Player Rating and Match Report

Manchester United vs Newcastle Match Report

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Manchester United and Newcastle United Line-up:

Screenshot 20210912 182831 Screenshot 20210912 183537

Match Report Manchester United vs Newcastle

United slot into the traditional 4-2-3-1

Ronaldo shifts into that Left side of the attack – fluidity with Sancho?

Pogba lies deep to offer the quality of pass before the backline

United continue to attack down the more comfortable left side 

Newcastle dart forward in what is clearly an approach to counterattack Manchester United

first half

3 min Wan Bissaka cross into the area – nobody there to receive

4 min Ronaldo through from Bruno pass – falls awkwardly. Newcastle clear

Newcastle clearing the passes from Manchester’s high press

Newcastle looking to settle into the game then quickly produce a flash at goal, miss Joelinton.

7 min Pogba plays a beautiful, lofted pass to Bruno who heads back to the Newcastle goalkeeper.

8 min Ronaldo’s movement is dragging the Newcastle centre-halves all across their box. Plenty for those defenders to think about

10 min Ronaldo and Sancho combine to work the ball into the box, the resultant shot hits the side netting. The energy from United on the pitch and in the stands is electric.

12 min Newcastle taking their time – clearly conscious of the momentum United have and continue to absorb the pressure well.

13 min Newcastle placing emphasis on United’s right side. Matic has drifted across to assist AWB.

14 min United attack broke quickly by a harsh tackle from Longstaff on Bruno, advantage United.

15 min Pogba was pickpocketed by Saint Maxim who launches a quick attack. A strong stance from the United back 3 of Varane, Matic and Maguire who force the ball out for a Newcastle throw

18 min United possession showcasing crisp, inventive passing. Pogba whips another quality cross in – just over Bruno attacking the front post.

19 min First corner of the game, Matic cross blocked by a sturdy Newcastle defence. Followed by a front post cross, Varane connects but unfortunately flashes it across the face of the goal.

20 min Corner number 2, an unfortunate interception for Newcastle forces the ball out for another Manchester corner.

Joelinton is very much the target of Newcastle distribution. This is likely to be a theme.

23 min Saint Maxim with a targeted run pushing Manchester further back. Ball lands outside the box for a Newcastle shot that is deflected and then easily caught by De Gea.

25 min Newcastle attack sees Saint Maxim beat Wan Bissaka on the outside and crosses into the Manchester box, cleared by Shaw. Corner that follows cleared comfortably by Maguire

26 min Fernandes shoots from halfway – solid effort from 50 yards that goes just over the crossbar.

27 min Newcastle finally cautioned for time wasting which started at the begging of the game!

28 min sloppy touch from Fernandes delivers the ball to Willock in the box, fortunately the shot is way over the woodwork.

29 min Manchester continue to shoot from deep demonstrating to Newcastle that their low block may not be enough

30 min Wan Bissaka mistake places the ball in Saint Maxims path – no support so no danger in the move

30 min Bruno shoots AGAIN from deep, Sancho flicks a boot at it that would surely put the ball into the net but fails to get the clean contact

31 min Varane holds off the Newcastle attack and using his immense recovery speed prevents the corner sending the ball out for a throw

32 min Quick United attack frees up Sancho who can’t get his feet set and allows the Newcastle defenders to recover, block leads to corner

33 min Manchester header from corner goes straight at Newcastle GK who distributes quickly up the field. There is an obvious attempt to catch Manchester on the back foot

34 min Manchester work the ball from left to right in an attempt to find a through pass. When they do Ronaldo receives in the box and is firmly nudged off the ball by Newcastle defender.

36 min Newcastle get the ball out and again Saint Maxim and Almiron combine to drive the ball forward. Maguire too physical and gives away a freekick. Following play sees Saint Maxim fire at goal and put it low and wide.

37 min United continue to supply the box in an attempt to get Ronaldo on the end of something, no luck just yet.

38 min Wan Bissaka cross passes everyone in box and is placed out by Newcastle for a United corner. The pressure continues.

38 min Corner dealt with and Newcastle release Saint Maxim who is covered by Wan Bissaka confidently.

39 min the game is starting to open up, Newcastle are committing slightly further forward and this is creating a very entertaining game. Still goalless

43 min after a period in the midfield United are trying to break down the Newcastle defence again, United try an approach from the right that sees Greenwood push Newcastle deeper and depper in the box

45 min United pressure fails to break down Newcastle and Almiron intercepts the ball, fouled by Pogba who is second to the ball.

46 min – 2 mins of added time confirmed, Manchester’s turn to soak up pressure, which they do. Varane decisive again and United take the ball up the field to try once more at breaking down this well organised Newcastle defensive unit.

