Wed 28 Feb 2024, 16:59 · NUFCFEED

Blackburn (A) player ratings: Martin Dúbravka produces a stunning display to see NUFC into the FA Cup quarter-final

Blackburn (A) player ratings: Martin Dúbravka produces a stunning display to see NUFC into the FA Cup quarter-final
Serena Taylor/Newcastle United
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Newcastle United are through to the quarter-final of the 2023/24 Emirates FA Cup after requiring penalties to get past Blackburn Rovers following a 1-1 draw (AET) at Ewood Park on Tuesday evening.

In what was one of our worst performances of the season, Eddie Howe was grateful to Martin Dúbravka for a super display of shot-stopping that included two shootout saves from Sammie Szmodics and Dominic Hyam.

Of the Slovakian's teammates, only Bruno Guimarães and Anthony Gordon were anything like their normal selves from the starters, with Jamaal Lascelles and Jacob Murphy enduring a pretty torrid evening.

Miguel Almirón made an impact from the bench when replacing Murphy on the hour, though Harvey Barnes put in one of the poorest cameos we can recall and capped it off by being our only player to miss a penalty.

Here's how we saw the 16 individual performances on show from our boys in dark blue and yellow from a bitter-cold pew low down in the Darwen End, with a high of 10 and a low of 2.

The result was all that mattered in the end, but this was a tough watch

Serena Taylor/Newcastle United
Martin Dúbravka produced the best display of shot-stopping we've ever witnessed live

Martin Dúbravka – 10 ⭐️

There's no way the big Slovakian deserved to concede last night, with the majority of his five saves in the first 120 minutes being right out of the top drawer. He was then the hero in the shootout, saving Blackburn's first and fifth efforts well to see us into the quarter-final.

Kieran Trippier – 6

Tripps endured some wild abuse from the home fans but took it all in his stride. He also made the first big chance of the game for us from a corner and played a big part in Gordon's goal with a nice lofted through pass for Almirón. Came off just before extra time began.

Jamaal Lascelles (c) – 4

Restored to the side in place of Botman, Lascelles missed a big chance to open the scoring from a Trippier corner in the second half. Other than that, his most risible act of the game was his 'defending' for Rovers' equaliser, when he completely misjudged the flight of the ball.

Fabian Schär – 6

Fab was largely poor in the 120 minutes despite his 130 touches of the ball, but he earned himself a merit point back for one of the coolest opening penalties in a shootout we've ever seen. Although he won most of his one-on-one duels, he didn't look comfortable here.

Dan Burn – 6

We're still waiting to see how Burn takes a penalty, but putting questionable humour to one side for a moment, this was a solid enough showing from the big man. He frustrated us with his directionless heading and pedestrian attacking efforts, but that's nothing new.

Sean Longstaff – 5

Longy created a massive chance for Gordon in the second half with a perfectly weighted through ball but was later guilty of a shocking miss when falling over (as usual) seven yards out and hitting a tame, scuffed volley at Pears, who was already prone on the deck.

Bruno Guimarães – 7

Bruno had a lot of bite in his play and did his best to drag his teammates up to his intensity level, but his passing was largely off the mark and he missed a great opportunity to win the game in the second half of extra time. The referee let him off with quite a lot, as well.

Joe Willock – 5

Following his exciting cameo at Arsenal on Saturday, this was a crash back down to Earth for the returning midfielder. He won just one of eight duels, touched the ball just 30 times, and failed to complete any of his four dribble attempts. Let's put this one down to rust, eh?

Jacob Murphy – 4

This performance was reminiscent of Murph's effort at Hillsborough last season, which was also unfortunately broadcast to a national audience on the BBC. He's a superb bloke and we love him to bits, but he doesn't half make the game look ridiculously difficult at times.

Alexander Isak – 5

While a lone striker is always going to struggle when the vast majority of his supporting cast is below par, Isak needs to do more when he's leading the line. He showed some battle at Arsenal, but there wasn't much from him here and his best work came from the left wing.

Anthony Gordon – 7

He missed a huge chance to open the scoring when shooting straight at Pears one-on-one before finishing well for the opener and then missing another big chance when the ball broke to him eight yards out. His penalty was quality, though, especially in the circumstances.

Four of our five substitutes improved things, one certainly did not

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While our play was poor, there was no lack of effort from the vast majority of the boys

Miguel Almirón – 8

Miggy injected some much-needed intensity into our play with his directness and harrying. He also showed some rare composure when teeing up Gordon to score—getting his head up and picking him out expertly—before making a similar chance for Bruno in extra time.

Harvey Barnes – 2

We've seen some bad cameos in our time as Newcastle supporters, but this was right up there with them. Apart from looking a yard off the pace and lacking in effort defensively, he missed a massive chance to win the game in extra time and his penalty was rotten too.

Lewis Miley – 6

Miley's hopefully not feeling too sorry for himself after being substituted for Anderson in the final throes of the contest. He made a positive impact on our midfield in his hour of action, without ever reaching the heights we saw him hit in his earliest appearances.

Tino Livramento – 6

Tino got a rare chance to show what he could do from right-back during extra time and played his part in Newcastle being on top for most of the 30 minutes. While he—like most in dark blue—wasn't at his best, he drove forward whenever the opportunity arose.

Elliot Anderson – 7

Anderson was seemingly only brought on to take a penalty after his long layoff, but he duly converted his effort, showing superb mentality for someone so young (and rusty). We hope that's him fit for the remainder of the campaign now, as he started it so brightly.

Next up for the Magpies is Wolves at home

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Miggy arrived from the bench to get a late winner against Wanderers at SJP last term

Gary O'Neil's Wolverhampton Wanderers are coming to St James' Park for a 3 p.m. (GMT) kick-off on Saturday afternoon, but are first in action at home to Brighton in the FA Cup this evening.

Here's hoping the extra day of preparation time makes all the difference against a side who are unbeaten in their last four away league games, a run that includes the scalps of Chelsea and Spurs.

We'll have to play a hell of a lot better against Wolves than we did against Blackburn and Arsenal, though, as the murmurs of discontent in the stands are inching ever closer to becoming howls of derision.

Howay the lads!