Premier League match preview: Manchester United v Newcastle
After sealing his sensational return to Old Trafford, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed Ronaldo will make his second debut for the club, although the head coach refused to state whether the Portuguese would make the starting line-up. “He’s had a good week with us [training] here and he will definitely be on the pitch at some point, that’s for sure,” Solskjaer said.
United took seven points from their opening three matches, thrashing Leeds before being held by Southampton and narrowly defeating Wolves. Jadon Sancho is also in line to feature, having overcome a knock sustained while on international duty with England.
Spirits are far less optimistic at Newcastle, where fans have once again begun to vent their frustration at Steve Bruce, with the Magpies taking just one point from their first three matches. Joe Willock was the only major arrival in the summer window and the club seems destined for another nervous season in limbo. Here is everything you need to know:
Quiet opening to the second-half
50’ – Precious little in the way of action at the beginning of this second period, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s ball across the six-yard box which no United player attacked being the only moment worth noting.
The crowd is fairly quiet now aside from the away end and Newcastle could potentially grow back into the game, here.
Dan Austin11 September 2021 16:11
Second-half kicks off at Old Trafford
Both sides are back out for the second period and neither Ole Gunnar Solskjaer nor Steve Bruce have made changes at the break.
Newcastle defended quite well in the opening 45 but now need to add an extra dimension to their attack, having only really threatened in brief spells when they are able to counter-attack quickly.
For the some side, creating some more clear-cut chances wouldn’t go amiss.
Dan Austin11 September 2021 16:06
Shots galore in action-filled first-half
Unlike the early kick-off at Selhurst Park, this fixture has been full of action and plenty of shooting in the opening 45 minutes.
Ronaldo has taken five alone and Bruno Fernandes four, helping United to a total of 15 so far. Newcastle meanwhile have seen most of their efforts blocked but have still managed six attempts.
Dan Austin11 September 2021 15:58
Half-time whistle blows after Ronaldo’s opener
45+3 – Well, it’s not really a surprise is it?
After what in truth was a relatively poor performance from Cristiano Ronaldo for the majority of the first-half, with plenty of mis-controlled touches, the Portuguese forward scored with his first real chance of the game.
In truth he couldn’t really miss after Woodman’s error. The goalkeeper will blame a slight deflection on Greenwood’s shot but that still doesn’t justify directing the ball directly into Ronaldo’s path for a simple finish.
Newcastle had defended relatively well until that point and had threatened on the counter on a couple of occasions, but not they face enormous task to earn a result from a match in which they are clearly second best and facing a buoyant crowd.
Dan Austin11 September 2021 15:52
GOAL! Cristiano Ronaldo scores!
45+2 – Of course he does. Just as I was praising Freddie Woodman, the Newcastle goalkeeper spills a tame shot from Mason Greenwood and Ronaldo reacts fastest to tap the ball into the empty net.
Old Trafford has gone berserk.
Dan Austin11 September 2021 15:49
Magpies growing in confidence
43’ – It’s the Newcastle fans who are making all the noise now after a few strong periods of possession.
Man United have been the better team, no doubt, but Newcastle have defended relatively well and restricted the home side to few genuine chances.
Freddie Woodman in goal has played particularly well so far.
Dan Austin11 September 2021 15:45
Newcastle dangerous on the counter again
38’ – Allan Saint-Maximin breaks well from a United corner and is one-on-one with Aaron Wan-Bissaka. He waits for support from team-mates and eventually plays in Sean Longstaff, but a great challenge from Harry Maguire nicks the ball away before he can pull the trigger.
Dan Austin11 September 2021 15:41
Sancho shot deflected for corner
32’ – United break down the right through Fernandes and he passes into Sancho on the edge of the area, but the winger’s first touch is poor and takes him behind a defender, leading to a tame shaft that deflects wide for a corner.
Harry Maguire sees a weak header saved by Woodman from the subsequent delivery.
Dan Austin11 September 2021 15:34
Sancho almost deflects shot into goal
30’ – Fernandes again tries a shot from thirty yards and this time Jadon Sancho, who was looking for a re-bound, almost deflects it inside the far post on its path to goal but the ball drifts a yard or so wide in the end.
United applying more pressure now.
Dan Austin11 September 2021 15:32
Fernandes with close effort from very long-range
26’ – Bruno Fernandes attempts to beat Freddie Woodman with an audacious shot from all of fifty yards, and has the Newcastle ‘keeper scrambling, but it drops just beyond the roof of the net.
Dan Austin11 September 2021 15:29