Newcastle and Manchester United: United’s worst game?
The Premier League game between Newcastle and Manchester United started at 20:00 GMT, local time in England. This meant a 15:00 (ET) and a 12:00 (PT) kick-off for viewers tuning in from the USA.
Manchester United came into the game at St James’ Park having not played since December 11. This happened after their games against Brentford and Brighton were called off due to COVID cases at the club. Newcastle had lost to Leicester, Liverpool, and Manchester City in the interim.
There were six changes for Newcastle with three coming in defense. Javier Manquillo, Emil Krafth, and Fabian Schar replaced Jacob Murphy, Matt Ritchie, and Ciaran Clark.
Manchester United made two changes themselves. Raphael Varane made his return from injury to replace Victor Lindelof. While Mason Greenwood started over Jadon Sancho.
The official line-ups were as follows:
Newcastle XI: Dubravka, Schar, Lascelles, Manquillo, Krafth, Fraser, Shelvey, S Longstaff, Joelinton, Saint-Maximin, Wilson.
Manchester United XI: De Gea, Dalot, Telles, Maguire, Varane, McTominay, Fred, Fernandes, Greenwood, Rashford, Ronaldo.
Before the match started, both Eddie Howe and Ralf Rangnick stated their minds regarding the game.
Eddie Howe said, “A massive occasion, a massive game. Games here between these teams are very historic. We are looking to create those memories for us and leave a really good feeling for the supporters.
We are looking for every game to be transformative and are capable. We’ve seen in the last two games we have competed against two really difficult opponents. Performances have been really good. Today we need to put it all together and produce the complete performance.”
Ralf Rangnick stated to a news channel, “We resumed for training last Tuesday and on Thursday had almost the whole team apart from Paul Pogba in training.
Unfortunately, Victor Lindelof tested positive with Covid yesterday so he cannot play. But Raphael Varane is available again and is in the starting line-up. In the last three or four days, we had some good training sessions.
We had two clean sheets in the last two games and so no need for me to change anything I do not have to. It is about taking steps and developing. With our team, we are always able to score goals so it is about having a clean sheet and playing defensively with all the players. It starts upfront with the strikers.”
Newcastle, who had won just one game all season in the Premier League, went in at halftime a goal up against Manchester United. Deservedly so with Allan Saint-Maximin and Joelinton the best on the pitch.
The visitors had been poor and offered nothing in attack, while at the back mistakes were commonplace. Rangnick needed to have a strong word at the break if his men were to get anything from this game.
When the second half began, Man Utd made two changes at the break. Jadon Sancho and Edinson Cavani replaced Fred and Mason Greenwood.
Minute 47 was a massive moment in the game as De Gea performed a brilliant save to deny ASM. ASM was unmarked six yards from goal and looked destined to double Newcastle’s lead.
At minute 70, Cavani came on and equalized for Man Utd. A low Diogo Dalot cross fell to the Uruguayan and his initial effort cannons backed off the defense and back into his path. Accordingly, he made no mistake at the second attempt.
Then came full-time. A spirited Newcastle side went ahead through Allan Saint-Maximin early on. They had the better chances throughout the game, with Frenchman and Joelinton causing plenty of issues.
Manchester United never looked like scoring and a rather fortuitous strike from Edinson Cavani was enough to earn a point. Though David De Gea was the away side’s main man, he made numerous key saves. The scoreboard hit 1-1.