Jamaal Lascelles slates 'missing' Manchester United defence during Newcastle defeat

The Newcastle United skipper insisted that Manchester United failed to turn up during Sunday's defeat at St James' Park.

Jamaal Lascelles slates 'missing' Manchester United defence during Newcastle defeat
Above: Jamaal Lascelles battling with Paul Pogba in the 1-0 win over Manchester United | Photo: Getty Images/Mark Leech/Offside

Newcastle United skipper Jamaal Lascelles has slated the performance of his Manchester United defensive counterparts, with the defender stating a lot of United players went "missing" during Sunday's 1-0 defeat to The Magpies. 

A lot of them went missing 

Many had The Red Devils down as favourites for Sunday's clash with Newcastle failing to win at St James' Park since October, but Rafael Benítez's side put in the performance of the season especially in defence as they managed to keep out numerous chances from the likes of Anthony Martial and Alexis Sánchez in both halves. 

United failed to match the intensity of the home side throughout the 90 minutes especially in defence, with the likes of Chris Smalling and Phil Jones failing to cover themselves in glory throughout. 

The biggest disappointment was the build-up to the goal as Matt Ritchie was left with all the time in the world to slot home his first goal of the campaign, and post-match Lascelles was scathing of United's performance stating that most of United's went "missing". 

"They have got some great players, but I don't think United turned up," Lascelles admitted post-match. "We have played against Arsenal and Man City and you can really see the quality and one mistake or a lack of concentration and a goal will go in." 

"I don't think they were at it from the start of the game - a lot of their players went missing," the skipper stated. "It was probably the way we were playing, we made them play like that." 

"In the first half they were making a lot of mistakes, passing the ball around but it was down to our pressing," the defender proclaimed. "We were aggressive, and they didn't like it. You could see their centre-halves on the ball and they didn't really know what to do with it." 

"We set up really well and we matched up really well against them," Lascelles added. "The manager got it spot on."

Turn the rage into desire 

The defeat has all but ended a title race that seemed uncatchable in the first place leaving United 16 points behind rivals Manchester City, but the next few weeks will be crucial for United if they are to take anything from the campaign. 

They will take on Huddersfield Town in the fifth round of The FA Cup on Saturday before facing Sevilla in the first-leg of their Champions League last-16 clash, and Juan Mata stated in his manutd.com weekly blog that they need to turn their rage into "desire to win". 

"The truth is, after losing an away game," he said. "You think a lot about it on your way back home."

"You remember every play, every moment," the Spaniard admitted. "And you try to change the outcome but obviously that’s impossible."

"You can’t turn back time," Mata concluded. "So the only way to carry on is to turn all this rage into a desire to win and work for the next game."