4 Things We Learned From Newcastle's 1-0 Victory Over Manchester United on Sunday

Newcastle put a little bit of breathing space between themselves and the relegation zone with victory over Manchester United at St. James' Park on Sunday.


The Red Devils knocked on the door a number of times in the second-half but some stubborn defending and excellent goalkeeping allowed the hosts to hang on and take three crucial points.


Here are some things to take from the game...

1. Newcastle's New Number 1?

One fresh face on show at St. James' Park was that of loan goalkeeper Martin Dubravka. The Slovakian probably couldn't have asked for a more daunting opening fixture, but he handled it superbly.


He demonstrated excellent decision-making and solid shot-stopping, as well as looking comfortable with the ball at his feet.


It's been a bit of a problem position for the Magpies this season, but if Dubravka can replicate this kind of performance on a consistent basis, the club will definitely stave off relegation. He can be the calming inluence the defence has looked like it's needed.

2. Paul Pogba is No Longer an Untouchable Starter

Paul Pogba is idolised by Manchester United fans but, it seems, the view is not shared by manager Jose Mourinho, who hooked him once again in the second half of this game.


The same thing happened against Tottenham and last week he was dropped altogether against Huddersfield.


Many are saying that Mourinho isn't getting the best out of Pogba because of the system he is playing, but the Portuguese will not cave to the demands of the fans and it'll be down to Pogba to improve to save himself continual embarrassment.


The Frenchman has world class attacking ability, but that alone is not going to make him an indispensable player, as has been proven over the past few weeks.

3. Jonjo Shelvey is Key to Survival

Jonjo Shelvey was utterly brilliant against United on Sunday and it's clear he's going to be a big player for the Magpies going forward.


The 25-year-old was at the heart of everything, and appeared to get better and better the more the crowd acknowledged his contributions.


He can be a difficult player to love at times and has his moments of madness, but if he can reign all that stuff in for the final straight, then Newcastle will have a quality player on their hands ready to guide them away from danger.

4. Chris Smalling is Not the Answer for Man Utd

It was an appalling day at the office for Chris Smalling, and it hasn't been the first time this season, or last season, or the season before that.


Smalling was a promising player a few years back but he is absolute shadow of his former self, and appears extremely nervous on the ball.


He is slow, clumsy and it is beginning to really harm Manchester United. Jose Mourinho should really consider a Marcos Rojo-Phil Jones partnership next time out because Smalling looks like a fish out of water.

TOP ARTICLES