Manchester United saw of a resilient Newcastle in a fairly comfortable win at Old Trafford, with Marcus Rashford, Daniel James and Bruno Fernandes on target for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.
It was the home side who started the stronger of the two and they took the lead through Rashford‘s wonderful opener, the England forward leaving Emil Krafth for dead before squeezing an effort in at Karl Darlow’s near post.
But they were quickly pegged back when Harry Maguire’s headed clearance fell into the path of Allan Saint-Maximin, who thudded in an equally glorious leveller.
Newcastle stepped it up a gear from there and looked the more likely to score of the two teams early in the second half, but they were soon caught on the break, and found themselves behind after some lax defending allowed Daniel James in to finish clinically.
Steve Bruce had plenty of positives to take from a decent Newcastle performance, but their hopes of taking anything from the game were dashed with 15 minutes remaining, when Joe Willock tripped Rashford in the area and allowed Bruno Fernandes to convert from the spot.
17-year-old Shola Shoretire was given his debut as United saw out the game with relative ease, but there would be no fairytale for the youngster on this occasion, as the game finished 3-1.
Let’s get into some player ratings!
David de Gea (GK) – 6/10 – Paul Scholes accused him of weak goalkeeping on the Newcastle equaliser but that seemed harsh considering the power on the strike. Did seem a bit miffed with himself but otherwise solid.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (RB) – 6/10 – Stood up well to the threat posed by Saint-Maximin. Gave the Frenchman plenty of attention, which had a negative impact on his attacking play.
Victor Lindelof (CB) – 7/10 – Understated but effective performance from the Swede, whose role as a ball-playing defender was a quietly important part of his side’s controlled win.
Harry Maguire (CB) – 6/10 – Underrated assist on the opener, breaking the lines with a burst of pace (???) and laying the ball off to Rashford, who took the ball the distance and did the rest. Might have done better on Newcastle’s equaliser as his clearance fell straight into the path of Saint-Maximin.
Luke Shaw (LB) – 6/10 – Obviously been working on his crossing as he found himself on corners, and produced a few exceptional deliveries.
Fred (CM) – 5/10 – The Brazilian should probably never shoot again after sending another effort skewing into the stand in the second half. Lacked ideas a bit on the ball, but not a bad performance.
Nemanja Matic (CM) – 7/10 – Broke things up well enough and rarely gave the ball away despite seeing plenty of it – he had more touches than any United player other than Maguire.
Bruno Fernandes (AM) – 7/10 – Booked for his involvement in a first-half scuffle with Isaac Hayden, and later registered an assist for James. Mixed bag performance from United’s talisman but he later netted his customary penalty and played his part in the win.
Daniel James (RW) – 7/10 – Impressive run of form continued with a sixth goal in nine appearances – a powerful low finish after Fernandes found him at the back post.
Anthony Martial (CF) – 5/10 – Isolated and fairly anonymous before being replaced by Mason Greenwood.
Marcus Rashford (LW) – 7/10 – At his very best to open the scoring, rinsing Emil Krafth and finding the bottom corner. Played Willock well to win the penalty and while he’s had better games in a United shirt, he was highly influential here.
Mason Greenwood (Martial, 69) – 6/10
Juan Mata (James, 88) – N/A
Shola Shoretire (Rashford, 88) – N/A
Karl Darlow (GK) – 5/10 – Frustrated to be beaten at his near post for the opener.
Emil Krafth (RB) – 5/10 – Like his keeper he didn’t cover himself in glory with the first goal, allowing himself to be sucked in by Rashford.
Jamaal Lascelles (CB) – 7/10 – Held things together in a Newcastle performance that was admirable for the most part.
Ciaran Clark (CB) – 6/10 – Won plenty of headers and didn’t do much wrong otherwise.
Jamal Lewis (LB) – 6/10 – Lively going forward but a little suspect defensively. Switched off to leave James in yards of space for the second goal.
Jonjo Shelvey (CM) – 5/10 – Pretty ineffective and seemed to give the ball away as often as he found his mark.
Isaac Hayden (CM) – 6/10 – Seemed to flit between central midfield and centre-back after the break but did his bit in both positions.
Joe Willock (CM) – 5/10 – Looked capable going forward but still looks too soft defensively for the Newcastle midfield. Gave away the penalty for a clumsy challenge on Rashford.
Miguel Almiron (AM) – 7/10 – Seemed to thrive in the no.10 role, covering plenty of ground and helping out Joelinton and Saint-Maximin in the final third.
Allan Saint-Maximin (CF) – 7/10 – Simply glorious finish for the equaliser. Often marked out of the game but still managed to shine with a few moments of individual brilliance.
Joelinton (CF) – 4/10 – Struggled with an injury throughout and eventually lost the fight ten minutes into the second half.
Ryan Fraser (Joelinton, 55) – 6/10
Jacob Murphy (Saint-Maximin, 77) – N/A
Dwight Gayle (Almiron, 79) – N/A