Man of the match Rooney gives United Boxing Day victory
A great display from captain Wayne Rooney gave Manchester United their seventh victory in eight games, as they beat Newcastle 3-1 at Old Trafford on Boxing Day.
Normally you can never be sure what happens in football, but Manchester United winning on Boxing Day is one thing you can almost be sure of. The Red Devils have won their last 10 Boxing Day games and only lost once in 22 years on this day.
United have been playing really well lately in the Premier League, having won six of their last seven league matches, and losing only once in their last 12 games.
One thing which many believe to be their weakness but also their strenght, is that they have used more players than any other team this season with 31, four more than second-highest Hull City. Because of this, United started today’s game with their 13th different defensive line-up of the seaon.
The reason for this is the many injuries they have had so far this season, with Smalling, Shaw, Herrera, Blind and Fellaini being some of the many injured for today’s match. However, someone who was available today was Wayne Rooney, who was three goals short of becoming the fifth player to score 100 Premier League home goals.
The team United were facing today, didn’t have a very good record at Old Trafford, as they’ve only won once away againt the Red Devils for 42 years. Newcastle have been away from home in nine of their last 11 Boxing Day matches, having lost six and won just one.
Before today’s fixture, Newcastle had only won one in their last five league macthes, losing their last three in a row, the last one being against rivals Sundeland last week. Not only that, but the Magpies have lost 11 away matches this season, the joint highest, and are they the only team in the Premier League yet to score in the opening 30 minutes in a game.
Today Newcastle were without Cheick Tiote due to suspension, while Jonas Gutierrez was still not ready for a full 90 minutes match. Steven Taylor however was fit to play and manager Alan Pardew chose to give the Nineteen-year-old forward, Adam Armstrong, his first ever Premier League start.
The first 15 minutes of the match was a total United domination, as the Red Devils had over 70% of the possesion. However, no big chances were created until the 16th minute, when Robin Van Persie went pass the Newcatle goalkeeper to the left, but didn’t manage to put the ball in the goal as he hit the side-netting.
Newcastle’s first real dangerous effort came in the 19th minute, when the Magpies right-back Janmaat had a powerful longshot outside the box, which David De Gea in the United goal had to make a great save to prevent getting into the net.
The first goal came in the 23rd minute, when Juan Mata found Falcao on the right, whose tackle-pass found an unmarked Wayne Rooney inside box, who with an easy finish could put United in the lead.
13 minutes later, Rooney was again the man on target, when Mata got the ball on the right, dribled to the left and with a through ball found a yet again unmarked Rooney, who again with an easy finish could put United ahead with two goals.
In the second half, Newcastle tried to get back in the game, and did they play much better than they did in the first 45 minutes. However, despite all their efforts, it was again United who got the goal. This time, Rooney was the arcitect, when he in the 52nd minute with a stunning cross found Van Persie whose header flew in the right side of the goal. This was Aldwicks 11th conceeded goal in five games as Newcastles new goal keeper.
The Magpies tried and tried as hard as they could to score the goal which could get them back in the game, and did they come close in the 79th minute when Perez dribbled on the right, cut to the left and with a powerfull shot forced De Gea to make a save in the bottom right corner.
Newcastle finally got their goal with five minutes to go, when Colback was brought down by Jones inside the box on the left. Cissé, who came in for young Armstrong, took the penalty and scored his eighth goal of the season.
The match finished 3-1 for United, making it their seventh victory in eight games and puts them third in the league. United will have a chance to get closer to Chelsea and Manchester City if they manage to beat Tottenham away on Sunday.
The loss for Newcastle puts them 10th with 23 points, and will they have the chance to turn their bad form around as they face Everton at home also on Sunday.