Newcastle 1 Chelsea 2 – Sunday 26 August 4pm
We asked Jonathan Drape-Comyn to give us his match ratings after this afternoon’s match.
Newcastle losing 2-1 eventually in a match surrounded by controversy, especially NUFC’s tam selection and tactics.
Dubravka – 7. The only thing i have faulted him for so far at NUFC is his distribution, which is a minor fault because our greatest ever goalkeeper (Shay Given) had poor distribution and that didn’t hold him back at all.
Made a few good saves today, and was commanding throughout, obviously couldn’t stop the penalty or the second goal.
Yedlin – 7. Regretfully, he was probably Newcastle’s best attacking outlet.
In a side playing with a flat back five, I think that is pretty damming of how the tactics went today. When he did find the ball, he was often too deep in his own defence to be able to have any impact on the game.
Provided a great assist for Joselu, along with a great elbow in Giroud’s face too. Just a shame we had to wait to go 1-0 down before he found himself high enough to have an impact.
Clark – 6. Didn’t do an awful lot wrong, although I think it should be noted that Chelsea did have quite a few chances.
Newcastle rode their luck at times, and although I like Clark, he doesn’t offer the same presence, or look like as good a player, without Lascelles by his side.
Schar – 6. I wasn’t too impressed by him if I’m honest. Gave away the penalty, and although I don’t think it was a penalty, it wasn’t great defending from him nevertheless.
A difficult debut though – could be a decent signing I think.
Fernandez – 7. A big lad that’s for sure!
My pick out of the three centre halves. Looked quite commanding and quite comfortable at this level.
Dummett – 5. Nice to see him captaining the side!
I don’t know if it is harsh to give him one rating less than Schar or Clark but I just think he needs to offer more going forward. Whether he can or not is probably out of his control, I know that.
When you play with five at the back, both of your wing backs are going to be key if you are going to score a goal, I think that is an area in which we were weak today.
Diame – 7. The only Newcastle player who attempted to put some serious pressure on Chelsea players when they had the ball.
Broke up the play when he could, or at least attempted to! Maybe not going to be the powerhouse going forward like he was in the second half of last season but will be a useful player for sure.
Ki – 7. Probably my man of the match, along with Diame. Tried his best to get forward when he could and did a good job defensively up against Kante and Jorginho. A promising debut.
Ritchie – 6. Was quiet today, although I suspect going forward, like Murphy, he was severely restricted by the tactics placed on the squad.
Murphy – 6. Still yet to do it in a Newcastle shirt.
Difficult for a player who relies on his forward play so much, to have an impact on a game in which he spends most of his time camped just outside his own box.
Rondon – 6. Admired his work rate and he did ok!
That is about it really. He won’t be judged on games like today though. When the nitty gritty games come against the teams around us, we will be relying on him to chip in with a goal… or two.
Joselu – 8. For the header alone!
A superb goal which will do his confidence the world of good. I don’t think many would have predicted he would start the season off with 2 goals in 3 games.
Perez – N/A. Not on long enough to judge.
Muto – N/A. Not on long enough to judge (Disappointed he wasn’t given a chance behind Rondon today).
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 1 Chelsea 2
Chelsea: Hazard 76 (Pen), Yedlin 87 (OG)
Possession was Chelsea 81% Newcastle 19%
Total shots were Chelsea 15 Newcastle 6
Shots on target were Chelsea 3 Newcastle 2
Corners were Chelsea 5 Newcastle 4
Referee: Paul Tierney
Dubravka, Yedlin, Schar (Muto 79), Fernandez, Clark, Dummett, Ritchie, Ki, Diame, Murphy (Perez 73), Rondon (Joselu 62)
Darlow, Sterry, Longstaff, Atsu
Crowd: 51,791 (3,200 Chelsea)
(Alan Shearer finds result a ‘sickener’ – Read HERE)
(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Newcastle 1 Chelsea 2 – Read HERE)
(Was Rafa Benitez right to use such negative tactics considering players he had available and quality of opposition? Vote HERE)
(Rafa Benitez gives post-match update on Shelvey and Lascelles injuries HERE)
You can follow the author on Twitter @JonathanComyn