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Pat Nevin points out key reason why Manchester United lost to Newcastle United

4 years ago

Amusingly, a week and a half later the fallout from Manchester United losing to Newcastle United rumbles on.

Much of the post-match debate has centred around the fact that Mohamed Diame and Jonjo Shelvey were clear winners in the middle of the pitch contest.

Like so many games, the key battle area is winning that engine room contest and Diame continued his recent excellent form, whilst Shelvey arguably had his best ever game for Newcastle.

When anybody beats one of the ‘big’ teams, invariably the focus is on how/why the ‘bigger’ team won, rather than how/why the likes of plucky Newcastle won.

This has exactly been the case with this victory over Manchester United, with then a lot of that Man Utd focused debate been centred on Paul Pogba – what he did and didn’t do in the match, were the right tactics used,  whether there was a row/falling out with Jose Mourinho, and so on.

In the event, Mourinho ended up dragging off all of his midfield three, something he could never have imagined doing before the start.

As soon as Newcastle scored, both Lingard and Pogba were hooked, then it was Matic 11 minutes later.

Former player turned pundit, Pat Nevin, has now been taking about Nemanja Matic rather than Paul Pogba, in relation to the Newcastle defeat.

He says that the former Chelsea player is the one that he feels sorry for, as Matic was left to cope alone against the rejuvenated NUFC midfield.

Whilst Newcastle’s teamwork, tactics and togetherness was commented on by most neutrals and the media, Pat Nevin thought that in comparison Manchester United looked just like a ‘bunch of individuals’.

Each player only focused on themselves and summing it up by saying ‘Manchester United didn’t look like a team’.

As a Newcastle fan I would argue that Rafa Benitez and his players deserve a lot of the credit for making Man Utd look so ordinary and so uncoordinated.

Just like at Old Trafford, Newcastle took the initiative and looked the better team early on when pressing, before eventually taking the lead.

The difference this time was that instead of folding and handing the game to the Mancs as happened in the away game, Jamaal Lascelles was in the team to be able to organise and inspire. As well as both Dubravka and Kenedy now making a significant difference.

With the likes of Chelsea, Spurs, Arsenal and Liverpool still to play, it will be interesting to see whether Rafa Benitez will feel he is also able to play a more offensive pressing game, with also Slimani to be added to the mix as well.

Pat Nevin speaking to Newstalk:

“I felt sorry for Matic.

“He was basically on his own.

“I looked around the Manchester United team…

“Sanchez was quiet. Lukaku quiet. Lingard unusually so. Martial was in a huff.

“They looked like a bunch of individuals.

“Manchester United didn’t look like a team.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle United 1 Manchester United 0


Newcastle: Ritchie 65

Possession was Man Utd 64% Newcastle 36%

Total shots were  Man Utd 13 Newcastle 10

Shots on target were Man Utd 6 Newcastle 3

Corners were  Man Utd 10 Newcastle 0

Referee: Craig Pawson

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett, Ritchie, Diame, Shelvey, Kenedy (Atsu 84), Gayle (Joselu 80), Perez (Hayden 90+4)

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Manquillo, Murphy, Merino

Crowd: 52,309 (Man Utd 3,000)

(Alan Shearer gives his reaction to the win HERE)

(Read Jose Mourinho’s reaction to the match HERE)

(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the victory HERE)

(Rafa Benitez verdict after beating Manchester United HERE)

(Read Mohamed Diame reaction HERE)

(Read the match report HERE)


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