Newcastle United traveled to Old Trafford looking to upset a Manchester United side who they’ve struggled against in recent memory, Saturday was no different.Anthony Martial, Chris Smalling, Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku scored to give The Red Devils a convincing win against Newcastle. Dwight Gayle opened the scoring for Newcastle and Jacob Murphy came close but ultimately they couldn’t stop the Reds onslaught. Here are five things we learned from the game.
Paul Pogba is United’s catalyst
For me, there was only one man who could possibly be Man of the Match yesterday and that was Pogba. He brought a different array of passing, added more pace than we’ve seen in United recently and bemused Newcastle’s Issac Hayden several times with his skill and trickery. The Newcastle defence looked sturdy until Pogba hit his stride but when he did, they had no chance.
Jacob Murphy has potential to challenge Christian Atsu
One of Newcastle’s better players on Saturday was Jacob Murphy. He showed raw talent and his naivety on the ball was difficult to handle. He made De Gea produce a very good save and if Benitez can train Murphy to fit his philosophy then Murphy can challenge Atsu for a first time spot for Newcastle.
Lindelof and Smalling are still a shaky partnership
If you could pick any fault with United on Saturday was they severally struggled early on with Newcastle’s counter-attacking style. Lindelof and Smalling were two major culprits.
Neither looked confident when Newcastle came at pace and their communication seemed lacking. Joselu never got into the game for Newcastle for what feels like the fifth game in a row but Gayle caused problems for both centre-backs.
Gayle has to start for Newcastle but Joselu shouldn’t partner him
Joselu was missing for Newcastle once again meanwhile, for the first time this season, Gayle looked fit and resembled the player we saw last season. However, both players are similar as in their both poachers. Meaning that Newcastle are vastly reliant on wingers and Jonjo Shelvey to get them into promising positions.
Benitez taking a risk and starting Aleksandar Mitrovic alongside Dwight Gayle could change the game for Newcastle.
If you have money to spend on top quality, spend it.
A lot of people complain that Pogba costs more than most teams. However, If you have the money to buy a top quality player, you should and this game was evidence of that.
Mike Ashley turned Newcastle into a business and they haven’t spent wisely so far. Some could argue that Man United haven’t spent wisely but one of the many reasons they’ve been so successful as a club is they haven’t been afraid to spend every penny.