Manchester United may have lost the title race to neighbours Manchester City but their runners-up slot has become uncertain since Tottenham Hotspur’s latest upsurge as well as Liverpool’s relentless pressure to finish high up the table. The Red Devils had abrupt outcomes in recent weeks and travelled to St James Park this afternoon to contest relegation battlers Newcastle United. The famous clash of Jose Mourinho and Rafael Benitez from their Chelsea and Liverpool days got redefined as the hosts, despite being the Premier League minnows, put up a great show in order to snatch at least a point from the league heavyweights. The game, however, proved to be a massive upset for the visitors who suffered a 1-0 defeat due to a second-half goal from Matt Ritchie.
Below are the Manchester United players rated from their shocking defeat against Newcastle United.
David De Gea: 6.5
Made a decent first-half stop to deny Jonjo Shelvey but could have done little to stop Matt Ritchie from scoring the solitary goal of the game.
Antonio Valencia: 6
Worked hard but never caused enough menace in Newcastle backline with his runs, crosses and link-up play from the right-hand flank. Was lucky not to be sending off despite his high-footed challenge on Christian Atsu in closing minutes of the game.
Chris Smalling: 5
Smalling was rusty from the beginning, was lucky not to concede a penalty despite fouling Dwight Gayle inside the box but his blatant dive in his own half earn Newcastle a free-kick which was eventually converted by Matt Ritchie following some poor defensive display.
Phil Jones: 6.5
A consistent outing from the Englishman, who did well with blocks, clearances, and interceptions but could not stop his side from conceding.
Ashley Young: 6
Young was not as effective as he has been while going forward down the left-hand flank and despite combining well with Sanchez at times, his deliveries lacked the end product on most occasions.
Nemanja Matic: 5.5
A rare disappointing display from the big Serbian who looked nervy in midfield and could not dominate the game like he usually does. Was taken off late in the game to be replaced by youngster Scott McTominay.
Paul Pogba: 5
Another unimpressive outing from the highly-rated Frenchman who did not look confident with the ball and should have done better defensively while conceding. was rightly taken off after conceding and got replaced by veteran Michael Carrick.
Anthony Martial: 7
Ambitious with his runs, came close to score on a number of occasions but couldn’t break down Magpies’ defensive resilience and an outstanding custodian in form of Martin Dubravka.
Jesse Lingard: 5.5
Has been in great form but didn’t particularly have a great afternoon as he made little impact and was replaced by Juan Mata after his side conceded midway through the second half.
Alexis Sanchez: 6
The Chilean was off-colour today despite creating a few chances and making some great runs. He lacked composure while finishing and could not influence his side to shake off the shambles and script a comeback.
Romelu Lukaku: 5.5
Was isolated and didn’t work hard to win back possession and create opportunities of his own.
Michael Carrick: 5.5
Was a surprise substitution to replace Paul Pgba but could not create anything spectacular to stage a comeback.
Juan Mata: 6
Mata made some decent movements up front but failed to make any noteworthy contribution either.
Scott McTominay: 6.5
The youngster was lively, made an instant impact but the hosts maintained composure to grind out a massive result.
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