5 reasons why the victory over Newcastle would bring back the glory days to Manchester United
In scenes reminiscent of the best periods under Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United sparked a wonderful come from behind victory to triumph 3-2 over Newcastle at Old Trafford having been two goals down at half-time.
The match was characterized by everything a Manchester United fixture should have, guts, glory, intensity and the never say die attitude which has been lacking at Manchester United in recent years.
Manchester United began the match in their usual dour, flat and uninspiring tempo which fans have become accustomed to, so it, therefore, came as no surprise when United found themselves 2 goals down inside 15 minutes, with some comical defending being shown.
The Red Devils have not won at Old Trafford since the opening day, and many around the world would have believed that this match was going to go according to recent scripts, but the players and managers had other ideas, with Mata, Martial and Sanchez scoring a goal each to complete the turnaround.
Jose Mourinho must be commended for his substitutions in the match, as every single one of them had an impact on proceedings, and scenes at the end of the match suggested that this could be the turn-around point of Jose Mourinho’s tenure.
The victory lifted United from 10th to 7th, and beyond just the three points, this victory has much more far-reaching consequences. Here are five reasons why this victory over Newcastle could bring back the glory days to Old Trafford.
#5 It might have saved Jose Mourinho’s job
Jose Mourinho has overseen one of the worst periods in Manchester United’s illustrious history, winless in four matches, and dumped out of the Carabao Cup by Championship side Derby County. Lying in 10th position on the league, United had made the worst start to a league campaign in 28 years, and there were loud calls from fans and pundits alike for Jose to be relieved off his duties as manager.
Heading into this match against Newcastle, speculations emerged that those calls were about to be heeded, as there were reports that the board had decided to part ways with the Portuguese tactician regardless of the outcome of the match.
The way Manchester United started the match all but signed Mourinho’s termination letter, as the performance was so shambolic that only the staunchest Mourinho fan would have behind him had United lost the match.
A lot of flake has been thrown the way of Jose in recent years, with his tactics and player selection coming in for heavy criticism, but today, Mourinho deserves special praise for the way he handled the situation despite the early setback.
He decided to replace Bailly with Mata on 18 minutes, as the Ivorian was responsible for both Newcastle goals with his slack defending and loss of concentration. While hauling of Scott McTomminay at half-time for Fellaini (in a bid not to damage the young player’s substitution with a first-half substitution), and his decisions paid off immediately, as United gained control of the match.
Later on, in the second half, Mourinho stood poised to substitute the much-maligned Martial, but changed his mind and took off Marcus Rashford (who had been guilty of missing gilt-edged chances), replacing him with Alexis Sanchez.
Both of Mourinho’s substitutes, Mata and Sanchez scored a goal, while Martial also contributed the second and Fellaini provided steel in midfield.
90 minutes before the start of the match, there were many United fans who wanted to see the back of Mourinho. However, come full-time, they were all United in singing his praises, and having been on the verge of losing his job, Jose Mourinho might have just begun the process of returning United to its previous heights with his tactical brilliance against Newcastle.