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Twitter reacts as Bruno Fernandes-inspired Manchester United cruise to 3-1 win over Newcastle United

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Sai Teja
ANALYST
Modified 22 Feb 2021
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Manchester United returned to winning ways in the Premier League with a relatively comfortable 3-1 win against Newcastle United at Old Trafford.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer retained up to nine players from the XI that started in Turin for their 4-0 rout of Real Sociedad in the UEFA Europa League. The only changes were Victor Lindelof for Eric Bailly and Nemanja Matic for Scott McTominay, which was forced by an injury to the Scottish international.

The Magpies began the first half brightly and forced what could've been a costly error from David de Gea as a result of some intensive pressing. Although the hosts grew into the game in terms of possession, they failed to put together anything substantial, with Newcastle threatening on occasion on the counter.

Half an hour into the game, Marcus Rashford decided to take matters into his own hands and produced a simply sublime sequence of play to give the hosts a lead. The English forward received the ball from Harry Maguire and went on to nutmeg Emile Krafth twice in ten seconds and unleashed a searing strike into the near post after cutting in.

Rashford's strike was, unfortunately, cancelled out by a superb hit from returning Magpies superstar Allan Saint-Maximin. Maguire was in the thick of things again as he failed to head the ball away cleanly from a corner and the ball fell kindly to Saint-Maximin. The Frenchman's side-footed first-time strike into the top-right corner restored parity to the scoreline, and David de Gea β€” who got a hand to the shot β€” could do nothing to stop it from going in.

The second half was more of the same, static play from Manchester United. They looked uninspired and severely lacked a cutting edge despite seeing so much of the ball. However, that changed just before the hour mark as Daniel James found himself isolated in the Newcastle penalty area and the in-form Welshman smashed it to Karl Darlow's left.

The goal was James' sixth goal in his last nine appearances across all competitions and followed up a great performance in midweek with another productive display at Old Trafford.

This was the turning point of the game and the moment that appeared to spark Manchester United to life. The Red Devils found another gear in terms of their attacking play and pressed hard to double their advantage.

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Their efforts were rewarded in the 75th minute as Arsenal loanee Joe Willock found Rashford's dazzling footwork too quick to handle and brought him down in the penalty area. Spot-kick specialist Fernandes stepped up to take the penalty against the only Premier League keeper to have saved his penalty and coolly slotted the ball past him to double Manchester United's advantage.

It was a landmark game for highly-rated Red Devils prodigy Shola Shoretire as the 17-year-old made his senior debut for the club with a few minutes left on the clock, coming on to replace fellow Carrington graduate Marcus Rashford.

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Solskjaer's side saw out the remainder of the fixture comfortably and registered all three points to reclaim second spot on the table. It was another superb display from resurgent English star Luke Shaw, who was awarded the Man of the Match award for the game.

Newcastle, meanwhile, have face another setback in their fight for survival as they gear up for a battle to avoid the drop.

Here are some of the best tweets from the game!


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Published 22 Feb 2021, 02:47 IST
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