United’s four best players in 4-1 win over Newcastle

Manchester United returned to Premier League action with a thumping 4-1 home win over Leeds.

The match had Old Trafford to greet the return of Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored a brace.

Here is a look at United’s four best players from the match, on an afternoon where nobody played badly…

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Cristiano Ronaldo

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer started Ronaldo, who wasted no time picking up where he left off in 2009.

He opened the scoring at a time when tension was starting to set in slightly, before providing the perfect response to Newcastle’s equaliser.

Ronaldo is so good that there wouldn’t have been many backing against him scoring at least once here.

There were no sign of teething problems or needing time to adjust. This was an excellent debut.

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Bruno Fernandes

This was Ronaldo’s day but it’s rare that a United match passes by without Bruno having an influence on it.

He put the game beyond Newcastle and there were early signs of chemistry with his international teammate Ronaldo.

Ronaldo’s arrival should create more space for the playmaker to operate in and that can only be a good thing.

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Paul Pogba

Pogba was fielded in the same central midfield role he played against Wolves, but had far more influence here.

The Frenchman collected another two assists in a performance which saw him have a whopping 125 touches.

That underlines his influence and United’s 4-3-3 looked strong with him and Fernandes paired together in the engine room.

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Luke Shaw

Raphael Varane could easily have found himself rounding off this list after a hugely accomplished performance.

But Shaw married defensive solidity with rampaging forward runs.

He had 95 touches and laid on four key pass including an assist for Ronaldo’s crucial second goal.

There was no sign of any fatigue from international duty. We’re used to this high level of performance from Shaw now.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.