Manchester United were held to a disappointing 1-1 draw away at St James’ Park by Newcastle United on Monday as the Red Devils continue struggling to find rhythm under the new manager. A below-par display by numerous first-team regulars has resulted in the fan-base raising unflinching questions vis-à-vis the team’s commitment, with a challenge for top-four growing increasingly difficult given United’s inconsistent nature.
An uncharacteristic error by Raphael Varane led to the visitors conceding the first goal of the evening before they remained apathetic in keeping possession and failing to link up well and consistently utilize their attacking channels throughout the ninety minutes. The Red Devils lacked vigour, with Ralf Rangnick pointing out the same in his post-match press conference, whilst they also fell short in creating chances and dominating the midfield for most of the game.
With a quick turnaround in fixtures, Rangnick will be expected to make significant changes given the team’s excruciating performance in their last two outings. Given the need to catch up with comparatively consistent sides in the race for top-four, United will be keen on finding convincing results as soon as possible, over the coming weeks.
David De Gea (GK) – 8/10: The team’s best player on the pitch, De Gea contributed with numerous crucial saves; keeping the home side at bay as they successfully created goal-scoring opportunities throughout the ninety minutes. Having been the club’s most consistent performer in the ongoing season, the Spaniard will be hoping to maintain his form and remain a crucial part of the team’s ambitions over the coming months.
Diogo Dalot (RB) – 6/10: Amongst the few players to have avoided scathing criticism following the game, Dalot’s low-driven cross played a crucial part in the team’s equalizing goal on Monday. The Manchester United right-back, arguably, emerged as the best pick of the visitors’ backline against Newcastle and will be hoping to retain his place against Burnley on Thursday.
Raphael Varane (RCB) – 4/10: Having displayed his worst performance in a United shirt since his arrival, Varane struggled to match up to the tempo of the game throughout the ninety minutes. The Frenchman accounted for several unforced errors and losses in possession, having been slotted back into the line-up for the first time since sustaining an injury early last month. A crucial figure in defence, Varane will be keen on finding his rhythm heading into the next run of fixtures.
Harry Maguire (LCB) – 5/10: A decent outing saw Harry Maguire successfully avoid any hiccups over the course of the ninety minutes. The centre-back failed in inspiring the team towards victory and delivered a rather sombre performance on Monday. While questions marks hang over his meritorious contributions, given the team’s lack of personnel in the department, Maguire is likely to remain a first-team regular and will be hoping to improve his performances over the coming weeks.
Alex Telles (LB) – 5/10: Having struggled to build upon his recent displays, Telles, once again, failed to deliver a convincing performance against the Magpies. The left-back struggled to offer adequate support during attacks and contributed to the loss in possession numerous times throughout the game. With Luke Shaw desperate to retain his spot, Telles will be hoping to improve his performances over the next few games.
Scott McTominay (CDM) – 6/10: Amongst the few players having delivered consistent performances over the last two Premier League fixtures, McTominay remained an assuring figure in midfield. The Scotsman impressively held the ball in possession, won crucial duels, but lacked the creativity and vision required in breaking an otherwise frail Newcastle backline. Given his recent performances, he deserves a starting spot for the game against Burnley.
Fred (CM) – 3/10: Substituted at half-time, the Brazilian displayed an unpalatable performance from the first whistle. Fred struggled to string crucial passes and remained inadequate in his defensive duties throughout his time on the pitch. However, having shown immense promise since Rangnick’s arrival, the midfielder will be keen on redeeming himself over the coming weeks.
Marcus Rashford (RAM) – 2/10: Have consistently failed to deliver satisfactory performances since returning from surgery. The winger remained amongst the most infuriating Manchester United players on the pitch against Newcastle; failing to execute his role diligently for most of the game. With numerous players waiting on the sidelines for game-time, Rashford is likely to lose his spot, unless he finds consistency within the next few games.
Bruno Fernandes (LAM) – 4/10: The player to have received the most vitriol on the evening, Fernandes failed to make a noticeable impact throughout the ninety minutes. Following his lack of discipline when deployed in a creative role in the first half, the Portuguese, arguably, delivered a relatively improved performance being slotted into a deeper role for the second half. With his performances growing increasingly unsustainable, Rangnick will be hoping to resolve the persistent issues within his game over the coming weeks.
Cristiano Ronaldo (RF) – 3/10: Amongst the players struggling due to the lack of cohesion within the squad, Ronaldo, once again, fell victim to the team’s inadequacies to hold possession in crucial areas across the attacking third. The Portuguese striker remained a non-existent threat in the opposition’s box, thereby, failing to make a noticeable impact throughout the Newcastle vs Manchester United game. With the team failing to create adequate chances for the attackers, it remains to be seen if Rangnick takes a bold decision in making changes against Burnley on Thursday.
Mason Greenwood (LF) – 5/10: Amongst the two players substituted at half-time, the youngster made way for Edinson Cavani following an uninfluential first-half display. With the team in desperate need of rotation, Greenwood will be hoping to retain his spot and gradually cement his place in the starting line-up over the coming weeks.
- Lessons Learnt From Rangnick’s First Three Games at Manchester United | Style of Play, Biggest Winners & Losers and More
- Manchester United Targeting Three Players Earmarked by Ralf Rangnick to Solve Their Midfield Woes
Jadon Sancho (RAM) – 4/10: Accountable for several misplaced passes in the second half, Sancho struggled to have a positive impact on the game. The youngster failed to adapt to the pace of the opposition and fell victim to the team’s lack of control on the evening. Expected to be granted an opportunity on Thursday, Sancho will be hoping to retain his starting spot moving forward.
Edinson Cavani (RF) – 7/10: A moment of intelligence following a block by the Newcastle keeper resulted in Cavani netting the equalizer for Manchester United on Monday. The Uruguayan’s movement combined with his commitment provided refreshing moments in the second half, although the team struggled to create chances following their leveller. Having returned to full fitness, Cavani will be keen on making the starting line-up in the next game.
Nemanja Matic (CDM) – 5/10: Introduced to regain control of the game, much like the other United players, Matic, too, failed in delivering a convincing cameo against Newcastle. The Serbian provided adequate defensive support but failed to replicate the impact of his match-winning cameos during the early part of the campaign. With McTominay and Fred having displayed inadequate performance, it remains to be seen if Matic emerges as a sustainable option over the coming weeks.
Follow AD for the Latest Matchday Updates on Manchester United.