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Listless Manchester United slump to defeat at Newcastle

Listless Manchester United slump to defeat at Newcastle

Steve Bruce celebrated his 400th match as a Premier League manager with Newcastle United’s 1-0 win over Manchester United on Sunday.

Matty Longstaff, who was making his top-flight debut, lashed home from 20 yards after 72 minutes to lift his hometown team out of the relegation zone and prolong the visitors’ abject start to the 2019-20 season.

The defeat leaves Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s languid squad 15 points adrift of league-leading Liverpool and only two points above the bottom three.

Bruce waited 23 matches to record a win over his former club from the dugout. He likely never imagined it would be so straightforward when it finally arrived.

Manchester United lacked urgency and creativity. Their greatest source of invention came from weathered full-back Ashley Young, who played six key passes before his 85th-minute substitution, and only Andreas Pereira, Daniel James, and Mason Greenwood called Martin Dubravka into action with one shot on target each.

Harry Maguire blew United’s best chance when he headed over from around four yards.

Newcastle, meanwhile, were occasionally entertaining. Allan Saint-Maximin’s elaborate stepovers were met with appreciation by the St James’ Park faithful and the Longstaff brothers – Sean and match-winner Matty – fought valiantly in the middle.

Owen Humphreys – PA Images / PA Images / Getty

Longstaff, 19, became the second-youngest player to notch a winning goal against Manchester United in the Premier League when Jetro Willems slid an inviting ball to the edge of the box. The teenager’s finish, a vicious effort that skimmed the turf as it traveled past David De Gea, was a beauty.

“I think getting to play with Sean was unbelievable,” the younger Longstaff told BBC Sport after he fired Newcastle to victory. “We used to kick each other in the garden growing up so to be on the same team, for our hometown club, and to win against Man United, who are a good side, is a bit surreal.

“I found out I was in the team after training yesterday. Your belly starts to turn a bit, you get a bit nervous and then you don’t sleep much. I dreamed about it last night, this is kind how it of went.”

Newcastle will reconvene after the international break to prepare for a trip to Chelsea on Oct. 19. Manchester United face a tough visit from rivals Liverpool a day later.