By Andy Hyslop
- Rooney scores for third consecutive game
- A classic for the neutral
Manchester United were twice pegged back by Newcastle in this thrilling 3-3 draw. Many predicted this game would be a draw but never expected the 3-3 scoreline.
Coming into this game both teams have struggled to find the back of their opponents net so many predicted this would be another ‘boring’ affair for United’s travelling fans.
That wasn’t the case as we saw an end-to-end game with both teams in desperate need of the three points for differing reasons.
United made three changes from Saturdays Cup tie against Sheffield United, with Young, Schneiderlin and Lingard coming in for Borthwick-Jackson, Schweinsteiger and Mata.
The scoring was opened after nine minutes when Rooney converted from the spot for a second consecutive game. The award coming after Mbemba was adjudged to have handled the ball.
The award of the penalty was harsh on Newcastle, although you can understood why the referee decided it was a penalty. It was a 50/50 call, some refs would have given, others wouldn’t.
United had an appeal for a second penalty turned down after 25 minutes when the ball struck Dummett’s arm following a shot from Fellaini.
Rooney then missed an opportunity to make it 2-0 when shooting just wide. Newcastle then had a chance to level through Wijnaldum but he saw his effort saved by the legs of De Gea.
Jesse Lingard scored his second senior goal for United to make it 2-0 on 39 minutes following a neat pass from Rooney, Lingard slotted the ball through the legs of Newcastle goalkeeper Rob Elliot.
It would have been a perfect first-half for United if they could have gone in 2-0 but at half-time and would have probably finished Newcastle off if they had done.
Newcastle hit back though just before half-time through Wijnaldum. The Dutchman was first to the ball as Fellaini headed clear and hit the ball first time into the bottom corner.
Spurred on by the goal, Newcastle started the second-half brightly and despite having chances to level they could have gone 3-1 down.
After good play down the right-wing by Martial the ball found its way to Lingard unmarked in the area. Lingard tried to place the ball in the top corner but cleared the crossbar to miss an opportunity to kill Newcastle off.
On 66 minutes Newcastle were awarded a penalty of their own after Smalling was adjudged to be holding Mitrovic as both players fell to the ground.
Mitrovic got up to take the penalty and calmly slotted the ball home to level the match. At this point it felt like Newcastle had the upper hand as they continued to press.
United though would go back in front through Rooney’s second goal of the game. Substitute Memphis moved across the area from the left, his shot was blocked but fell to Rooney who fired the ball into the top corner.
That wasn’t the end of the scoring though as Newcastle levelled again in the 90th minute. Memphis failed to clear the ball and it would eventually fall to Dummett, whose effort was deflected off Smalling and out of the reach of De Gea into the top corner.
Both sides will look on this game as one of missed opportunities. As especially United who could have put the game out of the reach of Newcastle on more than one occasion.
This is a result United will look to build on in the coming weeks and remain unbeaten in 2016 as they look to re-build there challenge for a top four finish.