Anthony Gordon’s first half strike was enough for Newcastle as they defeated Manchester United 1-0 at St James’ Park.
The scoreline flattered the visitors, who were battered by Eddie Howe’s side from start to finish.
Here are five talking points from a superb Newcastle win…
The Andre Onana predicament
After signing from Inter Milan for £47.2m in the summer transfer window, Andre Onana’s start to life in Manchester has been far from easy. After costing his side the win against Galatasaray in midweek, the Cameroonian’s decision making often left United vulnerable to follow ups from the Newcastle front line. It is clear Onana is still finding his feet in English football, and Manchester United fans will be hoping the Cameroonian can do so as soon as possible to begin to justify the substantial price tag the club paid for him in July this year.
Rashford’s struggles continue
Goalscoring has become a real issue for Erik ten Hag and Manchester United this season. The Red Devils have only scored 16 goals in the Premier League this year, the worst from any side in the top half of the table. United heavily relied on England forward Marcus Rashford for goals in the 22/23 season, with the 26-year-old scoring 30 times in all competitions. This season the forward has struggled to make an impact on the team, the game against Newcastle was no different. ten Hag will be hoping Rashford can rediscover his form as soon as possible.
Shaky United defence concede again
The lack of cohesion and chemistry in the Manchester United backline has never been clearer. Luke Shaw has returned to the side after a lengthy injury and was deployed at centre back. United began the game in extremely nervous fashion against Newcastle, and within the opening quarter had already come dangerously close to conceding to the relentlessly pressing from the Magpies front line. With key players in the defensive area still unavailable for selection for Erik ten Hag’s side, the Dutchman must find a way to better solidify his back line if the Red Devils are to compete at the highest level.
In a Newcastle team which has been riddled with injuries in all areas of the pitch this season, Fabian Schär has remained a constant in Eddie Howe’s side. The 31-year-old has played every minute in the Premier League and Champions League for the Magpies, and has repaid his manager’s trust with a string of impressive performances. Schär once again remained a calming presence in the Newcastle defence against Man United, slowing down the game and playing out of the infrequent Man United press with ease when needed. With star centre-back Sven Botman sidelined since September with a knee injury, the Swiss international has certainly stepped up to the challenge of being the Geordie’s rock at the back.
An Eddie Howe masterclass
In an injury crisis which has seen up to 12 first team players unavailable for selection, Eddie Howe has risen to the challenge to keep Newcastle competing on all fronts. Other clubs such as Manchester United and Tottenham suffering huge drop-offs in form in the midst of their own injury crises, but Eddie Howe has risen to the challenge and has navigated his team to numerous impressive results in the face of adversity. Impressive performances from the likes of Jamal Lascelles and Lewis Miley since being called to the side have helped the Magpies through a tough part of the season, with key players set to return.