#3 A step in the right direction for Harry Maguire
Even though his whole team had come under fire in the wake of their previous result in the Premier League, if there was one player who had been the subject of intense scrutiny from the fans and the media, it was Harry Maguire.
The Manchester United skipper has had to endure problems both on and off the field this season, with his poor showings for England in the recently concluded international break not helping his case either.
However, against Newcastle, Maguire took a step towards putting his problems behind him. He delivered a commanding performance that saw him not only get on the scoresheet but also dominate his duels against the Magpies’ attackers while defending.
In fact, Maguire even came close to adding to his tally in the second half as he was a threat from set-pieces all day. Manchester United will be hoping that their captain gains confidence from this outing and inspires the team to move in the right direction going forward.
#4 Goalkeeping worries for Newcastle United
The news that Martin Dubravka was set to sit on the sidelines for a lengthy period was not received well by Newcastle fans. After all, the Slovakian has emerged as a real favorite among the St James’ Park faithful.
However, Dubravka’s absence opened the door for Karl Darlow to step in, and the Englishman has accepted the opportunity gleefully. Darlow’s displays in goal for Newcastle this season have been particularly eye-catching, and the 30-year-old was on top form against Manchester United.
While the penalty save from Fernandes was the highlight, Darlow made a number of smart saves to keep Manchester United at bay until the 86th minute. After that point, the floodgates opened as the visitors scored two more late on.
However, Darlow’s excellent individual performance, in which he made eight saves, was made even more impressive by the fact that he was battling an obvious injury for most of the second half. He soldiered on for the cause as his side chased the game.
Newcastle will be hoping that Darlow can shake off his injury ahead of their next set of fixtures, with options in the goalkeeping department running more and more thin as the season wears on.
#5 A night of firsts for Manchester United
Bruno Fernandes’ run of successful spot-kicks for Manchester United finally came to an end at St James’ Park when Karl Darlow dove to his right to stop a powerfully-struck effort from 12 yards.
Fernandes’s miss in the 58th minute was his first from the spot for Manchester United since his January move, coming after 10 successful conversions from the spot.
However, the miss did not play on his mind for too long, as the Portuguese playmaker made amends by giving his side a crucial lead in the 86th minute before setting up Rashford for the fourth.
Another notable first from the game was Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s first-ever senior goal, as the full-back marked his 50th United appearance with a thumping finish high into the net in the 90th minute.
Not necessarily known for his attacking exploits, Wan-Bissaka has notably improved going forward of late. He will no doubt be looking to add to his well-taken effort with more goal contributions in the future.