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Manchester United 3-2 Newcastle United: Ten Hag’s team bounces back, Amad and Gordon shine

If these two teams had imagined fighting for a European place at the end of the season, it certainly would not have been quite like this.

Newcastle United’s European qualification hopes now hang in the balance after defeat at Old Trafford. But Manchester United, who still have the FA Cup final against Manchester City to come, have at least held up their end of the bargain – although Chelsea’s victory against Brighton and their goal difference may count against them.

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Explaining the race to Europe in the Premier League

Kobbie Mainoo opened the scoring for the hosts in the 31st minute, going unmarked in the box from a corner, but Newcastle equalized through Anthony Gordon after the break. Amad, 21 (pictured above), scored his first Manchester United goal in the 57th minute and Rasmus Hojlund, replacing for just 107 seconds, made it 3-1 with his first touch before Lewis Hall ‘gets a goal with a nice left. -foot strike in stoppage time.

Mark Critchley and Chris Waugh analyze the main talking points from Old Trafford…


What does this mean for Manchester United?

Whether or not this is Erik ten Hag’s final game in charge at Old Trafford, a fine victory over a rival for a place in Europe can only help his cause.

Ten Hag wanted a reaction to last week’s humiliation at Crystal Palace, felt he got one despite defeat to Arsenal on Sunday, but would be altogether happier that a similarly spirited display was enough to take all three points this time.

Mainoo


Mainoo opens the scoring (Oli Scarff/AFP via Getty Images)

Despite this victory, it will still be difficult to claim a place in Europe thanks to their league ranking given the frankly tragic goal difference of -3. United need results elsewhere to work in their favor no matter what.

Some might even consider a gargantuan goal difference more realistic than beating Manchester City in the FA Cup final and claiming a place in the Europa League.

But they still have a chance. Tonight’s defeat would have left Manchester United marooned in eighth place, condemned to their worst result in the Premier League era, both in terms of position and points. They can still avoid this and that, in this most trying of seasons, is something.

Marc Critchley


What does this mean for Newcastle United?

Newcastle’s European destiny is no longer in their hands.

Chelsea moved ahead of Newcastle and need just a point at home to Bournemouth on the final day to secure sixth place. Howe’s side are level on points with Manchester United, but above Ten Hag’s side on goal difference, a factor which could yet prove critical.

Newcastle’s away form throughout the season, which is only 15th best in the Premier League, has held them back throughout the campaign. Not being stuck at Old Trafford was perhaps unsurprising, given Newcastle have won there once in the league since 1972, but there is also no guarantee they will go to Brentford and triumph on Sunday.

Newcastle United


(Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Even if they better or match Manchester United’s result at Brighton and finish seventh, Newcastle will not know whether they will play in the Europa Conference League or outside continental competition next season until the FA Cup final the following weekend . Newcastle’s never-ending season could stretch a week beyond its final game.

Chris Waugh


Is Amad the type of right winger Ten Hag needs?

There were a few surprises in the Manchester United starting XI: Bruno Fernandes with a false nine for one, no Rasmus Hojlund for another. But no one should have been surprised to see Amad retain his place on the right wing.

Arguably Manchester United’s brightest player until his early departure against Arsenal, the 21-year-old is a different type of winger to those who have more appearances under their belt this season.

He definitely has more end product than Antony. Amad’s first Premier League goal – as neat a strike as you’re likely to see – equaled Antony’s tally for the season in 21 games less.

Amad


(Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Yet he is also a little calmer on the ball and possession-oriented than Marcus Rashford or Alejandro Garnacho, which suits the cleaner style seen from the Ten Hag side of late. This, along with more regular opportunities for Amad, was long overdue.


More to come from Anthony Gordon?

Gordon, Newcastle United


(Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Without Gordon, Newcastle wouldn’t even be in the hunt for European football in the final throes of this season. He played in 35 of their 37 league matches during a campaign in which Newcastle were plagued by injuries, missing only two through suspension, and provided 11 goals and 10 assists .

He was denied what would have been his seventh penalty of the campaign during the first half, although Sofyan Amrabat stepped on his heel, tearing the winger’s sock in the process.

Regardless, Gordon continued to push forward, repeatedly taking on Aaron Wan-Bissaka and pushing Newcastle into dangerous positions. His improved goal-scoring instincts were also evident when he arrived late to push Jacob Murphy’s delicious whipped cross into the six-yard box to draw Newcastle level.

As crucial as Gordon was, it was only his second goal on the road, with the majority of his involvements having come at St James’ Park. The 23-year-old has reached double figures in goals and assists this season, but what’s so exciting is that there is still plenty of development to come.

Chris Waugh


What did Erik ten Hag say?

“It’s always nice to win any game. It’s important to win the last match at Old Trafford this season. The supporters deserve it because they went through difficult times and always stayed with us. We are here together. We wanted to repay the fans.

“Fantastic. Big goals. But it was a team effort that we achieved our goals. But I’m always happy with the young players who are progressing very well and scoring brilliant goals.

“Newcastle have a lot of physical power and you have to match it, but you also have to play football. We had found a very good balance.


What did Eddie Howe say?

“Frustrating for us. Away this year, our record hasn’t been good enough. We conceded some bad goals and it ultimately cost us the match.

“It was a decent performance. We looked like a good team but were let down by some of our defenders. In attack, we were good and threatened throughout the match. We set our objectives well. Frustrated, we didn’t get more.


What future for Manchester United?

Sunday May 19: Brighton (A), Premier League, 4 p.m. UK, 2 p.m. ET

United’s last match against Roberto De Zerbi’s side was a humbling experience: the visiting team left Old Trafford with a 3-1 victory in September.

But overall, United have a strong record against Brighton, winning 19 and drawing five of the 31 meetings between the two teams in all competitions. If fit, Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford will be favorites to get on the scoresheet – both scored four goals each against Sunday’s opponents.


What future for Newcastle United?

Sunday May 19: Brentford (A), Premier League, 4 p.m. UK, 2 p.m. ET

Despite the question marks over Newcastle’s away form this season, there may be no better place for Eddie Howe’s side at the end of this Premier League campaign.

Newcastle are unbeaten against Brentford since the latter’s promotion to the Premier League in 2021 (five matches) and have won on their last two visits to the Gtech Community Stadium. In fact, the last time Brentford beat Newcastle at home in the league was in January 1948 – a Second Division match which ended 1-0 at Griffin Park.


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(Top photo: Stu Forster/Getty Images))

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