A tough one to watch for the 52,000 in St James’ Park, with Chelsea breezing to victory against a Newcastle United side who spent most of the game camped in their own half.
Here’s our marks out of 10 and comments on each player involved:
Karl Darlow – 4 – His distribution was very poor and he brought down Havertz for Chelsea’s third, conceding the penalty which Jorginho converted. He’s a decent keeper, but we miss Dubravka’s authority and ability to help organise the defence in front of him.
Javier Manquillo – 7 – Put in a real shift. By no means brilliant, but he got in their faces, went on a few decent runs down the line, kept Chilwell and Hudson-Odoi relatively quiet and was responsible for our one and only shot on target. The best of a bad bunch in this one.
Emil Krafth – 5 – Tried his best as he always does but he just isn’t a centre-back. Also showed his limitations on the ball, often opting to go back to Darlow – not carry the ball into space or pick a forward pass. Schar will be wondering how he’s getting in the side ahead of him…
Jamaal Lascelles – 5 – A few important blocks and clearing headers from balls into the box, however he is another that looks so uncomfortable with the ball at his feet. Lacking in confidence and not looking the leader he once did.
Ciaran Clark – 4 – He needs to be taken out of the side. Dithered on the ball a few too many times and looked off the pace again, with Havertz peeling away from him all too easily as he got in behind to win the penalty. Time to bring Fernandez back in?
Matt Ritchie – 4 – Couldn’t cope with Reece James. He didn’t get close enough for both of his goals, but struggled to get tight enough in the first half too, with the wing-back being allowed to put in several crosses. Also, we need to talk about those aimless punts up the line that rarely find a black and white shirt…
Isaac Hayden – 5 – Was walking a tightrope after being harshly booked so early on in the game, yet still went on to make more tackles than any other Newcastle player. Saying that, his limitations on the ball were evident once again, with him struggling to carry it forward or play anything other than sideward passes.
Sean Longstaff – 4 – He tried his best to keep going but looked shattered in the second half and contributed so little on the ball. This game passed him by.
Ryan Fraser – 4 – Aside from that flashed ball across the box in the first few minutes of the game, I can’t remember him making a significant contribution. Tried to get back and help Ritchie out but looked lost as a left-sided central midfielder…which is not surprise when he’s a winger.
Allan Saint-Maximin – 4 – Another bad day for our usually electric Frenchman. He barely got a kick and when he did he lost the ball more often than not. Cut a frustrated figure once again and needs to work harder off the ball.
Callum Wilson – 5 – Battled for every long ball thrown his way. Didn’t get much change out of Christensen, Silva and Rudiger and barely got a sniff of goal, but at least put himself about as he fed off little other than long balls.
Miguel Almiron – 5 – Nothing special but tried to pick up the pace of our play whenever he got on the ball and drew a few fouls.
Joe Willock – 4 – A few poor touches and a clear lack of confidence. Struggling to find form.
Shelvey – N/A – Barely touched the ball in the final 10 minutes.