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Steve Bruce acknowledges Newcastle United unsung hero as gets crucial decision correct

1 week ago
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Steve Bruce only made one change on Saturday but it proved a crucial one.

DeAndre Yedlin injured and Javier Manquillo coming into the starting eleven.

A bit of a bizarre one really.

Javier Manquillo hasn’t been on the pitch since September and indeed Steve Bruce had totally sidelined the defender, not even naming him in the matchday 18 for nine weeks.

Manquillo isn’t a Premier League first team player but has always shown good commitment when called upon, proving good enough for a limited number of games if playing at his best.

In contrast, Emil Krafth looks a really poor signing and hasn’t showed anything to suggest he can hack it, Steve Bruce seemingly feeling obliged to pick him ahead of Javier Manquillo these past nine weeks or so.

So a major surprise really that Bruce then turned to Manquillo, I bet Krafth wasn’t impressed!

It was arguably the key to the result, as Manquillo put in a great defensive performance against Man City and England’s best player, Raheem Sterling, the full-back not at fault for the opening goal.

Not only that but Javier Manquillo played a crucial part in the final goal, his enterprise in getting up the pitch won the free-kick for Shelvey’s goal and a shameful decision by referee Chris Kavanagh (from Manchester!) not to send Fernadinho off for a clear second yellow.

If Krafth had played then I see no way Newcastle would/could have got anything from the match.

Steve Bruce speaking to BBC Newcastle about Javier Manquillo:

“He (Javier Manquillo) was terrific.

“Fair play to him.

“He has found himself, in the last few weeks, you know, not involved.

“But I just thought against Raheem Sterling…his pace, his attitude and his defensive work, was probably right (to select him).

“It was a big call because Emil (Krafth) is chomping at the bit.

“But I just think Manquillo’s experience certainly showed.”

Javier Manquillo isn’t great but he is almost certainly Newcastle’s right-back when it comes to defending (Yedlin arguably better going forward), against some admittedly poor competition.

Newcastle’s strange position on allowing so many of the squad to be running contracts down is summed up by yesterday’s game.

The NUFC back five were excellent and yet three of them are out of contract in June – Manquillo and Fernandez set to free agents, whilst no sign yet of Newcastle moving to make Willems’ move permanent.

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 2 Manchester City 2  – Saturday 30 November 12.30pm

Goals:

Newcastle United:

Willems 25, Shelvey 88

Man City:

Sterling 22, De Bruyne 82

(Half-time stats in brackets)

Possession was Man City 77% (78%), Newcastle 23% (22%)

Total shots were Man City 24 (9), Newcastle 6 (3)

Shots on target were Man City 9 (4), Newcastle 3 (2)

Corners were Man City 10 (4), Newcastle 1 (1)

Crowd: 49,937 (3,200 Man City)

Referee: Chris Kavanagh

Newcastle team v Man City:

Dubravka, Manquillo, Fernandez, Dummett, Clark, Willems, Hayden, Shelvey, Saint-Maximin (Atsu 80), Almiron, Joelinton (Gayle 69)

Unused Subs

Darlow, Krafth, Matty Longstaff, Schar, Sean Longstaff

(Steve Bruce makes unnecessary Jonjo Shelvey comments after draw v Manchester City – Read HERE)

(John Stones says Manchester City still very much in title race despite Newcastle’s ‘Two sloppy goals’ – Read HERE)

(Pep Guardiola philosophical as Premier League title hopes end at St James Park – read HERE)

(Watch official match highlights and all four goals from Newcastle 2 Manchester City 2 – Watch HERE)

(Newcastle 2 Manchester City 2 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Saturday’s draw – Read HERE)

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