Newcastle 1-4 Man United: Fernandes & Wan-Bissaka grab the headlines, but it’s time for Donny van de Beek to start


Manchester United fought back from a goal down this evening, to eventually earn a morale-boosting 4-1 victory over Newcastle United.

Newcastle 1-4 Man United

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men made the trip to St. James’ Park a short time ago, for their first outing following the international break.

United of course headed into proceedings in search of a bounce-back performance, on the back of an altogether underwhelming start to the campaign.

With 3 games played, the Red Devils sat in a lowly 16th in the Premier League table, having managed to secure just 3 points.

Their last outing prior to the international break, meanwhile, saw the Manchester giants humiliated by Tottenham, en route to a 6-1 drubbing.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 04: Harry Maguire of Manchester United reacts during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on October 04, 2020 in Manchester, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Oli Scarff – Pool/Getty Images)

When all was said and done on Tyneside this evening, though, bounce back was exactly what United managed.

It was actually Newcastle who took the lead in the clash, with just 2 minutes on the clock.

A breakaway down the right-hand side saw Emil Krafth whip what looked set to be a harmless delivery across the Manchester United box.

But Luke Shaw, in his attempts to block out the cross, was incredibly unfortunate to deflect his clearance beyond David de Gea, and in at the near post.

The Red Devils, however, were not behind for long.

After Juan Mata directed a tempting set-piece into the Newcastle area, the much-maligned Harry Maguire managed to get his head on the ball, directing a pinpoint effort into the bottom right-hand corner of the hosts’ net.

And exchanges at St. James’ remained on a knife-edge for the ensuing hour, before an explosion of attacking intent on the part of United saw Solskjaer’s men find the net 3 times within the space of 10 minutes.

First up was Bruno Fernandes.

The Portuguese international actually looked set to prove the villain of the evening for the visitors, after seeing a spot-kick effort well saved by Karl Darlow.

However, a wonderful counter-attack from the Red Devils, involving all of Donny van de Beek, Juan Mata, Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes, eventually saw the latter find the far top corner in clinical fashion 5 minutes from time.

A Man United 3rd was then forthcoming just minutes later, as Aaron Wan-Bissaka drilled home into the roof of the net for his first in the colours of the Manchester giants.

And Marcus Rashford went on to add some gloss to the scoreline deep into injury-time, slotting beyond the stranded Darlow after latching onto Bruno Fernandes’ defence-splitting pass.

Mata shining/VDB time

Evidently, based on the one-sided nature of the eventual scoreline, a number of Manchester United’s stars impressed this evening.

The latter stages of the game saw Marcus Rashford step up in a major way, with a direct hand in the Reds’ final 3 goals.

Juan Mata, meanwhile, amid the struggles of United’s midfield, remained a constant thorn in the side of Newcastle, popping up between the lines to link play with guile and intelligence.

What should perhaps be noted above all else, however, is exactly when proceedings on Tyneside began to turn in favour of the visitors.

In fact, it was after Donny van de Beek was introduced to the fray by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Dutch international van de Beek has of course endured a difficult stint at Old Trafford thus far, since his big-money arrival from Ajax during the summer.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 12: Donny van de Beek of Manchester United in action during a pre-season friendly match between Aston Villa and Manchester United at Villa Park on September 12, 2020 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

This evening, though, the 23-year-old showcased exactly why United splashed out on his signature in the first place.

Van de Beek is not the most physically imposing, or explosive midfielder.

However, what he does bring to the pitch is invaluable – touch, intelligence, decision-making and, perhaps above all, the willingness to move the ball quickly.

Too often versus Newcastle, United became bogged down in their passing, lacking that ‘little something’ to open the Magpies up.

Sometimes, though, all that is required is the nous and awareness to move the ball with one touch, without slowing the game down, efforts which open up so many avenues from an attacking standpoint.

And this is precisely what van de Beek does. He is, after all, a product of Ajax’s youth academy. The Dutchman has been developed to play the game the ‘correct’ way.

Whilst he was of course far from the only man responsible for the late flurry on the part of the Red Devils tonight, van de Beek, quietly and instinctively, proved the catalyst.

The time has now undoubtedly come for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to unleash his midfield star from the off.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Everton FC 5 7 13
2 Liverpool FC 5 0 10
3 Aston Villa FC 3 9 9
4 Leicester City FC 4 5 9
5 Arsenal FC 4 3 9
6 Chelsea FC 5 4 8
7 Tottenham Hotspur FC 4 7 7
8 Leeds United 4 1 7
9 Newcastle United FC 4 1 7
10 Southampton FC 5 -1 7
11 West Ham United FC 4 4 6
12 Crystal Palace FC 4 -2 6
13 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 4 -3 6
14 Manchester City FC 3 -1 4
15 Brighton & Hove Albion FC 4 -2 3
16 Manchester United FC 3 -6 3
17 West Bromwich Albion 4 -8 1
18 Burnley FC 3 -5 0
19 Sheffield United FC 4 -5 0
20 Fulham FC 4 -8 0
Player Team Goals
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 7
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur FC 6
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 6
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City FC 5
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United FC 4
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion FC 4
Ings, Danny Southampton FC 4
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 4
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur FC 3
Rodriguez, James Everton FC 3
Grealish, Jack Aston Villa FC 3
Jorginho Chelsea FC 3
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United FC 3
Watkins, Ollie Aston Villa FC 3
Lacazette, Alexandre Arsenal FC 3
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace FC 3
Bamford, Patrick Leeds United 3
Bowen, Jarrod West Ham United FC 3
Rashford, Marcus Manchester United FC 2
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City FC 2