Manchester United's two best players against Newcastle United
Manchester United’s performance against Newcastle United was yet another lacklustre display, just when you think things cannot get any worst, we find a way.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side succumbed to a 1-0 defeat away at St James Park, in a game United simply had to win.
United never looked like getting back into the game after Newcastle took the lead, there was no urgency, desire or fight shown by Solskjaer’s men, we simply folded.
The international break might turn out to be the best thing for Solskjaer, hopefully when Liverpool arrive to Old Trafford, the likes of Shaw, Wan-Bissaka, Pogba and Martial will all be back.
Here are two players that showed some reasons to be positive despite the loss…
The world’s most expensive defender was constantly stepping out of defence in possession, trying his best to get United on the front foot, and attempting to get a much-needed injection of tempo into Solskjaer’s side passing.
Maguire produced a great last ditch block to deny Miguel Almiron, after the Paraguayan was put clean through by Sean Longstaff and eluded Ashley Young.
The former Leicester City man should have opened his United account after Young opted to go with a whipped corner kick delivery instead of the favoured chipped/floated approach. Maguire seemed certain to give United the lead but his header went past the post, much to his disbelief.
With United trailing, it was Maguire who was trying to lead by example carrying the ball deep into Newcastle territory, but there is simply very little movement and quality in front of him right now.
He may reflect that he should have been quicker to close down Matty Longstaff for Newcastle’s winner, and he will be annoyed at himself for his missed header, but his finishing is the least of United’s problems.
The rigours of the plastic pitch in Holland meant that Victor Lindelöf’s body wasn’t ready for the Newcastle game, but it did give United fans chance to see for the first time a centre back partnership of Tuanzebe and Maguire.
United’s academy graduate looked assured and confident alongside Maguire, he relished the physical battle against Newcastle striker Joelinton, and looked calm and composed in possession.
The injury to Diogo Dalot meant that Solskjaer had to reshuffle his defensive pack, which saw Tuanzebe switched to the right-back position on the hour mark. It didn’t help and was a poor decision from the boss.
Tuanzebe’s performance highlighted that he could become Maguire’s long-term centre back partner in the not to distant future. An all English back four of Wan-Bissaka, Tuanzebe, Maguire and Shaw is starting to look a real possibility.
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