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Match Analysis: Newcastle United 0-1 Manchester United

Sports Mole looks back at Manchester United's dramatic 1-0 victory over Newcastle United at St James' Park.

Ashley Young's goal in the final minute of the game helped Manchester United overcome Newcastle United 1-0 at St James' Park this evening.

The Premier League contest had plenty of big talking points and near misses throughout, with both sides coming close to breaking the deadlock on a night of high drama on Tyneside.

It took until the 89th minute before Young finally breached Tim Krul's goal, however, as he capitalised on a mix-up at the back to ensure that the Red Devils' top-four hopes remain very much alive.

Here, Sports Mole takes a closer look at how the 90 minutes of action unfolded.

Match statistics

Shots: 9
On target: 2
Possession: 32%
Corners: 4
Fouls: 6

Shots: 11
On target: 5
Possession: 68%
Corners: 1
Fouls: 14

Was the result fair?

For so long this contest looked to be heading towards a goalless draw, which would have done the game a huge disservice. Big chances proved to be few and far between, although there were talking points aplenty at St James' Park. The Magpies had a stonewall penalty turned down in the opening throes of the match, while Wayne Rooney had what appeared to be a perfectly legitimate goal ruled out for offside following the restart.

In between those incidents, Jonny Evans and Papiss Cisse were caught up in an ugly coming-together which saw the two players seemingly spit in each other's direction. David de Gea, arguably the best player on the field, produced a couple of top-class saves to deny the hosts, while Krul was also on top form to almost shut out former boss Louis Van Gaal's charges, only for his late howler to gift the Red Devils all three points. It may not have been merited in the grand scheme of things, but United are now making a big habit of picking up sloppy victories.

Newcastle United's performance

It was clear to see from the off that John Carver had set his team up to hit the opposition on the counter as often as possible, and it very nearly worked. Had they held on, a point would have been a solid return from this tough-looking fixture as far as the Magpies are concerned, although they will feel disappointed to have only had two shots on goal, one of which came in the dying seconds, on a night when they really had nothing to lose.

Emmanuel Riviere was quite clearly brought down by Chris Smalling inside the area with 11 minutes on the clock, and had that decision gone the home side's way we may have seen a different game. Riviere also squandered the hosts' best chance of the evening late in the first half when he failed to get the desired connection on the ball when played in on goal. Incredibly, there was still a chance for Cisse to win the game at the death when he was picked out in a central position, only for star man De Gea to thwart the opening.

Manchester United's performance

Had the match finished at 89 minutes we would have been talking about another poor overall showing from the Red Devils, and with all the sides around them picking up wins over the past 24 hours it could have proved a big blow in their hopes of finishing in the top four. As it is, thanks to that late Young strike, United have now extended their impressive run to two defeats in their last 22 outings.

It was another disappointing night for Angel di Maria, meanwhile, with the British-record signing hauled off in the second half, while Radamel Falcao failed to even play a single second as Van Gaal opted to leave the Monaco loanee on the bench. Rooney was fielded in a number 10 role once more and he looked lively throughout, playing his part in the decisive goal with his tireless running against a side he simply loves playing against. The Old Trafford outfit now face a defining run of fixtures against a host of sides around them, and you get the sense that a repeat of displays like this will just not cut it against tougher opposition.

Sports Mole's man of the match

David de Gea: It may seem a little strange giving this accolade to the Spaniard when he had just two shots on goal to contend with, but they were both tricky stops to make. Riviere thought he had done enough to squeeze the ball into the bottom corner in the early stages of the second half, while Cisse could so easily have rescued a point in the closing stages if not for De Gea's high concentration levels. Special mention for the returning Jonas Gutierrez, also, who made his first Toon appearance in 18 months following a successful battle with cancer.

Biggest gaffe

Krul's double stop to deny Marouane Fellaini and Young was truly incredible, but he played his part in the Magpies' late downfall. Mehdi Abeid played the ball back to his keeper and the Dutchman failed to adapt his feet with his scuffed clearance landing into the welcoming path of Young, who this time made no mistake from close range.

Referee performance

Anthony Taylor and his officials had two big calls to make, and unfortunately they were both incorrect. Riviere should have been awarded a pen early on, while Rooney appeared to be marginally onside - or in line with the last man at the very least - when he raced through and tucked the ball away.

What next?

Newcastle United: The Toon are now simply aiming to break into the top half of the table, with their next outing coming away at Everton in 10 days' time.

Manchester United: Attention now turns to FA Cup commitments as far as Man United are concerned, with Arsenal the visitors to Old Trafford next Monday. A tricky run of fixtures await in the Premier League, including a trip to take on Liverpool at Anfield later this month.

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Manchester United player Chris Smalling (r) challenges Emmanuel Riviere of Newcastle in the penalty area during the Barclays Premier League match
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