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Opinion

Burnley 1 Newcastle 2 – Match ratings and comments on all the NUFC players

3 weeks ago
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We asked GToon to give us his match ratings and player comments after Burnley 1 Newcastle 2…

Today was an interesting experience.

Interesting in the fact that we aren’t the worst team in the league and we actually don’t play the worst football either.

Quite how that style of football is tolerated by Burnley fans is beyond me. That was, certainly for the first 45 minutes, one horrendous spectacle of long ball, head tennis punctuated by a goal for them and Longstaff nearly having his head kicked clean off his shoulders. Most other teams try and leave a foot in, tap a player’s ankle etc.

Burnley on the other hand realise if they hurt a player’s head then it takes him out of the game they play. It was an obvious penalty for us but I’m guessing the player got away with it as his back was towards Longstaff when he turned and launched his head height clearance. I’m guessing that’s the reason why, of course added to the fact we aren’t one of the top six etc etc. It was funny to see Longstaff awarded a free kick for a high boot in the second half, but that was outside the area, so that’s ok cos it doesn’t lead to a penalty for those terrible northern types.

Their goal was poor from our point of view as we had defenders back: some long ball, their player collects it, gets to the line and crosses it back for someone to tap it in. At this point I would have awarded all of our players zero points. That is based on the fact none of them had done anything worthy of note.

The second half started in the same vein. The claret and blue aerial display team giving our defenders headaches with constant long balls. Dubravka wasn’t commanding his area very well and looked very dodgy at set-pieces, which encouraged them all the more.

Then around the hour mark it all changed. Enter ASM and Wilson. Exit Gayle and the false number nine. Suddenly we started to pass the ball and every single player in our team seemed to increase their effort levels by 50%.

ASM gets to the bye line, rolls it back to Murphy and it’s 1-1.

A few minutes later ASM collects a pass from Shelvey, races unchallenged towards their goal, cuts on to his left and drills it into the bottom corner. Cue a stream of expletives in celebration from this part of Staffordshire. We deserved that goal for trying to play the game properly if nowt else.

The last twenty odd minutes were the usual assault on our goal, with a brief respite when we nearly got number three but some defender who had kicked people all day cleared it off the line for them. Hopefully that win sees us almost safe as Fulham have Man U , Chelsea, Arsenal and Southampton all to play away in their last six. Their game against us is probably too late for them (assuming they would beat us if they played us now).

Marks to players.

As a former teacher I award marks on evidence, not just for turning up, I also start at zero. Contributions earn marks, not just having a nice hairdo.

Dubravka – 5

Didn’t command his area and flapped at too many crosses today.

Murphy – 6.5

Very good goal but didn’t get close enough to their winger.

He’s quick enough to challenge on the player’s first touch and not have to stand off. Their goal was down his side too.

Fernandez – 6

Decent game. Got in the way a lot and could have scored.

Needed to do better with the pull back for their goal though.

Clark – 6

Decent.

He’ll have a headache tonight. Also needed to stop that pull back for the goal.

Dummett – 6

Decent. He’ll have a headache too.

Ritchie – 6.5

At times like this you need seasoned professionals in your team.

He didn’t set the world alight today but I felt he made the right decisions.

Almiron – 7

Didn’t stop running and was unlucky not to score.

He wasn’t amazing today but his effort was just what the team needed.

Shelvey – 6

Great pass to pick out ASM for the second goal.

Towards the end of the game he looked calm and assured and slowed the game down but then again he played in the same way when we were losing!

Longstaff – 6.5

He’ll certainly have a headache tonight.

He was ok today and competed reasonably in a midfield that Burnley tend to bypass. Got forward a few times.

Joelinton – 5

He’s an easy target and I could easily give him less marks without raising any eyebrows.

He contributed very little today but what stood out for me was a ball over the top in the first half. Their keeper came out, got there first but miscues his clearance. Joelinton turns round but just jogs towards him. No urgency, no pressure, nothing.

Gayle – 6.5

Looked sharp around the box, scored one ruled out by VAR and had a deft flick well saved.

With better service he would have scored today.
Subs

Wilson – 6

He didn’t do anything worthy of note but it’s great to see him back.

ASM – 8.5

Vive la difference!

He turned the game in 8 minutes. Burnley couldn’t get near enough to him to kick him (unlike the rest of our team).

His ability to pick out Murphy was excellent when most other players would just cross it into the box. His solo goal was great. Direct, skilful and decisive. Why did he celebrate on his own instead of with his teammates?

Hendrick – N/A (Not on long enough to judge)

Final comment has to go to Bruce. I haven’t read any comments after the game as I went out but I’m guessing there was no mention of “dust” but plenty of “wa big playas are back now “ etc etc. Yeah Steve, we might have won today and maybe we won’t get relegated now, but don’t forget who got us into this position in the first place….

Stats from BBC Sport:

Burnley 1 Newcastle 2 – Sunday 11 April 12pm

Goals:

Newcastle:

Murphy 59, Saint-Maximin 64

Burnley:

Vydra 18

(Half-time stats in brackets)

Possession was Burnley 57% (49%) Newcastle 43% (51%)

Total shots were Burnley 24 (11)  Newcastle 10 (4)

Shots on target were Burnley 4 (2) Newcastle 5 (1)

Corners were Burnley 13 (1) Newcastle 3 (4)

Referee: Anthony Taylor

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Murphy, Fernandez, Clark, Dummett, Ritchie, Shelvey, Sean Longstaff, Almiron (Hendrick 90+30), Gayle (Wilson 57), Joelinton (Saint-Maximin 57)

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Carroll, Willock, Krafth, Lewis, Manquillo

Crowd: 00,000

(Steve Bruce makes it up as he tells Sky Sports about Newcastle winning run after Burnley – Read HERE)

(Burnley 1 Newcastle 2 – A massive relief but a couple of things…Read HERE)

(The Elephant in the room at Newcastle United – Read HERE)

(Allan Saint-Maximin gets emotional after MOTM turn around “I give this win to the supporters” – Read HERE)

(Burnley 1 Newcastle 2 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Sunday’s dramatic win – Read HERE)

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