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Newcastle United frustrate Manchester United at Old Trafford

Manchester United suffered a frustrating 90 minutes as Erik ten Hag’s Reds were held to a goalless stalemate by well-drilled Newcastle United. The hosts mustered…

Manchester United suffered a frustrating 90 minutes as Erik ten Hag’s Reds were held to a goalless stalemate by well-drilled Newcastle United.

The hosts mustered only two shots on target throughout, although enjoying 62 per cent of possession, but will feel aggrieved that Jadon Sancho was not awarded a penalty after being felled by Sean Longstaff inside the box in the second half.

Although Joelinton hit the woodwork twice in quick succession in the first half, the Reds carried more of the threat in the second period, with substitute, Marcus Rashford, heading a great chance narrowly wide from the final attack of a disappointing game.

Despite a bright first few minutes, which featured a shot off-target by Fred, the game was allowed to break up into a scrappy stop-start affair, with no real flow.

Newcastle had the best opening of the half and were unfortunate not to score in the 24th minute. Callum Wilson had already appealed in vain for a foul by Raphael Varane, as he advanced on goal, when the visitors were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position.

Kieran Trippier’s shot hit the wall but the Magpies skipper volleyed the rebound in to Joelinton, whose header came back off the bar. With De Gea stranded, Joelinton could then only nod against the keeper’s right-hand post, and Diogo Dalot gratefully knocked it behind for a corner.

De Gea, on his 500th Reds appearance, earlier clawed away a Dan Burn effort, while Wilson flicked a corner just out of reach of Bruno Guimaraes.

Manchester United had their chances too but Sancho flashed wide and also set up Antony, following a decent run, but Nick Pope kept out the Brazilian’s attempt from a tight angle.

The opening period drew to a close after several stoppages for Newcastle players to receive treatment, and manager Eddie Howe’s game plan came off as his team had not been too troubled in defence.

Cristiano Ronaldo did have the ball in the net but the suspicion he was offside was confirmed by the raising of the assistant referee’s flag and the TV replays.

The no.7 then found the net again, stealing the ball as Nick Pope lined it up, after feeling a free-kick had been taken, but all he received for his trouble with a yellow card.

There was certainly controversy, in the 58th minute, when Sancho appeared to be tripped by Longstaff inside the box but the VAR review upheld referee Pawson’s decision not to award a spot-kick.

Casemiro also tumbled in the box, soon afterwards, but the appeals were rebuffed, as United struggled to break the Magpies down.

Miguel Almiron could only lift a shot into the Stretford End after being picked out from a corner and there was precious little goalmouth incident until substitute Rashford, on for Ronaldo, looked just onside as he burst past the onrushing Pope and decided to square it. Unfortunately, Fred, at full stretch, could not convert with the goal gaping.

Rashford had the biggest chance, in the fifth and final minute of injury time, to win it but nodded Casemiro’s accurate centre just the wrong side of the far post.

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