Second-half goals from Dan James and Bruno Fernandes were enough for Manchester United to secure the win against Newcastle. James’ goal marked his second of the week, whilst Fernandes goal was from the penalty spot.
These goals would follow first half exploits from Marcus Rashford and Allan Saint-Maximin for Manchester and Newcastle United respectively. This win now moves Man United up to second place in the Premier League.
Dan James shines as United win:
For the second game in a row, Dan James would start for Manchester United and leave with both a goal and the Man of Match accolade. James was a constant threat down the right side, managing to keep both Mason Greenwood and new star Amad Diallo out of the side.
James’ goal was a well taken one, powerfully thumping the ball into the bottom-right corner. This would give United the lead in the fifty-fifth minute.
United did have the advantage once before. Marcus Rashford would burst past Newcastle right-back Emil Krafth, before powering his shot into the corner, despite a touch from Newcastle keeper Karl Darlow.
This lead would last just six minutes, as in the thirty-sixth minute Saint-Maximin would volley the ball from a corner past De Gea. Both goals raised questions, Man United have looked weak at set-pieces all season long. Meanwhile, Newcastle keeper Darlow arguably should have done better.
Darlow despite having an impressive season was expected to be returned to the bench by many fans now first-choice keeper Martin Dubravka has returned from injury.
“I’ll Never Say It’s Over Till It’s Over”
The words of Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in his post-match interview. They made clear his thoughts on a potential United title charge. Manchester United despite being second, are ten points behind leaders (and rivals) Manchester City.
Where Manchester City have looked unbeatable, United have faltered of late. Dropping points in four of their last six games, United will need to improve to keep the pace.
City who also picked up a win over the weekend are now on an 18 match win streak in all competitions. United will have a big task ahead of them if they do plan to challenge for the Premier League title.
The undeniable bright spot for United at least is Bruno Fernandes. The Portuguese talisman currently sits in second place in goals and assists in the league and leads the charts for goal contributions combined.
Fernandes would also score the final goal of the game. In the seventy-fifth minute a typically brilliant Fernandes penalty would put the game beyond any doubt.
If Manchester United are serious about maintaining some form of a title challenge, then they’ll have strong competition on Sunday in Chelsea. The London side have been unbeaten in Thomas Tuchel’s seven games in charge. Before then United will have the second leg of their Europa League tie with Real Sociedad, however, United will go in with a four-nil lead.
Newcastle will host Wolves on Saturday. Despite Wolves average season, they have picked it up in the league of late, currently unbeaten in their last four domestic fixtures. Steve Bruce’s men will need a win against Wolves, especially with the looming threat of the relegation zone.