Football Features

“A player at his liquid and lethal best” – Full player ratings as Man Utd mangle Newcastle

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 19:35, 26 December 2019

In a one-sided evening of football, Manchester United came from behind to blow Newcastle away 4-1 at Old Trafford.

Newcastle actually took the lead with a beautiful goal but, after starting strongly, they faded fast and the Red Devils equalised. Man Utd then dominated the rest of the game, playing out the last half-hour at a canter.

Here’s how the players rated at Old Trafford:

Manchester United

David de Gea – 5 – Could do nothing about the goal. Was otherwise competent.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka – 8 – An impassable wall in defence as per usual. Even managed to get forward and produce a sublime cross for Rashford to score Man Utd’s third. Turns out young players can improve… who knew?

Victor Lindelof – 5 – Couldn’t live with Joelinton. Was lucky the Brazilian was starved of service after the opening 25 minutes.

Harry Maguire – 6 – Could have done better on Newcastle’s goal but was otherwise calm and composed. Almost scored with a late rasping effort.

Luke Shaw – 5 – Did very little in attack and wasn’t really called on in defence.

Scott McTominay – 5 – Received a stupid early yellow and was lucky to avoid a second midway through the first-half. Was a passenger for most of the half and got subbed at half-time to protect him, having also picked up a knee injury.

Fred – 9 – A consummate midfield performance from Man Utd’s best midfielder this season.

Andreas Pereira – 6 – A deft assist for Martial’s opener and some nice passes marked one of Pereira’s better games. Still blew some good passing opportunities including a nailed-on break to make it 5-1.

Mason Greenwood – 7 – His movement was sharp and he launched an absolute ICBM of a strike to give Man Utd the lead. This natural born goalscorer could make all the difference as the season enters crunch time.

Marcus Rashford – 7 – Not at his electric best, but scored a towering back-post header to seal victory for Man Utd.

Anthony Martial – 9 – Assumed the mantle of Man Utd’s saviour this evening. Led from the front in the most emphatic way with a rasping finish to pull the Red Devils level and kick-start their turnaround. Moved well in attack after that and pounced on another defensive error to score his second with a deliciously deft finish and kill the game early in the second-half. Almost bagged a hat-trick with a stunning strike off the post. This was a player at his liquid and lethal best.

Substitutes:

Paul Pogba (for McTominay 46) – 6 – Showed bright ideas and good technique. Some ambitious shots.

Jesse Lingard (for Rashford 63) – 5 – Did little.

Juan Mata (for Martial 67) – 6 – A couple of delicious passes.

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Newcastle

Martin Dubravka – 3 – Awful bit of goalkeeping to allow Martial’s near-post shot to sneak in. Could do nothing about the goals that followed but his error let the Red Devils back into the contest.

Javier Manquillo – 5 – Did a decent job stopping Rashford’s raids down his flank.

Fabian Schar – 3 – Undid some decent defending with two major blunders. An awful pass to cede possession to Greenwood just before he scored Man Utd’s second and got absolutely wrecked by Rashford in the air for the Red Devil’s third goal. An evening to forget.

Federico Fernandez – 6 – The only Newcastle defender to not embarrass himself. Often the last line of defence.

Florian Lejeune – 5 – Not a disaster but never looked comfortable against Man Utd’s attack.

Jetro Willems – 4 – Worked up and down.

Sean Longstaff – 4 – A solid display shattered by a stupidly under-hit backpass that allowed Man Utd to score their fourth.

Matty Longstaff – 7 – Stunning bodyswerve and finish to open the scoring. Did little besides that, however.

Miguel Almiron – 6 – Bright performance in the first half-hour. Pushed Man Utd back continually. Worked tirelessly from a defensive standpoint after that, making a game-high four tackles.

Dwight Gayle – 5 – Shocking miss after 15 mins. Didn’t do much else for the rest of the game.

Joelinton – 7 – A masterclass in hold-up play. Played two excellent passes in the first-half, registering one assist (should have been two but for Gayle’s miss). There’s much more to come from him.

Substitutes:

Christian Atsu (for Gayle 59) – 5 – Did not effect the game.

DeAndre Yedlin (for Almiron 63) – 5 – Barely noticeable.

Emil Krafth (for Schar 88) – N/A – Came on late.

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