'Incredible talent': Joe Willock shines in combative Newcastle United midfield – Liam Kennedy's half-time player ratings

Newcastle United lead at the break by one goal to nil – do you even need to ask who scored it?

Sunday, 23rd May 2021, 4:55 pm
Joe Willock of Newcastle United scores their sides first goal whilst under pressure from Tosin Adarabioyo of Fulham during the Premier League match between Fulham and Newcastle United at Craven Cottage on May 23, 2021 in London, England.
Joe Willock of Newcastle United scores their sides first goal whilst under pressure from Tosin Adarabioyo of Fulham during the Premier League match between Fulham and Newcastle United at Craven Cottage on May 23, 2021 in London, England.

The Magpies’ man of the moment Joe Willock was again on hand to tuck home the opener on the final day, making it seven in seven, eight in total and equaling Alan Shearer’s consecutive top flight goalscoring record in black and white.

Here’s how our writer Liam Kennedy scored the opening 45...

Martin Dubravka – 6

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Very little to do, bar watch a few long-range shots sail past his posts. A quiet afternoon for the Euros-bound keeper.

Jacob Murphy – 7

Some strong defensive recoveries and a burst or two forward. Just lacking in a little quality so far.

Emil Krafth – 7

Excellent so far. Has really warmed to the right-hand central defensive role in recent weeks.

Federico Fernandez – 6

Solid enough, even if he has rarely been called into action so far.

Paul Dummett – 6

Has been accurate with his short and long range passing. Gives a perfect balance to the back three.

Matt Ritchie – 7

Full of energy and quality. Is always on the look out for one-twos with the likes of Longstaff and Saint-Maximin. Linking front to back well down the left.

Jonjo Shelvey – 7

Showing a real level of commitment in the last two games of the season and for the first time in a long while is actually putting in the hard yards to justify his selection.

Sean Longstaff – 7

A combative return to the side playing on the left of the central midfield three. Working very hard to keep the Cottagers at bay.

Joe Willock – 7

His run from deep and eventual finish was the one real bit of quality in the 45. Incredible talent and has levelled Alan Shearer’s Newcastle record of scoring in seven consecutive Premier League games.

Miguel Almiron – 6

A bit freer in a new forward role. Has closed down and defended from the front well. Still just needs to find that final pass.

Allan Saint-Maximin – 5

Nothing working for him today. Everyone has those kind of afternoons. Has gifted possession away too often in poor areas.