Well last night at St James Park vs Steve McClaren’s resurgent Newcastle, Man United did what they have not done so far this season – they scored in the first half. Not only did they score in the first stanza but they managed to score twice through Wayne Rooney’s early penalty and then the captain laid on a sweet pass and assist to set up Jesse Lingard for United’s second goal. Many fans would have been expecting the usual 0-0 half time score but United were strangely effective in the attacking third and looked dangerous. They should have added two more if not for bad misses by Fellaini and Lingard.
Instead of going in to the half at 2-0 United suffered a defensive lapse and Wynaldum pounced to pull one back and score at the very worst time for United so that the teams went in to half time at 2-1 for Man United. Newcastle then went and equalized through a Mitrovic penalty after the previously in-form Chris Smalling clumsily wrestled Mitrovic down in the box leaving Mike Dean no option but to award a penalty which the Serbian striker duly dispatched for a 2-2 tie.
Wayne Rooney then went a long way to proving that he is coming into a vein of rich goal-scoring and proving that he is not on the downward slide with his form when he superbly struck a 20+ yard second goal putting United ahead 3-2 and seemingly winning the game for his side and confirming his selection as man of the match. Unfortunately, United and their previously solid defense could not hold on and allowed local lad Paul Dummett’s to let go a rapid strike from the edge of the box which early on in the season would have been safely deflected away but this time found the net via a deflection from the unlucky Smalling’s chest.
So United have scored a paltry 24 goals in 20 league games prior to the Newcastle fixture and as the BBC reported, even the boss himself conceded on Monday that he has been “very bored” at times watching his club.
It says it all when LVG has grown bored of his own system and the way his side implements it. United fans must now be realising how lucky they were to have SAF for so long and the long line of attack minded players he managed to sign and nurture – not to mention the number of young stars he managed to bring through the ranks to the first team. Will the red-devils fans be seeing the like of SAF’s teams again any time soon? It remains to be seen.