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Review & Ratings: Martial at the double in 4-1 Newcastle victory; Greenwood and Rashford on the scoresheet; Solskjaer pleased?

Manchester United beat Newcastle United 4-1 at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Boxing Day. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side came from 1-0 down in the 17th minute to score three first half goals to lead the game. Anthony Martial scored a brace – a goal in either half with Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford scoring too. Solskjaer will be looking ahead to Saturday’s trip to Burnley now.

United started the match and soon started to play the possession game but not doing much with the ball. In the 17th minute of the match, after a period of promising play, Newcastle took the lead through Matty Longstaff, scoring his second goal against United this season, assisted by Joelinton after Fred lost the ball in midfield with Miguel Almiron and finding Joelinton, who passed to Longstaff.

The lead was short-lived for Newcastle as Anthony Martial equalised in the 24th minute for United. Luke Shaw made progress down the left for United, finding Andreas Pereira with the ball, who then found the Frenchman who blasted his shot low into the back of the net beating Martin Dubravka to get his side level with the visitors. United now need to find a goal to put them ahead and ensure a victory at home.

United put themselves ahead in the 36th minute of the match through Mason Greenwood, scoring his eighth goal of the season so far, matching Martial, who scored his eighth goal to put United level earlier in the match. Greenwood pounced on a loose ball after Fabian Schar made a defensive error, unleashing a fierce strike on goal and beating Dubravka. United were ahead and seeking to punish Newcastle.

United scored their third goal of the match in the 41st minute with Marcus Rashford finding his 15th goal of the season, his best season in first team football in his career so far. United had the ball out wide through Aaron Wan-Bissaka and his cross into the box was headed at the far post by Rashford. It started to look like a good performance for United, after conceding the opening goal in the 17th minute.

It was a good half of football from United, seemingly with them needing to concede a goal before getting into the game. It was good to see Anthony Martial, Mason Greenwood, and Marcus Rashford finding goals again and United heading into the second half of the game leading. The ingredients are there to get results such as this one and with a bit more depth in the team, in terms of experience, things could be much better.

Six minutes into the second half, United strengthened their lead in the game with Martial scoring his second goal of the game, United’s fourth. The Frenchman capitalised on a back pass, using his pace to win the ball before finishing cutely past Dubravka to put United 4-1 up, the third time they have scored four goals in a game this season. United could well be stepping up their game at the halfway point of the season.

Paul Pogba got himself 45 minutes of football after playing for less than half an hour at the weekend, which will be good ahead of the next two big matches coming up starting with Burnley away on Saturday and the trip to the Emirates to face Arsenal on New Year’s Day. The Frenchman had three attempts on goal, all of them pressuring the Newcastle defence and goalkeeper, sadly none of them turning into goals.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

The Spanish goalkeeper conceded a goal again, early in the game. It started to become one of those matches again. However, an equaliser seven minutes later seemingly changed the game with Newcastle having few opportunities in United's area after their opening goal of the game.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

The right-back got another assist, playing the ball into the box for Rashford whose header put United 3-1 up in the 41st minute of the match. Wan-Bissaka has been a great addition to the team this season, making the position his own and putting in commanding performances more often than not. Not every player can perform to 100% of their abilities 100% of the time - some supporters seem to forget this, demanding 100% from each player all the time. Solskjaer's first big signing of the summer has been a great addition.

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2 Victor Lindelof

The Swede played well, after Newcastle's goal with United sending the ball in one direction, pressuring the Magpies with each attack. The scoreline could have been bigger, if United buried their chances. It is good to see things like this happen again this season.

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5 Harry Maguire

The captain had a header in the first half of the match and despite United conceding in the 17th minute, the defence really had little to do during the rest of the match. It is a shame they could not keep a clean sheet, but if you outscore your opposition, you get the same number of points from it. Maguire keeps trying to score his first goal for the club, failing so far but it will come for him, eventually.

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23 Luke Shaw

The left-back was involved in United's equaliser, running up the left flank and passing to Pereira, who assisted for Martial. Shaw could well be finding his match fitness after his return from injury. Brandon Williams missed out for this game, a match he could have played in. Perhaps he will miss out regularly now with Shaw seemingly returning to form?

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39 Scott McTominay

The midfielder was booked in the very first minute of the match with fears that he could be sent off , or targeted by Newcastle to be sent off. He played well in the first half of the match, especially when United came from a goal down to lead 3-1 at half time. The Scotland international was replaced by Paul Pogba during the break.

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17 Fred

The Brazilian midfielder found his form against Newcastle, play8ing well in the midfield. He even had a shot on goal, which did not become a goal but showed that his long-distance shooting is improving. He's partnered both McTominay and Pogba this season and should be able to hold his head high once again after this result.

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11 Mason Greenwood

The 18-year-old scored his eighth goal of the season putting United ahead in the 36th minute of the match, coming back from 1-0 down. His pace, ability and shot accuracy is something to be desired and he is certainly on the road to becoming something special for the club.

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Andreas Pereira

The Belgian-born Brazilian started in the number ten role in a 4-2-3-1 formation and got himself another assist with Martial levelling for United seven minutes after Newcastle scored the opener through Longstaff. He played well throughout the match but I still have questions as he hides away against bigger teams at times.

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10 Marcus Rashford

The England forward scored his 15th goal of the season to put United 3-1 up over Newcastle at Old Trafford. The in form player had not scored since the Carabao Cup victory over Colchester United last week. It is starting to become a great season for the 22-year-old. Rashford was replaced by Jesse Lingard in the 63rd minute of the match with United 4-1 up at the time.

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9 Anthony Martial

The Frenchman found his name on the scoresheet once again for United, scoring his eighth goal of the season. United were 1-0 down and after his recent poor performances, which looked set to continue, seven minutes after Matty Longstaff scored for Newcastle, Martial, assisted by Andreas Pereira got United level. Six minutes into the second half, the Frenchman struck again putting United 4-1, scoring his ninth goal of the season. He could have had a hat-trick but hit the post.

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Substitutes

6 Paul Pogba

Replaced McTominay 46'. The Frenchman looked lively after replacing McTominay at half time. He had a shot on goal almost as soon as the match started, having another just before the hour mark of the match, forcing a save for the second.

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14 Jesse Lingard

Replaced Rashford 63'. The academy graduate got stuck into the game and at a stage he seemed to be carrying an injury. It seemed to be nothing though as he soon recovered.

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8 Juan Mata

Replaced Martial 67'. The veteran Spanish midfielder came on at 4-1 up with United seeking to add the pressure on the Magpies. Despite the likes of Martial and Rashford being taken off with a view to Saturday's trip to Burnley, United still dealt Newcastle some problems.

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Goals: Anthony Martial 24′, 51′, Mason Greenwood 36′, Marcus Rashford 42′; Matty Longstaff 17′

Assists: Andreas Pereira 24′, Aaron Wan-Bissaka 41′; Joelinton 17′

Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; McTominay (Pogba 46′), Fred; Greenwood, Pereira, Rashford (Lingard 63′); Martial (Mata 67′)

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Jones, Young; James

Bookings: Scott McTominay 1′, Andreas Pereira 35′; Fabian Schar 38′

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