Manchester United have been constantly criticized for playing joyless football so perhaps United were not only buying for a win tonight but also some flair to please their fans.
Louis Van Gaal stuck with Di Maria in the starting against all the odds and played with a 5 men midfield of Herrera, Blind, Fellaini, Young and Di Maria. Rooney started on his own for this own leaving Falcao on the bench.
Newcastle, fresh from securing their safety for one more season played with evident freedom and jot and were unlucky in not have a penalty appeal go in their favour. Smalling did swipe his left foot at Riviere and it was indeed a clear Penalty.
Coming in to the game, there was a notion that Man United would dominate possession and that’s what they did for the entire first half but were very slow in breaking from the back, switching the play or the movement while going forward was nowhere to be seen.
United’s only threat looked to come from the wide areas and that was wasteful as Di Maria and Young did not do enough to test Newcastle’s full backs. Only test of the half for Tim Krul came when Valencia crossed a deep ball for Fellaini to measure his header on target but the Duthman had it under control.
Going in to half-time, Wayne Rooney looked a little bit isolated in the front role on his own and the game called for anyone to produce some moment of brilliance.
It was a relief to see the first 5 minutes of Second half were better than the entire First Half. Both teams created superb chances but De Gea and Krul stood up and earned their bottom dollars.
Louis Van Gaal hooked Di Maria once again to bring on Januzaj, this time the change was made on the 58th minute. While for Newcastle Jonas Gutierrez made an emotional return to action after his battle with testicular cancer.
The game looked to be heading towards a stone-dead draw when Rooney decided to take it on himself deciding to take on the entire Newcastle’s defence on his own.
It was great persistent play by Wayne Rooney down the right of the area as he forced Abeid to knock the ball back to Tim Krul who cleared straight to ASHLEY YOUNG who slotted into the bottom corner to put United ahead. This was the very first time this season when Manchester United have won in the last minute of a game. It will surely bring some joy to the United faithful.
Yet again, United will come out as the winners where it can be argued that, they did not do enough on the night. People would question their credential as one of the big teams of the league, but they cannot question United’s ability to win games and get results when it matters th most.
After all the huffing and puffing from United, they did manage to win the game. Implications of this result will be crucial as all the other top 4 chasing packs (Liverpool, Arsenal, Southampton and Tottenham) won their respective matches as well and had United lost their way and only managed a draw, top 4 finish would have become even tougher.
Watch Ashley Young’s goal against Newcastle:
- 10th min: Newcastle PENALTY appeal denied
- 26th min: Rooney one-on-one against Krul, shot wide
- 31st min: Collocini’s slip allows Di Maria to feed Rooney, Krul was alert
- 44th min: Fellaini’s measured header saved by Krul
- 44th min: Sissoko plays Riviere through only to see the striker miss his footing
- 49th min: Brilliant save by De Gea to deny Riviere
- 50th min: World class double save by Krul off Fellaini & Young
- 89th min: Wayne Rooney causes havoc in Newcastle’s defence for Young to score
- 90th min: De Gea keeps United in the game by saving Cisse’s header
Video Credits: Vine
Image Credits: Mirror