Newcastle 3 West Ham 0 – Match ratings of all NUFC players
Newcastle 3 West Ham 0 – Saturday 26 August 2017
Rob Elliot 6 – Next to nothing to do but almost allowed West Ham back into the match. A rare break upfield saw Cresswell’s long-range shot only parried by Elliot, straight to the feet of Hernandez. His effort beat the Newcastle keeper but Ciaran Clark brilliantly saved Rob Elliot and the lead, clearing off the line.
Javier Manquillo 7 – Looks good going forward and has a bit of pace but at times his defending looks a bit ropey and got caught out of position occasionally. Overall though, more positives than negatives yesterday.
Jamaal Lascelles 7 – The front six did such a good job of pressurising the opposition, very little got through as far as the NUFC defence. Lascelles coped ok and was competent throughout.
Ciaran Clark 8.5 – As always, Newcastle’s main man at the back. Always looks assured and as well as doing his defensive job, was also on hand to help build attacks from the back as Newcastle created good passive moves that carried a threat. With that clearance off the line and killer second goal, he was one of the top men for the Magpies.
Chancel Mbemba 7 – Playing out of position once again, Mbemba stuck to his task against Antonio, the only player offering anything at all for the visitors. Playing ahead of the discarded left-backs Haidara & Lazaar, as well as Jesus Gamez, suggests Rafa may be seeing a future for the DR Congo international after all.
Matt Ritchie 9 – After the game Rafa Benitez put up Ritchie as a player who the rest of the team should look up to and try to emulate, his workrate unbelievable. Duracell powered, Ritchie covered the proverbial every blade of grass and looks pivotal to our hopes this season. Winning back possession next to West Ham’s box and supplying a perfect cross for Clark’s goal, was the moment that finished off the Hammers.
Isaac Hayden 7.5 – Taking on the role of midfield enforcer but also has skill to bring to the party. Never doing it quite enough, Hayden’s dribbling talent is excellent and he is capable of taking a threat to the opposition when driving forward with the ball.
Mikel Merino 9 – Whilst Ritchie is heart on his sleeve, Merino is more of a cool customer. Only the fourth start of his career in a top tier match and he ran the midfield, clever passing retaining possession but always trying to work it forward into more dangerous positions, rather than taking the easier/negative option. Very interesting to see what Rafa does with Shelvey back for Swansea.
Christian Atsu 7.5 – Showed promise against Spurs though quiet, like most, at Huddersfield. He was back on form and worked up and down the left side, a superb unselfish assist for the opening goal.
Ayoze Perez 7 – One of his better games, linking up play pretty well throughout the game and showing some great skills at times. If he had the pace to take advantage of some of his ball skills, he could be a real player.
Joselu 7.5 – Great first start for the forward and he led the line really well. Nothing that fancy or over the top but his movement, link up play and winning balls in the air was something way beyond what Mitrovic can offer. Was on hand to get his goal, which sadly Mitro would never have been up with play to get, could be a real bargain though probably more a 10+ goals striker at best, rather than an out and out goalscorer you can overly rely on.
Mitrovic 7 – Within seconds of his introduction Clark made it 2-0 and West Ham gave up. Ideal conditions and Mitrovic wasted one chance when hitting it straight at the keeper before finishing with aplomb when rounding Joe Hart to complete the scoring. Maybe a few such occasions with Newcastle leading and on top, could you see the Serbian getting some confidence building appearances off the bench, however his idiotic side came into play when deliberately veering away from play to make contact with Lanzini – it is in the balance as to whether he will get away without a retrospective ban.
Diame – Not on long enough to judge
Murphy – Not on long enough to judge
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 3 West Ham 0
Newcastle: Joselu 36, Clark 72, Mitrovic 86
Possession was West Ham 63% Newcastle 37%
Total shots were West Ham 8 Newcastle 16
Shots on target were West Ham 3 Newcastle 8
Corners were West Ham 5 Newcastle 7
Referee: Neil Swarbrick
Elliot, Manquillo, Lascelles, Clark, Mbemba, Ritchie (Murphy 88), Hayden (Diame 82), Merino, Atsu, Perez, Joselu (Mitrovic 72)
Woodman, Aarons, Gamez, Saivet
(To read what Rafa Benitez said after the win over West Ham go HERE)
(Read the instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the win over West Ham HERE)
(To read what Slaven Bilic had to say after the match go HERE)
(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]