Another frustrating day filled with avoidable goals, as Cristiano Ronaldo scored either side of a Javier Manquillo equaliser in a 4-1 win for Manchester United.
Here’s our marks out of 10 and comments on each player involved:
Woodman – 4 – Might struggle to keep his place after this one. Parried a deflected Greenwood strike straight to Ronaldo and could’ve also done better with CR7’s second, with his low shot going straight through Woodman’s legs.
Manquillo – 7.5 – Easily our best defender today. Caught out slightly for their second, but took his goal very well, kept Sancho extremely quiet and, at times, combined brilliantly with Almiron down that right. We may have conceded four today, but we looked a little bit more compact from a defensive point of view with him back in the side.
Hayden – 5 – Got caught out for Ronaldo’s all important second, allowing the striker to ghost in between himself and Manquillo before firing past Woodman.
Lascelles – 5 – A few important interceptions, but got nowhere near Lingard for their fourth. Tempted to mark him down one for the way he ran after Ronaldo for his shirt just seconds after the full time whistle…
Clark – 5 – Came in for Schar and didn’t do a great deal wrong in the first half. Sadly, the second 45 was a different story and he rarely got close to those in red shirts.
Ritchie – 6 – Got in their faces and tried to get up the line to offer an out-ball, however there was rarely anyone to hit in the box. Better defensively and did OK against Greenwood, but corners were mixed and a few of his efforts from range were speculative at best.
S Longstaff – 7 – I actually thought he played well today and looked more like the player that burst onto the scene under Benitez. Kept it simple, worked hard, got in the faces of Man Utd midfield constantly looking to create and looked more composed on the ball. Much better.
Willock – 6 – Looks a little bit rusty, which makes sense given his lack of pre-season training. Blazed one decent chance over the bar after dispossessing Fernandes in the opposition box, but got stuck in and didn’t stop running – even if he did fizzle out of the game in the 2nd half.
Almiron – 8* – The best player on the field from a Newcastle United perspective. He worked tirelessly to protect Manquillo – who was up against Shaw and Sancho – filled in well to break up the play in midfield and used his pace and energy to carry the ball up with pitch at the other end. Also played a big role in our goal, winning the ball back in a dangerous area before ASM set up Manquillo.
Saint-Maximin – 7 – Our biggest threat on the break, skipping past Pogba and Matic on a few occasions to run straight at Man Utd’s back line. He was sometimes a little wasteful, delaying his final pass or running into trouble, but he kept going, was our main out-ball and timed his pass perfectly to set up Manquillo’s equaliser.
Joelinton – 6 – Often filled in down the left-hand side, but didn’t offer Ritchie as much protection as Almiron did for Manquillo down the other side. Won plenty in the air and was a handful at times, wriggling free on a few occasions to get shots off.
Murphy – N/A – The odd attempt to break forward, but few touches in truth during his 15 minutes on the pitch.
Hendrick – N/A – Replaced Willock for the final five minutes.
Lewis – N/A – Replaced Clark with five minutes remaining.