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Season 2018-19
Manchester United (h) Premier League


Wednesday 2nd January 2019, 8.00pm
Live on Sky Sports

 St. James' Park

Conditions: Inhibited

Newcastle United

Manchester United

0 - 2




Half time: Magpies 0 Mancs 0

64 mins
Goalkeeper Martin Dubravka spilt a dipping free kick by Marcus Rashford, allowing Romelu Lukaku to knock the ball home with his first touch seconds after arriving from the bench. 0-1

80 mins
Isaac Hayden was dispossessed by Paul Pogba deep in the visitors' half; Lukaku and fellow substitute Sanchez then combined for the unmarked Rashford to beat Dubravka in the Leazes End goal, Fabian Schar dragged badly out of position. 0-2

Full time: Magpies 0 Mancs 2

We Said


Rafa Benitez:

"We started quite well, there were two or three situations where we were quite close, and we also had some chances in the second half. We lost the game 2-0 but we deserved more.

"To win the game? I don't know. But to be there and be close and get a draw, I think so.

"If you analyse how we concede, they didn't create many clear chances. At the end, when we were more open and exposed, they were more dangerous, but for 80 minutes it was really close.

"We know that the final third is the key. When you pay big money for players, offensive players, they can make the difference.

"You have to give credit to our players because for 85 minutes they were in the game. In these kind of games, one mistake and these players can make the difference.

"When we made a mistake, they punished us with the quality they have. When we were reacting, the second goal was a counter attack that we could defend better. 

"I think for 85 minutes, we deserve something more.

On Diame:

"Itís in the hip and the groin. He has had this problem before - we hope it will not be serious. He couldnít continue in the game but, normally, heís fine in a couple of days."

On other matters:

"I don't talk about the transfer window and I do not talk about the takeover. I talk with Lee Charnley almost every day, but I will not talk about that."

They Said


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said when 

"The performance was really professional. We were very solid to come here against a club like this, with the fans they've got, and I thought it was excellent, how the boys dealt with it ó especially in the second half. 

"In the first half, we kept them at bay for about 15 minutes but then made some mistakes and the crowd got going again. It's always harder for you then. We never hit the heights that we can do, but still, I felt we were in control, kept plugging away.

"The team talk was about game management, especially keeping the crowd quiet. In the first 10-12 minutes we did that really well and kept them at bay but then we made one or two mistakes and the crowd got going. 

"Suddenly, youíre under pressure and
(Christian) Atsu got away down the left a couple of times. Phil (Jones) made a great block and tackle but, again, those were the moments you donít want to have in front of a crowd at a club like this. But I thought the lads really got into the game again and the fans again were fantastic, as I said before.

"Every time you win a game, itís time to celebrate and to pat yourself on the back. Tomorrow morning, you get up and out of bed ready for the next game. I've been here after the 5-0 defeat
(in 1996) and luckily today they can go home happily. It was fantastic.Ē

Asked whether he would want to leave in May (when his current deal expires): 

"Of course I won't, I don't want to. It's such a great bunch of players, a fantastic atmosphere, but it's the next game, it's the next game, it's the next game. I'm doing my job as long as I'm here."

About his four opening wins (emulating Sir Matt Busby in 1946):

"That will be in the books, but it's nothing that I'm thinking of. I'm just thinking about the next game because if you win four, you can win another four at this club. 

"That's the challenge and that's the standard that we're known for. The gaffer
(Sir Alex Ferguson) used to challenge us on them and of course when we've won four, you can go onto the next four and think about them."



Newcastle's eighth home defeat of the season moved them to within one reverse of their highest number of PL losses at SJP in a season: nine in 2012/13. Also now in peril is the all-time highest number of losses; the eleven that we recorded in both 1957/58 and 1977/78. 

The drought in front of goal shows little sign of ending - Newcastle scoring just seven times in 11 matches at SJP so far. Their lowest seasonal tally in the PL was a measly 21 last season, which already looks like an abundance of riches this time round with eight games remaining.

