For the 14th time this season, Newcastle United lost a Premier League game.

This time it was against Manchester United, who didn’t even have to play particularly well to get three points.

It was an opportunity wasted by the Magpies, who had the better of the first half at Old Trafford.

However, all three of Man United’s goals were gifts from the away side, with Karl Darlow receiving a lot of criticism from fans.

Manchester United v Newcastle United - Premier League
(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

The result leaves Newcastle just three points above the relegation zone. It’s a defeat that piles even more pressure on manager Steve Bruce.

As each week passes by, Newcastle’s Premier League status looks increasingly more precarious.

However, while it was another defeat, there were at least some positives for Alan Shearer.

Shearer sees the positives despite Newcastle defeat

Speaking on Match Of The Day 2 last night, Shearer admitted there were a couple of encouraging things to take from Newcastle’s performance.

“I think they were the better side in the first half,” he said.

 

“They pressed well, they showed a good attitude in getting the goal back. They certainly deserved that.

“Then again for 10-15 minutes of the second half, but then they looked so tired after that and Man United were the better team and deserved to win it.”

(Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Shearer’s assessment of the game is bang on. The first half was massively encouraging, and it was hard to believe that we were the team fighting for survival.

Manchester United looked ropey at the back, and struggled to find a way through our high press.

What is worrying is how quickly things fell apart. We conceded cheap goals, and midway through the second half we didn’t look capable of getting back into the game.

The way we are now playing is much more physically demanding. However, it can bring results.

Manchester United v Newcastle United - Premier League
(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

We need to be smarter in our pressing. We need to pick our moments. And in games when we are the dominant side, we need to capitalise.

That’s what went wrong last night.

As Shearer said, there were positives to take from the game. But they weren’t enough to ease the fear of relegation.

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