Manchester United lost their second match against Newcastle this season, once again without scoring, as the hosts defeated Red Devils 1-0 thanks to a goal from Anthony Gordon. A swift move from the Magpies was so well put together that it was obvious United were going to concede right there and then, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka getting late to close down Newcastle’s number 10.
United Could Have Conceded More
When Man United concede three goals against Galatasaray in Turkey after having a two-goal lead on two occasions, conceding one against Newcastle does not sound as bad. But when United do not score and the Magpies had enough chances to score at least two more goals – then that is a problem.
Erik Ten Hag’s team return from the east empty handed, but the 1-0 scoreline was actually good on them, considering performances from both sides. Newcastle had 22 shots and expected goals amounted to 2.50 goals. Kieran Trippier was unlucky when he hit the crossbar from a brilliant free-kick, Aaron Wan-Bissaka saved one goal with his last-second block, while Andre Onana also added a couple of good saves which could be important for his confidence. But Newcastle dominated throughout and Eddie Howe will be happy knowing that this 1-0 win is not even that great of a representation of what was happening on the pitch.
Rashford Is Not Looking Good
Once again, Marcus Rashford started at right wing this season, and once again he looked poor. But this time, it feels like it is not only playing in the position we know he does not enjoy. This time his performance was so appalling that he had to be substituted after mere 61 minutes. Rashford offered nothing from the right – he had one decent cross and had made just 22 touches of the ball in total. There were no dangerous runs, no opportunities created for others or himself. Rashford’s form this season is painfully different to the previous campaign and do not be surprised if Ten Hag benches him for a match or two. Two goals and four assists from 18 appearances is far from what is expected of him, but it also is not only about the numbers – it is about what he offers to his teammates that is not measured with data points.
Big Away Days A Big Concern
This match added yet another poor result for Man United when playing away from home. They already lost to Spurs, Arsenal, Bayern, Copenhagen and now Newcastle away from home this season, with the draw against Galatasaray also being a poor result. But the worst part is that this is not just this season – United have taken just one point out of a possible 33 away from home against the top nine teams in the Premier League under Erik Ten Hag. In fact, United’s last win against a top eight Premier League team away from home was over two years ago. Such problems run deeper and it may take a while before the Devils get their winning mentality back at least in some smaller doses. That is why the performance in Newcastle was particularly bad – United never really looked like they could hurt the hosts.