Manchester United registered their fourth consecutive win in the Premier League post-Jose Mourinho era. New gaffer Ole Solskjaer has also made it to the history books in Old Trafford, surpassing managers like Alex Ferguson and predecessor Jose Mourinho by winning first four matches as a Manchester United boss. Solskjaer now holds the record with the great Sir Matt Busby and with an upcoming match against Reading in the FA Cup third round the Norweigan has the opportunity to set a new record in beloved Old Trafford.

The Red Devils had their characteristic fluent start but could not break the deadlock at the St. James Park in the first half. It was a quite cagey affair as the Toons also didn’t have any out and out chance to take the lead.

The second half brought more thrills and spills to the game. Newcastle forward Salomon Rondon had a golden opportunity to give his side the lead when he freed his marker Phil Jones inside the penalty area. But the Venezuelan took too much time to pull the trigger and allowed Jones to recover from his mistake and stick out a foot to keep the ball away from goal.

Not much was happening in the game however Christian Atsu was the most active player for the Toons as the former Chelsea man was looking like making things happen in the final third. But it was not their day as substitute Romelu Lukaku scored the opener after Newcastle custodian Matin Dubravka fumbled from Marcus Rashford’s free-kick. The second goal was the last nail in the coffin for the Toon as Alexis Sanchez and Rashford both teamed up as the later found himself in free space and slotted the ball past the goalkeeper.

The main highlights of the game were:

First Clean-sheet For The New Boss

There has been a difference in their playing style since the arrival of Solskjaer but something which went missing in the previous three victories was a clean sheet. There were issues with the backline and it was evident even on the days when the team were head and shoulders above their opponents. However, the clean sheet eventually came and it was a commendable effort from the defenders to hold out the Toons and limit them to minimum chances in the entire game.

Top 4 Battle Fires Up, As Chelsea Drops Points

During Mourinho’s time at the club this season, the Red Devils were languishing a lot below the top four but now with Solskjaer’s arrival the team has shown a new belief and there is a drastic difference in their body language. Manchester United now looks like a team which can challenge for the top four spots and with rivals like Arsenal and Chelsea dropping points it is only helping Solskjaer’s cause. The Blues played out a 0-0 draw against Southampton meaning that the difference between United and them are cut short to six points. With fixtures coming thick and fast it will be interesting to see how the top four spots look like at the end of the season.

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Rafael Benitez’s Men Were Wasteful In Front Of Goal

The Toons started the game commendably and they had almost each and every answer to United’s questions until Solskjaer brought in Lukaku and Sanchez. But Newcastle only had themselves to be blamed, Benitez has struggled to find a proper goalscorer in his ranks. This season he has trusted on-loan forward Salomon Rondon, who has bagged six goals this season. But the Venezuelan had a golden opportunity to take the lead but his delay in taking the shot proved to be the point of difference in the early stages of the match when it was pretty even.

Former Chelsea man Christian Atsu had some moments where he threatened the United back-line and was looking like the player to create something out of nothing. The Toons missed the cutting edge going forward and it was more evident on the night.

Super Subs Lukaku And Sanchez Changed The Course Of The Game

The Red Devils had a comparatively easy ride in tormenting their opponents in the previous three wins. But here against Newcastle, it was a cagey affair and something which tested Solskjaer’s tactical brain. Renowned for his super sub-abilities during his playing days, the Norweigien went with that idea and brought in Lukaku and Sanchez late int he second half. The Belgian forward scored in his first touch of the ball. Sanchez also had his impact when he teamed up with Rashford and assisted the youngster for the second goal. It was a masterstroke from the caretaker manager under pressure and he came out with all guns blazing.