A frustrating summer followed by two torrid opening weeks meant that Rafael Benitez and his side from the North-East of England had to respond and they did with a morale-boosting victory over West Ham. They had to get this momentum going and that’s what they did in Wales as well. The match could have swung anyway from the beginning with the home-side starting confidently and the away team countering it with some flashes of decent football. Jamaal Lascelles’s majestic header from a corner which turned out to be goal served as the only difference as Newcastle held on to notch a win. Here’s how the Magpies have been rated:-
GK: Robert Elliot – 7/10
Had to be alert on several instances of the game. Reacted with a strong hand to keep off Ayew’s effort in the first half and the second half too he had to paw away an effort on his near post. He’ll be certainly delighted with a clean-sheet and he completely deserves it.
RB: Javier Manquillo – 7/10
Not very involved as Swansea’s threat for the majority of the game came from the centre. He let a few crosses come in from his side but overall a neat effort.
CB: Jamaal Lascelles – 9/10
The manager wasn’t present at the ground but who needs him when your captain is in command? Lascelles’s brave effort spoke volumes about his role in the squad, the command he has and how he did everything to prevent Swansea from scoring which included clearing the ball from just near the touchline, sliding in and keeping out Abraham’s attempt. His header which was simply majestic got the goal for Newcastle which turned out to be a winner. Top class and the man of the match!
CB: Ciaran Clark – 7/10
Complimented Lascelles extremely well and kept his discipline and composure to see out Swansea.
LB: Jesus Gamez – 7.5/10
Had to fill in due to Mbemba’s absence and he did an extremely good job. He didn’t allow Sanches or Ayew from the right and got away with the ball with tidy dribbling on occasions. Newcastle shouldn’t be worried about him there.
CM: Isaac Hayden – 6/10
Looked a bit rusty and got booked early. Didn’t make his presence felt in the midfield too. Has to improve.
CM: Mikel Morino – 7/10
Had to work a lot with Swansea posing a good threat from the midfield with their interplay but he too kept his discipline and contributed to the flow of the ball.
RM: Matt Ritchie – 7/10
Has to be a little more decisive in the final third which he has it in him to produce but again today he looked sweet from the right. Got an assist with a good delivery for Lascelles to score.
LM: Jacob Murphy – 5.5/10
Hardly noticeable and didn’t do anything apart from getting two shots away.
CAM: Ayoze Perez – 6.5/10
His work-rate and the energy is very evident but he must work on his finishing and decisions at times. Got chances to score but wasted them. All this must be a lesson for him to improve upon. Decent but could have been so much better.
ST: Joselu – 6/10
Still not clinical enough and has to develop his overall game as a centre-forward which includes passing which was shabby today.
LM: Christian Atsu – 6/10
Failed to make an impact and was controlled well by the Swansea defence on the right.
CM: Mohamed Diame – 6/10
Came on when twenty minutes were left and wasn’t much noticeable as the game went on. He will have to do much more as an impact substitute.
CM: Dwight Gayle – 5.5/10
Again like the other substitutions, he didn’t contribute much. There are serious concerns over his game-time and if he has to make an impression again on Benitez, he has to take his minutes.