Newcastle 1 Watford 0  – Saturday 3 November 3pm

We asked Lewis Jones to give us his match ratings after this afternoon’s match.

Newcastle winning 1-0, their first victory since May, a very long six months.

The club now crawling out of the Premier League relegation zone, even if only temporarily.

Dubravka 8 – Instrumental to this win.

Bizarrely, in the end he didn’t actually make many saves, despite the number of chances Watford created. However, much of this was down to Dubravka’s command of the box and sweeping behind his defence. Quick off his line to narrow angles and make it difficult for the opposition.

I don’t think there is any way Newcastle would have won this game with Elliot or Darlow, the Slovakian gives the defence a confidence not seen for many years.

Yedlin 6 – The full-back kind of sums up Newcastle United overall. He has some big strengths but massive weaknesses and we saw both clearly in this game.

You won’t need telling that pace is easily his biggest asset and he prevented a first half one on one by giving the Watford attacker a five yard start but catching him within 20 yards.

Regularly caught out of position and not the greatest defender on the ground and especially in the air. Nevertheless he does give this Newcastle team a lot at times, often looking the biggest threat going forward, in a team that struggles badly to hurt the opposition.

Fernandez 8 – Yet again Newcastle’s best defender and arguably top player overall on the day.

He and Lascelles are quite similar in terms of their strengths and weaknesses, not a lot of pace between them. However, the Argentine is steady as a rock and won everything in the air as well as some crunching tackles. He looks a key player to our chances of survival.

Lascelles 5 – Whether the injury that eventually forced him off was bothering him, I’m not sure. However, not a great first-half as Watford dominated and cut through Newcastle with ease at times.

Dummett 5 – As usual, nothing to contribute going forward.

As for defending, he stuck at it as usual but struggled against the pace of Watford’s wide men, lucky to not get booked as he blocked off/grabbed his opponent as they threatened to get away.

Shelvey 5 – Maybe the injury was bothering him or possibly, it was simply the fact that his passing game is looking increasingly redundant with so little movement and targets to hit in the team. His combination with Diame was at the heart of Newcastle’s run of form earlier this year but equally, they are now failing to win the midfield battles so far this season.

His main weakness is that he isn’t a midfielder who can run with the ball and really comes into his own when having a decent team around him and quality/pacey forwards to pick out. Despite his lack of goals last season, the absence of Gayle has hit Shelvey.

Diame 5 – A yard (or more…) slower this season as compared to his golden run of form post-new year.

The opposition hated him back then as he was in their faces and constantly breaking up play. This season he isn’t getting there in time and when asked to contribute himself with the ball, invariably lost possession yesterday.

Ritchie 6 – Can’t really remember him creating much, if anything.

This was more a day when just his constant workrate means he deserves his place in the team.

Kenedy 6 – Had one effort blocked in the first half but it was his defensive play for once that stood out.

He got back to prevent what looked a certain goalscoring chance at 1-0 up, an intervention that he had no right to make. His critics often question his commitment but that certainly couldn’t be aimed at the Brazilian on this occasion.

Muto 4 – Finding it difficult to get into games and often chooses the wrong option, regularly losing possession.

Not helped by a team that is so static and doesn’t support whoever is in possession. Newcastle yet to find a way to take advantage of his pace.

Rondon 5 – Clearly not match fit but Rafa finding he had no alternative with the likes of Perez and Joselu so poor.

Mobility isn’t his biggest asset anyway and only half fit that is even more apparent. Did ok when allowed to use his strength and some good defensive headers as Newcastle came under pressure.

Any striker isn’t going to find it easy in a Newcastle side that creates so few chances, so even more important that he should have scored to confirm the win, when a cross left the Watford keeper in no man’s land but the on loan striker put his header tamely wide.

Perez 6 – Proved to be the match winner and his overall play was marginally better coming off the bench.

He still embarrasses himself though by constantly falling to the floor theatrically, lying there waiting for a free-kick that rarely comes.

Ki 8 – Did everything that Shelvey and Diame failed to do.

Constantly showing for the ball and had a willingness to keep possession and carry it/work it up the pitch.

We also saw an actual one-two on the edge of the box! I can’t remember the last time a central midfielder even tried one.

Ki swapped passes and went for the return, it could have been a penalty but instead a free-kick which he whipped in and Perez did the rest.

Schar 7 – Has had very limited opportunity and indeed played more minutes for his country this season than for the Magpies.

As outlined above, Lascelles and Fernandez are big assets in this relegation fight but too similar to be a perfect fit.

Schar and Fernandez looked very good together and the Swiss defender clearly improved Newcastle’s options when playing the ball out of defence.

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 1 Watford 0

Goal: Perez 65

Possession was Watford 58% Newcastle 42%

Total shots were  Watford 16 Newcastle 10

Shots on target were Watford 1 Newcastle 2

Corners were  Watford 9 Newcastle 8

Referee: Craig Pawson

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles (Schar 45), Fernandez, Dummett, Ritchie, Diame, Shelvey (Ki 51), Kenedy, Rondon, Muto (Perez 45+2)

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Joselu, Manquillo, Atsu

Crowd: 49,157 (Watford approx 1,500)

(Thousands of Newcastle fans didn’t miss much apart from a win! – Read HERE)

(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Newcastle 1 Watford 0 – Read HERE)

(Javi Gracia can’t believe how his Watford side didn’t win, never mind get beat – Read HERE)

(Graeme Swann video message for Rafa Benitez after Newcastle win – See HERE)

(Charlie Nicholas dissects Newcastle 1 Watford 0 – Read HERE)

(Rafa Benitez post-match verdict – Read HERE)

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  • Toontaff

    Dummett 5????????? The chances in the first half all came down our right, due to Yedlin’s poor defensive positioning, along with Ritchie’s windmill impersonations. If he used his legs as much as his arms and gob, he’d be a star! Gave up chasing his man on one chance in the first half, shown on MoTD highlights. Ritchie has developed the ability to hide in plain sight. Dummett never gets the credit he deserves from some. He has to cover for Yedlin from corners, due to Yedlin’s lack of aerial ability, too.

