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Season 1998-99
Manchester United (a) Premiership
Sunday 8th November 1998, 3pm

 Old Trafford

Conditions: tbc

Admission: £20

Programme: £tbc

Manchester United



0 - 0





Half time: United 0 United 0

Full time: United 0 United 0

We Said


Ruud Gullit said:
"I wanted to win today, I just didn't want to hold them. I said after the first half that it would be bad if we played well and didn't get anything. I told them to play for the result whatever happens, but I still wanted to win. 

"I thought it was a good game and an excellent Newcastle performance. We made it very difficult for them to play their game

They Said


Alex Ferguson:

"I thought it was a flat performance by us and it begs the question about games after Europe.

"I didn't think the pitch helped us. I thought it was really poor. I thought Newcastle's tactics were terrific. They forced us onto the back foot all the time and pressed us really well. 

"For a team that's supposed to be struggling a little bit they played with great confidence. Gullit filled his team with as many quick players as he could and I think they deserve their point although I don't think they created anything."



stats here




Press Association match report:

So Manchester United can't walk on water in every game. After demolishing Brondby in midweek with a five-star performance, which had manager Alex Ferguson drooling with delight, United demonstrated their mortality with a lacklustre display.

Gone was the rapid one-touch passing, which had cut sides to shreds in the last few weeks. Gone was the ruthless finishing which had resulted in the Reds banging in 26 goals in their previous seven games.

Instead United never really got out of first gear at Old Trafford against a determined Newcastle side, who successfully threw a spanner into their highly-tuned works. The omens had not augured well for Newcastle coming into the game. They had won just once at Old Trafford in their last 32 visits, while Alan Shearer had not scored since the end of September.

Manager Ruud Gullit gave Aaron Hughes his first start of the season on his 19th birthday, while George Georgiadis made his Premiership debut and Dietmar Hamann returned after over two months out with damaged knee ligaments. United tried to pick up where they left off on Wednesday and Paul Scholes fired wide after two minutes, which was a sign of things to come.

A David Beckham cross fell to Jesper Blomqvist just outside the area, who came inside and unleashed a left-foot shot, which Shay Given saved low down. Shearer nearly caught Peter Schmeichel out midway through the half with a quickly-taken free-kick, but the Dane recovered to dive on his shot.

Andrew Griffin then emptied Beckham on the right touchline for a free-kick, although the Newcastle defender's reaction suggested the England international had not been entirely blameless. The normally-reliable Scholes shot wide again after 27 minutes when he should have done better.

Newcastle were growing in confidence after the expected onslaught from the home side failed to materialise. The lively Paul Dalglish felt he should have had a penalty seven minutes before the interval when he collected Shearer's knock-down and rounded Schmeichel, only to be bundled off the ball by Denis Irwin.

Shearer was booked by referee Steve Dunn two minutes after the interval for a late tackle on Scholes, seconds after he had made dubious challenges on Gary Neville and Roy Keane. Keane then found former Newcastle hero Andy Cole in the box, but he turned and fired over the bar.

At the other end Dalglish was left holding his head in his hands when Schmeichel saved his shot after he had slipped through on the left. Wes Brown, who had started in place of hamstring-victim Phil Neville, made way for the fit-again Ronny Johnsen, who had not played in nearly two months, as United tried to shake themselves into action. But still United spluttered along and a frustrated Beckham was booked on the hour for pulling back David Batty after he had lost the ball.

Newcastle denied United with a series of last-ditch blocks before Given saved Blomqvist's drive from inside the area. The growing feeling that it was not going to be United's day was underlined in the 64th minute when Beckham burst through the heart of the Magpies defence only to steer his shot wide of Given and the post.

Still United tried to find the breakthrough and still it eluded them. Ten minutes from time Irwin swung over a cross to Scholes at the back post, but he shot weakly at Given. Cole then played Yorke through only for Given to pluck the ball off his toe.

In the dying minutes United went for one final push when they brought on Nicky Butt and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. In the final minute, United fans thought their chance had come when Laurent Charvet conceded a free-kick 25 yards out for pulling Dwight Yorke's shirt.

Up stepped Beckham, with three goals from free-kicks already to his credit this season, but his effort hit the wall and he screwed his shot wide from the rebound. When the final whistle went it extended Newcastle's run without a Premiership goal to 343 minutes - but their travelling fans did not care as they celebrated the draw.


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