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Newcastle United 1-0 Manchester United

Not quite Howay 5-0 but a win that feels just a sweet right now.

Four months since Newcastle United last managed a win in front of those faithful fans who turned out once more, 52,309 in fact, but one that was worth the wait.

From back to front, from the first minute to the last, from manager to every last Geordie in the ground today, BRILLIANT.

With no Slimani again due to injury, Rafa would hand a first start to Dubravka, and what a decision that would prove to be.

STARTING XI: Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett, Ritchie, Shelvey, Diame, Kenedy (Atsu, 84), Perez (Hayden, 94), Gayle (Joselu, 80)

Where to start?

How about at the end. A 1-0 win gave Newcastle United the only result that would lift them back out of the bottom three having fallen into the drop zone following a combination of results yesterday and a 4-1 win for Huddersfield earlier in the day.

Any win against a Manchester United side, sitting second in the table and boasting a cast of players NUFC could only dream of now, was always going to require a combination of desire, heart, luck and a little bit of quality in front of goal, Oh yes, lots of that stuff.

And Newcastle were up for it from the start. And within the first five minutes they could have been ahead. A foul on the left corner of the box resulted in an free kick from Gayle that was blocked into the path of Shelvey who’s fierce drive would be brilliantly tipped wide by DeGea.

A couple of minutes later Perez would then drag an effort wide from inside the ‘D’ when surrounded by opposition players.

But it wasn’t the number of attempts for either side that would perhaps be the telling factor in this one, more the battle for the centre of the park. And in that departments Newcastle won the game hands down. So much so that Pogba would get the hook and Matic is due to climb out of Diame’s pocked some time early next week.

For Diame and Shelvey would be immense. The sort of imperial displays you would associate with the great Manchester United teams of past decades under Ferguson. Mourinho said Newcastle fought ‘like animals’ during this one and he wasn’t wrong. Quicker to every ball. Harder in every tackle. Faster with every run. The Shelvey who sometimes worries us was a yard quicker than ever. As for Diame, we saw the lad who’s turned up in the last few weeks again, not the one of earlier in the season. And long may that continue.

Manchester United did have their chances of course, with Sanchez looking looking a different quality to those others in red all game. Man U’s best chance of the first half also raised the biggest cheer from the home crowd after Anthony Martial looked certain to score after racing clear of the Newcastle back line only to find debutant Dubravka an impregnable last line of defence. More on the giant Slovakian later.

By the half time whistle there as a growing feeling that perhaps there was something there for Newcastle. The better team in the first