Manchester United keeps European chances alive with win over Newcastle

May 16, 2024
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Manchester United remained in European contention after beating Premier League top-six contender Newcastle United 3-2 at home on Wednesday.

Manchester United keeps European chances alive with win over Newcastle

Kobbie Mainoo’s clinical finish put the Red Devils ahead midway through the first half, but Anthony Gordon leveled for Newcastle just four minutes later.

However, Manchester United recovered the lead when Amad Diallo struck his first Premier League goal into the far corner just before the hour mark, and Rasmus Hojlund scored the hosts’ third in only three minutes off the bench.

Lewis Hall gave the Magpies a glimmer of hope in stoppage time when he curled a lovely strike past Andre Onana from 20 yards, but the Red Devils held on for what could be a crucial victory in their quest to ensure Europa Conference League status for next season.

Erik ten Hag’s side remains eighth in the table, but they are now level on points with Eddie Howe’s Newcastle, who have dropped to seventh after Chelsea beat Brighton & Hove Albion to move up to sixth place, three points ahead of both the Magpies and the Red Devils with only one game remaining.

Rodgers’ team won 2-1 at Celtic Park thanks to a Matt O’Riley score and an own-goal by John Lundstram, who was sent off before the second half began. That gave Celtic a six-point lead at the top of the table, implying that Gers would need perfection and a mistake by the Hoops to have any chance of triumph.

Manchester United vs Newcastle United | Matchday 37

Kobbie’s cool finish gives Manchester United a slender advantage.

Newcastle’s travelling fans were ecstatic, and their team got off to a strong start, putting pressure on Manchester United’s backline within minutes. Sofyan Amrabat made a crucial sliding challenge to keep Gordon from scoring inside the box after the visitors made a promising burst forward.

Man United responded strongly, and their first chance of the evening came from a set piece, with Bruno Fernandes’ free kick originally saved by Martin Dubravka, before Amrabat’s header back into the mix was met by Casemiro’s daring overhead kick that sailed just over the crossbar.

Fernandes was Man United’s main creator throughout the game, despite playing in a more advanced role than usual, and he was involved in a neat one-two with Alejandro Garnacho before the latter’s shot was saved by Dubravka, who narrowed the angle well at his near post.

Man United were on top, and their persistence in the final third was rewarded just after the half-hour mark, when Mainoo collected a pass from Diallo that took a slight deflection off Fernandes’ heel, before taking a touch and nonchalantly shooting into the bottom-left corner from around eight yards out – his third Premier League goal of the season.

Newcastle attempted to respond immediately as Longstaff’s cross from the right rolled across the six-yard box, demanding to be tapped in, but Alexander Isak chose to draw away as he anticipated a cut-back.

Casemiro, who has faced much criticism in recent weeks, then made a key last-ditch tackle to stop Gordon in his tracks, before heading the ball off the line to prevent a towering Dan Burn at the back post.

Manchester United claim their Victory at Old Trafford

That wasted opportunity proved costly for Newcastle, as they fell behind again shortly before the hour mark. Murphy headed Fernandes’ bad corner away at the near post, but he found Diallo, who fired a fantastic left-footed strike into the far corner before celebrating in front of the Newcastle fans.

Newcastle remained a threat, and Onana was called into action to make two crucial saves, first denying Longstaff, who had been played in down the left channel, and then making a spectacular acrobatic save to send Joelinton’s towering header over the bar.

Howe brought in Joelinton, Fabian Schar, and Miguel Almiron for the final half-hour, and the latter came agonisingly close to equalising for the Magpies, but he was unable to meet Gordon’s fizzed throw across goal.

Diallo received a rousing ovation as he exited the field 10 minutes from time, and his substitute, Hojlund, took only three minutes to get his name on the scoresheet and put the game away, sprinting past Burn before shooting a right-footed shot into the bottom corner.

Newcastle gave themselves hope of a late comeback when left-back Hall seized on Casemiro’s headed clearance and fired a superb left-footed drive into the far corner.

However, Manchester United hung on for three vital points in their penultimate home game of the season; they will go to Brighton for their final remaining fixture on Sunday, the same day Newcastle travels to Brentford.

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