Newcastle United didn’t simply roll over against Manchester United at Old Trafford yesterday.
The Magpies had some joy on the counter-attack, and if they had shown a bit more composure and made better decisions, then the game could have been very different.
Cristiano Ronaldo grabbed the headlines, but a 4-1 loss was a tad harsh on Steve Bruce’s side, and without Callum Wilson there were some positives to take.
Had Ronaldo not shown his predatory prowess and broken the deadlock on the stroke of half-time, Newcastle’s game plan could have eventually worked.
But Newcastle did have their moments and showed ambition, which is something Alan Shearer craves at his old club.
In the 28th minute, Luke Shaw overcooked a throw-in to the outstretched Bruno Fernandes which allowed Joe Willock to burst into the Red Devils’ penalty area, but he snatched at a shot on goal with Raphael Varane approaching and blazed it over.
Had the former Arsenal man lifted his head up, he would have seen Joelinton was free for a tap-in.
That would have given Newcastle the lead and dampened the mood at Old Trafford.
In the 39th minute, Newcastle broke from a corner for the home team through Allan Saint-Maximin, who played it into Sean Longstaff.
Longstaff, inside the penalty area, tried to take on Harry Maguire instead of squaring it to Willock or Matt Ritchie and ended up losing his footing.
Need to be clinical
Newcastle were always going to come under intense pressure at Old Trafford, but they did hurt Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side at times.
However, in a game where Ronaldo scored twice and showed how clinical he is, Newcastle lacked composure at the crucial moments.
Newcastle could have still gone on to lose the game even if they had taken the lead, but it would have made a raucous Old Trafford crowd a tad nervous on their big day if they opened the scoring and not CR7.