Wed 15 May 2024, 22:26 · Ash Harrison

Newcastle's European dream hanging by a thread after a wasteful night at Old Trafford

Newcastle's European dream hanging by a thread after a wasteful night at Old Trafford
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Newcastle United were beaten by Manchester United 3-2 at Old Trafford on a night where poor luck and worse judgement left the Magpies' European dream in tatters.

Chelsea won away at Brighton which now puts them in the driving seat for the Europa Conference League place. so unless they lose and we win on Sunday, we're relying on Manchester City winning the FA Cup, and even that depends on us bettering Manchester United's result on Sunday.

It was in the palm of our hands and we let it slip away and we have nobody to blame but ourselves. There is no way this Manchester United team is better than us and yet at times they made it look easy.

Casemiro turned into prime Maldini on the night and Bruno Fernandes was simply outstanding. Our lads had moments but once again it was the decisions in the final third that let us down.


Newcastle only have themselves to blame

It would be so easy to sit here and write about how VAR shafted us in the first half for not awarding the blatant penalty when Anthony Gordon was felled in the box, but honestly, we simply didn't deserve it tonight. We were unlucky at times, sure, Casemiro's goal-line clearance was so close to being a goal it was shocking, but that just seemed to be the sign of things to come.

Kobbie Mainoo opened the scoring with a penalty, sorry, it wasn't a penalty, he just had as much time and space in the box as he would have if it were a penalty. Kieran Trippier clearly wasn't fit enough to start, and we imagine he wouldn't have were it not for Tino Livramento picking up an injury. It was the captain who was caught in no man's land for the first goal and played Mainoo onside for the easiest finish he's ever likely to have.

That goal did wake Newcastle up and they picked up, eventually pulling things level via an Anthony Gordon tap-in from a superb Jacob Murphy cross.


A former Mackem playing for Man United - That just sums it all up

The joy as short-lived, however as former Mackem loanee Amad Diallo lashed in a fierce striker from a corner after he managed to find another acre of space in the box. In fairness, Anthony Gordon was still trying to walk off a knock at that point and couldn't close him down quick enough, although there's probably not much he could have done given how sweetly Amad struck the ball.

Eddie Howe made a raft of changes to try and turn the pressure up and it worked with Anthony Gordon firing across the face of goal and substitute Miguel Almiron steaming in at the back post. All it needed was any kind of connection from Miggy and we'd have been level again, but he was just too short.

Newcastle continued to attack, but a quick breakaway from Manchester United saw substitute and form Newcastle target Rasmus Hojlund lose Dan Burn and Lewis Hall to fire home beyond Martin Dubravka who might as well have been stood next to Andre Onana in Man United's goal for all the use he was in ours.


Newcastle simply fluffed too many good chances

Lewis Hall quickly redeemed himself, though, firing in an absolute screamer for Newcastle's second of the night, and his second of the season, both coming against Manchester United. Hall's goal made him the 19th Newcastle player to score in the Premier League this season. That means we have broken the record for the most unique goal scorers in a Premier League season beating Chelsea's previous record of 18.

The goal set up a tense finish in stoppage time, but ultimately Man United were able to hold on to see the game out.

We were left wondering what might have been with Alexander Isak seemingly refusing to shoot all night, Sean Longstaff hitting the ball straight at Onana when it would have been easier to put it literally anywhere else, the goal line clearance from Casemiro who suddenly turned mint and of course the penalty that never was.

Hopefully we can finish strong on Sunday, but we're now relying on other teams as well as ourselves to get us into Europe. Honestly, does anybody else just want this season to be over?