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Newcastle suffered their 6th defeat of the season at the hands of Sheffield Wednesday at the Saint James’ Park on boxing day, and are now at the risk of losing their position on top of the Championship league table if Brighton secure a win against QPR today.
In a match that had the visitors create most chances despite enjoying just a 3rd of the possession, only a goal was enough to separate both sides, and it came from the unlikeliest of sources.
Wednesday’s skipper Loovens, secured his side’s winner – his first goal in over 100 games, and Newcastle couldn’t respond as Keiren Westwood was on the ground to make saves after saves.
How did Rafa Benitez’s charges do in their 4th home defeat of the season?
The goalie kept out the visitors’ threats for as much as he could, making up to 6 brilliant saves, but his heroics weren’t enough in the end as his resistance was finally broken down with Looven’s header.
Caught napping for the 2nd goal as he hesitated to contest the header with Wednesday’s skipper after Darlow’s pushed effort from Lee was sent back into the box by Forestieri’s header.
The only shortcoming he had on the day.
Held his own against the vastly experienced Steven Fletcher, keeping the former Sunderland forward’s threat to the barest minimum.
Also made 103 touches as he tried to link the defence with attack, but it wasn’t enough.
He seems to miss the support of the suspended Shelvey and appeared to lack much-needed creativity.
An early yellow card put him in a precautionary mode for the rest of the game.
Missed opportunities, including a free header to put Newcastle ahead and would be left to rue those lost chances.
Was solid at the back, though. But a world-class defender is known for his goalscoring exploits too.
Was out of all sorts and didn’t do anything noteworthy with the rare chance given him to start in the absence of Jonjo.
Looked match-rusty all game.
Eventually faded after a bright start to the game had looked promising for the Senegal international.
Wasn’t able to carve out any glaring chance all game before being bundled off.
Was no doubt Newcastle’s best outfield player on the night, with his set pieces begging to be judiciously converted.
Played his heart out despite being targeted by Wednesday’s players.
Was obviously the weakest link of Newcastle’s rearguard and seemed nervous against Forestieri.
Had a couple of shaky moments and didn’t look a better choice than Yedlin who could get the nod against Nottingham Forest.
Anonymous display from the French widesman, sending a header way too wide and failing to make any sorts of impact in the final third before being withdrawn.
Hit the upright with a fine effort earlier in the game that had appeared goal-bound and try as he might, he couldn’t see any other clear chance to beat the otherwise brilliant Westwood.
Perhaps, the Ghanaian would have been better off as a starter.
Couldn’t make any influence.