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Man United 3-Newcastle 1: Dan James shines as Anthony Martial again underwhelms through the middle

Man United 3-Newcastle 1: Dan James shines as Anthony Martial again underwhelms through the middle

Man United vs Newcastle

Sunday’s final Premier League tie played out a short time ago.

The game in question saw Manchester United play host to Newcastle.

The Red Devils headed into the game no doubt full of confidence, after sticking four past Real Sociedad earlier in the week.

With Manchester City having extended their lead over United to 13 points in the Premier League table with a win over Arsenal earlier in the day, though, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and co. were aware that they could not afford any slip-ups against Steve Bruce’s side.

As for Newcastle, a poor recent run had seen them slip to within three points of the bottom three ahead of kick-off.

Can Martial be Man United’s no.9?

The clash began with United struggling to carve out any real chances.

However, a moment of individual brilliance from Marcus Rashford put the home side into the lead with half an hour played:

Man United’s lead didn’t last long, though, as Allan Saint-Maximin capitalised on some questionable defending to draw Newcastle level inside 37 minutes:

The first-half drew to a close with the score at 1-1, and the Red Devils’ overall display pretty dire.

Despite their struggles, though, United again took the lead 57 minutes in, courtesy of Daniel James, who netted his second goal in two outings:

Bruno Fernandes then killed the game off from the spot 75 minutes in, after Marcus Rashford was brought down by Joe Willock.

In terms of positives for United this evening, Dan James and Rashford proved the only real bright sparks.

The Welshman impressed across 90 minutes during which the majority of his teammates looked far from their best.

United’s centre-backs, meanwhile, again did little to reassure fans that heavy investment at the heart of the club’s backline is not needed in the summer.

Elsewhere, Anthony Martial, for the umpteenth time, showcased why he is not suited to playing through the middle for a top side.

The Frenchman offered little throughout his time on the pitch, with United continuing to look much, much more likely to score when Edinson Cavani is instead playing.

Martial simply lacks the instincts of a true no.9.

If Man United have genuine hopes of establishing themselves as Premier League title challengers in the future, using the 25-year-old centrally on a weekly basis is not the way to do it.

Even Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appears to be growing impatient with Martial.

The forward was hooked after 70 minutes on Sunday, meaning he has now failed to complete 90 minutes across any of the Reds’ last four league outings.

See also: Timeframe provided for Edinson Cavani’s Manchester United return

 


This article was edited by Conor Laird.

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2 Manchester United FC 27 21 51
3 Leicester City FC 27 15 50
4 Chelsea FC 27 17 47
5 Everton FC 26 6 46
6 West Ham United FC 26 9 45
7 Liverpool FC 27 12 43
8 Tottenham Hotspur FC 26 15 42
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17 Newcastle United FC 26 -17 26
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Gundogan, Ilkay Manchester City FC 11
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United FC 10
Watkins, Ollie Aston Villa FC 10
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