Three players who flopped and one bright spark in Man Utd's draw with Newcastle
Manchester United were held to a 1-1 draw by Newcastle at St James’ Park in their worst display so far under Ralf Rangnick.
Allan Saint-Maximin opened the scoring for the Magpies after just seven minutes with a neat finish from outside the box after cutting through United’s defence before Edinson Cavani came off the bench to equalise in the second half.
United have recorded 1-0 wins over Crystal Palace and Norwich respectively so far in Rangnick’s first two matches but have yet to look convincing and the Red Devils were well off the pace this evening.
Wasteful in possession, sloppy at the back, and little threat up top, there were plenty of poor performances across the pitch but Metro.co.uk has picked out three United stars who endured a particularly difficult game and one slight bright spark.
As games go for the Portuguese, this was definitely one he’ll not want to look back on.
Ronaldo looked out of sorts in the first half with nothing clicking for him, his night summed up with one mis-timed cross bouncing off his own chest and going out for a corner.
As the game went on Ronaldo’s frustrations continued to grow but even his shots from distance failed to hit the target.
The five-time Ballon d’Or also got booked in the second half, and was arguably lucky to avoid a red, for a wild swipe at Ryan Fraser has he attempted to clear the ball.
The Brazilian struggled to have any real impact on the game with Jonjo Shelvey dominating possession and winning all the key midfield battles in the opening 45 minutes.
On the rare occasion United did win the ball in midfield there was little creativity offered going forward with Fred wasteful on the ball.
Fred has improved in recent weeks but Rangnick had clearly seen enough by half-time and hooked the midfielder in place of Jadon Sancho.
Making his return to action for the first time since November 2 after an injury, Varane’s name on the team-sheet alongside Harry Maguire was well received by fans before kick off.
But just seven minutes into the game, the Frenchman was at fault for Newcastle’s opener after losing the ball to Sean Longstaff in midfield.
A player of his experience was far too casual in a dangerous position and was made to pay for his error.
Unsurprisingly, Varane looked a little rusty throughout the match and perhaps his return to action came a match too soon.
Cavani came to Rangnick’s rescue to net the equaliser with United desperately looking for a way back into the game.
Like Varane, the veteran forward was making his first appearance since early November and made a real difference to United’s attacking threat once he came on at half-time.
Cavani not only took his goal well, converting a cross from Diogo Dalot’s ball across the box after an initial block, but could also be seen barking orders at his team-mates.
A player of Cavani’s experience helped push Marcus Rashford and Sancho into creating the necessary chances expected while also upping the intensity of the press.
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