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Player ratings as Magpies’ European hopes take huge blow

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Player ratings as Magpies’ European hopes take huge blow

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Newcastle United fell to a second straight Champions League defeat when they were comfortably beaten 2-0 by a strong Borussia Dortmund side on Tuesday evening.

Dortmund went into half-time with a much-deserved lead, holding a one-goal advantage thanks to Niclas Fullkrug’s effort just before the half-hour mark. The stocky German coolly redirected Marcel Sabitzer’s cross beyond Nick Pope, with Newcastle unable to find a first-half response.

Newcastle huffed and puffed in the second half but rarely tested Dortmund, who doubled their advantage through the wonderful Julian Brandt with ten minutes remaining.

It could be a devastating defeat for the visitors who are now in serious danger of not qualifying for the knockout stages.

How the game unfolded

Newcastle’s injury-hit squad forced Eddie Howe into an unorthodox starting lineup with Tino Livramento starting on the right wing and Joelinton taking residence on the opposite flank. It was a setup that suggested the Magpies had travelled to Germany to contain their hosts, denying them the kind of space they had enjoyed at St James’ Park two weeks ago.

One man Newcastle struggled to stifle in the opening exchanges was Brandt, the dancing feet of the German causing the visitors issues. As his influence grew, Dortmund began to test Pope. Fullkrug’s effort was rebuffed by the Newcastle goalkeeper after just 13 minutes and Karim Adeyemi’s strike was also parried by the 31-year-old just three minutes later.

Pope has been a busy man in Europe this season but there was nothing he could do to stop Dortmund taking a well-earned lead after 26 minutes. A lovely move arrived at Sabitzer in the penalty area with the former Manchester United midfielder cutting back for Fullkrug to caress home calmly from six yards out.

Newcastle responded well to falling behind, their rare forays forward becoming more frequent. However, Howe’s men were unable to seriously test Gregor Kobel, the closest they came being two headers that the Swiss shot-stopper held comfortably.

Anthony Gordon and Miguel Almiron’s arrival after half-time enabled Newcastle to threaten Dortmund’s defence more regularly. Livramento’s fierce cross was pushed out by Kobel in a sign of things to come just minutes after the restart, while Brandt and Adeyemi also had efforts saved at the other end.

The increasingly influential Livramento delivered another testing cross with ten minutes of the second half played, Joelinton arriving in the box to meet it. However, the Brazilian could somehow only redirect his effort wide with goal gaping.

Pope was kept busy with fairly routine saves from Brandt and Felix Nemcha despite Newcastle pushing for an equaliser, but it was the brilliant Brandt who put the game beyond doubt in the second half. Adeyemi’s diagonal ball over the top allowed the 27-year-old a clear run on Newcastle’s goal and he made no mistake, slotting a calm finish beyond Pope with his left foot.

Newcastle continued to probe in search of a late flourish but they couldn’t find a way past Dortmund’s stoic defence. A second successive Champions League defeat means the Magpies’ qualification hopes now hang in the balance.

Julian Brandt

Brandt was influential for Dortmund / BSR Agency/GettyImages

GK: Gregor Kobel – 7/10 – Authoritative on the ball and comfortable with his hands. Not tested enough for Newcastle’s liking.

RB: Niklas Sule – 7/10 – A strong showing up against Joelinton and Co. The German hasn’t always been a regular starter but did his reputation no harm against the Magpies.

CB: Mats Hummels – 8/10 – Just like he did at St James’ Park, Hummels put in an experienced and composed performance.

CB: Nico Schlotterbeck – 7/10 – A well-earned clean sheet for Schlotterbeck after his man of the match performance at St James’ Park. Much improved from the Bayern Munich drubbing.

LB: Julian Ryerson – 6/10 – Bombed up and down the left flank with plenty of energy.

CM: Salih Ozcan – 7/10 – Combative when required and comfortable in possession. Replaced the injured Emre Can effectively.