47 min – IT TAKES HIM JUST 47 MINUTES IN A RED SHIRT TO DO IT AGAIN. A FIRST OF THE SEASON FOR CRISTIANO RONALDO. Greenwood cuts onto his venomous left foot and shoots forces the Newcastle keeper to spill the ball for a Ronaldo tap in. He could smell the danger and he has capitalised just before half time.

HALF TIME CALLED. Manchester United 1-0 Newcastle United.

second half

United enter the second half in a much different manner. The ball is being passed quickly with far fewer touches.

48 min Wan Bissaka slides a cross low along the six-yard box but no Manchester player attacks it.

51 min Saint Maxim bolts past Pogba and alongside AWB to cross – intercepted by Varane.

53 min Newcastle working the ball out wide, and this is removing the United midfield further from the defensive effort, ball crossed in twice for alternate wings with no result

54 min Matic shot soars over – rare attempt from him that demonstrates the difficulty United are having making chances

56 min a quick attack from a Newcastle sees Newcastle punish a high press United side. Manchester United 1-1 Newcastle United.

57 min Newcastle attack AGAIN but Wan Bissaka clears.

58 min Newcastle are unrelenting and are pushing United again and again. Almiron starts a run from his own box, and it ends all the way inside the United box. Defending from this Manchester side has been poor. Two Newcastle players alone are relieving all the pressure. Much to consider for Manchester going forward.

60 min Pogba is booked for the most unfortunate skill. Attempts a skill and is confusingly given a yellow card despite no intent when standing on Newcastle player. Very questionable refereeing…

61 min Newcastle resume in their attempt to waste time wherever possible.

62 min Manchester United collect the goal kick and initiate a fast attack of their own. Varane plays the ball into the midfield and ultimately Shaw carries the ball centrally finally releasing CRISTIANO RONALDO who scores with an efficient finish through the legs of the Newcastle keeper. A brace and time to go for Ronaldo. VIVA RONALDO!!

63 min United start well from the kick-off and are now covering the space effectively. A quick conversation between Maguire and Ole appears to have changed the approach and we can see more United players centrally willing to take the low block on directly.

65 min Lingard warms up and United press the accelerator. The ball is being moved faster than ever. Sancho and Shaw formulating an effective left sided partnership. Despite this, Lingard replaces Sancho.

66 min Shaw corner lands on Varane who heads the ball slightly wide

67 min Joelinton played into the box, moves around Varane and shoots the ball just above De Gea who has to parry the shot over for a corner

68 min no success for Newcastle from their corner and the ball quickly returns back to Newcastle’s goalkeeper.

69 min Saint Maxim afforded much less space by the Manchester defence, and this is preventing the great runs he was producing in the first half.

71 min Manchester back to the position before where the ball is being shifted left to right in an attempt to break this low block set up.

72 min United corner cleared again.

73 min Greenwood is being sent again and again by arching passes from Bruno and Pogba in an attempt to play crosses into the Newcastle box.

74 min Lingard dispossessed and Newcastle attack ending in an offside call

75 min Ronaldo drops deeper and the focus being on Ronaldo is allowing other United players freedom going into the box

76 min Greenwood beats his man on the edge of the box and has an attempt blocked by the Newcastle defenders.

79 min Matic mistake allows Newcastle to pick up the ball in Manchester’s final third and win an easy corner after a needed Maguire block.

80 min De Gea saves a long-range attempt and sends Manchester forward. Greenwood carries the ball and ends up squaring the ball to BRUNO FERNANDES who fires home an absolute BANGER. THE DIP THE POWER AND THE POSITION OF THE BALL STRANDS THE KEEPER. The best goal of the game by far. Manchester United 3-1 Newcastle United.

83 min Matic foul on Saint Maxim.

84 min Van De Beek and Martial replace Bruno Fernandes and Greenwood to a standing ovation in Old Trafford.

86 min the substitutes begin their appearance by pressuring the left side of the Newcastle defence BUT Newcastle do very well to find a way out and maintain possession

87 min Saint Maxim crosses to Joelinton who heads the ball with his crown and send the ball out with little threat.

89 min a poor Martial touch under no pressure grants Newcastle possession. The United attack needs to be alert if they wish to score again. Possession lost too easily again.

89 min Van De Beek is sent down the right side of the pitch and is only stopped by a well-timed tackle.

90 min 3 mins added time confirmed. United are now holding the ball and allowing Newcastle to push out from their anti-football set-up.

91 min Martial tries to square the ball to Ronaldo cleverly and sees a good Newcastle interception.

