Opening 25 minutes symbolise Manchester United’s problems right now. For the first quarter of the game, Man United were all over Newcastle like a rash and had so much of the possession and a goal looked inevitable.
However, it never came. United were world class in their build up play but amateur with their finishing and that’s a problem we’ve had in every game this season.
In the first two games there were only three shots on target so there was at least an improvement in that respect but there still needs to be more confidence in United’s finishing from all the players.
Bastian Schweinsteiger‘s controlling presence. As we’ve already discussed, United were in total control for the first 25 minutes and it’s probably no coincidence that all changed once Schweinsteiger had picked up a knock. From that point onwards, Newcastle got a foothold in the game.
We’re still unsure of the physical condition of Schweinsteiger and his ability to maintain a real high tempo for the full 90 minutes but every time he has been on the pitch and looking fit, United have been so much stronger for it.
Memphis Depay expectations have to be realistic. Against Club Brugge during the week, Memphis’ two goals and an assist lit up Old Trafford and a new star was born.
However, he was noticeably muted today against Newcastle and you could see in his frustrated reactions. Louis van Gaal said that fans had to manage their expectations of Memphis and today’s performance showed exactly why but there will be one person who is not at all happy with his performance – Memphis himself.
Matteo Darmian was superb once again. The Italian right-back continues to impress in his early performances for United and was one of United’s better players on the day against Newcastle.
It makes such a difference to United’s player to have full-backs who know how to defend but can genuinely add width and pace to United’s attack as well.
Unfortunately, United’s other players didn’t follow suit.
Distinct lack of tempo in the second half. After such a positive start to the first half, goals looked inevitable today but the second half was so drab and dull. It lacked any sort of attacking threat in terms of making the most out of dominance.
It was such a poor display of finishing from United. Wayne Rooney was woeful, Javier Hernandez had a glorious chance but failed to bury it and there were countless other opportunities which united failed to capitalise on.
United need to sign a striker. End of discussion.