Newcastle destroyed by Manchester United
Newcastle United 1-4 Manchester United
Another staggeringly poor performance from the Magpies, this time against the Red Devils, left Newcastle fans fuming once more at the lack of shape, tactics and ambition from Steve Bruce's men.
An own goal from Luke Shaw, turning in a cross from Emil Krafth on 4 minutes would give Newcastle an early lead at St James Park, but a dominant display from Manchester United would see them grab an equaliser midway through the first half from the head of the much maligned Harry Maguire.
Out-battled from the first whistle, Newcastle's game plan seemed to be to play as 11 individuals, randomly scattered over the pitch, hoofing an aerial bombardment to no on in particular.
Whatever it was, it didn't work. A 1-1 draw would have more than flattered Bruce's men. And for 83 long minutes they looked like they might just get away with this one.
But three goals in those last 7 minutes + injury time from Fernandez, Wan-Bissaka and the excellent Rashford gave the scoreboard a more realistic look.
Absolutely shocking from start to finish from Bruce and his charges.
Newcastle had made just the one change from a 3-1 win against Burnley last time out with Lascelles coming in for Schar. That meant a place on he bench only for Fraser (impressive for Scotland in the week) or for Miggy Almiron who gets a rest after a long trip to South America. (See FactFile at the foot of this page for match stats)
The game was a historic first as Sky Sports Pay Per View game, with the broadcaster charing £14.99 for anyone who wanted to watch the game. The agreement with the Premier League for companies to be able to charge additional sums for games has been heavily criticised with fans having to pay the additional PPV fee on top of anyone paying for Sky Sports or BT if already subscribers to these packaged.
In the case of those Newcastle fans on long term season ticket deals this was another blow with season ticket money continuing to be taken by the club.
This lead to many fans donating £15 to the NUFC food bank instead, raising more than £5000 for the charity in the process.
For Manchester United there would be a number of changes too. Martial banned of course after his red card, Pogba dropped as was Matic and Telles only getting a place on the bench. Cavani was also unavailable as his debut needed to be delayed due to COVID isolation.
But it was Newcastle United that would get off to a flyer. Saint-Maximin releasing Shelvey in the centre of the park, allowing the midfielder to drive forward before finally releasing Krafth on the right of the box. His cross was looking to find Wilson in the centre of the box but a wicked deflection off the boot of Luke Shaw would see the boll loop into the keeper top left corner. 1-0 NUFC.
That goal a blow to the visitors as early as the 4th minute.
Manchester United had started brightly, looking up for the fight and sharper to all the 50/50s and dominating possession before and after that early goal.
And the Manchester club did have the ball in the net on 20 mins, Fernandez with a wonderful turn and finish inside the box, only for VAR to rule out the goal for offside.
The warning signs had certainly been there before the score was level. Maguire rising virtually unposed to head home a corner. Far too easy.
In a rare moment of pressure at the other and, Saint-Maximin would test De Gea and force a good save from the keeper after a Jamal Lewis corner was recycled to the edge of the box.
The the intensity and relentless play from Manchester United was causing the Magpies all end of issues. The only stand out performance of the first half coming from Darlow between the sticks who had been called upon time after time to rescue his team.
1-1 at half time.
The first big chance of the first half would almost see the Magpies back in font, amazingly!
Lewis did well to regain possession before feeding Saint-Maximin in the Manchester United area. His trickery resulted in a scooped cross that allowed Wilson to stab towards goal. Somehow through, De Gea managed to dive back to his goal line and scoop the ball away from danger. A fantastic save.
On 58 minutes Newcastle would be thankful to Darlow once again. This time a penalty save from a Fernandez spot kick after Jamal Lewis was adjudged to have fouled Rashford in the box. A harsh a penalty for a foul as you’ll see. A strong hand from the keeper diving to his right to stop the visitors form taking the lead.
Normal service now resumed. Manchester United fully on top.
And whilst they had been knocking at the door for the vast majority of the second half it would take until the 86th minute for Manchester United to take the lead for the first time.
Newcastle’s players, second to everything all night, stood off the first pass, the second and the third as the Red Devils played unopposed from back to front. A simple but energetic run into the left channel was only halted as he raced into the box. His reverse pass finding Fernandez who did from the corner of the 6 yard box what he couldn’t from the spot, finding the top right corner with a lovely finish.
No more than the visitors deserved. And three minutes later it was game over. Wan-Bissaka exchanging passes with Rashford before smashing his own shot into that same top corner.
And Rashford wasn’t done there as he raced clear in injury time to fire home his first and Man U’s forth.
The scoreboard finally had something more reflective of the game to show.
Newcastle, outworked, outclassed, out-tacticed, BruceOut
Just damn awful.