For the second game in row Hatem Ben Arfa was Newcastle’s star player with another excellent outing in Newcastle’s colors, but even the Frenchman couldn’t get the goal that would have put Newcastle back on track, although he worked his socks off for the side.
Ben Arfa – in action yesterday
Tim Krul 7
Tim had a decent game and certainly had no chance with either of the two goals, and he made a good attempt to get to Hazard’s penalty and guessed the right way, but the shot from the impressive Belgian was too well positioned. Tim again looked an impressive goalkeeper in the Newcastle goal and has picked up from where he left off last season.
Danny Simpson 5
Danny was okay yesterday before being replaced by Ryan Taylor after 64 minutes, and when he came off and clapped the Newcastle supporters we couldn’t help thing if that was his last game in the black and white stripes of Newcastle. Whether he goes or stays, maybe Ryan Taylor will claim the right back position soon, if Debuchy doesn’t come in. An average performance form Danny boy yesterday.
Steven Taylor 6
Steven had another decent game in London, and wasn’t at fault for the two goals, and we just have to hope he can start to form a long standing partnership with Colo at the back, and this was the first time these two had played together since the Chelsea game at St. James’ Park last December, when Steven did in his Achilles. Steven has started the season in promising form and had a decent game yesterday.
Fabricio Coloccini 6
Had a quiet but effective game in his very first appearance of the season for Newcastle, and it was good to see the captain back in Newcastle colors. This game was lost in the first half, especially with that second goal coming late in the first half, but Colo rallied the troops well in that second half, and with any luck we could have scored some goals. Good to see Colo back in the side.
Davide Santon 7
We thought Davide looked very good on the ball yesterday, and he was looking to go forward all the time, and Davide still has time to become a top full back for the side. He had a good game yesterday, although he’s better at going forward than defending – but so was Jose Enrique.
Ben Arfa 8
Ben Arfa was again the pick of the bunch for Newcastle right from the first kick-off, and this boy again looked majestic on the ball and seemed full of confidence too. The Frenchman also was very determined and kept drifting into the center, where perhaps he could have been more effective for Newcastle yesterday. Worked his socks off for the side, and Ben Arfa has looked great in the first two games of the season. Easily our Man of the Match with 70% of the vote.
Yohan Cabaye 6
Getting into the swing of things, but still didn’t look like the player we know this lad is. Put in a decent shift though, and still trying to get back to full match fitness. Put in a workmanlike performance for the side, before being replaced by James Perch after 77 minutes, and we expect Yohan to improve the more games he plays.
Vurnon Anita 6
Made the mistake of touching Fernando Torres for the penalty after 21 minutes and that changed the game in Chelsea’s favor, but it’s hard to criticize Anita too much, as he tried to get to grips with the pace of the Premier League. A decent enough performance from the Dutchman in the second half, and don’t forget he also played the full 90 minutes on Thursday night in Athens.
Jonas Gutierrez 6
Typical display from the Argentine but couldn’t get any good crosses in or set up the strikers. Jonas does an awful lot of work for Newcastle, but no final cutting pass or cross yesterday, which we really needed in that second half, when a Newcastle goal could have altered everything.
Demba Ba 6
A quiet day for the Senegal man, and he had a couple of chances to score but missed an excellent chance from about seven yards out after 84 minutes that Petr Cech managed to save down to his right – but Ba should have broken the net with his shot. As always he put in a lot of work for the side, and played as a withdrawn striker in the first half.
Papiss Cisse 6
Still coming into match fitness and had another quiet game, but he linked up well with Demba Ba a few times, but Alan Pardew gas to work out how to get the best out of his two Senegal strikers when they play together. Played on Thursday night in Athens so maybe we expected too much from him yesterday. It’s hard to say this when Ba and Cisse were in the side, but Newcastle lacked a cutting edge up front yesterday, and we had some decent chances in that second half, but couldn’t get the all important first goal.
Ryan Taylor 6
Got on for the last 25 minutes or so, and we think Alan Pardew will think of starting this player in our next league games against Aston Villa, simply because he’s a goal threat from any free-kick and we needed a goal so much in that second half. After his excellent permanence in Athens he did well yesterday, but probably needs to start for Newcastle – and maybe at right back in place of Danny Simpson. Ryan is similar in style to Danny but can take those corners, free kicks and throw-ins, and he gives Newcastle that little bit extra - especially in games like yesterday.
James Perch and Gabby Obertan came on too late to be rated.
That’s what we thought of yesterday’s performances, but it’s all subjective of course – how would you have rated the players?
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org