Newcastle United were hoping to build upon a fantastic performance against Bournemouth in the week as they took on West Ham United in round 33 of this Premier League season.
This was a slightly scrappy affair with Newcastle United containing the lion’s share of possession (57%). What is clear to see is Steve Bruce’s tactical changes paying dividends, as Newcastle are starting to hold onto the ball far better than in the previous half of the season. It seems to be two touch football as United are far more fluid in moving the ball around.
The tactical change in having 4 at the back as opposed to 5 is something that is also working out nicely for United as they seem far more geared to take the game to the opposition as opposed to waiting for chances to appear. Having said that, West Ham did well to contain ASM (as much as possible) – Moyes rightly predicted United’s approach in attacking down the right hand side and was able (for the most part) to deal with it.
So without further ado, here are your match ratings.
Martin Dubravka: 7/10
Decent game from Dubravka as he pulled off 5 saves, most notably was an excellent stop against Yarmolenko late on. He will be slightly irked with the first goal, that was a result of a defensive mishap from skipper Lascelles. Not much he could do for the second goal as a rebound fell kindly to Soucek.
Javier Manquillo: 6.5/10
Made the joint most tackles with 4 and had a pass completion rate of 78%. Overall a decent afternoon for the Spaniard who has solidified his spot in the team through sheer determination.
Jamaal Lascelles: 5.5/10
Unfortunately a forgettable afternoon for the skipper who committed a blunder for West Ham’s first goal. His attempt to almost, backheel the ball away ended disastrously as the ball fell kindly to Antonio, who duly slotted home. Managed to pick himself up after that, which is testament to his leadership ability and had a decent game there on in.
Federico Fernandez: 6.5/10
Found wanting for the Soucek goal but overall another solid performance from Fernandez. Won 6 aerial duels, the most in the team as he keeps showing his determination for the badge.
Emil Krafth: 7/10 (Assist)
Another good game from Emil Krafth as he continues to improve and find his feet in English top flight football. Put in a wonderful ball for Almiron who scored United’s first goal. He’ll be pleased with his afternoon and so will Steve Bruce.
Isaac Hayden: 7/10
Got injured and was subbed in the 43rd minute but was having a decent game up until then. He made 4 tackles, some of which were crunching encounters. His positional play is fantastic and it just keeps improving. His high football IQ is helping United to better control the midfield and is constantly increasing his value to this side. No doubt, a player Newcastle have to hang on to
Jonjo Shelvey: 8/10 (Goal) – Man of the Match
Newcastle’s best player on the pitch against West Ham. Was spraying the ball about wonderfully and took the situation in his hands to score United’s second, moments after conceding to West Ham. The talent is there, he’ll be hoping to consistently display it.
Miguel Almiron: 7.5/10 (Goal)
Another goal for Miggy who is improving under Steve Bruce. He continues to work hard and run very intelligent lines into open spaces. Always has a smile on his face and put smiles on the faces of plenty Newcastle fans around the globe.
Allan Saint-Maximin: 7/10
Was tightly marked on Sunday afternoon and took some big knocks. Nonetheless, a good performance from Newcastle’s wonder man who is attracting attention from other big clubs abroad. This isn’t surprising as ASM has plenty to offer and is only going to improve as time goes on.
Was played out wide again, as he looks much better in a supporting role. Played a creative part in both goals but I am sure he will be itching to get more goals himself. Worked hard as he won 3 aerial duels and made 3 tackles.
Dwight Gayle: 7/10 (Assist)
Decent afternoon for Gayle, most notably as he tee’d up Shelvey for the second goal. Worked hard and had a pass competition rate of 87%.
Substitutes (Must play over 20 minutes to receive a rating)
Nabil Bentaleb: 7/10 (43′ minute sub)
Technically sound on the ball and had a good afternoon on the pitch. Passed the ball soundly with an 88% competition rate.
Valentino Lazaro: 6/10 (69′ minute sub)
Quite afternoon for Lazaro – not much to report on.
Matt Ritchie: 6/10 (70′ minute sub)
Nothing worth reporting back home for.
Andy Carroll: N/A