Newcastle 1-1 Man Utd: Player ratings as De Gea heroics save poor visitors

Jacob Murphy hits the post late on for Newcastle
Jacob Murphy hits the post late on for Newcastle / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

An impressive performance from David de Gea helped Manchester United recover from a goal down to earn a 1-1 draw at Newcastle, who will feel they should won their encounter at St James' Park.

Allan Saint-Maximin fired the Magpies into the lead in just the seventh minute, capitalising on some shocking defending from the visitors to bend into the far corner, but a host of missed chances eventually allowed Edinson Cavani to level the scores midway through the second half.

Were it not for De Gea, Newcastle could have been out of sight, with a world class save late-on from Miguel Almiron's bending effort the highlight of a fantastic individual display.

Buoyed on by a vibrant home crowd, Newcastle were hot out of the traps, clearly keen to put the pressure on a side who hadn't played a competitive game for 16 days because of Covid-19 related match postponements.

It was a plan that yielded early success as United started the game in a slow and ponderous fashion.

Raphael Varane's dawdling on the ball saw Sean Longstaff rob him of possession, and he quickly fed the ball into Saint-Maximin, who shifted the ball inside Harry Maguire before firing a terrific shot into the far corner.

Jonjo Shelvey then stung the hands of De Gea, rifling a shot on goal from 25 yards out, although the rest of the half lacked any real quality; A Callum Wilson goal being rightly chalked off for offside the only other thing of note.

Indeed, United were absolutely abysmal - having struggled to string together two passes let alone give Martin Dubravka anything meaningful to do - but it was Newcastle's intensity in and out of possession that had given them the upper hand.

Ralf Rangnick reacted by bringing Jadon Sancho and Edinson Cavani on at the break, but it should have been 2-0 to Newcastle just a minute into the second half when Emil Krafth did brilliantly to cut the ball back from the byline.

But instead of slotting into the back of De Gea's net, Saint-Maximin failed to put any power on his close-range effort, allowing the Spaniard to palm the ball away from goal.

A spate of yellow cards followed as the game became stretched, with Newcastle then left to rue not extending their lead. A classy ball over the top from Bruno Fernandes reached Diogo Dalot, and he found the unmarked Cavani; the Uruguayan stabbing home from 12 yards at the second time of asking.

United had chances to turn the game around, though nothing was clear cut, and it was instead De Gea who came to the fore as Newcastle pressed late on.

Having saved a number of times from Saint-Maximin, he quickly got back to his feet after Jacob Murphy's bending effort had hit the post, tipping the resulting follow-up from Almiron around the post to ensure it finished all-square in the North East.

Here's how both sides rated on the night...

Newcastle player ratings

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

Martin Dubravka
Dubravka was busy in the second half / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

Martin Dubravka (GK) - 6/10 - Quick off his line to smother at Greenwood's feet after having precious little to do in the first half. Had more to do in the second half, most of which he did well.

Emil Krafth (RB) - 7/10 - A superb burst to the byline almost set Saint-Maximin up for a second Toon goal. Good both ways.

Fabian Schar (CB) - 6/10 - Kept United quiet for a good 55 minutes or so before the pressure was turned up. Did nothing wrong.

Jamaal Lascelles (CB) - 7/10 - Cleared countless balls away and maintained a good defensive line for Newcastle. One heart-stopping miscommunication with Dubravka was dealt with.

Javi Manquillo (LB) - 6/10 - Most of the chaos seemed to happen around Manquillo, who was disciplined in his work.

2. Midfielders

Joelinton looks reborn in midfield / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

Sean Longstaff (CM) - 7/10 - Pounced on Varane's dithering to set Saint-Maximin up for Newcastle's opener. Pretty switched on as the intensity increased.

Jonjo Shelvey (CM) - 6/10 - A bit sloppy on the ball at times, gifting possession away or making the wrong decision. Did sting De Gea's palms with a fizzer.

