Six games into the season & considering Manchester United’s standards, it has been quite an inconsistent season so far with losing twice already to Everton & Spurs. The midfield has already been run over by any opposition that has played them this season & New Castle would try to emulate that this time around, since they themselves are looking to get their season up & running. And for the first time in EPL history, an exciting partnership of Rooney & RVP has materialized when the United boss has decided to play them both, probably to get them up & running with a thumping win with a 4-2-3-1 formation. While Newcastle United are playing a 4-4-2 formation with Ba & Cisse on the top.Battle of Two Uniteds
The game started with Man United dominating the possession by being cautious because they have had to come back from behind on many occasions this season. The most noted moment came on the 4th minute when a series of passes brought the ball forward for United & a Johny Evans back pass was met with Welbeck feebly that Harper had nothing much to worry about. 2 mins later, there was another brilliant through pass from Cleverly that it was controlled well by RVP but the angle being so acute denied him a free chance at goal but helped them winning the corner. That corner proved to be the one they were waiting for six games, Evans bursting himself free off his mark man & leaping up on the air to head a thumping header from RVP corner. United lead 1-0, 7mins.
NC were put under immense pressure once again, as a wonderful Kagawa chip to Rafael on the wings allowed Rafael to burst through and have a free hit at the goal, but his shot going inches wide. Harper decided to play with fire on the 11th min. that he was one on one with Welbeck and he went for glory taking the shot himself on an empty net, when a simple pass to RVP would have doubled their lead. Newcastle were still chasing the ball hardly getting the possession when Tiote decided fouled Tom Cleverly was fouled just in front of the box. Rooney took the free kick leading to Harper making a fingertip save leading to a corner. Once again, an open corner meant Evra celebrating his 300th match for United, scored a thumping header once again. United lead 2-0, 15mins into the game & running away. Two defenders scoring twice through headers. Pardew was shocked on the touchline; the United boss was subdued with his celebrations knowing there was still a long way to go.
The first real good move for Newcastle came in the 17th minute when they made a string of passes that finally Guiterrez latched on to a venomous shot from outside. But the trajectory of the shot took the ball away inches wide of the post. Newcastle United were looking to get the momentum going for them by passing & keeping the possession with them. But Man United were now confident of the game, they were defending the set pieces well, something that Alen Pardew might find it difficult to motivate if the game stays 2-0 at the halftime. But you never know, football is a funny game, anything might happen. The crowd were gasping for breath when Demba Ba almost scored from the corner, but replays showed that it went way wide. This corner saw Johny Evans hobbling off, the United boss & the fans would be hoping it’s not another defensive injury. Newcastle were having the possession now for quite some time trying to get them away, but Manchester United were comfortable defending.
Manchester United were getting impatient as RVP finds himself among a rarest of tackles that was the 3rd yellow card of the evening for them. Rooney was getting impatient with Tiote that Tiote’s silly reaction got him Newcastle’s 1st yellow card of the evening. Newcastle were creating chances now regularly, but none of them found the target. Man United’s defense was getting nervous, but Wayne Rooney was there with three clearances from the defense. Half time near approaching, Newcastle were trying to get one back such that they would get some momentum into the break. Into the stoppage time of three minutes, as Newcastle came agonizingly close to getting one back, but once again going wide.
Second half action started as Man United once again had the possession with them for a long time. Newcastle needed to find something here to take the game to Man United, which they found it difficult to get going. Almost a goal there for Newcastle United on the 50th minute, where the crossbar stops the ball from going in, then the return header pushed out from the line outside, which was then cleared by the defenders for a corner. What football was that – they say football is cruel at times & this was one situation where Newcastle found out why it is said so. Lots of chances came in for both the teams, but they failed to make it count. Antonio Valencia came in for Kagawa on the 53rd minute after a lay off from injury. Tiote once again proved careless, as he gave the ball away to Rooney on the 60th minute, which he shot on target but was saved and cleared by their defenders. Nothing was going Newcastle United’s way as they made two substitutions with Anita replacing Shane Ferguson & Shola Amoebi replacing Cisse on the 63rd minute.
Another cross came in on the 66th minute which was cleared wide for a corner by the United’s defense. As the match rolled on to the final 20mintues, still Newcastle couldn’t find anything. Against the run of the play, United’s passing game meant that Rooney gave the ball to Cleverly, who scored a screamer of a goal. Curling the ball into the top left corner of Harper, meant that even Casillas wouldn’t have saved it. United lead 3-0, 72 minutes into the game. Definitely the game on the bag for Manchester United as the fans sung their song at Sports Direct Arena. Manchester United were trying to wind the time down by passing the ball, as Newcastle looked to steal a goal. Paul Scholes came in on for Wayne Rooney on the 80th minute. What a game it was for Rooney. He had worked hard in all areas of the pitch today. Newcastle made their final change with Tiote giving the way to Bigirimana. United made their final change of the game by bringing on Giggs for RVP on the 87th minute for a short spell. Four minutes were added on to the 90minutes, to which nothing much happened. Howard Webb the referee blows in the final whistle at Sports Direct Arena. United gave Newcastle back their 3-0 defeat last time they visited the Sports Direct Arena.
All in all it was a great game for Manchester United, who started cautiously by getting on behind the ball, keeping possession with them. Having Welbeck on the wings & Rooney just behind RVP, get them the versatility to rotate between Welbeck & RVP as the strikers especially when RVP was working for the team even defending at one point of time. Newcastle were stunned with the 2 goals that went in early, seeing a poor defense as the reasons for the two goals. Lots to improve for especially in the defense for Pardew in the next fortnight as we go in for an international break. Both the goal keepers, Harper & De Gea looked uncomfortable, especially Harper who was troubled a lot by the Man United defense. As usual De Gea looked uncomfortable on the long balls, an aspect which he really needs to improve. Rooney was working & slogging it out for the team & with such a performance, in defense, midfield & forward – United have a class in him who can be so versatile. Nothing went right for Newcastle today, their shots went wide, their crosses were lobbed over the keeper, and their defense easily the second best & their keeper was not the one who was confident enough. They just need their regular keeper Tim Krul back to get the reassurance back.
Next game for Manchester UTD is against a physically strong Stoke City at the Theater of Dreams.
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