Newcastle 1-0 Man Utd: ‘Jose Mourinho was wrong, the Magpies did not get lucky’
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho was totally wrong when he said Newcastle played for a draw and relied on luck to beat his side on Sunday.
The only thing Mourinho was right about in his post-match interview was that the Magpies players worked incredibly hard for their victory.
Rafa Benitez’s side thoroughly deserved their win because they defended better than Manchester United, they dominated midfield and they did what United could not do, which was score.
Yes, United created some chances and Newcastle’s new goalkeeper Martin Dubravka had an incredible game on his debut.
But Mourinho relies on his goalkeeper David de Gea to get them a point sometimes – like at Anfield earlier this season, for example.
Mourinho would not tell you there was anything fluky about that result, and the same goes for the way the Magpies earned their win. They were everything but lucky, in fact.
From start to finish, it was a brilliant all-round team performance from Newcastle, and it would be unfair to just pick out one performance because there were so many that stood out.
In contrast, Manchester United showed why they are so far behind Premier League leaders Manchester City, as they struggled all over the pitch.
How Newcastle got their fans going from the start
Newcastle had slid into the bottom three before kick-off because of Huddersfield’s win over Bournemouth earlier in the day.
Swansea had also moved above the Magpies in the table with their win over Burnley on Saturday, so it became hugely important that they got something out of the game, and their attitude was exactly what was required.
As well as picking up three much-needed points and climbing from 18th to 13th in the table, the way they did it should give them a huge boost of confidence, which is something they have been lacking
The Newcastle fans definitely helped but the way the players went after Manchester United in the first 10 minutes lifted the whole stadium and got the crowd going from the start.
Benitez played with two up front in Dwight Gayle and Ayoze Perez, which was a really attacking approach anyway, and the high-tempo start the whole team made set the tone for the rest of the game.
We used to try to do something similar at St James’ Park when I was a Newcastle player because we knew if we really took the game to the opposition early on then it created a really positive atmosphere from the start.
I understand why this Newcastle side has not been doing it at every home game, because Benitez knows the limitations of the squad he has got.
St James’ Park is also a difficult environment to play in at the moment because of what is going on behind the scenes, with so many of the fans desperate for the owner Mike Ashley to leave.
But now the players have shown what they can do and they also know what kind of response they will get.
Newcastle are going to need to produce more home performances like this one in the next few months if they are going to stay up but, with the backing of that crowd, they have got a very good chance.