Newcastle 0-3 Brighton: Player Ratings as Superb Seagulls Ease Past Sorry Magpies

Neal Maupay, Aaron Connolly
Brighton shone at St. James’ Park | Pool/Getty Images

Brighton eased to a 3-0 victory over a woeful Newcastle side on Sunday afternoon.

The Seagulls raced into a 2-0 lead courtesy of a Neal Maupay brace within the opening ten minutes, before strike partner Aaron Connolly rounded off a dominant display with a wonderfully taken strike in the second period.

Let’s have a gander at some player ratings on what was a dire afternoon for the hosts.

Aaron Connolly, Jamaal LascellesAaron Connolly, Jamaal Lascelles
Jamaal Lascelles struggled against the Seagulls | Pool/Getty Images

Karl Darlow (GK) – 4/10 – He just doesn’t instil a lot of confidence in the Newcastle defence. Looked pretty unconvincing throughout.

Javier Manquillo (RB) – 6/10 – Was possibly the pick of a bad bunch. Mitigated Solly March’s threat down the left and was sound in one-v-one situations. Offered little quality going forward, mind.

Jamaal Lascelles (CB) – 3/10 – Not the skipper’s finest afternoon. Constantly outfoxed by Brighton’s crafty strike duo and erratic positionally throughout. Couldn’t assert himself as he often does.

Federico Fernandez (CB) – 4/10 – Struggled to cope with the pace of Connolly throughout, while Maupay’s movement certainly caused the Argentine problems. A change might be needed at the heart of Steve Bruce’s defence.

Jamal Lewis (LB) – 3/10 – A tough afternoon against the lightning Lamptey. The 19-year-old’s aggression pinned the former Norwich man and meant he wasn’t able to have an influence past the halfway line. Shawn Michaels’d by Yves Bissouma in the closing stages which summarised his 90 minutes. Tough.

Jonjo ShelveyJonjo Shelvey
Jonjo Shelvey couldn’t assert his authority on the contest | Pool/Getty Images

Jeff Hendrick (RM) – 4/10 – Rarely involved throughout. The Irishman provided his typical tenacity down the flanks but offered little in possession. Ended the contest in the double pivot where he saw more of the ball but this was a pretty forgettable performance.

Jonjo Shelvey (CM) – 5/10 – Booked – like the rest of the Newcastle team – for a strong tackle on Tariq Lamptey. Failed to control proceedings as he has the capacity to do against an impressive Seagull midfield.

Isaac Hayden (CM) – 4/10 – Overwhelmed in the middle of the park and wasn’t his typical disruptive self. Made poor angles which meant he rarely saw the ball and limited the Magpies’ central progression.

Allan Saint-Maximin (LM) – 4/10 – Gave away penalty for a clumsy challenge on Lamptey. Miserable afternoon compiled by first-half injury which forced him off.

Lewis Dunk, Callum WilsonLewis Dunk, Callum Wilson
Callum Wilson was marshalled expertly by Lewis Dunk | Pool/Getty Images

Callum Wilson (ST) – 5/10 – Anonymous in the opening period. Battled hard against Lewis Dunk with little reward. Spurned glorious headed opportunity just after the hour mark.

Andy Carroll (ST) – 4/10 – Wasn’t aware he was on the field before his half-time substitution. Even if he is 8’6″.

Ryan FraserRyan Fraser
Ryan Fraser made his home debut | Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Ryan Fraser – 6/10

Miguel Almiron – 4/10

Joelinton – 5/10

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Ben White was once again assured as part of Brighton’s back three | Pool/Getty Images

Mat Ryan (GK) – 6/10 – A dominant Seagull display meant the Aussie shot-stopper was merely a spectator for the most part.

Ben White (CB) – 8/10 – Looks like he’s played in the top flight for a decade. So assured, so composed and so… good. Impressed as part of back three before formation switch following Lamptey’s departure saw him line up as the right-back in a four. Versatile.

Lewis Dunk (CB) – 8/10 – A couple of wayward headers but his typically stout self for the most part. Didn’t give Newcastle’s initial front two a sniff. Fantastic positionally.

