A huge top four clash rounded off a dramatic Saturday of Premier League football at St. James’ Park. Newcastle were hard done by in the UEFA Champions League in Paris on Wednesday evening, while Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United played out a dramatic six-goal thriller against Galatasaray last time out. Both looked for three points here to keep up their bid for a top four finish.
NEW: Pope; Livramento, Schar, Lascelles, Trippier; Miley, Guimaraes, Joelinton; Almiron, Gordon, Isak
MUN: Onana; Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Shaw, Dalot; Mainoo, McTominay; Fernandes, Garnacho, Rashford; Martial
A bitterly cold evening in the North East of England saw Newcastle dominating possession in the opening minutes, as they looked to attack Manchester United from the off. Bruno Guimaraes forced the first chance of the game, as Luke Shaw blocked the Brazilian’s outside-of-the-boot effort well.
It was then United’s turn to threaten the opener, as a wonderful pass from Bruno Fernandes found Alejandro Garnacho down the left hand side. The Argentine then raced towards goal and fired low, but Nick Pope was alert and took the ball in his arms safely.
Alexander Isak, who scored the Magpies’ goal in Paris in midweek, then had a chance to give Eddie Howe’s team the lead – but Diogo Dalot’s block landed as far as Anthony Gordon, who fired just wide on the rebound. Miguel Almiron then saw his tame effort saved well by Onana just moments later.
Isak then had the best opportunity of the game so far as the ball landed at his feet via a deflection, but the Swede saw his close-range effort steered wide by an excellent block from Harry Maguire. From the resulting corner, Isak’s flick-on saw Jamaal Lascelles head just over the bar.
Kieran Trippier could be considered unlucky not to have put Newcastle in front with seven minutes to go in the first half, as his wonderful free kick left Andre Onana stranded between the sticks, but hit the underside of the bar and the ball was subsequently cleared away by Scott McTominay.
Newcastle started the second half as they ended the first as Miguel Almiron’s low ball in from the right was directed out of play by Luke Shaw before it could reach Isak in the middle for a tap-in. Joelinton then saw his tame effort minutes later claimed comfortably by Onana.
The pressure finally told for Newcastle moments after that chance for Joelinton, as Newcastle took a deserved lead. Kieran Trippier received the ball down the right hand side, and fired a first-time ball across the face of goal for Anthony Gordon at the far post. The young Englishman then steered the ball home to send St. James’ Park into raptures.Embed from Getty Images
It could have got even better for Eddie Howe just before the hour mark, but Fabian Schar’s long-range effort soared just over the bar.
United’s first chance of the second half came in the form of an excellent volley from substitute Sergio Reguilon, but his ambitious strike was blocked well by Fabian Schar; leaving Nick Pope to land awkwardly and requiring treatment. Unfortunately, the England international’s injury was worse than first thought, and Pope was replaced by Martin Dubravka for the closing minutes.
Erik ten Hag’s side thought they had rescued a point in the 89th minute when substitute Antony’s effort went in off Harry Maguire, but the goal was immediately ruled out for offside.
However, Newcastle weathered a late – and rare – attacking storm from the Red Devils and secured a deserved three points.
Both sides return to Premier League action next week, when Manchester United welcome Mauricio Pochettino’s Chelsea on Wednesday at 8:15pm, while Newcastle make the trip to Merseyside to face Everton the following day at 7:30pm.