That was some way to start the weekend! A brilliant display at Leicester where we were good value for the four goal lead. In classic Newcastle fashion, we made it difficult for ourselves, but we got the job done.
We are now almost certain to be staying up and we can start to focus on next season. Steve Bruce still has an uphill battle to win the fans back, but the last few weeks have provided some encouragement.
Below, we rate each player’s performance:
Martin Dubravka – 8 – It was a great performance from the goalkeeper, as he kept us in a dominant position. In the first half, he anticipated Jamie Vardy’s lob brilliantly and he made an incredible stop from Ayoze Perez to maintain our two-goal lead in stoppage time.
Jacob Murphy – 6 – He has been praised a lot for his recent form, but he was one of the least impressive players on the night. Murphy lost possession 14 times and struggled to worry Leicester in attack. Teams are starting to target his wing, which is a worry, with a host of attacks coming down his side late on.
Emil Krafth – 6 – There were some concerns when Krafth was named in the team. Although he was the least impressive of the centre backs, the back three looked more settled with him on the right and Fernandez in the middle. Clark has struggled in recent weeks and this may be the solution for the rest of the season. His yellow card for a reckless lunge on Vardy showed how he can struggle to recover when caught out of position.
Federico Fernandez – 7 – There has been a lot of speculation about our centre backs and which ones should be given extensions. Fernandez was a lot better as the middle defender of a back three. His positioning was excellent, as he blocked three shots and made 12 clearances. Glanced wide in the first half, but it was his headers at the other end which meant more in the end.
Paul Dummett – 8 – It was great to see him get his first goal in five years, as he headed home from a Matt Ritchie corner. He made two tackles and 11 clearances to help us see the game through.
Matt Ritchie – 8 – There is no doubt that Ritchie has played a key role in our recent form. He played a big part in two of the goals, with the assist for Dummett’s header and the long through ball to release Wilson for his first. Throughout, he made a number of tidy contributions on the ball and stayed switched on defensively.
Jonjo Shelvey – 5 – It was another pretty underwhelming display from the stand-in skipper. He did show a higher work rate than usual, but he wasn’t as effective in possession. At the end of the match, he had a pass success rate of 63%, which isn’t good enough for a player with his technical quality.
Joe Willock – 8 – I’m running out of superlatives to describe Joe Willock. He has been an excellent loan signing and the club should be doing everything they can to keep him for the long term. For his goal, he won the ball back well before running through and finishing smartly.
Miguel Almiron – 7 – His energy and work rate played a big part in our performance. Although he didn’t manage to impact the game as much as he would have liked, he didn’t give Leicester players time on the ball and that set the right tone. The midfielder made two interceptions, won three tackles and played a part in Wilson’s second with the killer through ball. Better from the Paraguayan after a few poor displays in a midfield three.
Allan Saint-Maximin – 6 – It was an understated display from the Frenchman, but he took up good positions and distributed well in the final third. He completed four of his five attempted dribbles. In the first half, he really should have scored after being played in by Callum Wilson.
Callum Wilson – 9 – A classic Callum Wilson performance. His movement and positioning caused a lot of problems for the Leicester defence. As they committed men forward, space opened up and he timed two runs in behind. On both occasions, he found the back of the net. In the first-half, he should have got an assist if it wasn’t for an excellent save from Kasper Schmeichel.
Sean Longstaff – 5 – The midfielder did little of note during his 15 minutes on the pitch.
Joelinton – N/A – Only on for the final 10 minutes, but there was a great run and piece of hold-up play from the Brazilian in stoppage time. It was key in relieving pressure just as Leicester looked for a third.
Jeff Hendrick – N/A – Came on in the 88th minute.