Newcastle 0 Man United 1
Newcastle United 0 Manchester United 1, St James´ Park, English Premier League, March 4, 2015. Louis van Gaal´s Manchester United edged out Newcastle United 1-0 at St James´ Park thanks to a late winning goal from England winger Ashley Young in the 89th minute of the tie. The win over Newcastle was Young´s 80th Premier League appearance for the club since his arrival from Aston Villa in June 2011.
Manchester United made the trip to the North East of England to face Newcastle United at St James´s Park on the 4th of March 2015, looking to gain their fourth Premier League away victory of the campaign. The Geordies were missing midfield players Remy Cabella and Jack Colback, as well as full back Massadio Haidara, for the encounter, while United were without the services of Netherlands international attacker Robin van Persie. In the reverse Premier League fixture of the 2014-15 season, Manchester United had comfortably beaten Newcastle by a 3-1 margin at home on Boxing Day with a double from Wayne Rooney and a single from Van Persie, and in the corresponding meeting the previous campaign, The Reds had trashed The Magpies by 4-0 at St James´ Park courtesy of a brace from Juan Mata and a goal apiece from Javier Hernandez and Adnan Januza. With the statistics firmly on their side, fourth positioned Manchester United were expected by most pundits around the country to emerge victorius from the tussle away to Newcastle United who were sitting eleventh in the Premier League table. There was some early drama in the game, though, as the Newcastle players appealed strongly for a penalty kick after Manchester United stopper Chris Smalling had mistimed his tackle and brought down former Saint-Etienne, Toulouse, and Monaco frontman Emmanuel Riviere inside the 18-yard area in the tenth minute of action, but match official Anthony Taylor awarded nothing at all. Manchester United had several decent scoring opportunities before the sound of the half-time whistle, but were denied by agile home netminder Tim Krul on each occasion, and the first half ended in a goalless stalemate.
Apparently, there was a spitting exchange between Newcastle and Senegal international forward Papiss Cisse and Manchester United´s Northern Ireland international Jonny Evans a few minutes before the intermission refreshments at St James´ Park, and the two players were suspended for seven and six games respectively by the Football Association following the incident. After the resumption of the play, Manchester United continued to create scoring chances for themselves, and Marcos Rojo, Angel Di Maria, and Wayne Rooney all came close to finding the back of the net. With the clock ticking towards the end of the tie, United eventually managed to produce a late winning goal as opportunistic flank forward Ashley Young took full advantage of a bewildered and hesitant Newcastle defence to strike the ball home in the 89th minute of the midweek fixture, giving Louis van Gaal´s multi million team a hard earned and much needed 1-0 away triumph. Despite the victory against Newcastle United, Manchester United remained in fourth position in the Premier League table with 53 points from 28 matches played. Roman Abramovich´s Chelsea were still in the lead with 63 points, five points ahead of second positioned Manchester City, and as much as nine points above Arsenal in third place. Newcastle United Team: Tim Krul, Daryl Janmaat, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini, Ryan Taylor, Mehdi Abeid, Moussa Sissoko, Sammy Ameobi, Gabriel Obertan, Papiss Cisse, Emmanuel Riviere. Substitutes: Freddie Woodman, Lubo Satka, Vurnon Anita, Jonas Gutierrez, Yoan Gouffran, Ayoze Perez, Adam Armstrong. Manchester United Team: David de Gea, Antonio Valencia, Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo, Jonathan Evans, Angel Di Maria, Ander Herrera, Daley Blind, Marouane Fellaini, Ashley Young, Wayne Rooney. Substitutes: Anders Lindegaard, Phil Jones, Juan Mata, Radamel Falcao, Adnan Januzaj, Michael Carrick, Paddy McNair.
Ashley Young Quickfacts
Born and growing up in Hertfordshire, Ashley Young kick-started his professional playing career at Watford before he signed with Aston Villa in January 2007. He joined Manchester United for an estimated transfer fee of around £20 million in June 2011 and made his Premier League debut for the club in a 2-1 triumph over West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns on the opening weekend of the 2011-12 campaign.