Sun 4 Feb 2024, 12:29 by Ash Harrison

Luton Town (H) player ratings: Dan Burn unsurprisingly scores very low, but a few aren't far behind him

Luton Town (H) player ratings: Dan Burn unsurprisingly scores very low, but a few aren't far behind him
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St James' Park witnessed one of the most bizarre games in a long time as Newcastle fought back from 2-4 down to draw 4-4 with Luton, having led twice in a relentless opening period.

A brace of lovely finishes from Sean Longstaff, a fantastic left-footed volley from Kieran Trippier, and a 20-yard daisy cutter from the returning Harvey Barnes were the high points of the 90 minutes.

There were plenty of low points too, though, unfortunately, with Dan Burn having another nightmare, Martin Dúbravka struggling, and Jacob Murphy putting on an incredibly frustrating display.

In the middle of all the chaos, Lewis Miley and Bruno Guimarães were probably the best all-round performers on the day for Eddie Howe, who fought off illness to take his place on the touchline.

Here's how we saw it from front to back, in the most difficult ratings piece we've had to write this season.

This was the first 4-4 at SJP since that Arsenal game in 2011

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Barnes, Bruno, and Wilson were three of our better performers in a crazy encounter

Martin Dúbravka – 4

He had next to no chance with the first or fourth goals given the poor defending in front of him, but his handling for the second was abysmal. He was also given two opportunities to save the penalty for the third and elected to dive the wrong way on both occasions.

Kieran Trippier (c) – 7

His assist for Longstaff's first goal was classic Trippier and he locked down his flank well, especially when compared to Burn on the other side. He was still caught out badly for Luton's fourth, unfortunately, but his finish for our third goal was right out of the top drawer.

Fabian Schär – 5

Having been marvelous at Villa Park on Tuesday, this was a crash back down to Earth for our Swiss international. He showed some flashes of brilliance, but only won 6/13 of his duels, completed just 67% of his 48 pass attempts, and lacked his usual steely composure.

Sven Botman – 4

He played his part in our wonderful opening goal by setting the move away with a nice pass between the lines, but his foul for Luton's first equaliser was so needless. He was also too slow to move out to close Adebayo down on their fourth, despite Bruno's urging.

Dan Burn – 2

He had a torrid time up against Ogbene and the concession of the penalty was something you just don't expect to see from someone of his experience. He's clearly a great guy but he shouldn't be starting ahead of Livramento at the moment, regardless of how tall he is.

Lewis Miley – 8

His pass to set Trippier away down the right for our opening goal was quality and he also won the ball back with just the right amount of aggression for Barnes' equaliser. Although he ran out of steam again, until he reached the point of exhaustion he was having a blinder.

Bruno Guimarães – 8

He was our most creative player in the contest but he was also relatively anonymous defensively aside from winning the ball back in the buildup to Longstaff's second. His assist for Trippier's was world-class and he also made another huge chance for Murphy too.

Sean Longstaff – 8 ⭐️

Both of his finishes were brilliant, which points to a man who is regaining composure and confidence in front of goal. Other elements of his game are still sorely lacking, sadly, as he switched off to lose Osho for Luton's first equaliser and missed a tackle for their second.

Jacob Murphy – 4

We're not sure what we saw from Murphy here, though we are sure some of his fiercer critics will argue it was a return to his normal level. He was maddeningly wasteful in possession aside from that one devilish cross he whipped in, and his miss at 4-4 was a shocker.

Anthony Gordon – 7

Are we operating a 'one in, one out' policy this season or what? Just when we get Barnes back we lose him to injury. It's infuriating. He'd done well enough as the lone striker up until half-time, too, with a particularly eye-catching contribution for Longstaff's second goal.

Miguel Almirón – 5

He set the move for our second goal away with a nice pass down the left for Gordon, but there wasn't much else to shout about in his performance. Indeed, on more than one counter-attack we found ourselves screaming for him to stop taking so many touches.

Barnes and Wilson gave the bench a much healthier look

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It was great to see Wilson back in the squad and he battled well in the second half

Callum Wilson – 7

Introduced for the ailing Gordon at half-time, he provided a useful focal point to the attack and came out on top in his one-on-one battle with Osho. He didn't have a clear sight of goal, sadly, even though the game looked perfectly set up for him to grab the winner.

Tino Livramento – 6

He must be wondering how he's sat on the bench when he sees BDB putting in another display like that, but that's two games in a row where he's come in to help stem the tide and done it well. He did switch off for Luton's best chance of the latter stages, mind.

Harvey Barnes – 8

What a welcome sight to see him back involved for the first time in five months and what a finish for the 4-4 goal. He can't be anywhere near fully fit, but this was a very bright cameo and he could be massive for us between now and the end of the campaign.

Next up for the Magpies is Nottingham Forest away

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We got one of our most satisfying away wins of last season at the City Ground

We're still not over Chris Wood's hat-trick in the reverse fixture, to be totally honest, and we're not sure we'll ever be, so we really want to get a result here.

We've got a clear week between now and then, with the game kicking off at 5.30 p.m. (GMT) at the City Ground on Saturday evening. It'll be shown live on Sky.

Howay the lads!

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