Newcastle United has beaten Manchester United 1-0 this Saturday at Old Trafford thanks to a goal by Yohan Cabaye; this is Newcastle’s first victory at Old Trafford since 1972. For David Moyes‘ men, ninth on the table before the start of the game, things are going from bad to worst.
After their home defeat in midweek against Everton, the Red Devils were expected to get the three points against Newcastle. If Moyes was forced to do without suspended Wayne Rooney, the Scottish manager could, however, count on Robin Van Persie. The Dutch striker recovered on time from his groin injury and was available for selection. For this trip to Old Trafford, Alan Pardew chose to switch his usual 4-4-2 for a 4-2-3-1, dropping Shola Ameobi for Vurnon Anita. Cabaye was allowed to play further up the pitch as a result of that change.
Newcastle pressed really well at the start of the game and made it very difficult for the Red Devils to get the ball to their two front men, Javier Hernandez and Van Persie. Phil Jones and Tom Cleverley, the two United central midfielders, struggled to find forwards passes and were often forced to play the ball either wide or backwards.
In addition of their excellent defensive organization, the Magpies were also dangerous going forward and created many chances to score. Mathieu Debuchy, perfectly served by Loic Remy, was very close to open the score at the 44th minute, but David De Gea came to United’s rescue with an excellent save keeping the game scoreless at half time.
Probably motivated by Moyes’ half time speech, United players started the second half on the front foot and put Newcastle under serious pressure for a few minutes. United should have even got a penalty after Anita unintentionally stopped the ball with his hand on the line, but the referee failed to see it. Three minutes later, Cabaye was at the end of a cross from Moussa Sissoko to give the lead to Newcastle. Despite the changes made by Moyes, United was unable to create any clear chance and never looked like they could get an equalizer.
Manchester United has lost as many games in 15 games this season as it lost in 38 last season. The Red Devils could find themselves 15 points behind league leaders Arsenal, should the Gunners win tomorrow. With this defeat, the reigning Champions have probably lost their last hopes of keeping their title.