Manchester United 4-1 Newcastle United: Player ratings

by Leo Nieboer

David de Gea 6.5 – Left pretty stranded for Newcastle’s goal – the first he has conceded at home in the Premier League this season – but distributed the ball well and produced a good save from Jacob Murphy in the second half.

Antonio Valencia 7 – Manchester United’s left hand side struggled during the early stages but the Ecuadorian, fresh from his rest over the international break, ensured nothing got past him. Looked threatening going forward.

Victor Lindelof 6.5 – Once again struggled positionally at the start, losing balance in the lead-up to Newcastle’s goal, but recovered well and composed himself brilliantly on the ball.

Chris Smalling 6.5 – Endured a difficult first half, failing to offer much control or assurance, but atoned with a goal just before half-time and a settled second half display.

Ashley Young 6.5 – Struggled to cope with the impressive pace of DeAndre Yedlin at times, but the thrust and execution he offered going forward was once again superb. Produced a pin-point cross for Smalling’s goal.

Nemanja Matic 7 – Initially found it difficult to cope with Newcastle’s attacking threat but helped settle the home side down with some superb touches. Had the cigars out by around 60 minutes.

Paul Pogba 8 – Simply galvanising. With Manchester United lacking ideas in the first half, the Frenchman, so sorely missed during times of hardship, produced a wondrous piece of skill and a perfect cross to set up Anthony Martial and get the ball rolling. Added a goal to kill off Newcastle in the second half, but it was his overall presence on the pitch and its effect on the whole performance that put smiles on the face of supporters.

Marcus Rashford 7 – Couldn’t get going on the right hand side in the first half but looked like a completely different player when placed next to Romelu Lukaku up front, linking up splendidly with teammates and providing an assist for Pogba. A potential avenue of attack this season?

Juan Mata 7 – Couldn’t quite offer an emphatic resolution to the No.10 problem created by Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s poor form but took up some excellent positions in the second half on the right. Kept everything ticking.

Anthony Martial 7.5 – Another dazzling display from the Frenchman: nodded home a vital equaliser and pestered Newcastle’s right flank all evening.

Romelu Lukaku 7.5 – Provided the perfect response to what was a difficult October period. Led the line with strength and desire, bringing others into the game, and rampaged through Newcastle’s back four to end his barren spell with a powerful strike into the roof of the net for United’s fourth.

Substitutes

Marouane Fellaini 6.5 – Looked comfortable alongside Nemanja Matic as Newcastle flagged towards the end. Almost claimed a goal on the stroke of injury time.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic 7 – The roar that greeted his return to action tells you everything about the importance of this man to Jose Mourinho’s set-up. And it was like he’d never been away, with the Swede instantly instigating attacking movements and almost scoring a superb bicycle kick.

Ander Herrera N/A

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