Chelsea 2 Newcastle 1  – Saturday 12 January 5.30pm

We asked Jonathan Drape-Comyn to give us his match ratings after tonight’s match.

Newcastle losing 2-1 despite a spirited performance which also carried some threat.

The club now 18th in the table after only one win since November.

Dubravka 7 – Hard to tell from the away end whether he was caught too far from his line for the first goal, or whether it was just a good finish.

Made a wonderful save to deny Pedro at the start of the second half. No complaints.

Yedlin 6 – Offered our most potent attacking threat in the first half but atrocious in the second.

Still, not sure why that warrants him being brought off for Manquillo when we are chasing a goal.

Lejeune 8 – Distribution from the back was key when we were put under pressure.

Had a brilliant game and if we can get him back in the line up every week then he will be a real asset.

Lascelles 5 – Doesn’t quite look comfortable on the ball but solid defensively.

Big calls coming up for Rafa because on form, Lascelles is definitely behind Lejeune, Schar and Fernandez.

A strange one. I have no idea what I would do if I was Rafa.

Clark 7 – A great header for the goal. Had a solid game.

Ritchie 7 – Set up the goal and had a good game all round.

However, same argument that I always make is that he doesn’t know whether he is coming or going at left back.

When we play so deep it means that whenever he does get the ball, he isn’t anywhere near the opposition third enough to have an affect on the game. Does not thrive from a back five.

Longstaff 8 – May have looked a little out his depth to the naked eye, but when you consider that he was up against (in my opinion) the best central midfielder in the world by a distance in Kante, plus Jorginho, plus Kovacic, with the best player in the PL behind him in Hazard…

I think he had a really good game that he can be proud of. Would Shelvey and Diame have done any better? I doubt it. Thoroughly well done Sean Longstaff.

Hayden 8 – Was all over the park and showed great levels of fitness and determination.

If he wants away then I would just let him go but there was no sign against Chelsea that he isn’t committed.

Perez 6 – Didn’t do anything good or bad of note.

Impossible for him to have any sort of positive impact on the game under this formation.

Was constantly caught in no-man’s land between pressing the Chelsea defence or backing off and keeping position.

Atsu 6 – Again, another one who had no real positive impact on the game.

Not to blame as we struggled to get the ball far enough up the pitch to do so. A tough game for those attack-minded players.

Rondon 7 – Held up the ball brilliantly, didn’t have much going in terms of chances but really can’t fault him.

Deserves better service around him but considering Mike Ashley has put £50 mil of his own money (according to Rio Ferdinand…) into the side then he can’t complain.

Should really thank him.


Manquillo NA – Not on long enough.

Murphy NA – Not on long enough.


Rio Ferdinand 0 –

Stats from BBC Sport:

Chelsea 2 Newcastle 1


Chelsea: Pedro 9, Willian 57

Newcastle: Clark 40

Possession was Chelsea 66% Newcastle 34%

Total shots were  Chelsea 10 Newcastle 9

Shots on target were Chelsea 6 Newcastle 2

Corners were  Chelsea 8 Newcastle 5

Referee: Chris Kavanagh

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Yedlin (Manquillo 82), Lejeune, Lascelles, Clark, Ritchie, Hayden, Longstaff, Perez (Murphy 82), Atsu, Rondon

Unused Subs:

Woodman, Joselu, Schar, Fernandez, Sterry

Crowd: 40,491

(David Pleat reviews the match HERE)

(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Chelsea 2 Newcastle 1 HERE)

You can follow the author on Twitter @_jonathandc

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  • Tommy

    I thought Lascelles was ok today and it`s an insult to give Perez 6 he shouldn`t be in the team, a lazy player.

    • Tweed Mag

      Perez 4 at best. David Pleat weighed him up in the first half on R5L – “lacked conviction” and something like “lazily lost the ball”. He cannot be blamed for everything, but how long do we have to keep saying the same thing about his performances. No doubt Monk will have him MotM.

      • KRS1

        Any minute now the village idiot will be on telling us Perez kept us up last season.

        • Tweed Mag

          And he cost £2m, a bargain. Thing is he is not worth that now. No consistent improvement.

