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.