Adam Webster (CB) – 7/10 – The former Bristol City defender’s settled nicely on the south coast after a tricky start. Typically smart in possession and positionally astute in a demanding role as the exterior centre-back in a three.

Graham Potter, Tariq LampteyGraham Potter, Tariq Lamptey
Tariq Lamptey was named Man of the Match despite playing less than an hour | Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Tariq Lamptey (RWB) – 9/10 – Flew down that right flank like an Apollo 11. Incredibly dynamic and such a threat in all phases. A supreme talent who looks at home as a wing-back. Shame his afternoon was cut short due to injury.

Yves Bissouma (CM) – 8/10 – Such a shame he was sent off in the closing stages because this was another immense showing from the Seagulls midfielder. Controlled the contest throughout.

Steven Alzate (CM) – 7/10 – The youngster played a mature, underrated role which set his side up for success. He was tasked with keeping the Seagulls compact and providing protection against the counter and totally mastered his role, Georginio Wijnaldum-esque. Efficient in possession as well.

Solly March (LWB) – 7/10 – Plenty of industry down the left flank and constantly improving in the defensive phase. Overshadowed by Lamptey on the opposite side but a fine showing nonetheless.

Leandro Trossard (AM) – 8/10 – Excelled in a free role off the front two. Movement was brilliant to find himself in pockets of space in behind Newcastle’s midfield and set up Neal Maupay’s second with a well-timed run down the right flank and well-weighted delivery. Unfortunate not to get on the scoresheet.

Neal MaupayNeal Maupay
Neal Maupay’s early brace set the precedent for a comfortable victory | Pool/Getty Images

Aaron Connolly (ST) – 8/10 – A key outlet for Graham Potter. The gritty Irishman offers a source of in-behind penetration and his goal was superb. A selfless display.

Neal Maupay (ST) – 9/10 – The Frenchman’s established a great dynamic with strike partner Connolly. They’re so aware of where each other’s movements and respective positioning, which was laid bare for Brighton’s third goal. Maupay’s early brace was assured and his ability to not only drop between the lines to create but to doggedly run channels also was on full display.

Adam LallanaAdam Lallana
Adam Lallana entered the fray in the second period | Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Dan Burn – 6/10

Adam Lallana – 6/10

Alireza Jahanbakhsh – N/A

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Manchester City Remain Hopeful of Sealing Kalidou Koulibaly Deal But Want to Avoid Bidding War

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Koulibaly could finally be on his way out of Napoli | Danilo Di Giovanni/Getty Images

Exclusive – Manchester City remain hopeful of sealing a move for Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly, but are reluctant to be drawn into a bidding war.

The 29-year-old has carved out a reputation as one of the very best centre-backs in the world over the past few seasons, making close to 250 appearances for Gli Azzurri since signing in 2014.

Kalidou KoulibalyKalidou Koulibaly
Napoli want £70m for their prized asset | Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

He has long been linked with a move away from the Stadio San Paolo, with Liverpool, Manchester United and countless others pursuing him in previous transfer windows.

Now, though, the centre-back appears most likely to end up at City, who have been on the lookout for defensive reinforcements for some time. They have already poached Nathan Aké from relegated Bournemouth and want one more addition to complement their current options.

Koulibaly is their top target, though a source has told 90min that City do not want the transfer saga to drag out much longer. The Cityzens do not like being drawn into protracted, head-to-head battles for players but are desperate to get their man.

Although City’s interest is strong, they are likely to face significant competition to sign the Senegal international. Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain are both sniffing around and 90min reported earlier this month that United could make a play for the defender if they manage to sell both Phil Jones and Chris Smalling.

Reports that Paris is Koulibaly’s preferred location are overstated. Sources close to the player have told 90min that he is open about his future – as long as his new side are Champions League contenders.

So far, no team has come close to meeting Napoli’s £70m valuation, though this could change soon. If Koulibaly does end up at the Etihad Stadium, he will become City’s sixth signing of the window, after the aforementioned Aké, Pablo Moreno, Yan Couto, Issa Kaboré and Ferran Torres.

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Jules Koundé: 8 Things to Know About Rising French Star

Jules Kounde
Jules Kounde is in high demand | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

If you haven’t taken notice of Sevilla centre-back Jules Koundé, it’s time you do. He could be the name on everyone’s lips in the next 12 months.

