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


Newcastle: Joselu

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

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Yedlin, Schar (Muto 79), Fernandez, Clark, Dummett, Ritchie, Ki, Diame, Murphy (Perez 73), Rondon (Joselu 62)

Unused Subs:

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

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    How does your Man of the Match get a 7 and the Hos gets an 8.

    • Clarko

      Hos is no man, he is a God.

  • ScreamStevie

    Disciplined performance I thought. With Lascelles, Shelvey and Kenedy not playing, and forced instead to blood new boys Schar, Fernandez and Ki, I expected a bit of a hiding. So 1-2 turned out not too bad.

    The pundits can go on all day about lack of possession and beating Chelsea 3-0 at home last season, but we were already safe then and Chelsea in turmoil with Conte clearly on his way out. It might be good entertainment for neutrals and an easier ride for Chelsea, if Newcastle played an open attacking game, but going down 5-0 does us no favours at this point of the season.

    On another day we could have nicked a draw. It was soft penalty and unfortunate own goal which saw us off. On the other hand a decent goal from Joselu, who just for a bit has silenced his critics.

    • Leazes.


      • ScreamStevie

        Is that you Jamie?

      • SuperDesHamilton

        Because he dared have an opinion?

    • Vodkamagpie

      Just because joselu scored a decent header, doesn’t make him a good striker. He cannot hold up the ball, he is costing us possession of the ball, and irritating fellow teammates

      • ScreamStevie

        If I’m not mistaken, one of the key objectives of a striker is to score and Joselu has done that twice in three games; both decent goals. However I didn’t actually say he was a good striker, I said he silenced his critics for a bit. I’m pleased for the lad in that respect. Whatever else can be said about him, he does try and puts his heart into it. He came in early for training at the start of the season and some on here just took it as an opportunity to abuse him. Pathetic really…

    • Andrew Cowley

      Probably the most sensible post on the game I’ve read.agree with all points.

  • Mike D

    What a miserable spectacle. I’ve had no time for the Hoss but, Shearer would have been happy with that header. Great movement and sweet connection. Must have been a short highlight real.

  • Thomas Tonel

    What a joke of the coach!!! 16% ball possession at home??? WTF is that? Fat spanish waiter JUST GO and take your countryman with you. Would’ya pleaseeeeeee? No more excuses, you are horrible, horrible, defensive minded coach. And yes, Mitro says hi, to you POS!

    • Big Hairy Man


      • Thomas Tonel

        Bro, if your profile pic is you indeed….. YOU ARE some ugly mothef***er!!!

        • Billmag

          Where’s your profile ugly.

          • Thomas Tonel

            you mad bro???

        • Big Hairy Man

          You really are head honcho No.1 [email protected]

    • Billmag

      Get [email protected]@@@@g lost you moron.

      • Thomas Tonel

        Yo’ mama moron….you toothless POS!!!

        • Billmag

          Go and play with the traffic [email protected]@@@r.

          • Thomas Tonel

            WTF? you five?

          • Billmag

            No way gob💩.

          • Thomas Tonel

            dang it!!! its true!

        • SuperDesHamilton

          Go shoot up a school you yank gimp

    • glassjawsh-got-banned

      so long and thanks for the xenophobia…

      • Thomas Tonel

        Bro what you talking about? My mom is south american!!! He just prefers his countryman thats all!!! Thats not xenophobia, if somebody points that fact out!!! you cupcake!!!

        • glassjawsh-got-banned

          lol. Saying “I know/am related to/am friends with a minority, so I’m immune to saying xenophobic things!” is sort of a calling card among clueless (and unintentionally racist) morons.

          • Thomas Tonel

            you mad bro! El grande loco!!! Muy loco!

    • Ram Kishore

      Did you read the interview given by rafa when he answered for the pundits criticism?
      Yes the match wasn’t lively and it was hard to watch but had we opened up and played we would have definitely been battered and we missed 3 of our regulars.

    • Sadly, Fulham spent and got much better players going forward. We don’t.

