A night of even more disappointment graced Manchester United fans as the Red Devils lost 1-0 away to Newcastle United. 19-year-old Matthew Longstaff, who made his debut during the fixture, netted the memorable goal that made all the difference.
The Old Trafford outfit are now in a dangerous spot, poised in the 12th position of the Premier League table, having garnered just 9 points in their first 8 fixtures and now they sit a mere two points above the relegation zone.
1. Longstaff Brothers Ruled the Midfield
The game displayed one of the finest and rarest spectacles in club football- that of two brothers playing alongside each other. While Sean Longstaff was heavily linked to Manchester United all summer, it was his debutant brother that really put the nail onto the traveling side’s coffin with his spectacular goal.
The duo was a force to be reckoned with in the midfield, particularly while launching counter-attacks and choking Fred and Mata from posing any real threat.
A partnership that can potentially be relished for years to come.
2. Steve Bruce’s Patience Paid Off
The fixture was a special one for the former Manchester United player in more ways than one. The outing was his 400th one as a professional manager.
However, the bigger statistic is that this victory was his first one against his former club in over 23 attempts.
Akin to Solskjaer and Everton gaffer Marco Silva, Bruce was amongst the managers being floated as likely ones to be sacked before the end of the season.
Now, a performance of this caliber is bound to raise hopes for the Magpies and in their gaffer. More of the same, please.
3. Away Form Keeps Getting Worse
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has not won a single game away on the road since being named the permanent manager of Manchester United. The Red Devils have failed to taste even a semblance of success since that historic Champions League comeback over PSG.
Since then, each away game appears all the more sardonic and the form keeps dipping.
It is shocking that this is the turn United took, especially since under Jose Mourinho they had actually succeeded in maintaining a fairly decent run of unbeaten games and an impeccable away form.
The stark difference cannot be highlighted further and now one has to wait and see whether the Red Devils will score and win on the road ever again.
Interestingly, they also happen to be only 2 goals shy of netting 2,000 Premier League goals. Judging by this rate, when can that realistically occur?
4. Transfer Backlash
Many strands of opinions existed about Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s initial purging of the squad in the summer transfer window.
However, now there is a specific issue that was seldom talked about immediately after the transfer window. By failing to acquire an appropriate and robust roster of players, Ed Woodward’s choice to not splash cash and Solskjaer’s insistence of making the best of their team are now permitting some awful problems to manifest themselves.
The biggest of these is the lack of specialized talent in the starting eleven due to injury. The absence of a striker of Anthony Martial’s ability and a no.10 or creative midfielder of Paul Pogba’s skillset are sorely missed in the face of recurring problems.
Will more windows be trusted to Solskjaer or have the warning bells commenced ringing?
5. Next Game Liverpool
Manchester United now have a long two-week international break ahead of them. This will be a period of much contemplation and one will wonder whether history will repeat itself a second time as the side will return to Premier League action against top-of-the-table, undefeated Liverpool.
A loss against the Merseyside Reds proved to be Jose Mourinho’s downfall and now a similar fate could potentially await Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Needless to say, if no action is taken on the Norwegian’s future by the time the two weeks are up, the result of the Liverpool game at Old Trafford will chart the course for the rest of the season.