Manchester United v Newcastle United –
Final Score/Result: Man United 0-1 Newcastle
Man Of The Match: Mathieu Debuchy
Manchester United drop points at home, once again, as Newcastle United continue their amazing run of form with a famous victory at Old Trafford.
It was a rare win for Newcastle United at Old Trafford, but can a Manchester United loss at home be called a shock result anymore? This was Manchester United’s third home defeat of the season, in the league, and we are yet to reach the half-way mark. In the overall picture, David Moyes’ men are now on a four match winless streak and are falling behind the title race or even the race for a top-four spot at an alarming rate. The massive win over Arsenal, should have fuelled a revival for the reigning Premier League champions, but instead they are now on the verge of being 15 points behind the league leaders, if Arsenal manage to win their game against Everton at home today.
Newcastle United for their part, are on an amazing run of form. After a fairly sluggish start to their campaign, the Magpies have now won five of their last six league matches and are now comfortably placed at seventh in the league. Amazingly for Alan Pardew, his side have now defeated both Chelsea and Manchester United in this recent run of good results.
The home side started the match brightly and looked the likelier of the two sides to take the lead. In the absence of Wayne Rooney due to suspension, David Moyes changed to a 4-4-2 formation with Hernandez and Robin van Persie pairing up in attack. Nani and Januzaj started the match as inverted wingers and the 18-year-old looked bright and sharp. Phil Jones, who started in the midfield alongside Cleverley, had the first chance of the game, but his long range effort was comfortably saved by Krul. Three minutes later Tom Cleverley’s two shots from the edge of box were blocked as United found space in attack.
Newcastle’s first real threat came in the 18th minute when Loic Remy’s header went over the crossbar. That was the best opportunity they created in the first half, before Mathieu Debuchy had a shot saved from a tight angle, right at the end. United, despite dominate the first half, couldn’t take the lead in the first half. The home side had two glorious opportunities at the start of the second half as well, but were unlucky in many respects. The first of those two opportunities fell to Hernandez, who broke the offside trap and found himself free in the box with an intelligent run. But his shot was saved by Krul. This was followed by a corner three minutes later, and Patrice Evra’s wonderful header was blocked on the line by Vurnon Anita and he seemed to have used his arms in order to do that. But the referee didn’t pick that up and Newcastle escaped unscathed.
As Manchester United failed to take their opportunities, Newcastle United grabbed theirs with both hands when it arrived. In the 61st minute of the game, Tim Krul’s long ball down the right was won in the air by Moussa Sissoko and Patrice Evra struggled to catch him after that. As Sissoko drove into space down the right, Cabaye held his run at the edge of the box and the Sissoko found him with a cut back. After that, it was all down to the French midfielder’s wonderfully placed side foot finish at the far post. That goal turned out to be the winner in the end as United failed to score a goal at home in two matches in a row.
David Moyes was left disappointed with the result, but insisted that the club is going through a transitional phase this season and it will take some time for things to work out. But he believes that United will turn around their fortunes.
“There will be [light at the end of the tunnel] because it is a transitional period and that was always going to be the case.
“I hoped it wouldn’t have been as poor as it has been in the last few games. When I came here I knew it was never going to be easy and it’s proved to be that way.
“I think the United supporters have been great to me and great to the club.
“They understand there is a big transition going on here and, like me, I don’t think they expected us to have lost five games at this stage of the season. We didn’t expect that.
“But I think they understand that there is a change going on. We’ll work, try to improve and try to get better.” – The Manchester United manager said.
David Moyes also dismissed rumours about Robin van Persie handing in a transfer request and labelled it as “absolute nonsense”.
“That is absolute nonsense. I don’t know what harder or tougher word I could say but that’s as good as I’ve got.” – Moyes said.
Manchester United v Newcastle United – Statistics
Mathieu Debuchy produced a wonderful performance for Newcastle United at the back in this game and helped his team in keeping the clean sheet. The Frenchman had a good opportunity at the end of the first half to provide the away side with the lead, but his shot was well saved by De Gea. In the first half, he also made an important interception in the box as Januzaj fired in a low cross, which could have provided United with the opener. That was one of the four interceptions he made in the game, along with five important tackles. The Frenchman was also effective in attack and looked threatening when bombed forward. The above heat-map depicts his movement and positioning on the pitch in the game.