Manchester United were lucky to return home with a point against 19th place Newcastle United.
Edinson Cavani came from the bench to cancel out Allan Saint-Maximin’s early opener to deny all three points for the hosts.
On any other day, Eddie Howe’s side – who had lost their last three league games before Monday night’s encounter – would’ve celebrated an unexpected point against the Premier League giants. Yet after the full-time whistle, Newcastle were left to rue missed chances against Ralf Rangnick’s men, who seemed out of their depth at St James’ Park.
Throughout the 90 minutes, United’s defence kept making unforced errors, their midfield couldn’t string passes together, and the front four lacked any kind of understanding.
Manchester United looked weak, mentally and physically. Body language bad, passing appalling, cohesion absent, sense of entitlement high, prospect of finishing even in top four bleak
— Oliver Holt (@OllieHolt22) December 27, 2021
Ole’s United = Rangnick’s United. I can’t see a discernible difference in performance if I’m honest. Three games in and we’re still one of the poorest teams in the entire PL, tactically chaotic, low on confidence and making habitual mistakes. Good luck Ralf.
— Rich (@RichRedVoices) December 27, 2021
Can Rangnick be allowed to bring in 11 of those players he buys that nobody has ever heard of? In January.
— Chris Winterburn (@cmwinterburn) December 27, 2021
This is a relatively small detail, but another damning insight into this Man United squad. Those players should be absolutely embarrassed by their output, but don't even bother to acknowledge travelling fans. A poor attitude that would not be tolerated by serious clubs. https://t.co/gQHjSKoeWb
— Colin Millar (@Millar_Colin) December 27, 2021
The Red Devils have struggled against Norwich and Newcastle – the league’s two worst sides – in consecutive games, allowing the latter to produce eight shots on target – the Magpies’ season high.
Newcastle tonight showed significant signs of improvement under their new manager, while Antonio Conte is working wonders at Tottenham Hotspur. Further, Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal thrashed Norwich 5-0 on Boxing Day to strengthen their bid for Champions League qualification.
The interim boss will have to swiftly turn the ship around or else United will be in danger of falling adrift of the top four.