By Russell Edge

2nd Dec, 2017 | 2:21pm

'Abysmal', 'Just spectating' - Newcastle fans rage over firm favourite's display v Chelsea

Newcastle United fans were left raging on social media over the performance of midfield maestro Mikel Merino in the Magpies’ clash against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

The north east side went in at half time 2-1 down to the Blues, despite having taken the lead through Dwight Gayle, with Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata netting to turn the game on its head.

After a bright start from Rafael Benitez’s men, Thibaut Courtois blocked a close range effort from Jacob Murphy only for the ball to fall to Gayle, who poked home into an empty net.

However, Chelsea went on to dominate the first 45 minutes, with the Belgian midfielder and the Spanish striker taking advantage of gaps in the Newcastle defence, and it was 3-1 after Hazard netted a second half penalty.

One man who disappointed the Toon Army was firm fans’ favourite Mikel Merino, who struggled to have the desired impact in the centre of the park against his self-confessed hero Cesc Fabregas.

They took to Twitter to voice their frustrations at what they saw from the 21-year-old, with many questioning whether the role he was employed in by Rafael Benitez was suited for his qualities.

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Here, Football Insider has rounded up a selection of the supporters’ best tweets:

His appearance at Stamford Bridge was the 12th appearance in his Newcastle career, after joining from Borussia Dortmund on an initial one-year loan before it was turned into a permanent deal, with a five year deal signed.

In other Newcastle United news, Danny Higginbotham has pinpointed the Magpies’ failures in recent weeks.

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