Adrian Sequiera (Sportz Interactive), Jan 05, 2012

Newcastle-Manchester United Review - Why the game was lost?

So while I waited late last night in anticipation of seeing a typical United response to defeat at the hands of Blackburn, I was left more than disappointed for in this game, despite starting with their best players, United were second best for long periods of the game. Here’s why I think we suffered such a ignominious defeat.

Toothless Attack

The United Attack lacked penetration and none of the starters Dmitar Berbatov or Wayne Rooney looked threatening. Despite scoring 5 goals in 2 games the form the Bulgarian brought into the game seemed to desert him. Rooney too seemed out of sorts and lacked his usual sharpness and energy. Substitutes Wellbeck and Javier Hernandez too failed to impress with the Mexican being caught offside once too often with the highline that the Newcastle defence played.

Lost the battle in the Midfield

The Newcastle midfield consistently over ran their United counterparts with the Geordies making it into the United half and the byline almost unchallenged every time. Ryan Giggs and Michael Carrick did not gel well and the back four had no one to shield them too many times for my liking. Nani was missing for most part of the game and his crossing was poor while the normally energetic Park too failed to liven up the midfield and didn’t add width on the left flank either. The midfield was lacking ideas and Cleverley was clearly missed. With the January window open United must look for a replacement if he is going to be out for a long spell.

Shaky Defence

Both the back four and the goalkeeper had a very shaky game with the Newcastle forward Demba Ba terrorizing the central defence in particular. While Anders Lindegaard had a decent enough start making some good saves in the first half, after conceding 2 goals he didn’t look confident when clearing his lines or when defending aerial balls. While Patrice Evra and Rio Ferdinand had relatively decent games Ferdinand was lucky not to concede a penalty for a challenge on Ba. Antonio Valencia playing as make-shift right back did a decent job going forward but was caught out while defending on a number of occasions.

Finally, United’s golden boy this season, Phil Jones, had another game to forget culminating in an own goal at the death. While he prefers to play in central defence he seems to be more effective in playing further front in midfield shielding the back four. The youngster must learn these harsh lessons the Premiership offers and come out a better player.

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