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Newcastle: Matt Ritchie was shocking

Newcastle United were beaten comfortably by Manchester City on Sunday as Eddie Howe’s team lost 4-0 to the league leaders.

Ruben Dias, Joao Cancelo, Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling scored the goals for the away side as the Magpies struggled to keep the Cityzens at bay.

The Magpies had a penalty shout in the first half after Ederson swept Ryan Fraser off his feet after Cancelo walked away with the ball, but the referee and VAR did not deem it worthy of a spot-kick.

Forget Clark

Ciaran Clark may receive flak for his mistake in letting the ball go over him for Dias’ header, but another player in the back four was shocking on Sunday – Matt Ritchie.

Was Ritchie shocking?

Yes

Yes

No

No

The Scottish full-back came in for the injured Jamal Lewis and did not do enough to make the Northern Ireland international worry about winning his place back. Ritchie was handed the opportunity to show that he deserves to be the first-choice left-back in the side moving forward and failed to grasp his chance.

Defensively, he was shocking. As per SofaScore, he lost three of his four duels on the pitch as he made just one tackle in his 90 minutes on the pitch. He was also dribbled past a whopping three times, compared to Jacob Murphy’s zero at right-back, which shows that he was far too easily beaten by City players when they had the ball at their feet.

Ritchie also failed to switch on at the back post for the fourth goal as Sterling snuck ahead of him to tap the ball into an empty net from Gabriel Jesus’ low cross. He did not anticipate the danger and proactively look to stop the forward from getting into the six-yard box and this led to him being caught on his heels as the England international found himself with a tap-in.

On the ball, he did very little. As per SofaScore, he lost possession 13 times from 44 touches, whilst he also failed with all five of his attempted crosses. He did not create a single chance from full-back or attempt a dribble, showing that he did not make up for his weak defending with attacking quality.

Therefore, the £44k-per-week liability was shocking as he was poor at both ends of the pitch. Howe will surely be disappointed with his display and may potentially be praying that Lewis is back sooner rather than later in that position.

AND in other news, Fewer touches than Dubravka: NUFC lightweight who lost 80% duels let Howe down badly…

Article title: Newcastle: Matt Ritchie was shocking

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