  • Billmag

    To early I think to make a call on schar it’s the lads first game in the Premier and against one of the top 5 teams in the League.

    • Down Under Mag

      It’s never too early to write a new player off at this club lol

    • mentalman

      You could tell it was the first time the three cb’s had played together and i would suspect that they arent that used to playing as a 3

      • Tony English

        Schar has played right of a three for a fair portion of his career, and I would imagine that Fernandez, being Argentinian is not unfamiliar with that shape.

  • fistsofsteel2

    Ridiculous to even try to rate the players when we have a manager who stifles their performances, and doesn’t allow them to play football, with his atrocious tactics.
    Might I suggest if you’re going to continue to rate the players performances we’re also allowed to rate the manager. I’ll start it: Rafa gets a 1/10 for the Chelsea game.

  • Mxpx

    So it appears that we have got joselu all wrong looks ok if we fire crosses at him … Wonder why we haven’t done it before since someone must have picked up on this in training

    • ghostrider

      Because Rafa’s emphasis is based on defending and stifling/closing down and Joselu is part of it which takes away his entire attacking game, regardless of whether he’s classed as average.

      Basically speaking he’s generally brought on to close a game out rather than to effect a game on the front foot.

      Yesterday with us having fleeting glimpses of a 3/5/2 from a 5/4/1, it gave him the opportunity to show that he can cause problems.

      It’s criminal not to use the quality of the players we have to create an offensive game just as much as a defensive balance.
      We have the players to cater for it and have a go.
      There is absolutely no need to go into a game with a killjoy attitude.

      • Tony English

        So Joselu scores two and suddenly Rafa tactics are “taking away his entire attacking game” despite the fact he’s scored two?

        Ghostrider the Rafa basher.

        • ghostrider

          Did you watch the game?
          If you did then you know fine well what you saw out there was embarrassment.
          Joselu took his goal well.
          When you go one nil down at home you have to change your embarrassing mindset of backs to the wall.

          Rafa deserves bashing because his football is 90% dire.

          • Tony English

            I did mate. Going forward we were very poor, almost none existent, but I appreciate the quality of the opposition and I understand our limitations, and the fact that due to Rafa’s tactics we will probably go through the season losing games like this to the odd goal, unlike other teams which will get hidings and have terrible goal difference (like last year).

            As well as that, (weirdly) I actually enjoy watching well organised defensive team work and players that give their all no matter how limited they are (I loved David McCreery just as much as I loved Gazza) and unlike Jamie Redknapp, I would not say “this is not football” it is, it’s part of the game.

            My issue with your comment, is all of a sudden you are commenting on Joselu’s attacking game, and that Rafa tactics are taking it away (despite him being on his best scoring run for us).

            Before yesterday you (and most of us) slated Joselu because he didn’t HAVE an attacking game, and criticised Rafa for buying him.

            Either way….Rafa is to blame.

            If Eric Clapton was given a banjo with 3 broken strings, it wouldn’t be his fault if the song was out of tune.

          • ghostrider

            There’s nothing wrong with well drilled defensive work as long as the midfield and forward line is also well drilled.
            As for Eric Clapton and his banjo strings (cough)…Rafa chose his and snapped them to play out of tune.
            Rafa has a perfectly good banjo/guitar he can tune very easily but he choose to snap a few strings.

          • Tony English

            Rafa is shopping for knock off Les Paul copies with bowed necks and buggered electrics in cash converters, Chelsea have the keys to the Fender Custom Shop.

          • ghostrider

            Rafa is not going to be handed large sums of money when he won’t commit. Only a mad man would hand a manager lots of money, who refuses to commit.
            Not even you would do it.

          • Tony English

            We’ve had this discussion before. Up and down the country managers are supported in the transfer market for the duration of their contract, wether they re sign or not. It’s just a handy excuse for Ashley to keep his hand in his pocket….what were the excuses in previous transfer Windows?

            It’s a red herring mate.

  • Lewis SG

    Yes, it’s disappointing. We have seen lesser teams taking the fight against Chelsea and Man City, however from a pragmatic standpoint, I do understand why Rafa has taken this approach.

