Premier League – Manchester United 0-0 Newcastle United: Sluggish Man Utd held to goalless draw

Manchester United drifted to a 0-0 draw against Newcastle United, as Wayne Rooney’s poor form continued.

Manchester United dominated the early stages of the match, when Newcastle’s defence was disarray. Although he faded, Memphis threatened initially, and then drifted from the game.

Memphis shot straight at Tim Krul after skinning his full-back, and minutes laterJuan Mata drilled a shot at the near post which was beaten away. Aleksandar Mitrovic then headed against the crossbar, and just before half-time Ayoze Perezdragged a shot just wide.

In the second half, Manchester United struggled throughout to break Newcastle down, who sat back and absorbed pressure comfortably.

Their best chances came when Luke Shaw drilled a shot at goal after a one-two with Morgan Schneiderlin, and Javier Hernandez had a one-on-one chance, but Krul saved on both occasions.

 

Chancel Mbemba, Memphis Depay - Manchester United - Newcastle United in Premier League on August 22, 2015 in Manchester
Chancel Mbemba, Memphis Depay – Manchester United – Newcastle United in Premier League on August 22, 2015 in Manchester – AFP

KEY EVENTS

4’ – ROONEY OFFSIDE – Rooney is slipped in down the middle, he beats Krul easily, but the assistant referee had flagged for offside, but it’s a very tight decision.

15’ – KRUL SAVE – Mata cuts in on the left, in the box, and he drills a shot at the near post, but Krul dives smartly to his left to save.

21’ – MEMPHIS SHOT – Memphis skips into the box as he skins the full back, tries to curl into the top corner, but he slides the shot straight at Krul.

23’ – MITROVIC HEADER – Mbemba’s cross from deep finds Mitrovic and his excellent header beats Romero, but crashes against the crossbar.

42’- PEREZ SHOT – Perez drags a shot from a loose ball just wide of goal. A corner is wrongly awarded.

76’ – SHAW SHOT – Shaw plays a great one-two with Schneiderlin on the edge of the box and he drills a shot towards the corner for Krul to stop.

80’ – HERNANDEZ SAVE – Hernandez picks up a loose ball in the box, Krul rushes out to block, but Hernandez sends his shot straight at the ‘keeper.

90+1’ – SMALLING HEADER – Memphis curls in a cross to the back post and Smalling clips a header crashing against the post, Newcastle break down the other end and Thuavin finishes a 3-on-2 by just missing a ball across the box.

 

Newcastle Manchester United
Newcastle Manchester United – EFE

KEY STATS

Steve McClaren has yet to beat Louis van Gaal, this was his second draw from four games against him.

The Red Devils have started a Premier League season with three successive clean sheets for the third time, the other two coming in 1997/98 and 2005/06 (they finished 2nd in both of these seasons).

Indeed, Sergio Romero is the first goalkeeper since David Ospina to keep a clean sheet in each of his first three Premier League games.
The Magpies have scored just two goals in their last five Premier League encounters with Man United.

Wayne Rooney had more than one shot on target for only the second time in 21 Premier League appearances in 2015 (two in this game) – the first time since February.

Rooney’s goal drought for Manchester United now stands at 858 minutes (all comps).

Newcastle earned their first point away from home in the Premier League since a 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace in February.

Man United registered eight shots on target in this match. They only had three across their opening two Premier League games this season.

Tim Krul’s eight saves was his most in a single PL game since the 14 he made against Spurs in November 2013.

 

Manchester United's Bastian Schweinsteiger in action with Newcastle United's Aleksandar Mitrovic
Manchester United’s Bastian Schweinsteiger in action with Newcastle United’s Aleksandar Mitrovic – Reuters

TALKING POINT

Wayne Rooney continues to symbolise United’s struggles. It was by no means all his fault, and he was marginally better than he was in his last league game. But he is slow and can’t control the ball. The rest of the side are a little better than that, but the problems with doing the basics persist. The whole side is sluggish, the full-backs can’t cross, the wingers can’t make constructive passes behind the defence and the midfield doesn’t lead the rest of the side.

 

Manchester United's Matteo Darmian in action with Newcastle United's Tim Krul
Manchester United’s Matteo Darmian in action with Newcastle United’s Tim Krul – Reuters

MAN OF THE MATCH

Tim Krul (Newcastle United): He was rarely called into action because of the increasing competence of Newcastle’s defence and United’s poor attack play, but when he needed to in the second half, he pulled off two good saves.

PLAYER RATINGS

Manchester United: Romero 6, Darmian 7, Smalling 6, Blind 6, Shaw 5; Schneiderlin 6, Schweinsteiger 6; Mata 6, Januzaj 5, Memphis 6, Rooney 4. Subs: Valencia 5,Carrick 6, Hernandez 6.

Newcastle United: Krul 7, Coloccini 6, Haidara 7, Mbemba 6, Taylor, 6 Anita 6, Wijnaldum 6, Colback 6, Obertan 6, Perez 6, Mitrovic 6. Subs: Cisse 6, Thauvin 6, Tiote 6.