Newcastle 0 Leicester 2 – Saturday 29 September 3pm
We asked Kevin Christie to give us his match ratings after Saturday’s match…
A shocker of a match. Blunt, toothless performance where we weren’t even one-dimensional.
Our only shot on target was from inside our own half!
Cardiff and Huddersfield are down already but it’s hard to see another team that will struggle as badly as us.
Things are looking grim. Or are they? Step forward, Peter Kenyon….fingers crossed!
Dubravka – 6. Dependable as ever. Had a decent first half, making a few routine saves and was very unlucky on the penalty.
Did really well to read the danger early to prevent a 1 v 1 with Vardy early in the first half.
Yedlin – 5. Defensive side of his game never convinces and doesn’t contribute enough going forward.
Offered neither security nor a threat today. At fault for the penalty. Was possibly not fully fit.
Lascelles – 6. His usual reliable self. A few important clearances and interceptions along the way.
Positioning is always sound. Couldn’t do much to help avoid this defeat.
Clark – 6. Calamitous at times but did quite well overall.
Easily beaten a couple of times as Leicester’s forwards tied him in knots but also got in some useful clearances and made one great block to deny a certain goal near the half-hour mark. Fernandez is a far better option though.
Kenedy – 5. Looked surprisingly solid on the defensive side of things, especially in what was an assured first-half performance.
Never really threatened going forward though bar the odd run to set us away on the break.
Didn’t really manage any overlapping runs either. Atsu needed more support if we were to get any joy down the left.
Ritchie – 6. Tenacious and determined as ever – God only knows why Rafa keeps on hooking him so early.
One top quality ball into the box early in the first half, a carbon copy of his assist for Joselu’s goal against Spurs, but nobody was there to take advantage.
Always eager to get involved and try to make things happen. Put in a good defensive shift today too.
Shelvey – 5. Overly-eager at times today and sent countless aimless long balls forward to gift possession back to Leicester but, to his credit, at least he was always looking to make things happen.
Got through a decent amount of unseen defensive work with little touches and interceptions preventing further danger but just couldn’t get his forward game going properly this afternoon.
Showed great vision and quick thinking to try and lob Schmeichel from inside our own half – was unlucky that it didn’t come off!
Diame – 4. Another pitiful performance. Is a total liability at this stage.
Dispossessed time and time again and always ran into trouble whenever he did try to press on.
Crucially, missed a free header at 0-0 with the goal at his mercy after Atsu whipped a great cross in. Needs a spell out of the side ASAP.
Atsu – 6. No end product but at least he put a shift in.
Brilliant cross in for Diame header that should have put us a goal up.
Worked hard today and tried to make things happen but ran into trouble or got crowded out more often than not.
Could have done with more support from Kenedy and Ayoze as he seemed isolated a lot of the time.
Ayoze – 5. Poor again. One fantastic through-ball for Joselu early in the first half but offered very little apart from that.
Ran into trouble, misplaced a few simple passes, struggled to support team-mates.
Could do with a spell on the sidelines but is one of Rafa’s favourites for some reason. Difficult to imagine that we couldn’t have signed Maddison ourselves if we had made a move for him in the summertime.
Joselu – 4. Missed a massive chance when clean through early in the first half and things went downhill from there.
Slow, ponderous and cumbersome, he offered no threat and fluffed a great opportunity to play a through-ball in for Atsu just after the half-hour mark too.
It’s hard not to feel sorry for him with Rondón’s injury now having put him centre stage but he simply isn’t good enough.
Murphy – 5. Took up a couple of useful positions but offered little.
Muto – 5. His usual ineffective cameo appearance.
Manquillo – 5. Not really on long enough to make any impact.
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 0 Leicester 2
Leicester: Vardy 30, Maguire 73
Possession was Leicester 59% Newcastle 41%
Total shots were Leicester 12 Newcastle 6
Shots on target were Leicester 5 Newcastle 1
Corners were Leicester 9 Newcastle 5
Referee: Simon Hooper
Dubravka, Yedlin (Manquillo 80), Lascelles, Clark, Dummett, Ritchie (Murphy 65), Shelvey, Diame, Atsu, Perez (Muto 69), Joselu
Darlow, Schar, Longstaff, Hayden
Crowd: 51,523 (3,000 Leicester approx)
(Video – Absolute disgrace as Mike Ashley sends in his people to take down Rafa Benitez and Kevin Keegan banners – Watch here)
(To read instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the Leicester defeat go HERE)