In his debut season in Spain, the 21-year-old Frenchman was an integral part of Sevilla’s successful Europa League campaign and has since attracted interest from Manchester City, who failed with a €55m bid to sign him this summer.

It’s time to pay close attention to Koundé, and here’s everything you need to know about him.

CafuCafu
Kounde is known as Cafu among his team-mates | PEDRO UGARTE/Getty Images

Despite being a centre-back by trade, Koundé has spent a fair bit of time out as a right-back, and his Sevilla teammates were so impressed with his skills out wide that they named him ‘Cafu’, after the iconic Brazilian defender.

“In training he takes the ball on the side, runs out and we shout: ‘There goes Cafu!'” centre-back partner Diego Carlos told ESPN.

“He goes and doesn’t come back, he advances until he finishes and scores. He’s a boy who can go back and forth, has a lot of strength and power in his legs.”

Jules KoundeJules Kounde
Kounde once had real problems with losing | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

During an interview with Onze Mondial, Koundé confessed that he has never dealt well with defeat. When he was eight years old, he used to throw tantrums when his side lost and even ended up kicking his own mother in frustration.

He had to change teams because he couldn’t cope with losing and ended up having to see a psychiatrist to address his anger issues which, fortunately, are no longer a problem.

Jules KoundeJules Kounde
Kounde dreams of making a real impact | Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

One look at Koundé’s Twitter account and you’ll see that the Frenchman is well aware that there is more to life than football.

Koundé prefers to use his influence to try to inspire change in the world, tackling various social, political and environmental issues to try and inspire change.

He takes inspiration from Nelson Mandela and also NBA star LeBron James, who uses his platform for the same reasons.

Jules Kounde, Vinicius JrJules Kounde, Vinicius Jr
Kounde isn’t blessed with real height | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

When you think of a typical centre-back, Koundé won’t often spring to mind because of his physicality. He stands at closer to 5’10, and it’s something that he is well aware will be seen as a problem.

“Growing up, it was often said to me that my size could be a problem for managers,” he told Foot Mercato. “I always tried to compensate with my technique, with how I play out from the back, it’s very important,” he said shortly after breaking into the Bordeaux first-team.

“It’s true that sometimes at my height you can’t always challenge in aerial duels but you can always manage the opponent. I’ve always had good timing, I like aerial duels and I jump relatively high, so that really helps. But my small size has never been a problem for me.”

Jules KoundeJules Kounde
He loves an aerial battle | TF-Images/Getty Images

Despite his slight frame, Koundé ended last season with one of the best records for aerial duels in La Liga. According to the player himself, that’s because opponents always underestimate him.

“I win more head-to-head duels than Sergio Ramos because the opponents don’t dare play long on Ramos,” Koundé explained. “They must say to themselves ‘It’s Jules Koundé, he’s not tall, we’re going to take him down in the air’.

“I am often targeted, I feel it. And sometimes, it is pointed out to me. After games, I am often told that. When I watch my matches again, I realise that I play a lot more aerial duels than the others. They say to themselves that it will be easier against Koundé, and that motivates me.”

Koundé relishes aerial battles, but one of his top attributes is his passing range. Bordeaux began to give him more influence towards the end of his time in France and Sevilla are rarely scared of asking him to kickstart their attacks.

He’s known for his love of a long pass, and he definitely has the quality to pull them off, but one concern for Koundé is that he does not yet have the required vision to make him a major threat.

He often misses good runs from his teammates, but that’s something which can be improved as he develops.

Alongside City, Koundé’s name has been linked to a whole host of European giants, with Real Madrid and Barcelona often suggested as potential suitors. Unfortunately for them, Koundé’s having none of it.

He told Estadio Deportivo that he is no rush to leave Sevilla, before echoing to Marca that he’s keen to play in the Champions League with Sevilla next season.

Raphael Varane, Sergio RamosRaphael Varane, Sergio Ramos
Kounde enjoys watching Varane and Ramos | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

You can often tell a lot about a young player from which other stars they like to watch. For Koundé, his favourite player to watch is fellow Frenchman Raphaël Varane, but there are a few others he enjoys.

