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Season 2018-19
Manchester United (a) Premier League


Saturday 6th October 2018, 5.30pm
Live on BT Sports

 Old Trafford

Conditions: Epic

Manchester United

Newcastle United

3 - 2




7 mins A throw in on the Newcastle right just inside their own half was played to Ayoze Perez, who collected the ball and had space to turn before moving goalwards. With both Muto and Kenedy both making forward runs, he played a grass cutter of a pass to the latter bisecting two defenders.

The Brazilian took a touch to wrong-foot Ashley Young before stepping into the box and curling his shot inside the far post at the Stretford End of the ground for a third competitive Magpies goal

10 mins Perez won a corner down the right that Jonjo Shelvey sent over and Paul Pogba booted clear for a throw-in. That was taken and given to Shelvey who immediately swept over a cross that was missed by Diame and his marker but brought down on his belly by Yoshinori Muto. 

Making his first start, the Japanese forward had Young in close proximity but was able to turn and fire powerfully past David De Gea from just behind the penalty spot. 2-0

Half time: Red Devils 0 Magpies 2

70 mins
Mo Diame senselessly tripped Anthony Martial on the edge of the area and was booked for it. Substitute duo Alexis Sanchez and Juan Mata stood over the ball and after the former had run over it, the latter dispatched his kick left-footed over the wall to the diving Dubravka's left.

76 mins
Picking up possession on the left wing, Martial played a neat one with Pogba inside the box before hammering a right footed shot goalward that whistled between the goalkeeper and the near post, Matt Ritchie making a vain attempt to prevent the scorer from shooting. 2-2

90 mins
The comeback was complete when Pogba got away from Ritchie in left midfield and the ball ended up on the far side of the box via Sanchez. A further combination between Pogba and Romelu Lukaku then ended up with Young's cross coming from the right, Martial and Sanchez both jumping but the latter nodding into the corner of the goal from about seven yards out. 2-3

Full time: Red Devils 3 Magpies 2

We Said


Rafa Benitez:

"It is difficult to take because we did so well. 

"At 2-0 we had chances to score the third and we had control against a very good team.

"When we conceded the first goal, we started to have problems because they have so many good players that they could bring off the bench, and it is difficult to contain them.

"We have to stay calm and be sure we continue working in this way, because we will win games if we play like that.

"We have more or less the same squad, we changed some players. We did well [last season] because we were consistent, and we are working from the beginning until the end, very hard, and I think we will do the same.

"Everyone was disappointed in the dressing room, but I told them we cannot complain about what we did, we cannot be upset because we did so well for a while. We deserve more.

"But when you play against these teams, five of the top six already. Last year we were in the bottom five in December and we finished 10th, this year hopefully will be the same.

"Today is not the day to complain about (a lack of experience). They did great, and it is something we need to learn for the future. The team was in control of the game for a while, and we have to be sure that we manage the situations better.

"Today we have to give credit to Manchester United, the players they had on the pitch, with their pace, size and ability, power and everything, was very difficult to stop.

"We did it, we played really well for a while, so I cannot complain to the players. 

"We have to learn for the future and carry on with the same spirit, the same way to play."

On Muto:

"I think it was important for us to have some mobility and pace in attack, and his understanding with Ayoze was quite good. 

"Unfortunately, Kenedy and him both left the pitch with some problems. It is just little things. Muto is his ankle, Kenedy was a knock and he was limping at the end."

They Said


"Not suede boots!"



Jose Mourinho said: 

The ones that read the papers, that are connected with social media, they thought maybe I had gone. If I hadnít had an SMS from my board not to read I would have been convinced too.

"Iím amazed by that at half time we were losing 2-0 and the fans were magnificent to the team.

"I used to say in my football memories that one day I beat Liverpool in Anfield 4-0 and I was amazed with the stadium singing Liverpool songs, I was amazed and full of respect by that.

"But now Iím in a situation Iím losing 2-0 at home in a match that was very important for us to win and the fans were absolutely amazing.