          • KRS1

            Has the same failings game after game. However as we all know the real problem is the lack of investment, meaning that we are in position where we are pinning our hopes on bargains and loanees

          • fistsofsteel2

            …you can join idiot club too.

          • pedrodelgardo

            You are on the internet calling people names.

        • fistsofsteel2

          You’re another idiot who knows nothing about footy.

          • KRS1

            Are you Perez’s mum or Mongseatons boyfriend? Either way you are prickoftheweek!

        • ScreamStevie

          Which he did

      • Jimmy_toons

        Thing is the FCB won’t be using the club’s money to get anyone better. As much as he infuriates me, we won’t be getting any better, and I just hope he ends this season as he did last season. We’re a car crash.

    • fistsofsteel2

      Idiot again..

      • Tommy

        the only idiot on here is you.

  • Carverlier football

    Watching Through Key’ole. Just worked out who it is. Started swearing vehemently at the screen. Nice to see the house we paid for…

    • Mark

      Who was it FCB?

      • Carverlier football

        Nope, it was more what we were paying him while he was worrying about getting himself fit for England…

    • Leazes.

      Took 5 seconds to get it…. no United shirts to be seen.

      • Carverlier football

        Took me slightly longer. I was going Ryan Giggs at first. I’d got it by the time the shirts came up and yes, I noticed that too haha

      • Toontaff

        Yes there were – Man United!

  • Wezza

    Perez 6? He was the worst player on the pitch and made no effort what so ever while the rest of the team worked so hard!

    FCB just sell the club and let us have our club back so we can look forward to games we.have a chance in!

    • KRS1

      Without signing a new number 10 style player to provide some creativity I think we are going down.

      • Blackburn1066

        We are going down 10 or no 10

      • Wezza

        We won’t be signing anybody.

    • fistsofsteel2


  • 5floorshigh

    would deduct Ritchie at least 3 marks for that short corner in dying seconds

    • fistsofsteel2

      Ritchie is a liability – belongs in the lower leagues. I don’t know how on earth people on here always rate him higher than Perez…

    • Toontaff

      Agree! Honestly wonder if our players have had their brains removed!

  • Waggy

    “Big calls coming up for Rafa because on form, Lascelles is definitely behind Lejeune, Schar and Fernandez”

    Has Rafa got the balls to make the calls ?

  • csh

    It looked to me like Yedlin was struggling with a knock late on, probably why he was hooked. Perez I’d give a 5 and no more, Lejeune looked class and actually made Lascelles look better. Noticed how much less of a threat we were when Ritchie was less involved.

  • Billmag

    I must have missed something Hayden an 8 Jonathan, not for me, Atsu a 6 not for me, Perez a 4 for I don’t really know, Yedlin gets caught out to often and is targeted by opposing manager’s 4.

    • Toontaff

      I think he’s far too busy to watch the game………….

  • Blackburn1066

    Ritchie, why does he have to take every corner because he never gets the ball 10″ off the grass.

    • Alreet

      He should cross it like he can. Give it to dummett, he can whip in a cross

  • Alreet

    We just did nothing of note today. Ritchie has to be put back at right winger not wing back. If kenedy is unfit then Murphy on the left. Perez was appaling coz he was in no mans land. No midfielder to feed off and faced with the likes of kante if he got the ball at all.

    Try better next time but we have to pick up big points against cardiff coz there will be little change from manc and spurs

  • fistsofsteel2

    Perez’s frustration was tangible…he was trying like hell to make something happen, but hampered and handicapped by a Newcastle team half full of footballing illiterates.

    • JohnnyH


      For “trying like hell to make something happen”

      Translate to; loping around aimlessly.

      Would that also be your mate Mike’s team half full of footballing illiterates?

      Why do you always come on as someone else when we’re in the $hit?

    • Tommy


  • fistsofsteel2

    Ritchie is a nugget – far worse than Perez.

    • He is committed and giving his all, but is outclassed on the wing and badly lacking pace.

