Anthony Martial’s brace and a thunderous strike from Mason Greenwood added with a header from Marcus Rashford, helped Manchester United post a comfortable 4-1 win against Newcastle United in the ongoing English Premier League 2019-20 at the Old Trafford on Thursday.
However, the beginning was not what Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had asked from his apprentices especially after their embarrassing 2-0 defeat at the hands of lowly Watford last week. Matty Longstaff gave Newcastle United an unexpected lead in the 17th minute.
The hosts, though, displayed much more positive intent than their last outing and equalised within seven minutes when Martial curled in a pass from Ander Pereira into the near post.
Greenwood then gave them the lead as a miscommunication from Newcastle players saw the Manchester United youth product unleash a stunner from outside the box in the 36th minute.
United’s top scorer this season, Rashford extended the margin to 3-1 when he headed in a perfect inswinging cross from right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka at the back post four minutes before the first half.
The final nail in the visitors’ coffin was put by Martial when another sloppy defensive play from Newcastle gave the Frenchman acres of space with only Martin Duubravka to beat under the woods. The 24-year-old lifted the ball beyond the goalie’s reach into the nets to complete his brace.
The United manager, however, has urged his players to stay grounded and consistent with their performance. The Red Devils’ biggest weakness this season has been their inability to follow up a big win with another dominating display in the next game.
Chelsea falter again
Chelsea, on the other hand, continued with their slipshod campaign and succumbed to another defeat at the Staford Bridge as Southampton beat the Frank Lampard-managed team 2-0 on Wednesday.
After the enigmatic victory at Tottenham on Sunday, Chelsea were again put on an uncomfortable space with the stubborn low-block defensive play from Southampton. Other than the Saints, the Blues also faced defeats at the hands of West Ham United and Bournemouth in their last four home league games.
Southampton’s talismanic forward Danny Ings was rested and Michael Obafemi was chosen as the replacement. Ralph Hasenhuttl’s decision paid off as Obafemi scored the first one of the night and his second Premier League goal ever to give the tourists the lead in the 31st minute.
They struck again in the 73rd minute with a brilliant team move that outplayed the dismal Chelsea defence. Nathan Redmond was on the scoresheet with a calm and composed finish.
Lampard’s Londoners had earned a substantial lead at the fourth position and were in a touching distance with third-placed Manchester City. But with regular defeats, Chelsea seem to have opened the door of a fight for the fourth place with teams like Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United posing a good threat.