Allan Saint-Maximin and Joelinton shine for Newcastle United – Liam Kennedy's half-time player ratings

Newcastle United have opened up a two-goal half-time lead in a dominant opening 45 at St James’ Park as they look to put considerable daylight between themselves and the Premier League bottom three.

Saturday, 17th April 2021, 1:19 pm
Players of Newcastle United observe two minutes of silence prior to kick off in memory of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and West Ham United at St. James Park on April 17, 2021 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

A Joelinton strike and an own goal from Issa Diop has put United in front, while Craig Dawson has also been sent off for two bookable offences.

Here’s how Newcastle United writer Liam Kennedy has marked the players on the first 45...

Martin Dubravka – 7

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Picked up where he left off against Burnley. Confident on crosses. Little to do in the way of saves.

Jacob Murphy – 6

One strong, low strike in the opening 45. Has got forward more as the half wore on. A little wasteful when in good positions.

Federico Fernandez – 7

Looks much more like his old self. Very solid on the right of the back three.

Ciaran Clark – 6

Has coped well with the aerial assault from the Hammers, who are strong from set pieces. Much-improved.

Paul Dummett – 6

Distribution again a little rusty but has been a pillar of strength on the left of the tree after a ropey 90 down at Turf Moor last Sunday.

Matt Ritchie – 6

Is a constant threat down the left and has done some very good defensive work to blunt the West Ham threat down the right.

Jonjo Shelvey – 5

Looked bang up for it early on but was booked then his performance really dropped off. Has gifted the opposition the ball too often.

Sean Longstaff – 6

Working hard in the middle, as ever. Has been a catalyst for United’s improvement in recent weeks.

Miguel Almiron – 7

Some energetic running in the Newcastle midfield. Much more involved than he was against Burnley.

Allan Saint-Maximin – 9

Excellent. Done everything but score. This is the version of ASM that strikes fear into defenders. On this form he is unplayable. Interesting to see how long he lasts, mind.

Joelinton – 7

A goal and a good show from the Brazilian. Strong and physical as the focal point of the frontline. And was the reason Craig Dawson got his marching orders. Tucked home another goal, too.