Ratings: Rashford, James and Fernandes score in 3-1 victory over the Magpies; Shaw, James, Matic all played well; debut for Shoretire

Manchester United beat Newcastle United 3-1 in the Premier League at Old Trafford. Marcus Rashford put Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side 1-0 up in the 30th minute of the match but the lead was short-lived as Allan Saint-Maximin found the equaliser for the Magpies just six minutes later. In the second half, United found themselves needing to do more to get back in front and that came in the 57th minute after Bruno Fernandes fed the ball to Daniel James, who scored his second goal of the week and his fifth goal of the season. Fernandes sealed the victory for United in the 75th minute after Rashford was fouled in the box, scoring the penalty to secure all three points with a 3-1 victory. Real Sociedad up next for United to confirm a last 16 place in the Europa League.

United started on the front foot with Daniel James trying to use his pace to break forward and create something for his club. Marcus Rashford also tried to use his pace and ability to get an early goal, but it was not happening for the home side. In the 30th minute of the match, United took the lead through Rashford. Harry Maguire played the pass into Rashford, who nutmegged Emil Krafth to get away on the left, chopping back inside on the right-back, reversing his show low and with vigour into the near post beating Karl Darlow. It was a short-lived lead for United with the Magpies equalising six minutes later through Allan Saint-Maximin after Maguire partially made the clearance with the Frenchman beating David De Gea.

United tried to get a second goal, but it was not coming. At the end of the first half, United had 73% possession, had five shots on goal, just two of those on target – needing more urgency from the second half to get the victory, otherwise it will be three draws in a row in the league, which will be another gift to Manchester City, who have taken control of the Premier League table at this stage of the season. Solskjaer may need to think about making some changes with the pace of Amad Diallo and Shola Shoretire plus that of Mason Greenwood. Anthony Martial has failed to do much, which seems to be the story of his season. There were not changes for either side during the half time break with United needing to turn things up a gear or two.

The Magpies tried to get themselves an early second-half goal by pressuring United, forcing a good save from De Gea just before the 50th minute. United need to think about pressuring the visitors with Martial still not offering much up top, which is a worry. Solskjaer should start thinking about making a change, taking the Frenchman off in favour of a player that has some ability right now. United took back their first half lead in the 57th minute of the match with Daniel James scoring his fifth goal of the season. Nemanja Matic cut inside Joe Willock, playing the pass to Bruno Fernandes who poked the ball to the Welshman who confidently found the back of the net at the far post. United deserved to be in the lead again. Now they need to keep it.

The Magpies tried to press United to find the equaliser for the second time in the match by De Gea made a good save to deny the visitors. Solskjaer made his first substitution in the 70th minute of the match with Mason Greenwood replacing Martial, who gave very little in the 70 minutes he has played – he should be pressed to find some form as it has been weeks since he last looked lethal in the box and that was against Southampton, in which the match was already won before he scored a brace. United won a penalty in the 74th minute of the match after Rashford was fouled by Willock in the box. The referee gave it immediately. Fernandes took the penalty, scoring his 22nd goal of the season for United, putting his club 3-1 up in the game and a certain victory.

Solskjaer made a double substitution on the 88th minute of the match with United still 3-1 up. Juan Mata replaced James and Shola Shoretire made his debut at the age of 17 after he replaced Rashford. United had the result they needed, and had to work for it. It was an important three points to get after the defeat to Sheffield United at the start of the month and the 3-3 draw against Everton and the 1-1 draw against West Bromwich Albion, which saw Manchester City create a void between them and United at the top of the table. United now look ahead to their UEFA Europa League round of 32 second leg match at Old Trafford on Thursday when Real Sociedad come to town, they they will focus on the clash with Chelsea next Sunday.

[player_ratings id=”108915″]

Goals: Marcus Rashford 30′, Daniel James 57′, Bruno Fernandes 75′ penalty; Allan Saint-Maximin 36′

Assists: Harry Maguire 30′, Bruno Fernandes 57’

Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Matic, Fred; James (Mata 88′), Fernandes, Rashford (Shoretire 88′); Martial (Greenwood 70′)

Substitutes Not Used: Henderson; Bailly, Telles, Williams, Tuanzebe; Diallo

Bookings: Bruno Fernandes 38′; Isaac Hayden 38′, Joelinton 39′

Written by John Walker

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About editor 2163 Articles
I support Manchester United, the greatest English football team to have ever existed. Bruno Fernandes is the latest in a long line of players with great ability to play for the club. I idolised Bryan Robson, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, and Eric Cantona growing up.