Newcastle United couldn’t hold off the reigning Premier League champions on Saturday.
Despite scoring the first goal, Newcastle United had no answer for Chelsea, as they lost 3-1 to the Blues at Stamford Bridge.
Dwight Gayle: With Joselu ineffective and Aleksandar Mitrovic not getting a chance, Gayle seems to be the most potent striking option for Rafa Benitez at this time. Just like he did against Manchester United, the target man gave Newcastle a glimpse of hope with an opening goal.
Karl Darlow: In last year’s Championship campaign, Darlow made the miraculous saves, but scuffed the easy ones. While he has allowed five goals in his two starts, he’s also made some huge stops for Newcastle United.
Jacob Murphy: We can all breathe a sigh of relief that signing Murphy wasn’t a bust as some feared when he couldn’t break into the team. The winger is lively and dangerous on the ball.
Florian Lejeune: The center back was poor for Newcastle against a dangerous side and he was exposed. Weak positioning and non-existent physicality.
Matt Ritchie: A poor clearance set up one goal and a foul in the area allowed a penalty goal. Definitely a match to forget for Ritchie.
Mohamed Diame: Abysmal performance. He allowed Chelsea to dominate the midfield and that hurt the club and Mikel Merino’s performance especially.
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-Remember when Lejeune was the steal of the summer window during the preseason? Simpler times. He’s look pedestrian at best for the most part since returning from injury. Maybe he’s still rusty, but not likely.
-Murphy on the other hand is looking better every match. He adds a needed speed element to the wing in place of the pacey Christian Atsu.
– It will be interested to see what Rafa does in goal. Rob Elliot wasn’t incredibly poor, but he didn’t make many noteworthy saves. While Darlow has given up a lot of goals in two starts, but has also kept some surefire finishes out of the net.
-A Merino-Shelvey combination in the midfield is needed. The pair’s offensive ability, especially in distribution, occupies the opposing team’s midfielders and is also a nightmare for defenders.
Newcastle United return to St. James’ Park where they’ll take on Leicester City on Saturday. The Foxes have won two straight and sit 9th on the Premier League table currently.