Marcus Rashford.

Talking points from St James' Park

Manchester United made the perfect start to the resumption of Premier League duties with a 4-1 victory at Newcastle United.

The Reds fell behind in only the second minute, when Luke Shaw unluckily diverted an Emil Krafth cross into his own net. Although Bruno Fernandes had a goal ruled out by VAR, Harry Maguire soon equalised with a firm header.

Fernandes was denied by Karl Darlow from the penalty spot in the second half but powered Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men in front with four minutes left. Aaron Wan-Bissaka then provided the third with an explosive finish before Marcus Rashford got in on the act in the dying seconds.

Here we look back on the main talking points from a memorable Saturday night on the Toon...

OLE’S SURPRISE LINE-UP

There was a big reaction to the manager’s starting XI as it was one few could have predicted. Perhaps understandably, there were changes to the side beaten by Tottenham Hotspur, five of them in total, with Fred and Scott McTominay asked to provide energy in midfield. Rashford got the nod to replace Anthony Martial down the middle, with Daniel James and Mata flanking the England international. At the back, Victor Lindelof replaced Eric Bailly but skipper Maguire shrugged off a glute problem to wear the armband.

LANDMARK JOY FOR AARON

Aaron Wan-Bissaka made his 50th appearance for the club since arriving from Crystal Palace and marked it with a rare goal. The right-back's mis-directed cross forced evasive action from Darlow in the first half, with the home keeper stretching to claw it away from the net. Darlow had no chance towards the end though when Aaron slammed in the third to get off the mark in professional football in some style. 

HARRY UP!

There was talk Maguire would be left out, after being sent off for England against Denmark in midweek, and sustaining a knock beforehand. Instead, the centre-back showed his mettle by heading in the equaliser. It may have been his first in the Premier League since February, at Chelsea, but he was unlucky when Lewis Dunk was instead deemed to have put through his own net at Brighton & Hove Albion, under Harry's strong challenge. The defender also scored in former club Leicester City's win here in September 2018 and is looking a menace at set-pieces. He was also upset to miss a great chance in the game here last season so atoned this time around. After a week in the spotlight, this was the perfect riposte to his critics - scoring the sort of goal we saw the Newcastle boss Steve Bruce net during his stay at Old Trafford. Harry also had an effort cleared off the line by Jonjo Shelvey and fired just wide after the break.

MATA MITHERS THE MAGPIES

Juan has a fine record against Newcastle, indeed he has been directly involved in more goals against them (nine) than any other team in the Premier League. The corner for Maguire's header was his fifth assist and he has scored four times against the Tynesiders. After his Carabao Cup exploits, September's Player of the Month now has two goals and two assists this term and he was excellent throughout on Saturday evening.

SUPER SAVERS

It is difficult to know which was the better save. David De Gea's incredible stop from Callum Wilson's prod goalwards, which looked all the world like a goal, or Darlow's denial of Bruno from the penalty spot. After 10 out of 10 spot-kicks for the Reds, there was not much wrong with Fernandes's effort from 12 yards but the in-form Magpies man Darlow, who only got his chance due to an injury to Martin Dubravka, pulled off a remarkable save. Our no.1 also did well to repel a Shelvey stinger later in the second half.

HERO FERNANDES

The winner was classic United, four minutes from time. Rashford timed his pass to perfection and Fernandes did the rest with the most emphatic of finishes. He then racked up another assist when setting Rashford up at the death. It means the Portugal international has been directly involved in 20 goals in 18 Premier League appearances (11 goals, 9 assists). Only ex-Sunderland striker Kevin Phillips had a hand in more in that time-frame (21).

Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka celebrates his goal on his 50th appearance for the club.

HISTORIC FIRST

This result means United have won six successive matches away from home in the top flight, scoring at least two goals on each occasion. The run started last term and continued with the dramatic 3-2 win at Brighton & Hove Albion. It was something we'd never managed before throughout our history, even if we had done it five times on several occasions.  

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