Another night to forget for Newcastle United fans, with Steve Bruce opting for damage limitation and Karl Darlow doing his best to keep the score down.
Here’s an assessment of each player’s performance along with ours marks out of 10:
Darlow – 8* – The scoreline would’ve looked far uglier had he not made a string of top saves. Tipped over a goal-bound cross from De Bruyne, blocked the Belgian in a one-on-one and pulled off a brilliant save to stop Aguero from making it 3-0. Our best player in defeat…yet again!
Yedlin – 5 – Was a bit better defensively to keep City quiet down their left, however he didn’t track Gundogan for their opener and his quality on the ball was very poor at times. His pace gave us an outlet at times, but a few abysmal crosses and overhit passes often cut those promising attacks short.
Fernandez – 5 – Lost his bearings for City’s second, with his last ditch interception to cut out a cross actually doing Torres a favour! Did well to hold up Sterling a few times and sometimes read the play well, but was almost at fault for another goal as John Stones broke free of the Argentine and miscued his free header.
Schar – 5 – Very mixed on his return. One vital interception to stop a Sterling cross finding Torres early on, yet so casual moments later as De Bruyne ghosted in behind him to get in on goal. Backed off too easily at times, was booked for a cynical trip on De Bruyne and some of his clearances were unconvincing. Some nice cross field passes, but he no longer fills me with confidence defensively.
Clark – 6 – Stepped out of defence to good effect on more than one occasion, showing more attacking intent than some of our forwards on the night! Bamboozled by some of City’s attacks and outpaced at times, but didn’t do a great deal wrong.
Ritchie – 4 – Caught ball watching as Cancelo’s clever pass allowed Sterling to sneak in behind him for City’s early opener – and it wasn’t the only time he was caught ball watching! Rarely got close to Cancelo, struggled with Sterling’s movement and his deliveries were poor too. Never gives up but was rightfully hooked after being booked.
Murphy – 7 – The only man in a black and white shirt who mustered a shot on target, with him forcing Ederson into two decent saves with decent low strikes. Actually tried to carry the ball FORWARD and made a few good runs to catch City on the counter. Our most promising outfield player on an otherwise dull night for us NUFC fans.
Hayden – 5 – Struggled to get on the ball and found it hard to dispossess a slick City midfield, however his discipline did help frustrate them at times. Showed his limitations, but it’s no surprise that we looked more competitive and compact in the middle of the park with him in the side.
M Longstaff – 6 – A steady display in the circumstances. Nothing to write home about, but he lasted the game well and was pretty tidy in possession on his first Premier League start of the season. Added some energy to our midfield and wasn’t disgraced considering he and Hayden came up against De Bruyne, Rodri and Gundogan.
Almiron – 4 – Was caught dithering on the ball in an awful position to gift City a second goal and all but end our slim hopes of snatching an unlikely draw. One good ball in behind for Murphy and a decent first half cross, but too many frustrating moments where he went backwards, ran into dead ends or picked the wrong pass. Covered plenty ground, but didn’t always do enough to protect Ritchie in the end.
Joelinton – 5 – Bruce stated a few weeks ago that the Brazilian does not like playing up top on his own, making his decision to play him here in such a tough game all the more frustrating. Climbed highest to flick on an Almiron cross that almost set up Schar at the back post, enjoyed the odd decent bit of hold up play and won his fair share in the air, however it was clear once again that he’s no a long striker. Never looked like scoring and a few loose touches, but hard to criticise too much when left so isolated up top and played in a position that clearly doesn’t suit him.
Lewis – 5 – Thrown in at the deep end after Ritchie was hooked after being torn apart by a marauding Cancelo. Didn’t do too badly, but will need to up his game if he’s to start against Mo Salah next week!
Carroll – 4 – Touched the ball just FOUR times in 20 minutes. In his defence, we sometimes didn’t get the ball into the box when he would’ve been crying out for a cross, but his lack of mobility and swing and a miss sums up his desperate search for a goal.
Gayle – N/A – Appeared to be playing down the left wing for the final 10 minutes. Barely got a kick and spent most of that time tracking back!