Date: 26th December 2012 at 7:28pm
Written by:

A real Christmas cracker at Old Trafford today as a somewhat depleted Newcastle side pushed for the win right until the 9th minute of injury time.

A very wet day in Manchester may have stopped any beautiful football being played, but it certainly didn’t dampen the excitement as Manchester United came from behind three times to win 4-3 thanks to a very late Javier Hernandez strike.

Sir Alex made changes with Rio Ferdinand, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs all starting, taking the average age of the side up about 177 years.

Despite the obvious qualities possessed by the veteran midfielders, they did not control the game against a second string Newcastle midfield – lacking pace, strength and creativity. Although Scholes doesn’t lose the ball and Giggs works as hard as any professional out there – they should not start together as it feels like both are passengers for long spells.

Errors yet again played a huge part in today’s fixture with De Gea at fault for the first goal as well as flapping at numerous crosses. Jonny Evans looked completely out of depth against Cisse and Ba – which is a regular occurrence when he comes up against a half decent striker.

Evra was the stand out candidate from the back five – but simply because he was a huge threat going forward, adding width and balance down the left hand side. He also scored his fourth goal of the season. Despite heavy criticism of the stand-in captain, he is always a solid performer and stands tall when the side need leaders.

Michael Carrick was again instrumental in midfield, keeping the side ticking. Everybody knew if United were to go on and steal victory, Michael Carrick would have a key part; and that he did when he picked out Hernandez for the winner.

Valencia is a man severely lacking in form and confidence. Player of the year last season yet this season he cannot beat a man or deliver a cross. How many times can he cut inside and pass backwards? The sooner Nani is fit, the better. I appreciate a lot (if not all) fans want to see Nani leave, but he would surely be worth keeping until the summer with Valencia playing so poorly.

Robin Van Persie and Wayne Rooney have formed a deadly partnership this season – but with no Rooney today and apparently for the next three weeks, we have seen that Van Persie can do it on his own, or with somebody else.

The Dutch striker grows in stature and importance with every minute played; god-forbid he picks up an injury.

Van Persie didn’t win the game for United today, but he was instrumental in linking up the play and he scored a vital equaliser. Enough to be named as my Man of the Match.

To respond to me directly I am on Twitter: @NathonW

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15 responses to “MAN OF THE MATCH – NEWCASTLE (H)”

  1. KingCole says:

    The Evan’s criticism (“which is a regular occurrence when he comes up against a half decent striker”) was very harsh

  2. Nathon Woodhead says:

    I just get really annoyed with 99% of United fans inability to see he is not a world class defender.

    He comes unstuck week in week out.

    Those who say he has been our most consistent defender are deluded.

    Yes, keep him as a squad player but first choice – no thanks.

  3. martin. says:

    those people who criticize Evans are the same ones who say carrick is crap least he’s got ability and confidence to take the ball out of the defence n pass it accurately too.thats unlike vidic n smalling who whenever they make a pass for more than 10 yards its straight into opposition hands.

    • Nathon Woodhead says:

      This isn’t correct as I am a huge Carrick fan, but I don’t rate Evans at all.

      He can bring the ball out and pass? Big deal, he makes too many mistakes doing the job he is paid to do – defend.

      Again, I appreciate he isn’t bad – against mediocre strikers he can hold his own – but every time he comes up against top class strikers, he is pulled apart.

      • chrisaus88 says:

        I think i would just say that neither are good enough to be guaranteed starters,but are good enough to be squad players.

    • lamar says:

      I believe carrick and evans are both crap. Evans is scoring goals and carrick is having decent performances but that’s not enough. Mediocre at best.

  4. martin. says:

    lets take for instance today’s conceded goals ..first goal it was carricks error which resulted in a goal ..second one shouldn’t have been given Coz cisse interfered with play.third one,Rio n smalling let obertan so easily get a cross in…its perfectly clear Evans can’t directly be blamed for any of our goals conceded the boy to come good n get rid of the mistakes from his game ..he’s got potential to be as good as thiago Silva.confident on the ball and scores goals.

    • Nathon Woodhead says:

      I hope you are right. It isn’t a witch hunt against Evans.

      You make valid points about all three goals.

  5. chrisaus88 says:

    Surely ryan giggs has to be man of the match. Put in the best wing performance of any of ours players this season. Every run he made he beat the player. Every cross land on a united head.

    • Nathon Woodhead says:

      He looked like Giggs 1994 didn’t he?!

      • chrisaus88 says:

        He even seemed to have regained a little pace he’s been struggling for lately. If he had his 94 pace he would have murdered them. Yes he’s been struggling in the centre but yoi have to give credit where it’s due & his last two performances he’s been the best player. What a player.

  6. chrisaus88 says:

    Greatest touchline hugger ever.

  7. Andrew says:

    It was a big win today and the first thing is to be relieved we got the three points. Hernandez is back on the goals as well, although he could have scored 3 or 4 today. The result against Swansea was frustrating but they did deserve the draw. It was important that we got the three points today.

    Obviously the Man City result makes it better, but unless we can actually fix the defence, we will not complete this task properly of winning the title. It is shocking how badly we are defending this season. We must be close to being the worse in the Premiership and this is becoming a joke.

    Ferguson focuses on the positives in public and with the media, but I really hope he is cracking some heads with this defending. It must be a source of embarrassment for the manager, but I would say even more for the coaches and the actual defenders.

    The first goal was poor but not unusual for this team. Carrick was sloppy, but then Evans didn’t close down quick enough and De Gea was poor in dealing with it. Smalling let Perch go and didn’t bother to track his run. The second goal should have been dealt with better by Evans even if Cisse was in an offside position. The third goal was lazy by everyone. Smalling and Ferdinand allowed Obertan to go easily and Evans and Evra didn’t bother to track Cisse run.

    It is a collective problem but for some reason we don’t seem to be able to actually solve it. If we cannot fix the defence then we will continue to struggle and eventually we will be punished. Real Madrid will also destroy us if we keep defending in this manner.

  8. Tom says:

    A very entertaining match and we showed great spirit to come from behind 3 times and win. Newcastle are a tough team to play and we’ve beaten them twice now this season. It wasn’t vintage Man Utd but we got the win. It wasn’t vintage against Swansea either, but that might prove to be a good point in the end.

    We have a very good attack this season and Robin Van Persie has been an incredible signing. Man Utd do not normally buy world class talent. The formula has been to buy potential and develop world class players. However you see why Ferguson pushed the boat out to get Van Persie. He has proved to be the leader that this team needed.

    Hernandez showed great spirit to keep going even when he missed chances. The guy is a goalscorer and the more confidence he gets the more clinical he will become. We see how well Rademal Falcao is doing in Spain, but I believe Hernandez should be aiming to reach the same level.

    The defence isn’t tightening up and we cannot keep clean sheets. Its a shame because while Van Persie does his damage upfront, alongside Hernandez and Rooney, the defence is incapable of keeping them out. It has gone on for to long now and something must be done now. We cannot fall behind three times at home. Its great to see Evra and Evans score goals, but its pointless if they don’t do more to keep them out first.