A clash of the top two in the Championship was going to be the highlight of the midweek action and the match certainly lived up to its billing and went right down to the wire. Glen Murray’s pinpoint penalty put the Magpies behind early on but they responded emphatically. 19 shots in total, over 300 accurate passes and ball possession of 54% showed that Newcastle had their own fair bit of chances to overturn the deficit and it indeed happened. An absolutely bizarre goal from a shot deflected off Diame and landed in the top right corner while the winner came from Ayoze Perez after Atsu picked him out well. Newcastle go two points clear at the top of the championship and eight ahead of Huddersfield.
Here’s how the Magpies have been rated:-
GK: Karl Darlow – 7/10
Made some good stops and was saved by Dummett after he failed to handle a cross. He couldn’t do much regarding the penalty but he looked fine as the match went on
RB: DeAndre Yedlin – 6/10
Looked like a menace going forward but defensively looked a bit fragile than usual. Needs to work more and improve on the defensive aspect.
CB: Jamaal Lascelles – 7/10
52 accurate passes, 15 clearances, captain for the day and he was simply phenomenal. He’s kept his consistency and form all season and today’s performance will only add to the praise.
CB: Ciaran Clark – 5.5/10
Penalised regarding Murray’s penalty and struggled the entire night against the striker. Disappointing but Rafa will certainly work on improving him.
LB: Paul Dummett – 6/10
Bailed Newcastle out after Darlow’s error but kept Knockaert quite all night. A very tidy performance!
CM: Jonjo Shelvey – 5.5/10
The amount of inaccurate passes were shocking. He looked like a presence but certainly wasn’t his usual self on the ball.
CM: Jack Colback – 5/10
A neat performance but the impact on the game was far less than what could be expected. On his day Colback is effective in his own way. Just not the day for the midfielders!
RM: Matt Ritchie – 7/10
Looked a threat every time he advanced and remained as a major threat on a consistent basis all evening. He certainly is more effective from the right.
LM: Christian Atsu – 6/10
Squandered a huge chance on the cusp of half-time but did well in the dying seconds to maintain his composure from a long ball and pick out Perez.
CAM: Mohamed Diame – 6/10
A lucky goal that was absolutely bizarre but unlike his usual self he looked subdued all game.
FW: Yoan Gouffran – 6/10
Showed good feet and touches but just isn’t like how a striker would be. Couldn’t capitalise on Stockdale’s error either.
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