Manchester United defeat Newcastle United 3-2 at Old Trafford

After defeating fellow top-six contender Newcastle United 3-2 at home on Wednesday night in the Premier League, Manchester United is still in the running to make it to Europe

(Football news) Halfway through the first half, Kobbie Mainoo’s cool finish gave the Red Devils the lead, and four minutes later, Anthony Gordon gave Newcastle the equalizer.

But just before the hour, Manchester United took the lead again through a goal from Amad Diallo, who struck their first Premier League goal into the far corner. Three minutes later, Rasmus Hojlund, coming off the bench, gave the home team their third goal.

Lewis Hall gave the Magpies a glimpse of hope in stoppage time when he swerved a beautiful effort past Andre Onana from 20 yards, but the Red Devils held on for what might turn out to be a crucial win in their pursuit of playing in the Europa Conference League the following season. 

Erik ten Hag’s men remain eighth in the table, but they have moved level on points with Eddie Howe’s Newcastle, who have slipped to seventh after Chelsea beat Brighton & Hove Albion to climb up to sixth place, sitting three points clear of both the Magpies and the Red Devils with only one game remaining.

Manchester United are highly unlikely to catch Chelsea in the final Europa League spot, as the Blues boast a superior goal difference, but if they better Newcastle’s result on the final day, they will qualify for the 2024-25 Conference League.

Newcastle’s travelling supporters were in full voice and their team made a bright start to the contest, putting pressure on Manchester United’s backline within the first few minutes. Sofyan Amrabat made a vital sliding challenge to prevent Gordon from striking at goal inside the area following a promising burst forward from the visitors.

Manchester United responded well and their first chance of the evening came from a set-piece, with Bruno Fernandes’s free kick initially punched away by Martin Dubravka, before Amrabat’s header back into the mixer was met by an audacious overhead kick from Casemiro which flew just over the crossbar.

Fernandes was pulling the strings as Man United chief creator throughout the match, even though he was operating in a more advanced role than usual, and he was involved in a neat give-and-go with Alejandro Garnacho before the latter’s shot was saved by Dubravka, who narrowed the angle well at his near post.

Man United were on top and their persistence in the final third was rewarded just after the half-hour mark when Mainoo collected a pass from Diallo, that took a slight deflection of Fernandes’s heel, before taking a touch and nonchalantly placing his shot into the bottom-left corner from around eight yards out – his third Premier League goal of the season.

Newcastle looked to hit back immediately as Longstaff’s cross from the right rolled across the six-yard box; it was begging to be tapped home, but Alexander Isak opted to pull away as he anticipated a cut-back.

Casemiro, who has received widespread criticism in recent weeks, then made a crucial last-ditch tackle to stop Gordon in his tracks, before heading the ball off the line to deny a towering Dan Burn at the back post.

Just like in the first half, Newcastle buzzed out of the traps and within the space of four minutes, they restored parity after Jacob Murphy curled a delightful cross into the six-yard area for Gordon to slide the ball home – his 11th Premier League goal of the campaign.

The Magpies looked destined to take the lead just a few minutes later when Gordon broke free from the halfway line and teed up Isak in a central position, but Amrabat came to the rescue and made a remarkable block that looped onto the crossbar.

That missed chance proved costly for Newcastle as they fell behind again just before the hour mark. Fernandes’s poor corner was headed away at the near post by Murphy, but he picked out Diallo who arrowed a brilliant left-footed strike into the far corner before celebrating right in front of the Newcastle supporters.

Newcastle continued to pose a threat and Onana was called into action to make two important saves, firstly keeping out Longstaff who had been played through down the left channel, before making a superb acrobatic save to tip Joelinton’s towering header over the crossbar.

Joelinton, Fabian Schar and Miguel Almiron were all brought on by Howe for the final half-hour and the latter came agonisingly close to netting a Magpies equaliser, but he was unable to meet Gordon’s fizzed delivery across the face of goal.

Diallo received a standing ovation as he left the field 10 minutes from time, and his replacement Hojlund needed just three minutes to get his name on the scoresheet and put the game to bed; charging past Burn before slotting a right-footed shot into the bottom corner.

After left-back Hall seized on a headed clearing by Casemiro and fired a superb left-footed rocket into the far corner, Newcastle gave themselves hope of mounting a late comeback.

On Sunday, Man United’s final remaining match of the season will take place at Brighton, while Newcastle will go to Brentford. Despite this, Manchester United managed to hold on for three crucial points in their final home game of the campaign.

Also read: Manchester United set to make a move for Ollie Watkins


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