Newcastle defender Fabian Schar gave the club’s new owners a timely reminder of his quality with a man of the match display against Lithuania for Switzerland.
The centre -back produced a dominant all-round display to help the Swiss ease to a 4-0 win.
The win took Switzerland level with Italy on 14 points in their World Cup qualifying group with two games remaining.
Schar at the heart of everything
Schar produced a faultless performance and contributed to both the defensive and attacking sides of the Swiss team’s game.
In the first half, Schar got two assists in the space of three minutes to ensure the three points were sealed for his nation before half-time.
After Breel Embolo gave Switzerland the lead just after the half hour mark, Schar played a ball over the top of the Lithuania defence which Renato Steffen latched on to before lobbing the onrushing goalkeeper.
Then from a Xherdan Shaqiri corner, Schar flicked on a header at the near post which Embolo collected and slotted home for his second of the evening.
Schar finished the match with 123 touches – no player had more. He completed 95 of his 114 attempted passes (83%), which included 11 accurate long balls.
No player won more aerial duels than Schar (5) and nobody created more chances than the 29-year-old (3). He also made three clearances which was more than any other Switzerland player (WhoScored).
It was an impressive and complete performance from Schar which showed his ability to dominate in both penalty areas and be an asset for his team.
Newcastle need this Fabian Schar
Schar seems to be out-of-favour with Steve Bruce and hasn’t featured since the third game of the season.
Despite all the chopping and changing of personnel within the backline, Schar’s chances of a recall under Bruce look slim.
But if Bruce is relieved of his duties and Graeme Jones is in the dugout at St James’ Park on Sunday against Tottenham, Schar will fancy his chances of starting.
Schar’s man of the match performance for his country will be hard to ignore and with seven goals to his name during his time at Newcastle, he has the quality to be the matchwinner on Sunday and create a wave of hysteria amongst the Geordie faithful.