Newcastle United 0 Manchester United 2  – Wednesday 2 January 8pm

We asked Jonathan Drape-Comyn to give us his match ratings after Saturday afternoon’s match.

Newcastle staying in the game for 64 minutes but being undone by two second half goals.

The club stay 15th in the table with 18 points but after only one win in eight games and other teams now picking up points, Rafa’s players are only two points above the relegation zone.

Dubravka 4 – Obviously he was at fault for the first goal which was the important one but I’m not going to criticise him for it.

He will (and has) saved us a lot more points than he has cost us that’s for sure. He’s earned that mistake in my opinion.

Yedlin 5 – I think he really struggled to have any sort of impact on the game.

Failed to get forward down the right hand side and was caught out of position several times defensively. Wasn’t helped by having nobody in front of him for protection.

Schar 7 – Did ok, I think so anyway!

I didn’t see an awful lot from Schar I have to be honest. I thought Rashford was nullified quite well though throughout the game.

Lascelles 6 – Doesn’t look settled at the moment. Doesn’t look fit.

Seems to be making rash decisions also. Perhaps he is feeling the pressure with Fernandez and Lejeune waiting in the wings but we really need him to step up his performances over the coming months.

Dummett 7 – The one centre half who stood out.

I would have had him at left back in a flat back four but nonetheless I thought he did very well. Looked composed on the ball and never looked rushed by Man U’s forward line.

Ritchie 6 – It just doesn’t work for him at left wing back. He is neither coming nor going.

At times, it doesn’t look like he knows where he is supposed to be either. You get your usual hard work and industry out of him but he’s completely wasted in a back five.

Hayden 6 – I don’t know how unfit Shelvey is, but the fact Hayden has started our last three games, goes to show just one of the predicaments we are in at the moment.

He looked like a complete outcast only a few weeks ago. He didn’t play badly, but alongside a defensive minded Diame, they certainly don’t complement each other.

Diame 6 – Thought he did ok when he was on but as mentioned, when playing next to another holding midfielder, he becomes ineffectual.

Both he and Hayden were sitting on top of the three centre halves for the most part. Will be a big loss if he is out for a while (which again says a lot about the state we are in).

Perez 5 – Aside from a wonderful pass to set up Atsu for a half chance in the first half, he was useless once again.

Atsu 8 – Our best and brightest player on the night.

Looked like the one source of urgency and threat. Just a shame his final ball consistently let him down.

Rondon 6 – Again, I thought he didn’t do bad but when it came to taking that half chance he would be guaranteed to get, he didn’t look like he would come close to converting.

Battled, and held the ball up well, but not good enough on the night.

Subs:

Shelvey 6 – The stereotypical Shelvey performance when he came on. Didn’t do a lot.

Nearly changed the game with a wonder pass to Perez. Then should have seen red for a horror challenge on Pogba.

Kenedy N/A (I didn’t even realise he had been on the pitch!)

Muto – N/A (Not on long enough to judge)

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle United 0 Manchester United 2

Goals: Lukaku 64, Rashford 80

Possession was Man Utd 65% Newcastle 35%

Total shots were  Man Utd 16 Newcastle 14

Shots on target were Man Utd 7 Newcastle 3

Corners were  Man Utd 2 Newcastle United 1

Referee: Andre Marriner

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Yedlin, Schar (Muto 81), Lascelles, Dummett, Ritchie, Hayden, Diame (Shelvey 53), Perez (Kenedy 69), Atsu, Rondon

Unused Subs:

Woodman, Joselu, Manquillo, Lejeune

Crowd: 52,217 (3,000 Man Utd)

(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Newcastle United 0 Man Utd 2 – Read HERE)

(Alan Shearer talks about Rafa Benitez’ ‘Unbelievable Budget’ now we are in January transfer window – Read HERE)

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  • Kenny

    Says it all when Atsu is MOTM and on numerous occasions he couldn`t hit the target.
    still playing a back 5 and it`s still not working, the bottom line is they brought on 2 forwards worth in excess of £150m, game over.
    you get what you pay for.

