In an end-to-end contest that threatened to go either way, Newcastle United were held to a 1-1 draw by Leeds in the Premier League on Friday evening.
Steve Bruce’s side went toe-to-toe with the Whites for the majority of the contest, and having gone a goal down to Raphinha, showed enough resiliency and attacking intent to equalise through Allan Saint-Maximin’s superb solo strike.
But while the Frenchman once again was the Magpies’ main source of inspiration, Javier Manquillo’s outstanding display at right-back should be widely recognised too.
The Spaniard had the unenviable task of having to stop Leeds’ big-money signing on transfer deadline day, Dan James, and he more than held his own against the fleet-footed winger.
As per Sofascore, he won a monstrous 13 duels on the night, by far the most of any player on the pitch, constantly getting touch tight to James and not allowing him to use his pace in behind.
It was no surprise he also made a game-high seven tackles too, while he also completed 100% of his dribbles and earned himself two free-kicks too.
And, writing in his post-match player ratings for The Chronicle, Lee Ryder gave him a seven, saying: “Ran himself into the ground. Put in seven tackles and looked sturdy before being hooked due to injury.”
Manquillo stuck to his task superbly, so much so that Marcelo Bielsa felt inclined to take James off after the hour mark to bring on Tyler Roberts, and switching Raphinha over to the left flank.
It was a defensive masterclass from Manquillo in how to stop a quick winger, and while he didn’t do too much going forward, was crucial in ensuring the Magpies weren’t overrun at the back.
While Saint-Maximin will rightly grab the headlines for his virtuoso goal, Manquillo was arguably Newcastle’s unsung hero on Friday night.