By Danny Wright
Football Insider rates the Newcastle players for their performances as they sealed promotion to the Premier League with a 4-1 win against Preston at St. James’ Park on Monday night.
Rob Elliot 6 – It’s been over a year since Elliot last made a league appearance for the Magpies and his inclusion in the starting line-up shocked many fans. However the shot-stopper was barely tested throughout the game and couldn’t do a lot about Preston’s goal.
Vurnon Anita 5 – It’s really hard to understand why Rafa Benitez insists on playing Anita when he has DeAndre Yedlin and Jesus Gamez among the ranks. The 28-year-old has not had a good game for the Magpies in a long time and shouldn’t take part in the final two games of the campaign.
Jamaal Lascelles 7 – It was a strong display from the captain who seemed to get better and better as the game went on.
Ciaran Clark 6 – He was unlucky not to get the opening goal when Ayoze Perez beat him to the loose ball. However moments later he could have done better to stop Preston from equalising when he lost out to Jordan Hugill. His passing was also very loose at times.
Paul Dummett 6 – It wasn’t a spectacular display from Dummett, but nor was it a bad one. He did his job well and continued his consistent form that he has showcased this season.
Jonjo Shelvey 7 – The midfielder showed his vision and superior passing ability against Preston throughout the game and proved that he is potentially the best player in the league. Shelvey will be back where he belongs next season – in the Premier League.
Isaac Hayden 8 – The Magpies definitely missed Hayden during his spell on the sidelines and he showed that on Monday when he ran the show in the home side’s midfield. It was his brilliant tackle that sparked the lead-up to Christian Atsu’s goal. Man of the match.
Matt Ritchie 8 – Preston couldn’t cope with Ritchie on the right-wing. His crosses tormented the opposition ‘keeper throughout the encounter and is clearly playing well below his station in the Championship. He took his penalty kick with aplomb to seal promotion.
Ayoze Perez 7 – He showed great reactions to score both of his goals, which were more lucky than anything. Aside from his brace, the Spaniard didn’t do enough to link up the attack and midfield as Newcastle dominated from set-pieces.
Christian Atsu 7 – His pace was a constant threat to Preston and won a number of free-kicks by being too quick for the defender to cope. Whenever he made a mistake he worked hard to win the ball back. His goal was pretty much straightforward but he showed some great movement to open up some space. Benitez should sign him up in the summer.
Aleksandar Mitrovic 7 – The Serbian international posed a big threat to the Preston defence and was very unlucky not to get a goal. He was made to look very good by Ritchie’s brilliant deliveries into the penalty area. Showed great awareness to provide the assist to Atsu’s goal.
Yoan Gouffran (on for Christian Atsu 68min) 6
Jack Colback (on for Jonjo Shelvey 76min) 6
Daryl Murphy (on for Ayoze Perez 83min) 6
In other Newcastle news, the club are in a race to sign this Premier League attacker.