The one player Rafa Benitez is loath to rotate – and why it was bad weekend for Newcastle striker

Mitrovic didn't get off the bench
Mitrovic didn't get off the bench

Newcastle United enjoyed a comfortable 3-1 over Brentford on Saturday, but who came out of the game with their reputation enhanced – and who had a weekend to forget?

GOOD DAY FOR:

Dwight Gayle celebrates scoring with creator Jonjo Shelvey

Dwight Gayle celebrates scoring with creator Jonjo Shelvey

Jonjo Shelvey was outstanding for Newcastle. Again. The midfielder – who demonstrated his range of passing in a dominant display – had a hand in all three of United’s goals. Shelvey started the season on the bench, but he’s become a fixture in Rafa Benitez’s midfield since then. And he’s one player Benitez is loath to rotate.

BAD DAY FOR:

Aleksandar Mitrovic returned to Tyneside on a high after scoring two goals for Serbia during the international break, but he didn’t make it on to the pitch against Brentford. The striker has started just one Championship game so far this season, and he could have to wait for his next start.

KEY MOMENT:

The first-half save from Karl Darlow, which denied Nico Yennaris, ensured Newcastle took a two-goal advantage into the break. It was important given the nervy and tight home games which had preceded Saturday’s match.