    • Man U never looked like scoring if not for Dubravka’s mistake. The secons goal happened because Schar made a mistake in marking Rashford.

      • Kenny

        It took their sub less than 30 seconds to score, end of story

        • Looks like you were not watching the game.

          • Kenny

            Looks like you know f##k all about football

          • Can definitely say that goes double for you. I think we were watching 2 different games.
            We totally had Man U on the brink of desperation. They never looked like scoring. We had the better chances up to then and even after.
            Rafa showed his tactics can give us a chance against a team that has 300m just on the bench!
            Lukaku looked terrible on and off the ball.
            With a winger who can finish (perhaps Muto should have played there) we could have had the game

        • Themoscow72

          Only because our keeper messed up. They were never going to score other wise.

  • Themoscow72

    Rondon was poor last night his worst game for a while as won little all night.
    We seemed to suffer when Diame went off as they got more space. Just a shame Atsu could not take one of his three chances. Were at least as good as them home and away and would have won that game if they had not been on a run of form.

    • Kenny

      You need to take time out and seek medical help, urgently

      • Themoscow72

        There is always Saturday. Bought ten tickets for the Blackburn game last night. Six in the Leazes, two in the Gallowgate and two in the Strawberry corner. The Glasgow branch coming down and people from Holland. Only 6,279 tickets left for the lower bowl so good effort compared to Sunderland’s eight thousand.

        • Wor Lass

          Thinking about you organising a group outing like that reminds me of that bit of “One flew over the cuckoo`s nest” when McMurphy took the nutters fishing.

          • Themoscow72

            One of three all time favourite films along with Midnight Express and Coming Home. I guessed that the Chief could really talk. Be good idea for all the people on here to meet up one time all the nutters together.

          • Wor Lass

            Ha! That`s my all time favourite film – pure class. There`s so many on here with multiple personalities that you`d only need somewhere like the Crown Posada to get the real people in.

  • If we had a winger who can finish and perhaps someone like Almiron we would have won.
    Man U were poor and if not for Dubravka’s mistake (no blame, has saved us so many times, can’t fault a 4m keeper for one in 40 games mistake) Man U never looked like scoring.
    Positives:
    Hayden and Diame gave Man U midfield no quarter. Absolutely nullified Pogba and Mata.
    Atsu showed he is a Premier League player but still can’t finish.
    Negatives:
    Shelvey hasn’t improved a bit. Still only long passes and pointless shots from distance. Should have been sent-off and could yet get a 3-4 games ban for his horrid challenge on Pogba.
    Rondon wasn’t playing well. I think this is due to the late hour, some players just can’t handle it.
    Kenedy was beyond poor, we should really send him back now. Better give Roberts a run of games.

    What I would change for the next game:
    Go 4-3-1-2 with Diame and Hayden and stick Longstaff to go forward and link up with Perez and Get both Rondon and Muto up there.
    Forget Ritchie as a wing-back, get Fernandez and Schar with Dummett and Yedlin as back four.

    • Billmag

      Well summarised.

  • Paul Patterson

    The ‘Shelvey coincidence’ is starting to add up and become less of a coincidence . .

    • Wor Lass

      Is that something Confucious said?

  • Wor Lass

    The ref saw it, deemed it bad enough to give a free kick but not bad enough to give it a red card. End of story – why would the FA want to get involved? Jonjo needs to be careful, though. The next time he lets us down will be one time too many. It may have been because he`s still off the pace but I suspect that deep down he`s just as thick as a brick and a slightly nasty character.

    • Wor Lass

      Woops – put this on the wrong article! Still think it`strue, though!!

  • mentalman

    Hayden and diame dont compliment each other yet they dominated the midfield against watford and dominated man utd’s quarter of a billion midfield. They allowed atsu to be the attacking threat he has been and hayden has also supported the attack.

    We’ve either being drawing or winning the games they have played in together until one has gone off

    • Natturner26

      I think Diame has been our best player this season, followed closely by Fernandez, Dubravka, and Ki. Rafa’s biggest achievement as our manager has been turning Diame from a terrible number 10 to a dominant defensive midfielder.