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Ratings: Marcus Rashford was the MOTM in the victory over Newcastle United as David De Gea kept a clean sheet

Manchester United beat Newcastle United 2-0 at St James’ Park on Wednesday evening, the first match of 2019. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has now won all four of his matches leading the club, matching Sir Matt Busby, the only other manager to do this, back in 1946. Romelu Lukaku opened the scoring in the 64th minute with Marcus Rashford doubling United’s lead in the 80th minute.

Marcus Rashford was tonights Man of the Match. He has kicked on this season after Solskjaer took over from Jose Mourinho. His free-kick paved the way for Romelu Lukaku to score his second goal in two matches. Alexis Sanchez, returning from injury, got himself back into the fold, coming off the bench and grabbing an assist, in which Rashford scored the goal. Victor Lindelof is another player who has risen to the occasion. The Iceman has grown in confidence this season.

Solskjaer has certainly risen the confidence level of this United team at a period whereby it could not get much worse. The attack power of this team is great when all of the players are fully fit. This will give the manager a headache, for the right reasons. United needed to attack with confidence and that seems to be what is happening right now. The Premier League will have a break for just over a week now with the Emirates FA Cup third round against Reading now on the horizon. Spurs after that.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

Hardly had much to deal with from Newcastle. United have not had many clean sheets this season, this one was well earned. Newcastle, with all their chances, especially from Atsu, will be upset that nothing really caused problems.

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25 Antonio Valencia

The Ecuadorian had many problems in this game, Atsu was just one of them. Never ventured forward much and seemed out of his depth. Not sure his time at United is suited to the style of play coming forward under Solskjaer.

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2 Victor Lindelof

The iceman is growing in confidence this season. A good performance from the Swede. His reading of the game is a lot better. Got involved with blocks and interceptions throughout the game. It could be hard for Smalling, Rojo and Bailly to get back in this team this season.

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4 Phil Jones

Solid at the back against Newcastle. United were outplayed in the opening stages with Atsu having many chances. United and Jones stood firm. Stopped Rondon with a last-ditch challenge which could have seen United concede a goal.

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23 Luke Shaw

Got forward a lot of the time and saw plenty of the ball. No crosses or or chances created though, which will need to start happening consistently. Defensively, Shaw and United were fine most of the time, even in the early stages of the game. Took one for the team and got booked.

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21 Ander Herrera

Played well at times. He was not seeking to be the star in the game. Did what he needed to do most of the time. He did his bit when Newcastle had the ball in the middle of the pitch.

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31 Nemanja Matic

United dominated possession and that was largely down to Matic. He won many battles on the pitch. Regained possession at times. Good to see him play well.

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8 Juan Mata

Manchester United need a right-winger in this team. Mata struggled in this position. United scored moments after he was replaced. Mata is a good player but not in this position.

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6 Paul Pogba

Could have suffered a nasty injury after a poor challenge by Shelvey, which went unpunished. He was very quiet in the game, based on his last two. Needs to raise his game consistently. A win is a win though.

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9 Anthony Martial

Not the best performance from the Frenchman. United seemed stale at times. Needed a change and he was one of them.

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10 Marcus Rashford

MOTM. Played a perfect free-kick which set up Lukaku's goal, which separated the two teams. Worked hard, as has been seen in his last few performances. Looks a different player now. Full of confidence and beans. Got another goal after a good ball from Sanchez.

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Substitutes

Romelu Lukaku

Replaced Mata 63'. Second goal in two games. Came off the bench to add more firepower to this side, who were lacklustre for most of the game. Could he be back?

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7 Alexis Sanchez

Replaced Martial 63'. Got a good assist on his return from injury. Good to see him back and hopefully hungry to achieve after a turbulent year at the club.

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14 Jesse Lingard

Replaced Rashford 87'. Came on late in the game. Never really got involved in the game. It was won before his introduction.

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Goals: Romelu Lukaku 64′, Marcus Rashford 80′

Assists: Alexis Sanchez 80′

Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia, Lindelof, Jones, Shaw; Herrera, Matic; Mata (Lukaku 63′), Pogba, Martial (Sanchez 63′); Rashford (Lingard 87′)

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Young, Darmian; Fred

Bookings: Jamaal Lascelles 28′; Victor Lindelof 46′, Luke Shaw 75′

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