United fire blanks

Home side un­lucky to share the spoils with New­cas­tle de­spite dom­i­nat­ing play at Old Traf­ford MATCH STATS

CityPress - - Sport - TEAMtalk Media

Manch­ester United saw their win­ning start to the Premier League sea­son come to an end as they were held to a goal­less draw against New­cas­tle United at Old Traf­ford yesterday af­ter­noon. The Red Devils en­tered this week­end’s clash on the back of suc­ces­sive 1-0 league wins over Tot­ten­ham and As­ton Villa, but were un­able to make it three from three and had to set­tle for a share of the spoils against the Mag­pies.

Wayne Rooney looked to have put the Red Devils in front just four min­utes in af­ter slot­ting home from Ad­nan Januzaj’s de­fence-split­ting pass, but the lines­man’s flag cut short any cel­e­bra­tions, although re­plays sug­gested the for­ward had been level when the ball was played.

Louis van Gaal’s men con­tin­ued ask­ing most of the ques­tions and Mem­phis De­pay won his side a free kick in a re­ally dan­ger­ous po­si­tion af­ter 11 min­utes, but Juan Mata’s curl­ing ef­fort was lack­ing the req­ui­site power and Tim Krul made an easy save.

The Spa­niard man­aged to at least test the goal­keeper a few mo­ments later with a low drive that brought a fine re­flex save from the Dutch­man, who was again well po­si­tioned to deal with Rooney’s sting­ing ef­fort soon af­ter as United con­tin­ued to turn the screws.

New­cas­tle fi­nally cre­ated their first chance mid­way through the half as Vurnon Anita won a free kick on the left wing that Ge­orginio Wi­j­nal­dum whipped into the area with real pur­pose, but he was un­able to find a team-mate’s head as the United de­fence was able to clear.

That mo­ment seemed to breathe con­fi­dence into Steve McClaren’s men, and they soon cre­ated the best chance of the first half as Alek­san­dar Mitro­vić got goal side of his marker to get on to the end of Chan­cel Mbe­mba’s de­liv­ery, but the off-sea­son sign­ing was des­per­ately un­lucky to see his placed header cannon off Ser­gio Romero’s cross­bar and out be­hind for a goal kick.

Both sides strug­gled to get go­ing af­ter the restart, but New­cas­tle at least looked more as­sured on the ball than they had in the first 45 min­utes, although they were un­able to do much with it, as play was re­stricted mostly to the mid­dle of the park.

The hosts fi­nally sprung into life af­ter 73 min­utes as Mor­gan Sch­nei­der­lin’s won­der­ful ball out wide found Rooney, who had plenty of space to ex­ploit be­fore clip­ping the ball over to the far post to pick out the run of Mata, but the midfielder got his first-time volley all wrong and blazed well over the cross­bar.

The Toon Army had Krul to thank for keep­ing the scores level in the clos­ing mo­ments, as Hernán­dez was the ben­e­fi­ciary of a loose ball in the area, tak­ing pos­ses­sion and fir­ing at goal from close range – but Krul did bril­liantly to make him­self big and get in a block to send the ball out be­hind.

McClaren’s side could have snatched the points in in­jury time af­ter break­ing on the coun­ter­at­tack, with three on two, but Papiss Cissé seemed to get the ball stuck un­der his feet and even­tu­ally saw his rushed shot easily blocked by the back-track­ing de­fence. –

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.