Premier League: Man Utd held to a goalless draw against Newcastle

(Football news) Manchester United drew 0-0 against Newcastle United at Old Trafford with Marcus Rashford and Fred missing two great opportunities towards the end. Brazilian midfielder Fred missed an empty net in the 88th minute after Rashford rounded off goalkeeper Nick Pope while Rashford, who came on as a replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo headed wide from a Casemiro cross in the 95th minute. Newcastle came closest to scoring in the first half when Joelinton hit the woodwork twice, heading against the crossbar and the rebound header hitting the post. The result meant that Manchester United are now four points behind Chelsea in fifth place while Newcastle remain sixth, a point behind but have played a game more. 

Erik ten Hag made three changes to his side that defeated Omonia Nicosia in the Europa League as Raphael Varane, Luke Shaw and Jadon Sancho replaced Victor Lindelof, Tyrell Malacia and Marcus Rashford. Christian Eriksen was not included in the squad through illness while 17-year-old Kobbie Mainoo was on the bench for the first time in his career while David de Gea, who made his 500th appearance for the Red Devils featured in goal. As for Newcastle, Eddie Howe made a single change with Joelinton coming in for Joe Willock in the starting lineup. Before the match began, Sir Alex Ferguson made presentations for Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored his 700th club goal last week and to David de Gea who made his 500th appearance. 

Speaking after the match, Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag said “The performance was good, a clean sheet, we pressed well, we controlled the game and in stages we were good on the ball – especially in the second half. Then, we dictated the game and in the end we could – we should – have scored the winning goal. One from Fred, and then [Marcus] Rashford had to score. In the end we could have got the win, we deserved the win, and it is a big compliment to the team that we deserved this with a physical performance against one of the most physical teams in the league. They [Newcastle players] all had cramp and we kept going." 

Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe said “Certainly in the first half, I feel we should've been leading. I thought we executed the game plan really well, we were aggressive and on the front foot. We unsettled their rhythm and there were those moments for Joelinton which could have been very different. He's unlucky with the first header as it was a brilliant effort and he's unlucky with the second one as well. I thought we could've had a penalty as well with Callum Wilson's challenge. Physically we seemed to suffer in the second half as there was a bit of illness in the camp in midweek. There were a couple of players playing today who weren't 100 per cent fit. Maybe that was one of the reasons and I don't think we were great on the ball either today. We gave the ball away at times which was uncharacteristic of us. That takes its toll on you physically." 

Also read: Premier League: Liverpool defeat Manchester City thanks to Salah goal


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