Manchester United 0 Newcastle United 0 Saturday 22 August 12.45pm
A chaotic opening period ended up with an example of seemingly players doing it for themselves.
The centre of midfield had tumbleweed blowing down it, in terms of seeing any protection for United’s back four.
However, things seemed to sort themselves out and from the point when Aleksandar Mitrovic headed against the bar from a Mbemba cross, the team seemed to grow in terms of both organisation and confidence.
Whilst the records will show that United (the visiting one who were called this a full 10 years before the usurpers) didn’t have a shot on target, the Mitrovic header that had Romero well beaten and the late Thauvin (just didn’t get his toe to the ball) chance were as close/closer than anything the Mancs produced.
Yes Tim Krul made a couple of cracking saves and Fabricio Coloccini was almost certainly man of the match, but Newcastle became a growing force out of the disorganised chaos that was the product of late transfer activity and reliance on some players who won’t be involved once everything settles down.
Mitrovic looks as though he will be a real player and Wijnaldum is a coiled spring set to explode on the Premier League, on the other hand the Colback/Anita axis in the middle of the pitch is clearly out Achilles heel/heart.
Many more positives than negatives and the promise of better to come – I’d have settled for that after three matches.
Full match report to follow.
These are the key stats as provided by BBC Sport;
Possession was 30% Newcastle and 70% Man Utd
Total shots was 7 for Newcastle and Man Utd 20
Shots on target was Newcastle 0 and Man Utd 8
While corners was Newcastle 5 and Man Utd 11
Player ratings totals below from fans so far, add yours and then press submit.
Team: Krul, Mbemba, Coloccini, Taylor, Haidara, Colback, Anita, Wijnaldum, Obertan (Thauvin 69), Perez (Tiote 78), Mitrovic (Cisse 88)
Unused Subs: Darlow, Williamson, Aarons, de Jong,
Ref: Craig Pawson