Newcastle United player ratings: Magpies star has ‘rare off day’ as Eddie Howe hands shock outing vs Benfica
Newcastle United player ratings from Eddie Howe’s 3-2 defeat to Benfica in the Eusebio Cup.
Benfica scored an 89th-minute winner to edge out Newcastle United to lift the Eusebio Cup.
The Magpies played the remaining eight minutes with 10 men after Joelinton was sent off after a second bookable offence.
And Henrique Araujo soon found a winner for the Portuguese side to inflict a second pre-season defeat on Eddie Howe side.
Both of Newcastle’s goals were scored by Miguel Almiron, who continued his impressive goalscoring form ahead of the new Premier League season.
The hosts found the opener on the quarter-hour mark through United’s own mismarking as Goncalo Ramos headed home a corner.
But Howe’s side equalised seven minutes later when Almiron started and finished a lovely move after linking up with Kieran Trippier.
Although Benfica looked levels above for large parts of the first half, it was another Newcastle error that allowed their hosts to re-take the lead.
Bruno Guimaraes conceded a free-kick on the edge of the area, leaving free-kick specialist Alex Grimaldo to curl the ball past Nick Pope from 25 yards.
Back came Newcastle however, and it was that man Almiron again. Trippier again the provider as the Paraguayan slotted home into the bottom left corner.
At half-time, Howe changed his entire starting XI, with young left-back Matty Bondswell handed a surprise outing.
United looked fairly comfortable and were arguably the better side after the break but Joelinton’s sending off swung the result in Benfica’s favour as Araujo popped up with the winner.
Our writer Jordan Cronin was at the Estadio da Luz and here’s how he rated each Newcastle United player.