Manchester United and Newcastle replayed last season’s EFL Cup final in tonight’s round of 16 tie but with a different result.
Both teams came into this fixture in somewhat contrasting form. The hosts were humbled 3-0 by neighbours Manchester City last time out while Newcastle snatched a Premier League point from the jaws of victory at Wolves.
United’s indifferent form has reopened questions regarding Erik ten Hag’s long-term future whereas his opposite number Eddie Howe isn’t exactly under the same amount of pressure but there’s a new level of expectation at St. James’ Park following their recent takeover which only became heightened after they eliminated City in the previous round.
Knocking out both Manchester clubs was on the cards whereas this was an immediate opportunity for the the Red Devils to get back on the winning trail. In the end, it was Newcastle progressing into the quarter-finals having run out 3-0 winners. Miguel Almiron, Lewis Hall and Joe Willock decided the contest subsequently increasing the already mountainous pressure on Ten Hag’s shoulders.
Here’s how the players rated at Old Trafford:
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André Onana – 4 – Not much he could have done for the Newcastle goals though it’s another outing where he’s leaked in more than one
Diogo Dalot – 3.5 – Very lackadaisical amid Almiron’s opener. The full-back showed minimal effort with him jogging back while Almiron the Paraguayan international had acres of space to run into.
Victor Lindelöf – 4 – Was guilty of turning over possession at times.
Harry Maguire – 4.5 – Unlucky for him that his headed clearance fell to Hall who pulled off a sweet finish.
Sergio Reguilón – 3.5 – Made some neat overlaps but lacked that killer final ball.
Mason Mount – 3 – Had a quiet opening half before testing Dúbravka from a distance.
Casemiro – 4 – Back in United’s starting lineup and was subsequently greeted with a yellow card after bringing down Willock close to goal.
Hannibal Mejbri – 2.5 – First into the referee book with a reckless challenge on Longstaff before putting in a very late challenge on Krafth, catching the defender’s ankle, moments later. “He’s lucky because the referee didn’t want to send him off,” said Gary Neville on Sky Sports commentary.
Antony – 3 – An opportunity to showcase why he needs to regularly be in United’s starting lineup going forward, but the Brazilian forward simply fluffed his lines.
Anthony Martial – 3.5 – Rasmus Højlund’s arrival effectively demoted him to Man Utd’s bench; the Frenchman played on the periphery this evening, and it’s hard to see him enjoying a long-term future at Old Trafford.
Alejandro Garnacho – 4 – Still widely inconsistent, when utilised as an impact substitute Garnacho often has a moment or two, starting tonight he wasn’t given anything to work with as United’s fractured play haunted them again.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (for Dalot 46) – 4 – Showed more effort than who he replaced.
Sofyan Amrabat (for Casemiro 46) – 3.5 – Crucially lost possession in the build-up to Newcastle’s third goal.
Marcus Rashford (for Martial 64) – 4.5 – The desire was there but United’s limited play ensured Rashofrd wasn’t going to play with many chances.
Rasmus Højlund (for Garnacho 64) – 4 – Came into a team struggling to pin the opposition back while creating opportunities not sure what he could have done better.
Bruno Fernandes (for Hannibal 64) – 4.5 – Had a late chance but got the execution all wrong.
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Martin Dúbravka – 7 – Made an excellent save to deny a long-range Mason Mount effort on the stroke of half-time.
Tino Livramento – 8.5 – Kieran Trippier’s understudy was huge in the build-up to Newcastle’s opener. He first won the ball back in his own half, before going past Mount as if he wasn’t there. Livramento then played a perfect ball into Almiron at the back post who cooly finished. Livramento capped off an excellent display with nine duels and five tackles won, more than anyone playing this evening.
Emil Krafth – 6 – A first start this season for the Swedish defender who came on the receiving end of a wild Hannibal challenge. If anything that moment energised him to complete a solid outing.
Paul Dummett – 6.5 – A colossal in the air for Newcastle this evening.
Matt Targett – 4 – His evening was very brief as he limped off with an injury within the opening five minutes.
Lewis Hall – 7.5 – On a rare start the Chelsea loanee produced a brilliant first-time volley to double Newcastle’s lead.
Sean Longstaff – 7 – Led the visitors by example. Longstaff wasn’t outstanding in a single metric but put together an overall rounded performance which his manager should be proud to have seen. Nearly added a fourth goal for Newcastle from miles out.
Joe Willock – 7 – Made some key interventions during the very few spells that saw Man Utd on top before capping off the victory with an outstanding run and finish.
Matt Ritchie – 5.5 – A tentatively quiet game for the forward who nevertheless put in a shift when Newcastle weren’t in possession.
Joelinton – 7 – The one-time forward gave a strong performance when it came to retaining and recycling possession in Newcastle’s midfield.
Anthony Gordon – 5.5 – Utilised in a ‘false nine’ role the former Everton man was unable to make an effort on Onana’s goal.
Miguel Almiron (for Targett 5) – 7 – He didn’t expect to come on in the fifth minute but those feelings evaporated when he put Newcastle in front before the half-hour mark.
Callum Wilson (for Gordon 64) – 4.5 – Fancied getting himself on the scoresheet alas it never came to fruition.
Bruno Guimarães (for Willock 64) – 5 – Simply tasked with continuing the good work of Willock and that he did.
Dan Burn (for Hall 74) – N/A – A late sub.
Kieran Trippier (for Ritchie 74) – N/A – A late sub.