Joelinton (CM) - 8/10 - Who would have thought that playing on the left side of a central midfield three would bring out the best in Joelinton? Impressive showing that was full of industry and running.

3. Forwards

Allan Saint-Maximin
Saint-Maximin was electrifying throughout / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

Ryan Fraser (RW) - 7/10 - Showed terrific energy from the off, chasing down balls and looking stretch to United's backline. Pressed relentlessly.

Callum Wilson (ST) - 6/10 - A lively 45 minutes saw Wilson link up well with Saint-Maximin, but his evening was cut short by an apparent calf injury.

Allan Saint-Maximin (LW) - 8/10 - How good is this guy to watch? Given the opportunity to cut inside and shoot but take nothing away from the finish - it oozed class. Somehow missed early doors in the second period but was a danger throughout. Limped off late on.

4. Substitutes

Jacob Murphy, Scott McTominay
Murphy challenging McTominay in the air / PAUL ELLIS/GettyImages

Jacob Murphy (45') - 7/10 - Buzzed around brightly after replacing Wilson on the stroke of half-time and saw plenty of the ball. Bent a brilliant late effort against the frame of the goal.

Miguel Almiron (74') - 6/10 - Saw a wonderful late bending shot palmed around the post by De Gea.

Dwight Gayle (83') - N/A

Man Utd player ratings

5. Goalkeeper & defenders

Harry Maguire
Maguire instilled little confidence / PAUL ELLIS/GettyImages

David de Gea (GK) - 8/10 - No chance with Saint-Maximin's goal but very alert throughout. Good handling as low shots peppered him for a 20-minute spell before he produced a world class stop to deny Almiron.

Diogo Dalot (RB) - 6/10 - The Portuguese had one hell of a battle on his hands as Newcastle looked to utilise the skill of Saint-Maximin at every opportunity. Did well in fairness and then bagged an assist.

Raphael Varane (CB) - 4/10 - Had his pocket picked by Longstaff and could only look on in horror as Newcastle opened the scoring. Looked off the pace on his return.

Harry Maguire (CB) - 4/10 - Showed Saint-Maximin inside for the goal when he needed to do anything but. Just looks so, so shaky.

Alex Telles (LB) - 5/10 - Tried to get down the left flank and offer an outlet but quality was short - like most others in red.

6. Midfielders

Marcus Rashford
Rashford's goal return during 2021/22 is poor / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

Fred (CM) - 5/10 - Recycled the ball adequately though it was often sideways or backwards - symptomatic of United's lack of ambition in the first 45. Hooked at the break.

Scott McTominay (CM) - 7/10 - Snappy in the tackle, McTominay was again the one who actually had a bit of oomph about him.

Marcus Rashford (AM) - 4/10 - Played in a deeper role on the right (kind of) and looked bereft of confidence, minus a rasping long shot that stung Dubravka's palms.

Bruno Fernandes (AM) -
4/10 - Did one really good thing all game, lofting the ball over the top for Dalot to find Cavani. Spent the rest of the game whinging about decisions.

7. Forwards

Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo was desperately poori in the first 45 minutes / Ian MacNicol/GettyImages

Cristiano Ronaldo (ST) - 3/10 - Quite possibly one of his worst opening 45 minutes of the past 15 years. Didn't stop moaning and, thinking about it, didn't improve after the break.

Mason Greenwood (ST) - 4/10 -
Offered very little threat in the first 45 minutes but was he worse than Ronaldo? Definitely not. Subbed at half-time.

8. Substitutes

Jadon Sancho (45') - 6/10 - Clever movement inside opened up space for Dalot on the flank, though he's still looking for his Dortmund spark.

Edinson Cavani (45') - 7/10 - Took up intelligent positions in the penalty area, and after scuffing his first real sight of Dubravka's goal, didn't make the same mistake twice when left alone 12 yards out.

Nemanja Matic (77') - N/A