    This current squad is lacking in confidence, and you can’t bring a team lacking in confidence to attack a stronger team. Sad reality, I do wish that the team could have better fight than this but it is what it is. It’s a relegation battle and any point would count.

    • ghostrider

      But it’s not lacking in confidence at all.
      The season is 3 games old, how can you say we’re lacking in confidence?
      Rafa is sucking the life out of the players and will create that mindset because no player is going to put up with mostly negative football and especially not at home, no matter who it’s against.

      What happened to the days of teams not looking forward to coming to St. James’ Park and the crowd being the 12th man just sucking in a goal?

      This team/squad is much better than it’s given credit for if it’s allowed to be played properly.
      Rafa is stifling the players…literally.

      • Lewis SG

        A winning team plays with confidence, not a team that only ambition is to survive relegation each season.

        What’s the aim of this season? Improve on the 10th spot or to beat relegation? What’s the net spending? Is the transfer spending showing any form of ambition to improve?

        • ghostrider

          The aim is what the manager and the team he assembles/coaches aim for.
          I’m 100% sure that no player goes out to lose, unless they’re corrupt and taking bets.

          You’ll never build confidence by setting your team out to basically defend a 0-0 scoreline.

          The stark truth for most teams in the premier league is to stay in it and try and gain their highest finish.

          West Ham have spent a fortune , as have other clubs outside the elite.
          They are no better than we are…so what’s the issue?

          The only issue I see is in Rafa whining about players and basically belittling them by saying they’re not good enough in his sly ways.

  • Kenny

    You think yesterday was bad, wait until we go to Man City next week,
    take out Lascelles, Shelvey & Kenedy & what do you have, a championship team !

  • Chris-Chapple

    Mitrovich, man of the match, scores 2 hits the post and runs Burnley ragged.

    • ghostrider

      We need a striker like him.

    • Tony English

      Burnley. Struggling Burnley.

      • Chris-Chapple

        so are we and it was a comment not an endorsement of him

        • Tony English

          Your point is he ran Burnley ragged….they already are ragged.

          Innacurate comparison.

          • Chris-Chapple

            go away, you idiot

          • Tony English

            Strong response. Can’t compete with that ferocious level of put down. I bet your dad is bigger than my dad.

  • Tony English

    Unfair assessment of Dummet once again, his strengths outweigh his weaknesses for me.

    In no way is it fair to pick him out as being the worst player in our side.

    • Toontaff

      Ritchie, a forward, was restricted going forward by the tactics, but he expected more from Dummett, a defender! Certain players constantly attract criticism – Dummett and Perez, in particular – Ritchie was pants again, yesterday, but gets a 6??? Did Ritchie actually pass the ball once to a Toon player?

      • mentalman

        With the rumblings over the summer ritchie is probably only in the team as their isn’t a viable alternative

    • SuperDesHamilton

      Look at who’s doing the ratings.

      Based Dubravka ratings the other week off something he heard.

      • mentalman

        I often think he watches a different game if he actually does watch them

        • SuperDesHamilton

          Exactly a think he likes the attention either that or he’s stupid

  • SuperDesHamilton

    Lascelles wanted to play Sweeper & Benitez wanted him to play right of a 3. So our captain refused. Sets a great example that does.

  • Colin Brumwell

    Given ! Our greatest ever keeper ?

  • Desree

    I think Rafa is ready to walk. If he has lost the dressing room then we are doomed to relegation.

    • Tony English

      Lost the dressing room?

      Whatever you think of the tactics and style of yesterdays performance, you cannot think for one second that the team didn’t follow instruction and perform for the manager.

      Whatever the shortcomings of the squad, you can never ever accuse this squad of not playing for Rafa.

  • Phil Yare

    how did murphy get 6? he looks as effective as ali dia

  • Colin Marr

    I think I was one of the few in the ground who cheered when Joselu came on,

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    Often when Rondon won the ball not a player within thirty yards so had to pass back. He needs Perez or someone along side him or he will have no chance. The defence were magnificent and only a dodgey ref undid them.