Newcastle United 1-0 Manchester United: 5 Talking Points and Tactical Analysis | Premier League 2019/20
The hosts started the game the brighter of the two and immediately imposed themselves on proceedings. However, clear-cut chances were at a premium during the opening half as both teams sparred without ever landing a blow.
The game picked up slightly after the break as United looked to barge through the Newcastle defensive door. However, they were caught out by the proverbial sucker punch when Matthew Longstaff lashed a 25-yard bullet into the back of the net.
The visitors pushed for an equaliser but eventually, came up short. Courtesy the defeat, the Red Devils remained in the bottom half of the table, with only 9 points from 8 games.
Here is a look at the talking points from the game.
#5 Manchester United and Newcastle United produce an exceptionally drab first half
Manchester United and Newcastle United came into the game after having produced an extraordinary amount of dreary displays this term. And, unfortunately for the neutral, that trend didn’t change on Sunday.
While the Red Devils were quite sloppy in possession, the hosts failed to scythe through the visitors’ rear-guard, despite finding themselves in promising positions.
Moreover, the away side again resorted to their infamous tendency of passing passively rather than showcasing intent on the ball, thereby making Newcastle’s job of defending much easier. To put things into perspective, United had all of two touches in the opposition penalty box throughout the opening 45 minutes.
Unsurprisingly, the clearest chances of the half came via the set-piece avenue.
Towards the end of the period, Fred’s corner found Harry Maguire unmarked in the six-yard box. However, the Englishman contrived to put his header wide, even when it seemed easier to make the net ripple.
As for the Magpies, Miguel Almiron missed a gilt-edged opportunity when he took a tad too long to pull the trigger, in the process, allowing the retreating Maguire to avert the danger.
Additionally, both sides looked devoid of invention and were content to hoof the ball forward whenever in their own half, rather than playing through the opposition.
And, though there were a couple of moments of offensive quality, that was largely the anomaly.
Over the course of the season, Manchester United and Newcastle have managed to better the other in terms of sluggish play. And, when that trait came to the fore on Sunday, the encounter certainly degraded, in terms of a spectacle.