29 members had their say on this match, although loads of you didn't use the 'proper' (my) order so i edited all your posts to sort it out, a special well done to TRL who forgot that Sissoko existed .
Unsurprisingly, after our much lauded defensive masterclass, the back 5 receive the best ratings, Yanga M'Bwia collects the MOTM showing us why Colo won't be such a big miss over the coming weeks. Struggling to retain possession or have much effect going forwards, the midfield/attack scores are a lot lower, with our dismal wingers picking up the worst of the lot; Obertan picks up mug of the match, with Marveaux next in line.
Elliot - 7.40
He didn't have too much to do, but when he was tested, he was up to the challenge. Dealt with some awkward back passes and a tricky surface well, and pulled off two excellent stops to keep us at level pegging in the tie.
Simpson - 7.38
Brilliant performance, especially in the first half when a lot of the team were below par. Superb defensively, keeping his winger shackled, resulting in little to no threat down their left all evening. Wasn't the greatest going forward, but was good in comparison to his usual level. Kept the ball on the floor surprisingly well, and one of the only players to consistently complete passes on the night.
Perch - 8.14
Immense at the back, beat the much taller Traore to pretty much everything in the air, his positioning was spot on, he showed excellent reading of the game, he mopped up well at the back and made a few of his trademark crunching tackles for good measure. When shifted into midfield late in the game, he didn't let his performance drop, dealing with everything there too.
Yanga M'Biwa - 8.86 MOTM
Looked like a veteran in our defence rather than a new arrival. Nothing was getting past him on the day, his timing and positioning were spot on halting every single attack in his vicinity. Covered for Haidara down the left superbly, completely outpacing anyone who tried to run in behind with the ball. To top it off his passing was excellent as well, although if there was any criticism of his game its that he looked a little weak in the air, but having handled Traore well, that's a minor gripe.
Haidara - 7.55
A good performance from our inexperienced new signing, was solid defensively for the main part, but got caught out a couple of times, and a rash challenge earned him a booking. Tidy in possession, he also contributed a little going forward, and should put pressure on Santon if he keeps it up
Anita - 6.91
Mis-hit quite a few passes in the first half, but improved in the second. Didn't contribute much going forward, but retained possession well and protected the back four with some important tackles. Deserves more playing time.
Cabaye - 6.53
Not the best of performances from our captain on the day, we didn't see enough of his usual play-making and was unable to provide the creative spark he usually does. He failed to calm things down and retain possession at times, but defended well, he looked lethargic as the game wore on.
Marveaux - 5.09
Completely anonymous for large parts of the game, he was sloppy in possession and gave the ball away too much. He showed a couple of glimpses of quality, but they were few and far between, looks like he wants to be playing in the middle.
Sissoko - 6.36
Didnt play up to his own high standards. He made a few good runs and was involved in the occasional bit of good passing but he was caught in possession disappointingly often and drifted in and out of the game, unable to exert his usual influence perhaps due to not having a striker to play off. He's beginning to show he's not an attacking mid, a great player but perhaps lacks some of the creativity required to operate in his current role.
Obertan - 4.40
With an atrocious first half performance Obertan gets TFI's Mug of the match. He gave the ball away cheaply, was slow to react to play, played awful first touch flick ons to no-one, and failed to effectively track back. He was noticeably improved in the second, actually looking dangerous going forwards, and being involved in a lot of our good attacking moves, recovering the ball well after we'd lost it, but that didn't make up for a shockingly bad first 45.
HBA - 5.40
He was noticeably rusty after a long layoff, and you could tell he was playing out of position, and didn't do that badly considering that. However he tried too much too often, had a poor touch and was regularly caught in possession. He did look dangerous at times, especially when he dropped deeper, and he could and maybe should have scored. Good to finally see him back though.
Saylor - 6.48
He came on and maintained our defensive solidarity, didn't do anything outstanding but nor did he put a foot wrong.
Managed to somehow annoy the ref and concede cheap fouls for next to nothing quite regularly. Didn't do anything of note himself, but the players behind him seemed to improve since he gave the team a proper focal point in attack. Looked knackered after about 5 mins, although hats off to Shola for once again putting NUFC ahead of his own health by playing on a pitch he knows he shouldn't.
Not really on for long enough to contribute meaningfully, didn't let anything by him, maintained the lockout.
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