Manchester United 3-1 Newcastle United: Individual brilliance secures Red Devils a solid victory
(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Manchester United moved back to second place in the Premier League following a 3-1 victory over Newcastle United at Old Trafford. 

Marcus Rashford gave the hosts the lead on the half-hour mark as he cut inside from the left-hand side and fired his shot past Karl Darlow. The Newcastle shot-stopper will want that one back as he let the ball go past him at his near post too easily. 

Newcastle only found themselves down for six minutes as Allan Saint-Maximin volleyed home the equaliser from a loose ball in the box. 

Even it stayed to the break as both teams were still trying to get ahold of the fixture. 

In the second half, Manchester United retook the lead just before the hour mark. With Daniel James latching onto Bruno Fernandes' stabbed pass, again beating Darlow at his near post. Fernandes secured the three points with a penalty after Joe Willock brought down Rashford. 

Newcastle moves closer towards the bottom three, and Manchester United move back to second. 

Story of the match 

Newcastle started with the high tempo press they've adopted over the past five weeks, and early on, it caused problems for Man U as David de Gea gave the ball away needlessly from clearances. 

The first twenty minutes was a stalemate as both teams were trying to feel each other out. Newcastle looked the sharper with the press causing Man U problems, but Marcus Rashford broke free down the left-hand side and fired goalwards just before the half-hour mark. The ball found the back of the net as Karl Darlow allowed the ball in his near post for the opening goal. 

Six minutes passed before Newcastle found a reply. With three back to back corners, Allan Saint-Maximin volleyed home a loose ball in the area. Newcastle deservedly was level at half time. 

Manchester United needed a better second half to secure the win. It did not come as the high tempo press caused Manchester United problems again for the first ten minutes.

Nemanja Matić and Fred gave the ball away repeatedly. Causing Newcastle a foot in the game. Until just shy of the hour mark, Matic brought the ball forward, looking for Bruno Fernades. The Portuguese talisman saw Daniel James free on the left-hand side and poked the ball to the Welshman, who took his chance firing past Karl Dalrows near post again. 

All three point were secured 15 minutes later when Joe Willock brought down Marcus Rashford. Fernandes stepped up and fired low, sending Darlow the wrong way a little bit of revenge for Fernandes, who has only missed one penalty in his short time in Manchester. It was Darlow who saved it. 

After the third went in for the hosts, the red side of Manchester saw the game out professionally, with Newcastle offering very little going forward. 

The win takes Manchester United second 10 points behind rivals Manchester City. 

Newcastle missed the opportunity to create some separation between them and the bottom three. As Fulham now shorten the gap to three points. 

Key takeaways 

Almiron is the key for Newcastle. 

Miguel Almiron and his work rate are exceptional, and the number 10 was first in the press and gust busting runs forward for Newcastle United this afternoon. It was not a one-off either the Paraguyian has been in that form since Newcastle switched up their tactics. It is a joy to watch him run forty yards with or without the ball; everything Almiron did this evening was positive until he got taken off with ten minutes to go. If Newcastle is going to escape a relation fight, Almiron's positivity and work rate will be key. It was hard to see a better player for Newcastle today. 

Individuals lead Manchester United once again. 

Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes saved Manchester United again. It was far from stellar from Man U tonight. Fans will say good players step up in key situations and win games. This, of course, is true case and the point are Rashford and Fernandes. With both getting a goal and an assist (Rashford won the penalty). Manchester United was not good tonight that saying nor were Newcastle and to go toe to toe with the likes of Manchester City you need big players to step up. Tonight's victory was on the back of individuals and not a team win.

Starting XI 

Manchester United: de Gea; Wan Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Fred, Matic; James, Bruno Fernandes, Rashford; Martial.

Newcastle United: Darlow; Krafth, Lascelles, Clark, Lewis; Willock, Hayden, Shelvey; Almiron, Joelinton, Saint-Maximin.