Newcastle 1 Blackburn 1 – Saturday 5 January 5.30pm
We asked Jane Clark to give us her match ratings after today’s match.
A desperate game that has now thrown up a desperate and unwanted reply, only days before the relegation six pointer against Cardiff.
Woodman – 5:
Generally didn’t do too bad and faced the challenge for Blackburn crowding the six yard box on corners.
Lost a point as I felt he was one of those at fault for the goal.
Sterry – 5:
One of the fringe/squad players who did nothing to suggest he is capable of playing in the Premier League.
Schar – 6:
Did alright defensively and hit a mixture of good and bad long passes.
Not helped by the lack of quality in midfield.
Lejeune – 6:
Very similar to his fellow centre-back.
Eight months since his last competitive first team game and looked decent, like Schar he was more comfortable on the ball than the central midfielders in front of him.
Manquillo – 5:
As usual, if Dummett doesn’t play we don’t have a left footed player at left-back.
He has a good heart but little ability, another who is nowhere near good enough.
Murphy – 2:
Managed to be worse than Joselu which took some doing.
The opening 20 minutes Newcastle played it about a little bit and three times the ball went out to Murphy and he was one on one with the left-back who had no cover.
A dream scenario for any winger, especially against lower league opposition, yet he showed no ambition or confidence, a player who seems to be going nowhere.
Hayden – 3:
He has once again said in recent days that he doesn’t want to be here and we could see that today.
Hayden says he will give his best until he leaves but that wasn’t the case today.
Longstaff – 4:
Felt sorry for him today.
Rafa putting out a negative formation and the young midfielder getting next to no help from Hayden.
Should have still done better than this.
Ritchie – 6:
Ran his socks off and must have felt it was a punishment being asked to play in this set-up.
Forced to play most of the match too deep in Rafa’s negative formation but created best chance of first half when his shot outside the box was only parried and Joselu should have scored.
Got his just reward with a cool penalty put away.
Kenedy – 3:
Would love to go through the match with him and ask what he was trying to do.
Given a free role at the start but made zero impact.
Looks like another who is not that interested in being here and/or hasn’t got a clue about what he should be doing.
Joselu – 2:
He and Murphy were liabilities.
Struggled to control the ball and a belting pass from Shelvey that put him in on goal was somehow turned into a crowded out shot from an impossible angle.
God help us if Rondon gets injured.
Shelvey – 7:
His 33 minutes showed he was a class above anybody else on the pitch.
Has to start any game from now until the end of the season in the Premier League. How on earth Hayden played ahead of him against Man Utd is a mystery.
Some of his passing was sublime, just a shame it was the likes of Joselu that these passes fell to.
Did ok in his 15 minutes and at least suggested he was better than this Championship opposition.
Still no end product though.
Has struggled in the Premier League this season but his 10 minutes plus injury time today, at least showed he has a certain level of quality.
For once went direct and dribbled into the box, the penalty looked a little soft but Perez deserved it because of the rare desire he had shown in his run into the box.
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 1 Blackburn 1
Newcastle – Ritchie 84 (Pen)
Blackburn – Dack 56
Possession was Blackburn 46% Newcastle 54%
Total shots were Blackburn 7 Newcastle 19
Shots on target were Blackburn 3 Newcastle 9
Corners were Blackburn 8 Newcastle 7
Referee: Kevin Friend
Woodman, Manquillo , Schar, Lejeune, Sterry, Ritchie, Longstaff (Perez 80), Hayden (Shelvey 57), Murphy (Atsu 75), Kenedy, Joselu
Harker, Clark, Yedlin, Rondon
Crowd: 36,440 (3,000 Blackburn)
(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction HERE)
(Rafa Benitez “A replay is bad news” – Read HERE)