Huddersfield 0 Newcastle 1 – Match ratings of all NUFC players
Huddersfield 0 Newcastle 1 – Saturday 15 December 3pm
We asked Ben Cooper to give us his match ratings after yesterday afternoon’s match.
A vital win for Rafa’s team in this relegation six pointer.
The club now 14th in the table and guaranteed to be six points above the drop zone if Southampton don’t beat Arsenal on Sunday.
Dubravka – 7:
Given the importance of the match, we had to keep a clean sheet.
Dubravka did so and you could argue he deserves a 10 but he didn’t have much to do. A ‘for the cameras’ tip over in the first half and much catching and punching apart for our keeper, it was probably like sitting in a boat surrounded by sharks. All a bit too close for comfort without getting really worrying.
The defence was shaky in the first half and there were a lot of unnecessary corners and throw-ins, so maybe they all could have communicated better. He’s a good keeper though, one of our best players and he wasn’t going to concede.
Manquillo – 6:
Poor first half, better in the second half, but he defended as well as he could throughout.
Huddersfield pushed both wing-backs right back onto the defensive line so United played with at least five at the back for most of the game but that probably suited him more than Kenedy. He got forward once and created a goal for Rondon with a nice cross so all in all he was more Man-quillo than Shan-quillo.
Kenedy – 4:
I can’t remember ever seeing a player look less like he wanted to play a match than Kenedy did.
Pushed back so he was more left back than wing-back, he wanted to be anywhere else. He was probably just making sure that Rafa doesn’t play him wing-back again.
Rafa made him wait until the last minute before taking him off. Served him right, he was awful, they should make him stay in Huddersfield until 2019 so he knows how lucky he is.
Schar – 7:
Shaky first half, gave the ball away a few times and missed a decent chance, but he still defended with guts and did well in the second half.
He is probably our fifth choice centre-half and will no doubt be out of the team when Lejuene and Fernandez are fit but he is reliable cover and he showed it.
He’ll have a headache though, he must have hit the century of headed clearances.
Clark – 7:
He needs to get rid of that guilty look on his face. They had a couple of ludicrous hand ball shouts against him in the second half and if the referee had looked at him he would have given the penalty. Clark’s face looked like he’d caught the ball and thrown it out for a corner.
Like Schar, shaky first half, solid second half, a reliable performer who regularly plays above his perceived ability. Sneaks man of the match and looks guilty for it.
Lascelles – 7:
He’s far from the standard he set himself over the past two seasons’ but he did his job against Huddersfield.
He really struggled with their lone striker/wrestler in the first half but seemed to calm down a bit after clattering the hulk at the end of the first half. Maybe someone told him that although Depoitre was massive, he is also hopeless.
Still, when the ball went into our box it was generally Lascelles who marked him and for that he deserves credit. He’s the captain and he took the responsibility.
He wasn’t great but that counts for a lot in my book.
Diame – 6: Worked hard, ran around, tackled and harried like he always does.
He was pretty bad on the ball but he wasn’t there to be Iniesta, he was just a destroyer. He’s completely one diamensional (sorry) but that was enough against a very big team.
Ki – 5:
Came off for Hayden after about 70 minutes and I never really noticed the difference.
Ki is normally good on the ball but the game completely passed him by. I can’t remember him ever having the ball at his feet but he ran around a lot.
Atsu – (Almost a) 7:
He played quite well considering he normally isn’t very good. The three in midfield seems to suit him as much as it does Diame and Ki and he gives it balance and some attacking intent.
The first twenty minutes of the first half and the first thirty of the second half he played about as well as I have seen him play in the PL for Newcastle. He put Perez through for his (not) offside goal, had a couple of other shots on target and defended as well as could be expected. As long as Rafa plays this system, I think Atsu has a chance of contributing.
Perez – 6:
Had a hand in the goal, set Atsu up with a chance and scored a goal incorrectly ruled as offside, so played his part in the only decent moves of the game.
Before that, when he took the kick off at the start of the match, that might have been the only time he touched the ball.
United never really got going in attack so it was never going to be his day but he worked his cojones off again, he was better than any of the Huddersfield attackers as well.
Rondon – 6:
Before his goal he showed all the enthusiasm of someone who had been asked to chase lost causes in the freezing cold against some massive defenders.
On hand to take his chance and took it well, one chance and one goal.
Like Perez, Rondon worked hard in what was really just an exercise in chasing the ball around a pitch.
Didn’t look happy to come off with ten minutes left but looked happier when he realised Joselu wasn’t coming on.
Hayden, Ritchie and Dummett not on long enough to judge.
Stats from BBC Sport:
Huddersfield 0 Newcastle 1
Newcastle: Rondon 55
Possession was Huddersfield 76% Newcastle 24%
Total shots were Huddersfield 15 Newcastle 8
Shots on target were Huddersfield 5 Newcastle 5
Corners were Huddersfield 10 Newcastle 1
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Dubravka, Manquillo, Schar, Lascelles, Clark, Kenedy (Dummett 89), Ki (Hayden 72), Diame, Atsu, Rondon (Ritchie 81), Perez
Woodman, Joselu, Muto, Murphy
Crowd: 24,036 (Newcastle 2,400)
(Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer, United behind Rafa Benitez ahead of Mike Ashley selling Newcastle United – Read HERE)
(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the win HERE)
(David Wagner can’t believe that Huddersfield lost to Newcastle – Read HERE)
(Rafa Benitez warns after Huddersfield 0 Newcastle 1 “If you ask about referees I won’t say anything” – Read HERE)
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