CM: Marcel Sabitzer – 7/10 – Provided the assist for Fullkrug’s opener and was tidy on the ball.

RM: Julian Brandt – 9/10 – Dazzled early on and was outstanding in tight spaces. Newcastle couldn’t contain him and the 27-year-old was consistently Dortmund’s strongest attacking threat. Took his breakaway goal wonderfully.

AM: Felix Nmecha – 7/10 – Newcastle struggled to deny him space in their half and he kept their midfield busy.

LM: Karim Adeyemi – 7/10 – Often swapped with Brandt on the flanks making it difficult for Newcastle’s defence to pin him down. Good pass for Dortmund’s second.

ST: Niclas Fullkrug – 8/10 – Took his goal like a true number nine, calmly slotting home from close range. Exactly the kind of performance that Edin Terzic would want from his target man striker.

Substitutes

SUB: Marco Reus (80′ for Adeyemi) – N/A

SUB: Youssoufa Moukoko (86′ for Fullkrug) – N/A

Subs not used: Alexander Meyer (GK), Marcel Lotka (GK), Ramy Bensebaini, Marius Wolf, Hendry Blank, Jamie Bynoe-Gittens, Giovanni Reyna, Donyell Malen, Sebastien Haller.

Manager

Edin Terzic – 8/10 – If only he could have got this tune out of his players against Bayern. Terzic’s Dortmund were terrific, denying Newcastle a route back into the game after a strong first half showing.

Nick Pope

Pope was busy in Germany / BSR Agency/GettyImages

GK: Nick Pope – 8/10 – Regularly tested throughout and performed very well. Helpless with the goals.

RB: Kieran Trippier – 6/10 – Still not quite at his devastating best. Moved to left-back at half-time and then back to right-back but struggled to impact the game.

CB: Jamaal Lascelles – 6/10 – Had a difficult evening up against Fullkrug, not always coming out on top in the physical battle.

CB: Fabian Schar – 6/10 – Not a particularly noteworthy performance for good or bad. Played much of the second half in two different coloured boots which is always fun.

LB: Lewis Hall – 4/10 – Picked up an early yellow card for a foul on Fullkrug and was walking a tightrope afterwards. Struggled with Adeyemi’s pace and Brandt’s ingenuity. Hooked at half-time.

CM: Sean Longstaff – 6/10 – Didn’t do too much wrong in central areas but not particularly involved.

CM: Bruno Guimaraes – 7/10 – A solid showing from the Brazilian who often exhibited his impressive range of passing in the final third.

CM: Joe Willock – 6/10 – Not at the races entirely after a long spell on the sidelines but held his own in the Newcastle midfield.

RW: Tino Livramento – 8/10 – Tireless down the right-hand side in a less familiar advanced position in the first half. Moved to full-back after the break and caused Dortmund plenty of issues with his attacking runs.

ST: Callum Wilson – 5/10 – Isolated in central areas and unable to stretch the Dortmund centre-backs. Howe seriously missed Alexander Isak.

LW: Joelinton – 6/10 – Performed admirably on the left flank despite being more comfortable in midfield. Missed a sitter early in the second half and some typically rash challenges as he tired.

Substitutes

SUB: Anthony Gordon (46′ for Wilson) – 6/10 – Characteristically bright when coming on and looked Newcastle’s most likely threat.

SUB: Miguel Almiron (46′ for Hall) – 6/10 – Offered Dortmund’s defence some food for thought but lacked a cutting edge.

SUB: Lewis Miley (80′ for Willock) – N/A

Subs not used: Martin Dubravka (GK), Loris Karius (GK), Paul Dummett, Lucas De Bolle, Ben Parkinson.

Manager

Eddie Howe – 5/10 – Perhaps forced into a strange starting lineup but Newcastle didn’t start well. Howe couldn’t impact the game with his substitutions.

Player of the match: Julian Brandt (Borussia Dortmund)

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