Manchester United returned to winning ways in emphatic fashion on Saturday night with a 4-1 win over Newcastle United at St James’ Park.
United recovered impressively after falling behind through Luke Shaw’s own goal early on, with Harry Maguire’s bullet header restoring parity before half-time.
It was a much-needed three points for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side after two defeats in their first three games and ahead of three tough-looking league encounters with Chelsea, Arsenal and Everton.
Here is a round-up of what the national media made of United’s return to form.
“Dark, damp, decidedly chilly, October nights on Tyneside can rarely have proved as restorative. After arriving apparently in urgent need of running repairs, Manchester United boarded their flight home from the north east exuding the recharged glow of holidaymakers en route from a fortnight in the sun,” Louise Taylor wrote for The Guardian .
“Although, an albeit often overly deep-sitting, Newcastle played their counterattacking part in an often engrossingly entertaining contest, Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s revamped side deservedly put their recent stumbles behind them with goals from Harry Maguire, Bruno Fernandes, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Marcus Rashford.
“Although the latter three came in the final minutes, those home fans who opted not to pay the scandalous £14.95 pay-per-view fee demanded on top of their monthly satellite subscription and, instead, donated the money to a local food bank are unlikely to harbour any regrets”
“So for those who did not see the game, here’s a brief summary – United won 4-1 but it could have been 14-1,” Craig Hope wrote for the Daily Mail . “Maguire was excellent, but so, too, were fellow scorers Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes.
“Ole Gunnar Solskjaer emerged afterwards to announce, ‘Our season started today’. Bold words, but anything other than victory against a subservient Newcastle would have led to questions over the manager’s future. So let’s temper the excitement for now, even if United did create enough chances – 28 shots on goal – to win this several times over.
“Maguire himself twice came close to scoring what could have been the winner at 1-1, and that would have been entirely deserved for a performance that said much about his character.”
“There were sub-plots coming into this match, centring around how United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would have his team set up after the defeat by Spurs, and how Maguire would perform,” Saj Chowdhury wrote for BBC Sport .
“The Norwegian stuck by his skipper, whose form has been inconsistent this season and who had been sent off playing for England during the recent international break.
“The centre-back produced arguably his most confident display of the season and it was somewhat poetic that his precision header brought his side back into the match.
“The other person in the United camp who experienced both bitter and sweet was Fernandes. He had previously scored 10 out of 10 from the spot for the Red Devils but his run was brought to an emphatic stop by the flying Darlow.”
“But for all their faults, United remain a devastating counter-attacking side when at their best and one magnificent break upfield five minutes from time – finished off by Fernandes, but made from important contributions by Juan Mata, Donny van de Beek and Rashford – laid the foundations for an ultimately comfortable victory,” Mark Critchley wrote for The Independent .
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“Wan-Bissaka and Rashford’s late additions to the scoreline showed yet more potential of United’s attack when it is on song.
“The defence could still use some work. There was something grimly comical about each of Tottenham’s six goals at Old Trafford and so it was with Newcastle’s.
“Like Jose Mourinho’s side a fortnight ago, they glided through United’s ranks on a devastating counter-attack which began with Victor Lindelof being turned deep in enemy territory and ended with Emil Krafth’s cross deflecting wickedly off Shaw and dropping inside the near post.”