A dramatic and engrossing night at the St. James’ Park ended all square as strugglers Newcastle held Manchester United to a 1-1 draw.
Allan Saint-Maximin’s fine first-half goal had given Newcastle the lead in the seventh minute one which would last over an hour as the Red Devils struggled.
Up stepped substitute Edinson Cavani as he came on to score the equaliser for his side.
Newcastle almost made it two but were denied firstly by the wood work and secondly some heroics from David de Gea to aginst Miguel Almiron.
In what was Ralph Rangnick’s third game in charge of Man United, his side have since the start of the game look unsettled, even though he stuck with a backline which saw Harry Maguire pair Raphael Varane who was making his first start since October, the back line appeared unsettled.
This would later cost them as Raphael Varane was being dispossessed in the build-up to the opener after Harry Maguire’s error almost had Newcastle ahead through Fraser.
Saint-Maximin would hop on the pass from the opposite direction in front of Maguire, cutting through the Man Unites defense and poked the ball into the right side of the goal.
United were out of sight as they failed to make any threat at goal apart from a Bruno Fernandes free-kick which didn’t go in.
The hosts almost made it two through Joelinton whose shot got De Gea scrambling to get to it.
Rangnick opted for a change after the first 45 minutes by sending on Sancho and Cavani to replace Greenwood and Fred.
Newcastle again failed to put the game to bed as Alan Saint-Maximin could not tap in Emile Krafth’s low ball into the box successfully as his touch killed the ball’s pace and De Gea came sweeping it away.
Unites eventually took the invitation to score an equalizer as Uruguayan Edinson brought them back to life with a superbly finished rebound after his initial shot was blocked by a pack of black and white hosed legs.
Saint-Maximin couldn’t finish the game as he went off injured late in the match and was replaced by Dwight Gayle who was involved in the build up to what could have been a match winner for the Magpies.
Man United this time had the upright to thank and then De Gea who made the second stretching save to deny Almiron their Second.
Newcastle boss Eddie Howe expressed his disappointment at his side’s failure to win saying his team did not deserve to concede:
“We’re disappointed, we felt we deserved to win. I don’t think we deserved to concede. How De Gea saved that shot from Almiron, I don’t know. But hopefully we’ve seen the beginning of a new team. But for a bit more luck, we could have won the game.”
Also Man Utd boss Ralf Rangnick who failed to be the first man to keep a clean sheet in his first three United league games expressed his dissatisfaction at his team’s performance saying they did not control the game:
“I did not like it at all. We were trying to get better at controlling games. Today we did not control the game, apart from very few moments, at all. It was all about energy, about physicality, and who wins the second balls. In all those areas we were not at our best today. In the end, we got a point, that is the good thing. But the overall performance has to get better.”
Up next for Manchester United is at home to Burnley on December 30 in the Premier League, while Newcastle are away at Everton the same day.