Manchester United bounced back from the defeat to Chelsea, coming from a goal down to beat Newcastle United 4-1 at Old Trafford on Saturday.

The Red Devils had to earn the win the hard way, with Newcastle starting the brighter of the two sides and grabbing the lead in the 14th minute through Dwight Gayle, after some fine work by DeAndre Yedlin on the right flank. Jacob Murphy and Isaac Hayden came close to scoring in the first half as well.

But, Manchester United dominated the proceedings following Gayle’s goal. Anthony Martial levelled things up in the 37th minute, nodding in from Paul Pogba’s cross. Chris Smalling then gave his side the lead on the stroke of half-time, heading past Rob Elliot from Ahsley Young’s pinpoint cross.

Pogba doubled the hosts’ lead shortly after the break, tapping in from close range from Marcus Rashford’s deft header. The three points were then sealed with twenty minutes to go as Romelu Lukaku ended his drought with a thumping shot past Elliot.

The game also marked Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s return to action, and the star striker came close to scoring as well. The result stayed at 4-1 though, as Manchester United remained eight points behind Manchester City. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Jose Mourinho’s men.

David De Gea: 7/10

De Gea did not have a lot to do on the night with his side dominating the proceedings, but his net was ruffled, although he was well beaten by Dwight Gayle’s shot. He was called into action a few times on Saturday, and he was equal to all of them, with two saves either side of half-time crucial to the result.

Antonio Valencia: 6/10

Like most of his partners at the back, Valencia did not have a lot to do at the back as he negated the threat of Matt Ritchie, and occasionally Jacob Murphy superbly. His impact in the final third was a mixed bag, as his link up play was effective, although his crossing needs some work.

Victor Lindelof: 6/10

A surprise selection on the night, with Eric Bailly missing through injury and Marcos Rojo not fit enough to last ninety minutes. Lindelof started the game in disastrous fashion, first playing a poorly judged pass to De Gea before his slip cost Manchester United dearly, ending with Gayle’s goal.

From thereon out, the Swede improved remarkably, calmly dealing with whatever came his way. He could have also had a wonderful assist to his name had Lukaku not missed what seemed like a simple header. All in all, it was an outing that would help his confidence immensely as he continues to grow at Old Trafford.

Chris Smalling: 7/10

The senior of the two central defenders, Smalling did well to guide Lindelof, while being a commanding presence at the back. He also played his part in his side’s win, towering over two Newcastle defenders to head past Rob Elliot. Another player whose confidence would have been boosted after Saturday.

Ashley Young: 7.5/10

Young continued his fine run of form on Saturday, impressing with his defensive abilities at the back, particularly against the pace of Jacob Murphy. Up front, he was a threatening presence once again, rolling back the years with his marauding runs and effective pinpoint crossing.

Other than the cross that resulted in Smalling’s goal, Young made a number of crosses that could have easily resulted in goals as well. His performances are a real cause for encouragement, with his presence making both wide defensive areas a force to be reckoned with.

Paul Pogba: 9/10

Oh Paul, you were dearly missed by Manchester United fans. The talismanic Frenchman showed exactly what Mourinho’s side was lacking for large parts of the last two months as he dominated midfield by showcasing his complete range of passing to open up the Newcastle defence.

He directly played a major role in his side’s win as well, crossing the ball for Martial’s goal before getting on the score sheet himself. Jose Mourinho took Pogba off with twenty minutes to go, and he will need to manage the player’s fitness smartly to ensure he does not get sidelined anymore for the remainder of the season.

Nemanja Matic: 7/10

A typically solid performance by the Serb on the night, as he dictated the tempo of the game and kept things tight in the middle. But, he was guilty of giving the Newcastle attackers a bit too much space on more than one occasion, and that is one thing that he will have to address going forward.

Marcus Rashford: 7/10

Rashford initially started on the right wing before moving to the left side along with Martial. The young Englishman was typically energetic and lively on the night, especially in the second half, although he was also wasteful in possession, with his take-ons not amounting to much.

Rashford’s most notable moment in the match was his assist to Pogba for the third goal as he made a blistering run into the box before his deft header allowed the Frenchman to tap into an empty net.

Juan Mata: 7/10

Not a spectacular outing by any means for Mata, who got a rare opportunity to start in his preferred number ten role. While he didn’t get a chance to show his creative abilities in the position, the Spaniard created a lot of space with his relentless movement around the Newcastle box.

Anthony Martial: 7/10

The Frenchman didn’t start the game on the right note, with his dribbles not amounting to much in the first half, although he did get a goal before the break. Like Rashford though, he burst into life in the second half, with his pace and trickery proving to be menacing for a tiring Newcastle defence.

Most importantly, this outing signalled a possible selection pattern, wherein he could start alongside Rashford in attack in more games in the coming weeks, with the two combining well on the left side of the attack.

Romelu Lukaku: 7/10

Lukaku still looked some way off his early season form, but the return of Pogba seemed to have put a spring in his step. The Belgian was unlucky to not get on the score sheet during the early stages of the game as his effort was ricocheted over the bar by Ciaran Clark.

The Belgian did miss two really good chances, but he also showed a lot of improvement in the match, particularly with his link up play. To add substance to his performance, Lukaku also grabbed his 8th goal of the season – a thumping shot that would give him a huge boost of confidence moving forward.


Marouane Fellaini: 6/10

Introduced in place of Pogba, Fellaini provided a lot of control in midfield while being a threat in set-piece situations. He could have had a goal for himself in the dying stages of the match, but the ball did not cross the line completely after Rob Elliot caught it.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic: 5/10

The self-professed Lion is back for Manchester United, much earlier than anticipated, and Manchester United fans made their emotions on the occasion all too apparent.

The Swede showed that the injury has not slowed him down one bit as he played some remarkable passes and even came close to scoring with an acrobatic effort. A huge player for the Red Devils going forward.

Ander Herrera: N/A

Came on for the last ten minutes and helped see out the game.

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