Manchester United 4-1 Newcastle United: 3 players who were brilliant for Solskjaer | Premier League 2019-20
When Manchester United welcomed Newcastle United to Old Trafford on Thursday for their Boxing Day Premier League encounter, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was looking for a response from his team. The Red Devils were woeful in the weekend’s defeat at the hands of bottom-placed Watford. It was a reality check for United; the Red Devils were expected to go into overdrive following their back-to-back wins over Tottenham and Manchester City, but that had not happened.
Solskjaer’s position was under scrutiny once again following another failure to break down a team that sat deep and the Norwegian was desperate for his team to put a statement of intent on the field. The Magpies had already defeated United earlier at St. James’ Park, so United were also looking out for revenge. Solskjaer decided to make two changes to the team that lost at home to Watford at the weekend.
Manchester United Starting XI: David De Gea; Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw; Fred, Scott McTominay, Andreas Pereira; Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Mason Greenwood.
It was Newcastle United who drew first blood, going ahead through Matty Longstaff in the 17th minute. Just when it was looking like it could be another long night for the Red Devils, Martial drew United level in the 24th minute. Greenwood put his team ahead in the 36th minute before Rashford put United 3-1 up in the 41st minute. The home team went into the break with a comfortable 2-goal lead. In the second half, United continued their onslaught on the Newcastle goal and Martial scored his second of the game in the 51st minute. It was ultimately enough to help United seal all 3 points.
Solskjaer will be impressed with the response from his entire team, but here are the 3 men who were absolutely brilliant for the Norwegian.
#3 Mason Greenwood
The teenager has been on the fringes of the first team and had performed admirably every time he had set foot on the pitch. There were questions raised over Solskjaer’s measured use of an exceptional talent at hand, but the Norwegian has dealt with Mason Greenwood very carefully this season, ensuring that his prized asset was not overburdened with expectations. However, his recent form warranted a start and Solskjaer obliged by starting him on the right forward role against Newcastle United.
Greenwood started the game brightly and like the rest on the team, hit a higher gear immediately after conceding the goal. His work ethic was impressive, while he continued to be a danger for Newcastle in the final third. He ended the game with 2 shots and scored 1 goal. The Englishman attempted 38 passes with 84% success rate and also registered 2 key passes. He attempted 4 dribbles with a 75% success rate and also religiously tracked back whenever his team lost possession.
After Martial had scored the equalizer, Newcastle tried to get a foothold in the game. Greenwood then latched on to a miss-pass form the opposition and put his team ahead with a fierce left-footed shot that might have taken the tiniest of deflections on the way to the back of the net.