Only woodwork and series of top class saves prevents Porto hammering Newcastle United
The scoreline might have read Porto 0 Newcastle 0 but nobody watching the game could quite work out how this had been the final result.
Nobody should get too carried away with any pre-season friendly result but when a game is as one-sided as this, there aren’t any great positives from Newcastle’s performance.
The Porto keeper didn’t have a save to make as it was all one way traffic.
Martin Dubravka making a handful of quality saves and then Darlow continuing that as a late sub.
Other than those two, it was only really some of the defensive play that could be praised as Newcastle somehow kept out the Portuguese league champions for the full 90 minutes.
Jamaal Lascelles and DeAndre Yedlin probably the pick, the latter topping his display with a clearance off the line when Dubravka was eventually beaten.
Unlike the first two friendlies, Rafa Benitez chose to pick a pretty much best eleven side to start the game, from those he had available on the night, no doubt acknowledging the better level of opposition.
Porto are a decent team but when your team create pretty much nothing going forward in an entire game, it is a bit depressing.
Both bar and post also came to Newcastle’s rescue, as well as a linesman flagging on an offside goal.
Obviously we are waiting on Yoshinori Muto’s work permit being waved through and at least one more striker expected as Mitrovic’ move to Fulham is now agreed.
However, two weeks before the Premier League kicks off, seeing Joselu wandering aimlessly around (though the fact the service to him from the rest of the team was pretty much non-existent, has to be factored in), doesn’t do much to suggest we are going to hit the new season running.
Kenedy has been granted time away after his partner gave birth and obviously he is a miss – but even if Rafa does make some late progress in the transfer market, the pre-season training and games will already have been and gone.
Rafa Benitez admitted after the match that Porto should clearly have won after dominating the match and creating all the chances.
Newcastle got away with it on Saturday night to an extent and got a draw but we will need far far more than this going forward when we play Tottenham in 13 days time.
On a positive note, the team did look canny wearing the new second strip!
“I don’t care too much about the result, it’s only pre-season and it is good to have a clean sheet…but they created enough chances to win the game.
“Obviously you could see the difference between the team that is playing in the Super Cup next week.
“They are a team that’s really good in Europe and every week.
“So they are a top side and a team with new players and they have a learning process from last year.”
Porto 0 Newcastle 0 – Saturday 28 July 8pm
Dubravka (Darlow 72), Yedlin (Sterry 60), Clark (Schar 60), Lascelles, Dummett (Manquillo 45), Murphy (Atsu 72), Diame (Hayden 72), Shelvey (Sung-yueng 72), Ritchie (Longstaff 72), Joselu (Armstrong 72), Perez (Roberts 72)
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