  • Lascelles needs to drop a few pounds, lacking mobility. Clark has to start every match! I think Fernandez, Clark and Lejeune can do 3-4-3 without wing-backs.
    We need to replace Ritchie with someone faster and who doesn’t take 5 touches before deciding to pass back!
    A left wing-back/winger is a priority if we evrr sign someone in the window.
    I would try Muto Rondon, Atsu and Perez as all out forward players. They have pace and technical ability to make something happen.
    Perez should have done better with that great chance, this should have been 1:1 back then.
    Shelvey and Longstaff would be my choice for midfielders, Longstaff really grew as the game dragged on.

    • Paul Patterson

      When all fit 5,3,1,1

    • ScreamStevie

      Clark is a Championship defender. His defending for the first goal was like something out of Billy Smart’s Circus. I won’t criticize his commitment but he is prone to lapses in concentration and lacks pace. Not good enough for the Premiership.

      • That’s why he needs Fernandez or Lejeune alongside him. Clark is a Premier League player, he’s got the technical ability and can go forward, something Lascelles and many other Prem defenders can’t do.

  • Toontaff

    What summed it all up for me was that atrocious/daft corner at the end – having only seconds left, 4 tall, big lumps, good in the air, in the box, having scored from a corner………brain dead players.

    • Kneebotherm8

      Yup…..unbelievable that was….

  • mentalman

    The rating for these ratings is a big fat 0

  • Kenny

    It seems that Rafa`s £6m clause has now expired, that may explain last months flurry trying to get him to sign an extension.
    The ronnie is still rabbiting on about Almiron & the Kenyon krap.
    Not to worry onward we go to another glorious Cup run starting on Tuesday.

    • Paul Patterson

      Is that contract thing true?

      • Leazes.


  • stigma

    Dubravaka (7) : Except the release of the ball on a cross, he did well.
    Yedlin (5) : A five for me. Did ok during first half but looked exhausted during second one. He is at fault on the 2nd goal for leaving time and space to Willian.
    Lejeune (8) : Our man of the match.
    Lascelles (7) : Defended well against some best attacking players. All he is asked.
    Clark (7) : Did ok too and the goal was a bonus.
    Ritchie (7) : Did what he could going up and down but that last corner kick…
    Longstaff (8) : If it was not Lejeune, he would be my MOTM taking account he faced one of the best midfield players at his age and lack of experience.
    Hayden (7) : Your 8 is a bit generous. Did ok but I think Longstaff was far better.
    Perez (6) : Tried sometimes to complicate life instead of passing the ball.
    Atsu (5) : Half full, half empty but on the positive he made us gain each time 4/5 metres going forward. But the last corner combination, I would go mad if I was Benitez.
    Rondon (8) : Your rating should be above 7. The guy is left alone against Rudiger/Luiz, he got some bricks as passes (our long balls) and he still managed to hold the ball and give the defenders some tough goings. If only there was a better forward next to him…

  • Hughie

    For heavens sake Rafa , permanently drop our 2 weakest links Perez up front and Yedlin as a defender. They both run their socks off to be fair to the lads, but are simply nowhere near good enough as PL footballers. Try playing 4-3-3 and include Atsu, or even Yedlin as a right winger, at least they don’t spend their time whinging to the ref like Perez while falling over, running into opponents, lacking pace, or physicality, and repeatedly taking the wrong option, and Atsu at least stands up and knows where the goal is. Team v Cardiff Dubravka, Manquillo or Schar, Lejeune, Fernandez, Dummett, Shelvey, Longstaff, Diame, Atsu or Yedlin, Ritchie, Rondon. Of this lot Manquillo, Ritchie, Yedlin and Atsu are stopgaps who should be improved upon by Feb. but probably won’t be, and Hayden, Perez, Joselu and Kenedy should be sold/ loan terminated asap to raise a few bob in fees and wages.

    • ScreamStevie

      Drop Perez and use Atsu because he knows where the goal is. Hilarious. Atsu; 7 goals in 81 games. Perez; 37 goals in 177 games (source: transfermarkt)

  • Realist99

    Lejeune gets and 8 for selling himself like a kipper in midfield allowing Hazard to find Willian who then shoots through the gap between Lejeune and the full back.
    Not sure that’s an asset.

  • Policy Research NE

    I like Lejune and think he’s our best CB. However, the mark is over generous, he got caught for the goal and generally looked exposed for pace when we were playing a high line. Also, a bit like Coloccini, he plays a good game but rarely marshalls the defence and organises things.