91 min the interception is followed by a weak pass and United play the ball around extremely well in the centre of the pitch involving Van De Beek, Pogba, a clever dummy from Martial seeing LINGARD SLOT THE BALL INTO THE NEWCASTLE NET WITH A TIDY FINISH. Manchester United 4-1 Newcastle.

WHISTLE HAS BEEN BLOWN AND UNITED HAVE THEIR FIRST WIN WHEN STARTING ALL THREE OF MANCHESTERS NEW SUMMER ARRIVALS. MOTM Ronaldo.

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Entering Manchester United’s fourth game of the season, every fan had one name in their thoughts: Cristiano Ronaldo. The reception was electric at Old Trafford to welcome a club legend back and with it, the potential of a very exciting season for Manchester United. Cristiano Ronaldo surely delivered on any promises that may have festered in the minds of the home supporters providing the fans with not one, but two moments of greatness from what is surely an icon of the game.

This reunion marks the beginning of the final chapter or the ‘final dance’ as it has been popularly dubbed by many for a notorious reunion of Ronaldo and the number 7 shirt. Graciously received from El Matidor (Edison Cavani) who now resides in his familiar number 21 shirt as with his international side.

United started the game well and showed a real urgency to their play. This progression of play was aided by adventurous flicks and tricks that provided supporters with a glimpse of what was on display some 12 years ago. The effort from United lacked urgency and direction throughout the first half as Newcastle managed to comfortably slot into a traditional low block containing essentially all outfield players. However, these efforts were not in vain as it saw Ronaldo deliver an intelligent poachers finish at the end of the first half following a venomous shot from Mason Greenwood.

Following half time, despite United’s efforts to conduct a fast fluid style of play, the home side found themselves bombarded with attacks. The United defence seemed unable to stamp out the surging runs of the Newcastle forwards and punished them with a swift counter; begging the question, can this team really compete with the ‘Big 4’ when leaking goals so carelessly?

Moving forward, the determination that followed the conceded goal was exemplary. Newcastle returned to their style of repeated timewasting that they were cautioned for in the first half, however, the United side as we’ve seen so many times last season ignited the fire inside and pushed forward. After conceding it took just 6 minutes for Luke Shaw’s driving run combined with a smooth through pass to Ronaldo to be slotted home. This calm and collected finish certainly change the emphasis of the game further.

Whilst you’d believe United would see this game through very comfortably, the game appeared to open up more than ever. Newcastle realising, they must commit forward to secure that all-important point and United continuing to press high saw many worrying runs approaching the United final third. Saint Maxim, Almiron and Willock may all revel in the knowledge that their contributions will not go unnoticed, and they helped for 60 minutes of the game, to keep the contest open.

Following this, however, United seemed to be more aware, Newcastle were afforded less space on the counter and it appears as though a calmness had been restored to the hosts. To accompany the two well-timed goals from Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes scored an absolute peach late on in the match that frankly was an unsavable attempt, followed by a well-worked move showcasing intricate pass and move instruction from United that saw Lingard slot one past the visitors.

The difference in this game must be chalked down to United’s superior quality of finish in the final third. Ronaldo produced two debut goals with only two finishes (Our Man of the Match – stats below), there were doubters before the game who foolishly believed that he may not start but who could refuse to start a great such as him? “He’s only played twice this season”, “He’ll need time to adapt”, clearly the preparation that Ronaldo conducted prior to his move was sufficient and he truly showcases the embodiment of a phenomenal athlete.

From the get-go, all attention was on Ronaldo and many times he pulled and misshaped the backline of Newcastle with darting runs and powerful drives. As many expected, his role primarily was of a 9 however there were many enjoyable moments where he dropped deeper into the Second Striker or wider to interchange with the wingers providing the traditional fluidity of United attacks.

Ronaldo was clearly confident going into this game despite comments made in a post-match interview where he exclaimed his nervousness to meet the fans once more, attempting an impossible volley which he snatched at, missing to produce a sheepish smile. The overall influence of Ronaldo on this game cannot be simply stated and many will hope this is a theme for months or maybe years to come.

Emphasis must also be placed on the meaning of the occasion. The atmosphere inside the stadium was unparalleled, suddenly a fourth game of the season against what many would describe as unchallenging opposition (no offence to Newcastle United) was reminiscent of a derby or Tuesday night Champions League fixture, this surely elevated the expectations and some of the individual performances.

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Cristiano Ronaldo Man of the Match stats:

90 Mins

2 Goals

2 Shots

2 on Target

2 Shots Blocked

63 Touches

40 Accurate Passes (88%)

Solid Performance

Manchester United worst performer:

Feels too cruel to say whilst were experiencing the euphoria from Ronaldo’s unveiling right now, a couple of contenders but we move.

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