Radamel Falcao impresses against Newcastle without scoring

by Leo Nieboer

Following Radamel Falcao’s equaliser at Villa Park, it looked like it was going to be a catalyst for a good run of goalscoring form going into 2015, so a fair amount of money rested on the Columbian netting against Newcastle.

As it turned out, Falcao didn’t score but very little else was absent from the strikers performance during a 3-1 triumph over Newcastle, a seventh win in eight games for Louis van Gaal‘s side.

Starting up front alongside Van Persie, Old Trafford saw Falcao take to the field like a man possessed/ United’s no. 9 put in a display of excellent work rate and determination. Newcastle midfielders and defenders were regularly scrutinised by Falcao’s persistent pressure, a job instigated by Van Gaal no doubt.

The tirelessness displayed by Falcao was indicative of an all-round performance of high intensity. He afforded Newcastle no time to settle.

Following such a lengthy period out due to injury, the sharpness of Falcao’s attacking play was inevitably going to take some time to return to its full level. His performance against Newcastle showed the Columbian is making real progress.

After some excellent movement, Falcao was able to provide an acrobatic assist for Wayne Rooney to open the scoring. For the second goal, Falcao’s constant harassment of Newcastle’s defence eventually paid off as his tackle allowed Juan Mata to lay on the second for Rooney.

When the game was out of sight, Old Trafford was yearning for Falcao to add a fourth in front of the Stretford End. Unfortunately, nothing came and the striker was substituted around the hour mark with Spurs in mind.

That being said, a glut of goals look to be just around the corner for a man who embodies the desire and commitment needed to be a United player every time he pulls on the shirt.

Since September, he has started a paltry five games yet has yielded four assists and two goals in that time-frame. For a player who has been labelled a failure by lots in the press, that’s not a bad return at all. With sharpness and fitness returning for El Tigre, expect him to be playing a massive part in the second half of United’s season.

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