Manchester United returned to action after the international break in their meeting with the Magpies at St. James Park. United’s last outing in the premier league was a horrific thumping at the hands of Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham.
Since then, United have added reinforcements in Facundo Pellestri, Edinson Cavani, and Alex Telles. Unfortunately, Edinson Cavani was unable to join up with his new teammates due to self-isolation requirements in the UK. Alex Telles was part of the matchday squad, but did not make an appearance for the Reds on Saturday.
In what was a very crucial game for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Manchester United came from behind to post an impressive 4-1 victory. The goals came from Harry Maguire, Bruno Fernandes, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, and Marcus Rashford MBE. After falling behind in the opening minutes off of an own-goal from Luke Shaw, Manchester United had their work cut out for them against a disciplined Newcastle United team.
Ole’s boys had a gameplan that they stuck to well, and the surprising introductions of Daniel James and Juan Mata to the starting 11 greatly benefitted the attacking prowess of the team. Despite struggling with scoring off set pieces- United equalized through captain Harry Maguire after a beautiful corner taken by Juan Mata.
United ended the half strongly and it was clear that there were more goals in store. Daniel James looked confident and hungry and combined well with Rashford to create some good chances.
United started the second half poorly- the passes looked wayward and the crossing was predictable. As Newcastle grew into the game, United’s midfield gave the defense some much-needed support. However, it took an astounding off-the-line save from David de Gea that gave United the wake-up call they really needed. Despite a missed penalty, United looked set to take the lead with some very slick movement and quick runs.
Pogba and Donny van de Beek gave the midfield some stability, and it was only a matter of time before Bruno Fernandes scored an absolute beauty in the top corner. United’s fast-paced counter-attacking and slick passing were on full display in that goal. Also, worth noting, was Rashford’s ability to spot attacking runs and provide assists. United looked to ice out the game by bringing on Matic. But while Matic was waiting on the touchline to replace Mata, Wan Bissaka fired a shot under the crossbar and made it 3-1. With the result done and dusted, Rashford capped off a good attacking display for Manchester United with another goal. 3 points in the bag, and some much-needed confidence for the lads before kicking off our CL campaign.
- McTominay and Fred supported the center backs very well.
- United’s playmaking was on display today. James, Bruno, Mata, and Rashford passed the ball around very well.
- David de Gea – that’s all I need to say!
- Maguire looked very shaky and under-confident at the beginning, but that goal did him a world of good!
What to Improve
- Getting in the box for crosses seems to be an issue. Wan Bissaka and Shaw’s crosses won’t do us much good if no one is in the box to receive them. Hopefully, Edinson Cavani can change that.
- Bruno Fernandes looked a bit sloppy for about 65 minutes- perhaps a little fatigued.
- Donny van de Beek really showed why he should be starting. It is only a matter of time before Ole will have a real decision to make.
- The center backs tend to make too many unnecessary fouls in places where containing would be much better.
- Fred’s shooting- he should not be shooting at goal under any circumstance.