A game that seemed destined for further bleakness was redeemed by a late flurry of goals as Manchester United secured a 1-4 victory away to Newcastle United.
Things started off on a rough patch for Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side as Luke Shaw netted an unfortunate own-goal giving Newcastle the lead in less than two minutes. However, Man United’s resilience reflected in a redeeming way when Harry Maguire headed in an equalizer. Further, a splendid Bruno Fernandes goal was disallowed due to Juan Mata being in an offside position.
The second-half held plenty of drama, starting with Fernandes missing a penalty kick that was arguably softly awarded by VAR. However, thereon the quick barrage came with the Portuguese midfielder scoring and his attempt was added to with late flicks from Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Marcus Rashford.
1. Maguire’s Redemption
The goal was a much-needed one for United’s captain and the centre-back will certainly be relieved. His defensive duties were on par on the night and he was certainly saved further criticism due to David De Gea being at the top of his game.
Further, the Englishman also had a muted celebration. However, he is bound to be relieved given the sheer amount of criticism that has been hurled at him as of late.
In fact, his late offensive showings may even have a hint of a potential tactical avenue for Solskjær to pursue.
2. Club Record
Despite being only their second win of the season in the Premier League, Man United did manage to set a club-record with this victory.
With these three points won on the road, the Red Devils have now secured a sixth straight top-flight away win while scoring at least twice each time for the first time in their history.
This away record will be crucial for the side given how hectic the season is planned to be and the Norwegian gaffer will be looking to build upon this in the cramped period ahead.
3. Rashford’s Performance Without Martial
Anthony Martial’s suspension and Edinson Cavani still being in quarantine meant that Marcus Rashford had to fulfil the once-familiar role of a striker.
The new MBE awardee gave in a stellar performance from the spot, slotting in the best display of anyone on the pitch. With two assists and a goal to his name, such a game was precisely what the 22-year-old needed in order to kick-start his season’s tally.
It will be interesting to see what the positional dynamics will be once Martial’s domestic ban is sat out.
4. AWS a Real Troublemaker
mThe constant thorn in the traveling side’s game was the sheer speed and movement of Allan Saint-Maximin. His dribbles were the most of any player on the pitch and often even multiple opposition players failed to neutralize the threat he posed.
In that regard, the Frenchman directly created the effort that led to Shaw’s erroneous own-goal early on. Steve Bruce will certainly be looking to hone his skills further to cause proper damage down the line.
Interestingly, given how perturbed Man United’s defense was at Saint-Maximin, it will be intriguing to see how they handle the pace of Neymar Jr and Kylian Mbappe mid-week in the Champions League.
5. A Tale of Two Full-Backs
Both of United’s full-backs celebrated milestones during this fixture. For Luke Shaw, it was his 100th Premier League appearance with the Old Trafford outfit. Unfortunately for him, the own-goal wasn’t the best of ways to celebrate that tally.
On the contrary, Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s 50th appearance for the club was marked with his first senior goal for the side. The Englishman has been posing offensive threats for a while now and it will be interesting to see if this trend continues.
Meanwhile, new signing Alex Telles is yet to see his gametime with the side and his offensive calibre is bound to make things intriguing too.