"Iím really grateful for that and my happiness is not because of myself, it is because of the fans and the players.

"They can go to the national team with a good feeling and the fans can go home with a feeling of victory.

"As a friend of mine was saying to me this morning, if tomorrow it rains in London it is my fault. If there is some difficulties with the agreements of Brexit, it is my fault. I have to be ready for all of this. I think a lot of wickedness and clear man-hunting, in football is too much. 

"It is my life. It is
(the) life I love and since I was (a) kid I work for this.

"I am 55 years old. It is the first time I see man-hunting. I can cope with it. I can live with it.

"Some of the boys, in spite of them not being the man that is hunted, they are not coping well with it. We started nervous(ly), the team in my opinion didn't cope well with the pressure of the man-hunting. Every ball around our box was almost a goal or some mistake, a bad decision, panic.

"At half time we spoke, everybody, and the team faced the second half with a different spirit, a different belief, giving everything for the victory."


Yoshinori Muto scored his first Premier League goal, making him the 139th different Newcastle player of the 228 who have represented us to do so - and the very first Japanese-born one. 

The Magpies managed go ahead in a game and score twice in a game for the first time this season. Sadly though it's now eight PL games without a win and just one in our last 14 games (13 PL, one League Cup).

Newcastle have never been two goals up at Old Trafford against Manchester United in the Premier League before - and hadn't achieved that here since they recorded a 2-0 victory in the First Division back in January 1972.

The hosts won in the PL for the seventh time after trailing by two or more goals at half time - something we've never done in 890 PL games (we have turned over a one goal deficit nine times).

This was the 17th time in 445 PL away games that Newcastle have been two or more goals ahead at the interval. Fourteen of those games ended in away wins and two were draws (both 2-0 ht then 2-2 ft), at Swindon Town in September 1993 and Bournemouth in February 2018. 

This was the first time however that we've enjoyed a two goal half time lead on the road in the Premier League but then lost.

We can't find an example of that happening in a league away game involving us since a visit to Derby County in December 1983 (2-0 ht, 2-3 ft) and in the top flight since a visit to Spurs in April 1973 (2-0 ht, 2-3 ft).

There was a first donning of Newcastle's all blue third kit.

Magpies v MUFC @ Old Trafford - Premier League era:

2018/19 lost 2-3 Kenedy, Muto
2017/18 lost 1-4 Gayle
drew 0-0
2014/15 lost 1-3 Cisse(pen)
2013/14 won 1-0 Cabaye
2012/13 lost 3-4 Perch, og(Evans), Cisse
2012/13 lost 1-2 Cisse (LC)
2011/12 drew 1-1 Ba(pen)
2010/11 lost 0-3
2008/09 drew 1-1 Martins
2007/08 lost 0-6
2006/07 lost 0-2
2005/06 lost 0-2
2004/05 lost 1-2 Ambrose
2003/04 drew 0-0
2002/03 lost 3-5 Bernard, Shearer, Bellamy
2001/02 lost 1-3 Shearer
2000/01 lost 0-2
1999/00 lost 1-5 og(Berg)
1998/99 drew 0-0
1997/98 drew 1-1 Andersson
1996/97 drew 0-0
1995/96 lost 0-2
1994/95 lost 0-2
1993/94 drew 1-1 Cole



After a week dominated by talk of meals, meetings, minutes and messiahs, football was thankfully back on the menu for Newcastle on Saturday - although the outcome proved difficult to stomach.

In the presence of the owner for a third successive week, the Magpies sought to exploit the almost tangible air of uncertainty around Old Trafford and their positive approach paid early dividends here for the second successive season.

Dwight Gayle had caused David De Gea to pick the ball out of the Stretford End net last November and Kenedy repeated the feat this time around; Yoshinoro Muto quickly adding a second goal to send the 3,000 travelling supporters further into dreamland.

