Newcastle United ran the show at Old Trafford and 7,300 travelling fans absolutely loved it! After only one previous victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford in more than half a century, Newcastle United fans are entitled to savour this sweet, sweet result in the Carabao Cup.
My God, we’ve waited a long time for this. Here it was Newcastle United in heaven at the Theatre of Dreams and Eddie Howe was loving it too as he soaked up the celebrations with fans at the end. After decades of deflation at what has been an ill-fated venue for the Magpies this was everything Geordie fans have dreamed of.
Yes, it was only the Carabao Cup, but this was effectively a Newcastle “reserve” side with four key players injured, £55million summer signing Sandro Tonali suspended and others rested due to the packed schedule. For years, Old Trafford was a ground Newcastle fans had nightmares about with some absolute batterings delighting locals because Kevin Keegan once dared to take the title off Sir Alex Ferguson and Alan Shearer turned the Red Devils down in a £15million transfer.
However, 10 years on since Yohan Cabaye fired home this one had it all and the best thing was Newcastle never looked in any trouble after Miguel Almiron and Lewis Hall put the visitors in full control. As Man United fans headed for the exits, Newcastle fans cheered every pass and took satisfaction when the Magpies kept the ball in the corner late on. This is a game that will watched over and over for years to come.
Remember it was only Newcastle’s second win at Old Trafford against the Red Devils since 1972 and their first for a decade but those in the famous black and white stripes have perhaps never looked so good in this fixture in modern history. So much for the eight changes knocking Newcastle off their stride!
The Magpies were rocked by another injury blow with just 90 seconds gone as Matt Targett went down clutching his hamstring. The setback was a bad one for Targett and he was quickly replaced by Miguel Almiron, with Lewis Hall dropping back to defence.
Martin Dubravka was called into action for the first time on 13 minutes when he went down to gather Casemiro’s low shot after Antony played him in. Man United’s Hannibal was booked for a challenge on skipper Sean Longstaff a minute later and was then perhaps fortunate not to be sent off for a similar challenge on Emil Krafth.
Longstaff ran the show from midfield and wearing the armband proved to be Newcastle’s very own Captain Marvel at this prestigious venue. Yet every player sparkled on the big stage and it was hard to pick a man of the match. Newcastle put some pressure on Andre Onana’s goal in the opening stages with Matt Ritchie’s free-kick forcing a corner on 16 minutes. He swung the flag kick to the back post but Joelinton’s header did not trouble Man United.
Casemiro then steamed in on Joe Willock and picked up another yellow card with referee Rob Jones having his work cut out early. The Magpies had looked far from daunted in the early exchanges and it was no surprise that Howe’s team went ahead on the half-hour mark.
It was a glorious move from one end to the other as Tino Livramento won the ball in his own half before gliding past Hannibal and Mason Mount. His marauding venture took him to the edge of the final third before he played a perfectly weighted pass for sub Almiron who took a touch and guided it delicately under Onana to put Newcastle 1-0 up at the Stretford End.
Newcastle’s joy turned into sheer ecstasy at Old Trafford when the Magpies won a free-kick. It was Sean Longstaff who took it quickly before Joe Willock caused problems down the left. His cross was only half-cleared by Harry Maguire before 19-year-old full-back, Lewis Hall arrived and cracked a shot viciously past Onana to make it 2-0.
Howe’s team went in 2-0 up at the break with Man United looking shell-shocked after an electric first half from the Magpies. It was no surprise to see changes from Erik Ten Hag with Aaron Wan-Bissaka coming on for Diogo Dalot and Sofyan Amrabat replacing Casemiro for the second half.
Within moments Willock was booked for a foul on Amrabat as he welcomed him to the game and re-stamped Newcastle’s authority on the night. The subs did not have the instant impact that Ten Hag was looking for with a weak shot from Amrabat flying over on 55 minutes. Antony was the next star to try to pull off the rescue act for Man United but after getting free on the right he scooped over the top. And it was Newcastle who were the side showing their clinical side -as Willock would prove on the hour mark!
Amrabat was dispossessed in midfield before the fit-again former Arsenal man picked the ball up and calmly rammed it low into the bottom corner. Howe freshened things up when introducing Kieran Trippier and Dan Burn for Ritchie and Hall after the pair had ran themselves into the ground.
With 15 minutes left they were simply brought on to savour the night at Old Trafford. Almiron slipped the ball to Wilson on 76 minutes but his effort took a deflection and looped over. From the corner, Longstaff picked the ball up on the edge of the box and blasted inches wide of the target for what would have been a spectacular strike. Newcastle thought about adding another one but they’d done more than enough.
A glance around Old Trafford at all the empty seats told you everything you needed to know. Man United had been outclassed in their own backyard.
Referee: Rob Jones (Merseyside)
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