‘Pathetic’ Manchester United should be fined for conduct during Newcastle United draw

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Newcastle United’s goalless draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford was an eventful one - and we take a look at the main topics.

Newcastle United extended their unbeaten run to five matches with a hard-fought point against Manchester United.

Here, our editor Liam Kennedy and football writer Jordan Cronin give their opinions on the main topics surrounding the goalless draw:

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A draw at Old Trafford. A good result or a missed opportunity?

JC: “A good point, in the end. Typical cliche but it was probably a game of two halves. I thought Newcastle were well on top in the first half and that Joelinton chance... fair enough missing the first header but he HAS to score the rebound. After the break, United lost that attacking spark and did well to see out the point after some late Man United pressure. How Marcus Rashford didn’t score right at the death I’ll never know.”

LK: “Just shows how far we’ve come, doesn’t it? A point at Old Trafford in any other season in recent memory would be seen as an amazing result - and to be fair, this was. But you can’t help but feel on another day this could, and should, have been three. We will know a lot more about Eddie Howe’s men after the next three games, which, for me, all present their own unique challenges.”

Callum Wilson’s penalty appeal… thoughts?

JC: “It was a stonewaller, for me. In real-time, I thought it was a strong appeal but also accepted it was probably just a coming together of bodies. But the replay is so clear and obvious, Raphael Varane stretches his leg across Wilson which causes him to fall to the ground. Terrible decision but I am wary of criticising too much because Kieran Trippier’s challenge on Ronaldo in the second half was a contentious one as well. In the end, the game evened itself out.”

LK: “For me, this decision is not even up for debate. It was a clear penalty. No idea why it wasn’t given. However, some fans need to be careful about calling this ‘top six bias’, particularly as Man United could have had a penalty of their own in the second 45. That wasn’t given, either.”

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Any debate to be had over Cristiano Ronaldo’s disallowed goal?

JC: “Nope. Ronaldo gambled that Fabian Schar had taken a quick free-kick and to be fair to the referee Craig Pawson, even before Ronaldo puts the ball in the net, he’s blown to stop play. Look at Nick Pope, he hasn’t even flinched. The reaction of the Man United players is pathetic really and they should be fine for that. It was a failed attempt to put pressure on the referee, typical of the Sir Alex Ferguson years really. Credit to Pawson for standing firm and booking Ronaldo for his antics.”

LK: “None. None whatsoever. It wasn’t a goal. Next question.”

Who was your man of the match at Old Trafford?

JC: “Sven Botman and Fabian Schar were absolutely outstanding, but the latter just edges it for me. He was battered and bruised but carried on like a warrior. I gave him a 9/10 in my ratings. He hasn’t put a foot wrong all season.”

LK: “Fabian Schar, for me, just ahead of central defensive partner Sven Botman. Botman probably would have taken it, had it not been for that last minute slip up, where he allowed Marcus Rashford to step off him.”

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It’s quite incredible that Newcastle currently have the best defensive record in the Premier League, isn’t it?

JC: “Yes, absolutely. A lot was made of Bournemouth’s defensive record under Eddie Howe and for that reason alone, several pundits Eddie Howe said wasn’t the right man to keep Newcastle in the Premier League. Well, to no surprise, they look a little daft now. In 2021, they conceded a record-breaking 80 goals. In 2022, they have shipped only 29. Quite ironically, Steve Bruce always spoke about “getting the balance right”. Well, Howe has done that to a T. Seriously, what a turnaround it’s been and the draw at Old Trafford is another sign of how far the club has come in a reasonably short period of time.”

LK: “Certainly is. It’s amazing what some proper coaching and signing quality can do for a team. This backline, for me, lacks a bit of pace but it certainly hasn’t been shown up by too many players. Although, saying that, and this is very harsh in a backline that has barely conceded, I’d get Matt Targett back playing. Dan Burn can play left-back, he’s proving that week-in, week-out, but Targett is a more natural attacker from deep than the former Brighton man.”

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