On Saturday in the later kick-off time of 5:30, Newcastle were given the tough ask of travelling to The Etihad to face Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City. Inevitably, they lost the game, however, they only fell to a 2-1 defeat and it was a Kyle Walker stunner that won the Sky Blues the points. That was mainly down to the form of Rafa Benitez backline and Federico Fernandez in particular.
— Fede Fernandez (@pajarofernandez) 2 September 2018
Benitez’s Newcastle were given one of the toughest starts to the season you could have wished for as they’ve faced three of last season’s Premier League top six in their opening four games. Things aren’t looking like getting any easier, though, as games against Manchester United and Arsenal feature in their next four clashes. Despite this, they’ve not been truly played off the park yet and have only lost by one-goal margins so far.
You could argue that The Magpies should have beaten Tottenham on the opening day, although the Chelsea and Manchester City defeats went the right way. Even so, the fact that the Geordies have been able to stand up to the stern tests at the back that have been thrown at them and come out only narrowly defeated is a positive sign. Without Fernandez, things could have been so different and it looks like just a matter of time before the media recognise the Argentine for his heroic performances.
You can read The Geordies’ verdict on Fernandez here:
Despite playing 3 of last season's top 6 we have not been smashed. We will pick up the points when everyone else plays them.
— Mark Williams (@mark1984toon) September 2, 2018
Looking good fella. Especially with the teams we faced lately.
— paul 87 (@as4dp64) September 2, 2018
You’ve had an impressive start
— Nick (@NickNufc76) 2 September 2018
Quality player keep it up well done
— Craig Telford (@telford76) 2 September 2018
Great fight, Fede! Keep it up, first win coming soon
— Kaki (@7kaki7) 2 September 2018
Great effort put in yesterday.
— Norman Little (@nlittle1892) September 2, 2018
Great effort. keep it up. You boys can win games. Early days.
— spankey cult spangler (@embalmer41) September 2, 2018
The Magpies are loving Fernandes displays and will be keen to see more of the Argentine against Arsenal after the international break.