Koundé credits both Sergio Ramos and Thiago Silva for helping him grow as a player, and he has always relished lining up opposite those players during his career.

For more from ?Tom Gott, follow him on ?Twitter!

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The Amazing Stats That Prove Tottenham’s Harry Kane and Son Heung-min Have a Telepathic Connection

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Son and Kane were in incredible form during their side’s 5-2 win | ANDREW BOYERS/Getty Images

They may not have looked convincing for the entire 90 minutes, but Tottenham still managed to secure a 5-2 win over Southampton on Sunday afternoon.

Son Heung-min and Harry Kane were in inspired form for José Mourinho’s side. Son chipped in with four goals – all assisted by Kane – while the England captain also managed to bag one himself.

Just in case you were in any doubt over how impressive the pair’s performances were, these stats – lovingly curated by Opta – will leave you in no doubt of the duo’s brilliance.

Harry KaneHarry Kane
Kane registered five goal involvements against the Saints | Robin Jones/Getty Images

Kane’s one goal and four assists make him the first player to be directly involved in five goals in a Premier League game since Mo Salah in March 2018.

It’s not the first time that he’s registered a Premier League quintet either. Against Leicester back in May 2017, Kane racked up four goals and an assist.

The teammate he set up that day? Son, of course.

Heung-Min Son, Harry KaneHeung-Min Son, Harry Kane
Just two best friends celebrating their first win of the Premier League season | Robin Jones/Getty Images

Kane becomes only the sixth player to provide four or more assists in a single Premier League game. Bizarrely, the five that came before him all played for one of the two north London clubs.

For Arsenal, Dennis Bergkamp, José Antonio Reyes, Cesc Fabregas and Santi Cazorla have all registered a quadruple of assists, while the only Spurs player to do it before Kane is Emmanuel Adebayor.

FBL-ENG-PR-SOUTHAMPTON-TOTTENHAMFBL-ENG-PR-SOUTHAMPTON-TOTTENHAM
Son grabbed the match ball straight after the final whistle | ANDREW BOYERS/Getty Images

Unsurprisingly, Sunday marked the first time that one player had assisted a teammate four times in a Premier League match.

The closest we’ve had is the three hat tricks that have all been assisted by one player. Mike Newell laid on three goals for Alan Shearer in September 1995, while Stan Collymore repeated the trick to Robbie Fowler a few months later.

A more recent occurrence came in May 2003 when Thierry Henry assisted Freddie Ljungberg for a hat trick against Sunderland.

Heung-Min Son, Harry KaneHeung-Min Son, Harry Kane
The pair seem to have a telepathic connection on the pitch | Pool/Getty Images

Kane and Son once again proved that they are one of the most dangerous duos in the country against Southampton.

Ever since the South Korean arrived in the Premier League in August 2015, the pair have enjoyed a fruitful partnership – combining for 22 goals overall.

That’s more than any other two players during the same period. Impressive stuff.

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Overwhelming Individual Brilliance Papers Over Tottenham’s Systematic Flaws in Southampton Victory

Heung-Min Son, Harry Kane
Son Heung-min scored four times in the 5-2 victory at Southampton, with Harry Kane providing all four assists | Robin Jones/Getty Images

Never before has the old ‘game of two halves’ cliché been truer than to summarise Tottenham’s 5-2 victory over Southampton on Sunday afternoon.

It’s quite remarkable as to how it happened.

This was a contest the Saints were totally in control of, with their early superiority rewarded by a superb Danny Ings strike just after the half-hour mark.

Jose Mourinho responded perfectly after being out-coached by Ralph Hasenhuttl in the opening periodJose Mourinho responded perfectly after being out-coached by Ralph Hasenhuttl in the opening period
Jose Mourinho responded perfectly after being out-coached by Ralph Hasenhuttl in the opening period | Pool/Getty Images

Jose Mourinho was starkly out-thought by his opposite number Ralph Hasenhuttl. While Spurs struggled mightily to sustain any sort of possession the hosts completely overwhelmed the visitors with their work on the ball, picking apart their initial 4-2-3-1 defensive structure at consummate ease.

