Following Newcastle’s 1-0 victory against Watford, ending their ten-game run without a league win, Charlie Nicholas has handed the Magpies’ goalkeeper, Martin Dubravka, some high praise.
Despite Newcastle’s 1-0 victory, courtesy of Ayoze Pérez’s goal, Rafa Benitez’s side were under the gun for much of the game. The statistics at the end of the match read that Watford had 58.1% possession and had 16 shots to Newcastle’s 10.
Such was the bombardment on the Magpies’ goal, that Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas believes that Dubravka was instrumental to their victory.
“He made three or four excellent saves, saves that you would expect him to make, one with his feet, two down to his left-hand side”, he gushed, as reported by This Is Futbol.
“He keeps them in the game at times and that’s what good goalkeepers do.”
Dubravka was signed on loan from Sparta Prague last year and made 12 appearances for Newcastle in their first season back in the Premier League.
The Slovakian goalkeeper impressed the Newcastle faithful and was signed permanently in the 2018 summer transfer window. He has since taken the number one spot from Robert Elliot and Karl Darlow in the Newcastle net.
So far this season, Dubravka has kept four clean sheets and two in his last two against Southampton and Watford.
This statistic is largely testament to his shot-stopping ability, as Newcastle’s defence has been consistently leaky so far this season, a fact that was proven emphatically when they gave up a two-goal lead against Manchester United to lose 3-2.
However, both Dubravka and Rafa Benitez will be hoping that the club’s back-to-back clean sheets are a sign of things to come for the Magpies as they look to kickstart their season off the back of their 1-0 victory over Watford.
Newcastle next face Bournemouth at St James’ Park in the Premier League. Eddie Howe’s side have been nothing short of magnificent so far this season and were unfortunate to have lost in the last minute to Manchester United on Saturday. There’s a good chance that Dubravka will be busy once more next Saturday.