That air of wonderment could have been enhanced still further, had Jonjo Shelvey, Muto again or Jamaal Lascelles taken opportunities when they arose - while Shelvey was denied a clear penalty kick by Anthony Taylor when a free kick was blatantly handled by Ashley Young. Sadly though, the local whistler wasn't even looking in that direction and awarded neither a penalty or corner.

Half time arrived with a beleaguered Jose Mourinho having already made one replacement as he tried to invigorate his failing side, stomping off towards the dressing room with the derision of the away supporters - and some discernible booing from home areas  - ringing in his ears.  

Manchester United should have reduced the arrears before the break when Marcus Rashford headed wide from close range; a combination of poor finishing and inspired goalkeeping from Martin Dubravka stemming what was becoming a red tide for a time following the restart.

Gaps inevitably began to appear in midfield as the home side gained momentum and visibly sought to overload DeAndre Yedlin at right back, although crosses were coming into the Newcastle box from both wings with alarming regularity.

Rashford went close with a header and then Kenedy came within a whisker of extending the lead as both sides attempted to score the third goal in the game that by now looked absolutely pivotal.

And sadly it fell to the hosts, Juan Mata giving Dubravka no chance with a free kick conversion after Mo Diame needlessly tripped an opponent just outside his own area. 

Withdrawing the ailing Kenedy did nothing to help Newcastle disrupt their opponents and a failure to deploy the sort of gamesmanship evident from the home side in the opening half soon proved dear - an equaliser following within six minutes when Anthony Martial fired home.

Again the visitors made a substitution when the limping Muto was withdrawn in favour of Christian Atsu - but the Ghanaian proved to be a liability, neither he nor Jacob Murphy willing or able to get involved to anything like the extent of those they had replaced.

By contrast though, Mourinho had been able to call on £90m+ worth of benched talent in the shape of messrs Mata, Fellaini and Sanchez - and they would ultimately prove to be his salvation.

There was still time for Newcastle to threaten a third goal - Diame only getting partial contact on a header that deflected off a home player and was goalbound until Romelu Lukaka managed to effect an awkward clearance.

As added time began though, substitute Alexis Sanchez headed a Young cross home to complete the comeback and leave Newcastle's players, staff and fans quite literally out for the count. Looking towards the bench, one almost expected to see Rafa slumped over a hoarding like Kevin Keegan did at Anfield on that first 4-3 night - it was a moment of similar abject Magpie misery. 

A glorious failure then and in entertainment terms, justification for not parking the bus and taking the initiative rather than resorting to that stay in the game mentality. This was pulsating, breath-taking stuff, a long-overdue reminder of why fans make the effort. Have-a-go heroes - almost.

The only negative apart from the score was a nerve-shredding finale that took a few years off our collective lives. Certainly for Rafa the bonus of seeing Muto, Kenedy, Perez and Shelvey make a positive contribution was invaluable; deflecting attention from the Salomon Rondon "situation" and even calming the murmurs of discontent about the manager's austere approach from some fans. 

Attempting to stay positive, this was by far the most convincing performance we've conjured up during this season so far. Had we shown only some of the pace, invention and ruthless finishing against Leicester City or Crystal Palace then we might not still be winless. 

Two points from a possible 24 though points in only one direction, with only Cardiff City below us on goal difference. If nothing else, defeats for Fulham and Southampton on Sunday meant that we're not quite adrift just yet, but our revival needs to be turned into wins against the likes of Brighton, Southampton, Watford, Bournemouth, Burnley and West Ham. In other words our next six games.

Whatever motivated the players to greater efforts, it's safe to say that it wasn't a cheap pizza or the prospect of a free holiday (to be paid for from last season's untouched £20m FA Cup bonus?)

It would be nice - if unlikely - to think that the stirring words of Kevin Keegan speaking at the Sage last week about what this club could become had resonated with the current squad. 

If nothing else, it was refreshing to hear someone mention pride, ambition and achievement in the same sentence as the words Newcastle and United. What a shame that the speaker was willfully undermined by those still at the helm and the weasels they brought in to do their dirty work.  


Page last updated 18 December, 2018