Newcastle suffered a heavy 4-1 defeat at Old Trafford last Saturday as the home side dismantled Newcastle despite an improved performance by the Magpies. Dwight Gayle gave Newcastle the lead early on but Manchester United were soon ahead themselves at half time before they secured their win in the second half with two more goals to humiliate the toon.
Lascelles and Atsu were still injured from our last game at home to Bournemouth, Merino was still ruled out due to his back injury that he received in late October. Ciaran Clark replaced Lascelles and Jacob Murphy replaced Atsu.
Match (First Half)
The first half saw Newcastle take the lead after thirteen minutes via Dwight Gayle's well finished strike that went in off the post after DeAndre Yedlin played a brilliant low cross to him. Surprisingly, Newcastle kept this performance up for a while, and six minutes later Newcastle almost took the lead again when Jonjo Shelvey beautifully played Jacob Murphy through on goal before the winger's shot narrowly missed the goal by mere inches.
Newcastle would soon regret missing the opportunity to go 2-0 up as with 37 minutes on the clock Paul Pogba easily skipped past Isaac Hayden before crossing the ball into Anthony Martial who headed the ball into the bottom left corner restoring hope for Mourinho's United.
The toon soon crumbled after this as one minute into added time, Chris Smalling out jumped two Newcastle defenders way too easily score his first goal of the season. However Newcastle would have one more crack at goal in added time. Unfortunately, Isaac Hayden missed an absolute sitter as he struck a one on one right at David De Gea who parried it away easily to end the first half with Manchester United in the lead.
Match (Second Half)
The second half of the game was no better for the magpies, ten minutes in after Dwight Gayle's pass was intercepted by Ashley Young, United had a fierce counter attack in which Lukaku's cross found the head of Marcus Rashford who tapped it on to Paul Pogba who simply couldn't miss. Very poor defending from Newcastle who had a backline that looked broken without the presence of captain Jamaal Lascelles.
Later on, Jacob Murphy (who had a good game) tried an ambitious shot from about 20 yards out which would've nestled into the top right corner if not for the palm of David De Gea who made an amazing save to keep the ball out of the net.
Newcastle wouldn't have any more big chances and Manchester United would capitalize on Newcastle's lack of attacking firepower by scoring a fourth in the 70th minute. Romelu Lukaku played a one-two with Juan Mata before the Belgian hammered the ball into the roof of the net to put the final nail in the coffin and secure a win for Man Utd.
Our next game is at home to Watford who just beat West Ham 2-0 at Vicarage Road. The Hornets are almost the complete opposite of how they were last season. They've gone from relegation battlers to Europa League battlers and they'll definitely be up for their fixture against us considering we've just lost our last 3 games. It will be a very tough game for the toon army. However there is some good news. Mikel Merino, Jamaal Lascelles and Christian Atsu should all be back for this Saturday's game, so if we're lucky and these three can return to the form they were in before their injuries, we could be in for an exciting game at SJP come the weekend.