Mourinho’s side simply couldn’t cope with the astute movement of inverted wingers Moussa Djenepo and Stuart Armstrong into their respective half-spaces, while Che Adams continued to find gaping pockets in behind the Lilywhites’ midfield, frequently offering the Saints a distinct route for progression up field.

Spurs looked all over the place. Overwhelmed by the speed and savviness of Southampton’s attacking play, they were fortunate to be just a goal behind. Adams, in particular – who impressed with his overall play – was a particular culprit for squandering ‘good’ opportunities.

Then came that sequence just before the break. The sequence spearheaded by a pirouetting Tanguy Ndombele which set the precedent for a second-half mauling.

The Frenchman’s work on the halfway line was awe-inspiring. Within a flash Ndombele received Ben Davies’ header, shrugged off the brutish Oriol Romeu like he was a 16-year-old making his first-team debut before displaying the innate brilliance that makes him such a unique – and special – footballer.

James Ward-Prowse was left in the dust by the 24-year-old’s magic and five seconds later, Son Heung-min was wheeling away in celebration. The first of just the four goals the South Korean scored on the south coast. The first of four he’d dispatch with such precision and conviction. The first of four he’d score because of a certain Harry Kane.

This is who Mourinho’s Spurs are. It’s not systemic – and rarely pretty – but instead, it’s completely reliant on the intuition of superb individuals. This was Mourinho’s Spurs in all their glory.

The same build-up and structural issues remained at the start of the second period before they started to settle in a 4-4-2 out of possession. A switch which markedly helped Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg on his return to St. Mary’s. The Dane was superb in the second period.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Che AdamsPierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Che Adams
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg enjoyed a fine afternoon after returning to a more familiar role | Pool/Getty Images

Nevertheless, the formation change handed Spurs more of a foundation to attack Southampton’s suicidal defensive line. There was undoubtedly a logic to Hasenhuttl’s proactive approach – Bayern Munich won the Champions League with the distance between their most advanced and deepest lines being about ten metres – and its benefits were laid bare in the opening period; condensing the space Spurs had to work between the lines and regularly catching the Lilywhites attackers offside.

But when the visitors’ backline and midfield were handed more time in possession as the effectiveness of the Saints’ press were mitigated in the second period, Son and co wreaked mayhem.

Kane embarked on his own Harlem globetrotter-like display after the restart, proving himself to be the most complete centre forward the game has to offer with some of the most sublime passing you’ll ever see from a number nine.

The Englishman was playing like his hero, a certain Tom Brady, with Son his Randy Moss. The pair combined as if they were playing for the 2007 New England Patriots.

While Hansi Flick has the quickest man on the planet not called Usain Bolt in Alphonso Davies and the nifty David Alaba to protect Bayern from succumbing to constant in-behind penetration, Hasenhuttl was relying on the slow-turning duo Jack Stephens and Jan Bednarek.

Harry Kane, Jose MourinhoHarry Kane, Jose Mourinho
A Harry Kane masterclass | Pool/Getty Images

It’s no surprise that it got ugly quick, with Kane eventually getting himself on the scoresheet after he’d delivered a sumptuous four-course meal for partner in crime Son.

Nevertheless, while Spurs’ work in transition was nothing short of scintillating and their individual brilliance the major factor in Sunday’s triumph, the 5-2 scoreline undoubtedly papers over the distinct cracks laid bare in the opening period.

Not every week will Spurs have the luxury of facing such a high line and Mourinho simply can’t rely on the magic of his majestic attacking – and midfield – talents as the primary source of chance creation. It’s not sustainable.

The Southampton triumph certainly showed the potential of this Tottenham squad, one which is set to be bolstered by a former icon and an incredibly dynamic full-back.

They have the capacity to overwhelm teams, while Ndombele has the ability to bring about a greater sense of control in midfield with his press-resistance and unpredictability in the first and second phases.

James Ward-Prowse, Tanguy NdombeleJames Ward-Prowse, Tanguy Ndombele
A fully fit Tanguy Ndombele solves a number of issues for Spurs in the build-up phase | Pool/Getty Images

It appears the perfect afternoon for the Lilywhite faithful but there was enough to suggest that Spurs are far from the finished article under Jose Mourinho.

Let’