Newcastle United 3-3 Manchester United: Player Ratings
Newcastle and Manchester United turned back the pages of history on Tuesday night at St. James’ Park, enthralling us with a six-goal thriller that ended even stevens. With Manchester United playing more 0-0 draws this season than many of the European leagues and Newcastle failing to find the back of the net in their last four games, this was written off as an occasion not to get thrilled about.
However, Tuesday night’s affair at Tyneside seemed like it was cut out from the same cloth as many of the memorable clashes between the two Uniteds from years gone by.
Three goals in either half, a couple of penalties to go with a late match-altering goal served us a fascinating ninety minutes of football. The players played with a high tempo and flair to make us witnesses arguably the best game of the Premier League this season. Here is how each one of them fared:
Rob Elliott (6.5): The Irishman, who has been ever so reliant of late was nutmegged by Jesse Lingard on his way to his second senior goal. He didn’t have a prayer with the other two goals. But came up big when it mattered, stopping Fellaini from making it 4-2 with a superb close-range save.
Daryl Janmaat (6.5/10): The flying Dutchman again showed his instincts at going forward and giving Newcastle the upper hand on the right-hand side. Unlucky not to get a penalty for his efforts as Lingard tripped him in the box in the first half.
Fabricio Coloccini (7/10): The Newcastle skipper read the game well and closed down many unmarked runs at times. The Argentine became a playmaker with the central midfield going AWOL on many occasions in the first half. It was his ball to Mitrovic that helped Newcastle to their first goal in more than four hours of play.
Chancel Mbemba (5.5/10): The Congolese, who has been probably one of the few bright lights for Newcastle this season won’t remember this with much fondness. He was also guilty of conceding a penalty which led to United’s opener inside 10 minutes.
Paul Dummett (7/10): The Welshman wouldn’t have got such a high rating if not for his thunderous equalizer late on in the game that eventually settled the game. Tasked with stopping the fleet-footed Anthony Martial, Dummett rarely forged forward as the Newcastle left wing remained much maligned going forward.
Cheick Tiote (6.5/10): Newcastle’s best passer on the day was as inconsistent as his career has been at Tyneside. Failed to get in the game in the first half but his grit was vital to get the Magpies back into the game.
Jack Colback (6/10): Struggled to make his presence felt in the middle of the field. Should have taken a swipe on goal with his right foot instead of looking for a foul in the penalty area during the second-half.
Ayoze Perez (5/10): The Spaniard really looked off-colour today. Whilst he worked hard to give Newcastle protection down their left flank, his usual silky touches and turns went missing.
Moussa Sissoko (7/10): A real powerhouse on the right-hand side for Newcastle. Couldn’t get the better of David De Gea though as he played himself in with some exquisite skills.
Georginio Wijnaldum (8/10): The Dutchman added to his tally once again, making it 8 for the season. He was at the heart of everything good that Newcastle did in the game. Should have scored probably one more.
Aleksander Mitrovic (7/10): Was a handful to deal with for Chris Smalling throughout the game. Got Newcastle the crucial spot-kick and slotted it home himself to put the magpies back on level terms.
Yoan Gouffran (6.5/10): Provided some zest down the left as Newcastle players looked weary in the dying stages.
Ivan Toney (NA): Brought on late. Didn't have enough time to influence the game.
Siem De Jong (NA): Hard to remember if he even touched the ball.
David de Gea (7/10): Helped the visitors escape with a point courtesy of two brilliant saves. Could have done well to avoid the suicidal pass.
Ashley Young (6.5/10): Looked steady in defence with Ayoze Perez having a stinker. However, failed to create much going forward.
Chris Smalling (4.5/10): Probably the worst game of the season for England’s current mainstay at the back. Was slow to react as Wijnaldum scored Newcastle’s first and then gave away the penalty which helped Mitrovic equalize. His sad day was completed when Paul Dummett’s late strike brushed off of his right arm and went past De Gea.
Daley Blind (5.5/10): Had a tough time alongside Smalling at the heart of the Manchester United backline. Was outjumped for Newcastle's opener and Had a tough time dealing with the runners as Newcastle began to grow in the second 45.
Matteo Darmian (5.5/10): Had to bear the brunt of both Janmaat and Sissoko running at the Italian who was filling in at left-back today. Got some cover from Lingard who was diligent in his tracking back, but was left exposed after Memphis came on.
Ander Herrera (6.5/10): A wonderful pass from the Spaniard to Rooney helped the United skipper set up Lingard's goal. However, there was nothing much else of note from Herera throughout the night as Newcastle began imposing themselves on the game in the second half.
Morgan Schneiderlein (5.5/10): Hardly had any effect on the game in his holding role. The defence came under too much pressure with his disappearing act.
Marouane Fellaini (6/10): Walked a tightrope throughout the game with his collection of rash tackles around the field. However, he helped United dominate in the air on both sides of the game, winning the visitors the penalty for the opener.
Jesse Lingard (7/10): Showed real desire to romp across the field to join Rooney and finish off clinically to give United a two-goal cushion. However, he was wasteful when presented with a gilt-edged opportunity in the second half.
Anthony Martial (6.5/10): Played on the right today. Van Gaal tried to put pressure on Newcastle’s weak link at the back in the form of Paul Dummett as well as give Lingard the job to guard against the dual threat of Sissoko and Janmaat on Newcastle's right. However, only a few forays into the box during the first half was all we got to see from the Frenchman.
Wayne Rooney (8.5/10): The Manchester United skipper played probably his best game of the season. Scored coolly from the spot, hammered home a late third for the Red Devils and set up Lingard precisely for the finish. Finally looked like Wayne Rooney of the days gone by.
Memphis Depay (7/10): Helped to liven up the attack with his running on the left. Set up the third goal after his shot ricocheted and fell kindly to Rooney.
Juan Mata (NA): Wasn’t afforded enough time to really impact the game.