Red Devils @ SJP - Premier era:

2018/19 lost 0-2
2017/18 won 1-0 Ritchie
2015/16 drew 3-3 Wijnaldum, Mitrovic(pen), Dummett
2014/15 lost 0-1
2013/14 lost 0-4
2012/13 lost 0-3
2011/12 won 3-0 Ba, Cabaye, og(Jones)
2010/11 drew 0-0
2008/09 lost 1-2 Lovenkrands
2007/08 lost 1-5 Ab.Faye
2006/07 drew 2-2 Milner, Edgar
2005/06 lost 0-2
2004/05 lost 1-3 Shearer
2003/04 lost 1-2 Shearer
2002/03 lost 2-6 Jenas, Ameobi
2001/02 won 4-3 Robert, Lee, Dabizas, og(Brown)
2000/01 drew 1-1 Glass
1999/00 won 3-0 Ferguson, Shearer 2
1998/99 lost 1-2 Solano
1997/98 lost 0-1
1996/97 won 5-0 D.Peacock, Ginola, Ferdinand, 
Shearer, Albert
1995/96 lost 0-1
1994/95 drew 1-1 Kitson
1994/95 won 2-0 Albert, Kitson (LC)
1993/94 drew 1-1 Cole



They may have ended the night goalless and pointless, but there was no disgrace in defeat for Newcastle, who gave the revitalised Red Devils a run for their unlimited money at a sold-out St. James' Park on Wednesday.

Just one victory in eight games though leaves the black and whites teetering on the edge of the bottom three, ahead of a tortuous run of fixtures that includes meetings with three of the current top four sides.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer won his fourth successive league fixture since replacing Jose Mourinho, but the side prepared by Rafa Benitez provided him with stern opposition for an hour. 

And had the Magpies made the most of their chances it could have been a different story - the lively Christian Atsu twice squandering early shooting opportunities. 

Sadly miracles weren't on the menu and the blows that ultimately consigned Newcastle to their eighth defeat in eleven home games were both self-inflicted.

64 minutes had elapsed when Martin Dubravka spilt a dipping free kick by Marcus Rashford, allowing Romelu Lukaku to knock the ball home with his first touch seconds after arriving from the bench.

The destination of the points was confirmed with ten minutes remaining, when Isaac Hayden was dispossessed by Paul Pogba deep in the visitors' half; Lukaku and fellow substitute Sanchez then combining for the unmarked Rashford to beat Dubravka in the Leazes goal.

It was tough on Rafa's hard-working side, who had enjoyed their best spell of the game in the second half after Jonjo Shelvey had replaced the injured Mo Diame. 

It may have been a new year, but an all-too familiar Gallowgate fable of effort but no potency in front of goal was unfolding for the long-suffering spectators.

Shelvey's passing had threatened to unlock the opposition defence; notably one perfectly-weighted through ball that put in Ayoze Perez - only for him to be forced wide and have his shot blocked.

That had given home fans renewed hope of a second successive home victory over their foes and the noise levels rose until Lukaku's grand entrance injected an unwelcome dose of reality.

Salomon Rondon led the line but was poorly served from the flanks and left feeding on scraps, just failing to punish a Phil Jones backpass in the first half and then twice unable to reach loose balls in the area later on. 

However David de Gea was barely tested throughout the evening, Atsu's most powerful effort whistling past the post in the second half when the game was still scoreless. 

As well as a lack of points, Newcastle's squad looks to have shrunk further; Fabian Schar replacing the injured Federico Fernandez, Ciaran Clark missing again and Ki Sungyeung away with Korea until next month.

Yoshinori Muto will now join him on international duty, while Diame has a recurrence of his groin problem. Also receiving medical attention during the game was Schar and DeAndre Yedlin limped through the closing stages before being treated on the pitch after full time.

On a night when Florian Lejeune made a welcome return to the bench though, Newcastle enjoyed some good fortune courtesy of "marmite" referee Andre Marriner, who showed leniency when dealing with dubious challenges made by both Jamaal Lascelles and Shelvey.

The latter briefly became embroiled with renowned workie ticket Pogba during the second half amid a suspicion that some verbals were traded, but thankfully there seemed to be no post-match fallout.

Results elsewhere in the Premier League were unkind again; Burnley winning at Huddersfield and Southampton drawing at Chelsea, leaving us a slim two points ahead of the 18th-placed Saints.

Our chronic lack of goals is as evident and worrying as the absence of activity to try and resolve that issue. The transfer window may be open, but the cheque book certainly isn't, regardless of what slack-jawed nonsense is appearing the media. Funds may be there, but the manager isn't trusted to spend it; something that will ultimately see him pack his bags and head elsewhere.

A new year then but no new owners and no new attitude from the owner, who hasn't attended a game or bought anyone happy hour pizzas for over a month now. 

How sick supporters really are remains to be seen, with the opportunity to walk away from this phantom football club this month in the form of season ticket direct debit cancellation.

Quite what value there is in our retaining top flight status this season is unclear -  given that our achieving that last season has done absolutely nothing other than consign us to doing it all again, with not even a suggestion of jam tomorrow. Same time in 2020 then? 


Page last updated 04 January, 2019