    • Vince Humble

      Too true,see my comment

    • Wor Lass

      It`s hilarious isn`t it – Yedlin`s OK because, although he can`t defend too well, he`s great going forward but Dummett, who is an excellent defender, gets panned for lack of contribution going forward? What`s the prime job of a defender and why is it that we aren`t on a minus 20-odd goal difference?

      • Philippines

        I repeat what I have said before… develop Yedlin as a striker. Supermac started as a fullback.

        • Mike D

          He might be a better winger. I wonder if Ritchie would be a better full back.

        • Kneebotherm8

          If half as good as Supermac it would be a great switch….

        • Martin

          On the basis that Steve Howey started as a striker perhaps we could swap for Rondon or Joselu who we could try out at the back?

  • Vince Humble

    Harsh on Dummet,he is steady and reliable and the defence looks frail when he doesn’t play.Not flash but his contribution should not be underestimated

    • Wor Lass

      If they can`t have a go at Perez then Dummett`s the usual standby.

    • Big Al 1967

      The primary job of a defender, surprisingly to some it seems, is to defend which IMHO is what Dummet does well.
      The creativity should come from the front six which is where we will continue to struggle big time unless the fat man invests in January. Might see Pigs fly first but you never know!!

  • Wor Lass

    I only saw brief highlights on MoTD so it`s difficult to comment but it sounded like Ki had a real impact and Dubravka seemed to have a real authority in the area. He`s been a great buy. It really kills the Mag when they can`t have a proper go at Perez but then they`ve always got Dummy to fall back on.

    • Kenny

      Both Lascelles & Shelvey were carrying knocks going into the match.
      Dummett for me is always in the starting 11

      • Tony English

        100% agree with you on Dummett Kenneth.
        The criticisms of him are often ridiculous.
        His work ethic is massively important to the team.


    That’s a fairly accurate assessment of the players yesterday.

    However, like others I disagree about your view of Dummitt. He’s not a ‘flash harry’ flying down the wing but when he is there he is probably the best crosser of a ball into the opponents penalty box. He is very understated. He does his defensive job, which is his prime role, very well.

    I do agree with you about Shelvey. He needs runners up field. The loss of Gayle has really cramped his style. Yesterday it we saw a different way of playing in midfield with Ki. He used quick neat balls, on the ground, to players close by instead of the long rang speculative Hollywood balls of Shelvey. When they come off they look fantastic but how many come off in a game ?

    Ki, Schaar and Muto need to start our next game.

    • Philippines

      On the difference between Shelvey and Ki, reminds me that Brian Clough drummed it into his players to play the ball along the ground, foot to foot. Obviously there must be exceptions to that. If you are too young to know who Brian Clough is, look on Wikipedia. He took a NUFC “Hoyoot”, Frank Clark at the age of 34, then coached him to two wins in the European Cup with Notts Forest.

      • MAGCYP

        Interesting you mention Frank Clark because he was very often outshone by David Craig a much more cultured fullback and at the time the pair were playing who would have thought that Frank Clark would become the more influential.

        In the old days, a high ball was often the only route forward when the pitches were nothing more than a muddy swamp where the bell frequently got stuck. But today the game is played on the floor, thank heavens.

        I’m wondering whether Shelvey is a throwback to an earlier footballing age. Certainly when you compare the football that the likes of Man City play it is far removed to our play this year. We have played far too many high and often hopeless balls.

    • csh

      Agree with starting Muto, disagree with the low marks given to him in this article though. Watch his movement off the ball, also see how he chases lost causes, on a couple of occasions turning a hopeless ball into a good one. This lad will only get better in my opinion.

  • Kenny

    Jonjo is a conductor without an orchestra,
    He can play long or short but he’s 2 steps ahead of the strikers, we won’t see the best of him until the striker situation is sorted
    If he had a Demba Ba or a Logic Remy in front of him we wouldn’t be where we are.
    one day the clowns at Newcastle may twig onto that fact but I won’t hold my breath on it.

    • panther

      They know, just too tight to buy a pint of milk

  • Ba ba.

    Disagree with the Kennedy, Diame and dummy marks …. Did you not watch the second half?

  • Simon Ritter

    I’ve listened to every minute of every Toon match on BBC Newcastle this season but today was my first Match of the Day encounter. Heavily edited micro-highlights are a poor substitute for spectating but they clearly show nearly every Premier League squad has improved since May. Clubs we once mocked are miles ahead of us in ability, individual skill, flair, attacking potential. We will survive only if the players stick together, work their socks off and use their brains. Here’s hoping

  • Wezza

    5 for Diame was a bit harsh. He looked good when Ki came on especially.

    No trolls today, the Lee Brothers must be working at s*****e Di****t

    • Toon Arnie

      I thought Diame was rubbish but there again I thought Muto played quite well and Dummett did ok but they scored poorly. All about opinions I suppose.

  • panther

    Think I might have bumped into the lift botherer,pointed out supermacs not a Geordie he went mental, and thinks Shearer played for Leeds

    • Kneebotherm8

      He’s obviously mentally deranged…..