It was a case of new year, same old Newcastle as they were beaten 2-1 by Leicester in The Magpies first game of 2021 at St James' Park.

James Maddison gave The Foxes the lead after 55 minutes and just 17 minutes later, they found themselves two goals in front when Youri Tielemans struck a well-hit effort beyond the reaches of Karl Darlow.

Brendan Rodgers' men did have to survive a last scare when substitute Andy Carroll volleyed home his first Newcastle goal in over ten years.

But the late rallying cry was not enough for Steve Bruce's side to avoid defeat from a game where they were second best.

Here is how VAVEL rated The Toon players this afternoon.

The goalkeeper and defence

Karl Darlow - 6/10

Compared to recent games, this afternoon was a relatively quiet one for Karl Darlow, despite conceding two goals.

Darlow did not have much of a chance of keeping out Maddison or Tielemans' goals, but did make a good save to deny Harvey Barnes in one of the final phases of the game.

DeAndre Yedlin - 6/10

Like many of the Newcastle defenders, DeAndre Yedlin had a solid first half, but struggled to stop Leicester's fast-flowing counter-attack after the interval.

Federico Fernandez - 6/10

Federico Fernandez was steady for the majority of the game, but was guilty of not putting in a challenge on Jamie Vardy before he set up Maddison's goal.

Fabian Schar - 7/10

Newcastle's best defender today was Fabian Schar, who looks like a new signing as of recent.

He made some good clearances and played some quality passes up to the attackers, but there is still a few aspects of ill-judgement that he needs to iron out of his game, such as the foul he committed when his side were pushing for an equaliser.

Ciaran Clark - 6/10

Ciaran Clark was astute on his 100th appearance for the club, winning a lot of aerial duels and making crucial clearances.

But similar to his fellow centre-backs, was not quick enough to spot the danger of Leicester's attack when they pushed forward.

Matt Ritchie - 5/10

Matt Ritchie did make some good runs and passes in the final third, but today highlighted even further that the Scotsman is not a defender.

Ritchie was ran-ragged by Marc Albrighton and James Justin down the right-hand side throughout the game, making it a difficult afternoon for him.

The midfield

Miguel Almiron - 5/10

As usual, Miguel Almiron worked hard and put a shift in offensively and defensively, but failed to feed Callum Wilson with the chances he craves which ultimately is his job.

Sean Longstaff - 6/10

Sean Longstaff was much better than the last time we saw him against Brentford, but his lack of pace to act on the Leicester counter-attack was his downfall once again.

Matty Longstaff - 6/10

It was a big ask for Matty Longstaff to start three games in a row after a long spell out of the team, and it was evident in the second half that fatigue was setting in for the 20-year-old.

The younger Longstaff brother worked hard just like he did in the games against Manchester City and Liverpool, but seemed to burn out after the interval when Leicester applied more pressure in the final third.

Joelinton - 6/10

Joelinton got himself about and used his physicality in an attempt to feed Wilson up-front, but his poor first touch in particular made his afternoon a difficult one.

The forward

Callum Wilson - 7/10

Callum Wilson tried to make the most of being in a team that struggle to create clear-cut chances by making clever runs, often out wide.

But his teammates were unable give him barely any chances to score throughout, making it a tough day for the England international.

The substitutes

Jacob Murphy - 6/10

Jacob Murphy was full of energy when he was introduced on 64 minutes, but struggled to find himself in positions to utilise his pinpoint crossing the dying embers of the game.

Jonjo Shelvey - 4/10

It was clear to see that Jonjo Shelvey was still suffering from that thigh injury he picked up against Brentford, and maybe it was a game too soon for him.

What will irritate the Newcastle fans was his lack of defending for Tielemans' goal, Shelvey was nowhere to be seen when the Belgian doubled Leicester's lead from around 25-yards out.

Andy Carroll - 8/10

Andy Carroll finally netted a Newcastle goal for the first time in ten years, and brought The Toon back into a game where it seemed Leicester were going to just see out.

Carroll, as always, was an aerial nuisance and showed he still has that striking instinct when he volleyed past Kasper Schmeichel just three minutes after being introduced.

But unfortunately for him and his Newcastle teammates, the late goal was not enough to snatch a point.

About the author