This is the lineup Steve Bruce selected for the disappointing 1-1 draw at Rochdale, including the two substitutions.
Here are our individual player ratings for the match.
Martin Dubravka – 8
- Dubravka had very little to do in the first half. Rochdale managed just 4 shots but none on target. However, Martin was put to work in the second half and made some crucial saves. He made another error, though, when he failed to hold onto a weak Oliver Rathbone shot. He was fortunate that Ian O’Connor hit the post on the follow-up attempt. But he made two world-class saves to keep Rochdale to just one goal.
DeAndre Yedlin – 6
- DeAndre Yedlin was a force down the right flank where he constantly beat his man and put in around 10 crosses. He was unfortunate not to get an assist in the first half on a Yoshinori Muto effort. However, his deliveries sometimes bordered on abysmal. We can’t fault his effort or commitment today, though.
Emil Krafth – 7
- Krafth played well in his first start since September on the right side of the back three. Emil looked very composed on the ball in the first half playing some tidy passes. He struggled with the Rochdale pressure in the second half but held up well considering he’s not a center-back.
Fede Fernandez – 5
- Fernandez was the only natural center-back in our three-man defense. He captained the side for a second time this season. With Newcastle dominating the first-half, he had a relatively easy time of it only being required to make a few clearances. The second half was a different story. Fernandez resorted to hoofing the ball up the pitch too often. He also did not do enough to handle Luke Matheson’s cross to Aaron Wilbraham for the equalizer.
Isaac Hayden – 6
- Hayden started very well on the left side of the back three. He provided excellent cover for Christian Atsu, who played much of the first-half deep in the Rochdale end. However, Isaac faded as the game went on. He was beaten by Luke Matheson, who put in the cross that led to the tying goal. Though Hayden played well overall considering he was not in his natural position.
Christian Atsu – 6
- Atsu was dominant in the first 30 minutes beating his man and putting in lethal crosses. He found Miguel Almiron in the 17th minute for our only goal. However, Rochdale brought on young Luke Matheson to solidify their right flank. Atsu was a lot quieter with Matheson on the pitch. Christian also almost gifted Rochdale the winner when he lost possession outside the box. Fortunately, the subsequent effort from Rathbone went wide.
Sean Longstaff – 5
- The elder Longstaff started brightly enough in the midfield. He kept the ball moving and was quick to win the ball when out of possession. However, he significantly faded in the second half and hasn’t shown the form he displayed last season.
Matty Longstaff – 6
- Matty had a similar game to his older brother in that he struggled in the second half. He was excellent early moving the ball to the flanks to start attacks. However, the 19-year-old failed to do enough to keep possession in the second half which ended up hurting us.
Miguel Almiron – 7
- It was an excellent goal from Miguel as he nipped into the box for Atsu to find him. His touch and finish were superb. Almiron was one of our best players on the day. He looks much more of a threat playing centrally behind the strikers. Miguel never shirks his defensive responsibilities. He was up and down the pitch and dispossessed Rochdale players a few times. Almiron went off with a groin injury in the 63rd minute, and his energy was a massive loss.
Yoshinori Muto – 5
- Muto didn’t do enough in a golden opportunity for the 27-year-old. It was a second straight start for Yoshinori but he was too quiet in front of the net. He needs to do more to burst into the box and find space. However, it can’t be denied that when he was replaced by Ki, the game almost instantly changed and Rochdale were on the front foot. Hopefully, his hip injury is not severe.
Joelinton – 2
- We didn’t see enough from the Brazilian this afternoon. This was one of his worst performances considering the opposition. His 23rd-minute miss when he had an opening on goal seemed to kill his confidence. Joelinton forced Robert Sanchez into a late first-half save but seemed a disgruntled passenger in the second half. He lost possession just outside Rochdale’s box that led to the break for the equalizer. There has to be growing concerns with Joelinton from inside the club.
Ki Sung-yueng – 4
- Ki came on the 52nd minute for the injured Muto. The 30-year-old failed to make the required impact. It was around the time Ki came on that Rochdale started to get on the front foot. While it was not due to the South Korean necessarily, he just looked off the pace. Like Krafth, Ki hasn’t played since September and that was just his 4th appearance all season. He’s likely to be away this month if any bids come in for him.
Matt Ritchie – 6
- Ritchie came on for the injured Almiron in the 63rd minute. It’ll take him a bit to get back to his old self but we saw signs. He was barking out orders the minute he came on. Ritchie managed a few decent crosses but was unable to stem the growing Rochdale tide.
Who Was Newcastle's Best Player In 1-1 Draw At Rochdale?
- Miguel Almiron (33%, 546 )
- Martin Dubravka (26%, 428 )
- Christian Atsu (15%, 255 )
- DeAndre Yedlin (8%, 139 )
- Joelinton (6%, 96 )
- Matty Longstaff (4%, 61 )
- Matt Ritchie (2%, 37 )
- Emil Krafth (2%, 30 )
- Isaac Hayden (1%, 18 )
- Sean Longstaff (1%, 15 )
- Federico Fernandez (1%, 13 )
- Ki Sung-yueng (0%, 8 )
- Yoshinori Muto (0%, 2 )
Total Voters: 1,648