Paul Heckingbottom’s Sheffield United were unable to back up their 1-0 win against Everton with another away triumph on Wednesday night, as the Blades fell to a 1-0 defeat.
On-loan Arsenal man Joe Willock scored the only goal of the game for Steve Bruce’s Newcastle side, his sixth Premier League goal in six games, to consign the Blades to defeat.
Heckingbottom’s side had chances, mainly through David McGoldrick who should have done better when fed through by Enda Stevens in the first half, whilst he hit the bar from an excellent effort in the second 45.
One man who disappointed in the defeat against the Toon was Oliver Norwood.
As per SofaScore, the 30-year-old midfielder would earn a shocking 6.2/10 rating for his display, which was joint with Chris Basham as the worst of any player to feature in the game.
During the 90 minutes, the Northern Ireland international would complete 53/65 of his passes, resulting in an 82% pass accuracy rate, slightly below the 83.7% he has averaged in the Premier League this season.
He would contribute just one key pass, whilst only two of his nine attempted long balls would find their mark. In comparison, Norwood’s midfield partner John Fleck would manage four key passes and one out of two long balls, suggesting that the Scottish midfielder was more successful in keeping things simple and on the ground, which is reflected in his superior 7.1/10 rating.
Perhaps most disappointingly, the £6.3m-rated Norwood would win just two out of his nine total duels in the game, resulting in a less than impressive 22% success rate, which emphasises that the Newcastle players simply had the better of him.
Norwood also lost possession on 17 occasions, the most of any Sheffield United player, whilst he and Fleck suffered the ignominy of being dribbled past five times each, as they were both tormented by the game’s outstanding player, Allan Saint-Maximin.
The Frenchman would impressively complete 13/14 of his dribbles on Wednesday night and earned a superb 8.1/10 rating for his performance, which suggests that he gave Norwood nightmares with his pace and dribbling ability.
Fortunately for Norwood, he won’t be coming up against too many players of Saint-Maximin’s ability when the Blades return to the Championship next season, where he will, hopefully, produce much better displays than he did at St James’ Park.
And, in other news… Sheffield United suffer huge blow as CL giants eye 7-goal beast