Newcastle 0-1 Cambridge: Player ratings as Magpies stunned in FA Cup

Cambridge celebrate their shock win at St James' Park
Cambridge celebrate their shock win at St James' Park / PAUL ELLIS/GettyImages

Newcastle have been dumped out of the FA Cup at the third round stage for a second consecutive season, after losing 1-0 to League One side Cambridge at St James’ Park.

Joe Ironside took the headlines with the winning goal just shy of the hour mark, but it was a massive effort from Cambridge as a whole, while Newcastle simply weren’t good enough to win.

Due to the host’s troubling Premier League form, Cambridge would have been hopeful going into the tie of a chance to pull off a famous cup giant killing. The visitors were never out of the game and even produced the first shot on target of the afternoon through George Williams.

As the first half progressed, Newcastle largely controlled things. Allan Saint-Maximin was looking dangerous in black and white, while Jacob Murphy and Joelinton also had chances to take the lead.

Fabian Schar did have the ball in the net in the closing stages of the first half, although the Swiss defender knew he was well offside before the flag even went up. Cambridge goalkeeper Dimitar Mitov also saved very well from Murphy just moments later.

An even better save on the brink of half-time tipped a stinging Murphy effort onto the crossbar. When the Newcastle forward eventually did beat Mitov early in the second half, the flag went up – it was much tighter than Schar’s earlier effort and the play was initially allowed to continue.

Even though they were dominating the play, Newcastle were made to pay for not taking their many chance chances when Ironside gave Cambridge a shock lead.

Magpies defenders were slow to react and the striker was quickest to pounce on the loose ball in the penalty area – his effort was allowed to stand after a lengthy VAR offside check.

Newcastle grew increasingly desperate as the game wore on, which combined with Cambridge’s resolve, saw a drop in the quality of chances they were able to create. Saint-Maximin huffed and puffed, while Miguel Almiron offered something different off the bench, but it was to no avail and Mitov’s first half heroics largely didn’t need repeating, save for one final stop from Joelinton.

Cambridge substitute Jack Lankester also had the ball in the net before the end, but it was the third goal of the day to be chalked off after he had strayed into an offside position.

Newcastle player ratings

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

Kieran Trippier made his Newcastle debut
Kieran Trippier made his Newcastle debut / PAUL ELLIS/GettyImages

Martin Dubravka (GK) - 4/10 - Didn't have much to do but was poor at the crucial moment when the goal went in.

Kieran Trippier (RB) - 4/10 - Debut to forget in his first appearance for an English club since the 2019 Champions League final.

Emil Krafth (CB) - 4/10 - Slow to react to the loose ball in the melee that gave Cambridge their breakthrough goal.

Fabian Schar (CB) - 4/10 - Scored in the first half but was miles outsides. Similiarly as guilty as Krafth when the goal went in.

Matt Ritchie (LB) - 4/10 - Mainly tasked with trying to get forward and create attacking overloads. Not enough quality in those situations.

2. Midfielders

Newcastle boss Eddie Howe had no answers
Newcastle boss Eddie Howe had no answers / PAUL ELLIS/GettyImages

Jonjo Shelvey (CM) - 4/10 - Arguably could have done a better job of cutting the ball out for the move that put Cambridge into the lead. Saw a lot of the ball but always would have expected to.

Sean Longstaff (CM) - 5/10 - Sacrificed as soon as the visitors went ahead.

Joelinton (CM) - 6/10 - The more advanced of the three Newcastle midfielders. Often broke forward in support of the attack.

3. Forwards

Jacob Murphy could have had a hat-trick on another day
Jacob Murphy could have had a hat-trick on another day / PAUL ELLIS/GettyImages

Ryan Fraser (RW) - 4/10 - Swapped to the left flank midway through the second half but his impact on either side was minimal. Lacked quality.

Allan Saint-Maximin (ST) - 6/10 - Looked the Newcastle player most likely to make something happen. Ultimately found all his avenues blocked.

Jacob Murphy (LW) - 6/10 - Denied multiple times by Mitov and was also flagged offside when he eventually did have the ball in the net.

4. Substitutes

Miguel Almiron asked questions off the bench
Miguel Almiron asked questions off the bench / PAUL ELLIS/GettyImages

Joe Willock (CM) - 5/10 - Lacked enough quality or impetus in key areas.

Miguel Almiron (RW) - 6/10 - Provided a bright spark off the bench and always seemed keen to get on the ball.

Javier Manquillo (LB) - 5/10 - Like for like replacement at left-back.

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