designated taker.
Schar – 5 – Had little to do defensively as we pushed for an equaliser late on. Nothing to write home about on his return, although he did look a little more comfortable in possession than Krafth.