Manchester United came from behind to produce an emphatic 4-1 thrashing of Newcastle United at Old Trafford this evening as Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic made their returns.
Dwight Gayle had given Rafa Benitez’s side the lead against the run of play on 14 minutes before we dominated possession and territory in the final 20 minutes of the first half, equalising through Anthony Martial’s close range header from a sublime assist from Pogba.
Ashley Young then delivered a deep cross to set up Chris Smalling’s close range header to see us go in at the half with a 2-1 lead. Marcus Rashford’s unselfish header set up a tap in for Pogba on his return to the first team before Romelu Lukaku smashed in a fourth.
Here are how our players fared:
David de Gea 6
Not much he could do about Dwight Gayle’s opener and got down low to deny Jacob Murphy from close range just before half-time. Newcastle didn’t cause any serious threats for David de Gea in the second half.
Antonio Valencia 9
Kept Jacob Murphy pinned back in his own half and was excellent in both defence and possession again today, though Antonio Valencia did give up opportunities to get crosses into the box from good positions in favour of passing to a teammate nearby.
Victor Lindelof 7
An unfortunate slip gifted Gayle the space he needed to open the scoring for Newcastle. After that Victor Lindelof was part of a pretty solid defence. This was the Swede’s best performance in a United shirt to date.
Chris Smalling 8
Chris Smalling was solid at the back, making a couple of important interceptions. Scored a close-range header to give us the lead towards the end of the first half.
Ashley Young 7
Newcastle did find a lot of space on the counter-attack down our left in the first half, which is where their goal came from. Ashley Young pushing forward saw our left-back assist Chris Smalling’s goal just before half-time to give us the lead. The visitors weren’t so much of a threat after the break.
Nemanja Matic 7
Didn’t have a lot of tackles to make today but did look after the ball when we in possession and started attacks.
Paul Pogba 10
What an excellent performance from Paul Pogba and further proof that the French international’s absence in October was a huge loss for us. Pogba provided an excellent assist for our equaliser and then his burst from midfield was merited with our third goal.
Marcus Rashford 9
Newcastle failed to stick with Marcus Rashford and the youngster’s pace and movement proved a huge threat to them. The forward set up our third with an unselfish header in the six-yard box. The England international was too much to handle when moving from the right wing to partner Lukaku up front.
Juan Mata 7
Quiet first half in the number 10 but much better in the second down the right. Some nice passes in the final third and involved in our fourth goal.
Anthony Martial 8
Rose above his marker and produced a nice header for our equaliser. Was a menace to DeAndre Yedlin and Newcastle’s defence down our left wing.
Romelu Lukaku 8
Provided the run and cross that led to our third and then played a nice one-two with Juan Mata before blasting home our fourth to end his goal drought. Prior to that Romelu Lukaku did a good job holding the ball up and bringing teammates into play.
Marouane Fellaini (21 mins) N/A – Came on to resume normal service by seeing us score whilst on the pitch and we still haven’t conceded with Marouane Fellaini on the pitch this season. The Belgian also had a chance to score in the final minute.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (14 mins) N/A – Made his first appearance of the season in the final quarter-of-an-hour and produced a save from Rob Elliot with a spectacular volley late on.
Ander Herrera (8 mins) N/A – Handed a late run out.
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