English Premiership

Rooney hands Magpies a mauling

2014-12-26 19:28
Wayne Rooney (AFP)
Wayne Rooney (AFP)

Manchester - Wayne Rooney scored twice as Manchester United rewarded manager Louis van Gaal's decision to grant his players Christmas Day off by beating Newcastle United 3-1 on Friday.

Rooney, relishing the deeper midfield role which he has been assigned recently, effectively decided the contest with two lethal finishes and set up a third goal for Robin van Persie in the second half.

But although United won for the 18th time in their last 21 Boxing Day outings, they were obliged to survive a spirited opening quarter to the match from Alan Pardew's visitors.

Rooney settled nerves with an excellently worked 23rd-minute opener, but United had lived dangerously up to that point, despite enjoying a glut of possession.

The visitors looked dangerous on the counter-attack and United were fortunate to avoid conceding a penalty when Juan Mata appeared to clip the heels of Yoan Gouffran, sending the Newcastle man clattering to the ground.

Just six minutes later, United were indebted to the ever-impressive David de Gea as the Spanish goalkeeper flew to his right to keep out a magnificent 25-yard shot from Daryl Janmaat, who had been set up by Newcastle's teenage debutant Adam Armstrong.

The 17-year-old Armstrong was an unwitting accomplice to the opening goal, showing brilliant pace to beat Paddy McNair but then wasting possession by shooting directly at the legs of a United defender.

It proved a costly decision by the teenager as Rooney broke upfield and squared the ball for Mata, who, in turn, launched an accurate pass into the area for Radamel Falcao.

The Colombian forward seemed poised to shoot from a tight angle, but instead squared the ball for Rooney to convert into a gaping goal.

It was an impressive assist from Falcao, who could have single-handedly put the game beyond Newcastle in the first half, given the amount of half-chances that came his way.

On 13 minutes, he should have done better from Ashley Young's left-wing cross, appearing to duck out of the way of the winger's fiercely hit centre.

Then, shortly after United had taken the lead, the on-loan Monaco striker did connect with a cross from Young, only to glance his header just wide of the far post.

Rooney, however, did not need a second invitation to double United's lead after 36 minutes with another goal orchestrated by a magnificent Mata pass.

After Falcao won the ball back, Phil Jones found Mata, who waited for Rooney to arrive and slipped through a perfect assist for the England captain, who made no mistake with a clinical 12-yard finish.

It did not take long for United to punish Newcastle further in the second half, with Rooney this time the provider.

He advanced, paused, and then lifted an inviting pass forward for Van Persie, who steered a header past the dive of Jak Alnwick.

Not for the first time, a brilliant Young cross was wasted as Van Persie and Falcao both failed to make a connection.

Meanwhile, Rooney, seeking a hat-trick, went close with a 19-yard free-kick that soared over the wall and dipped onto the roof of the Newcastle goal.

Van Persie also spurned a glorious chance, completely mis-kicking with an attempted volley, while Ayoze Perez, one of the few bright points on the day for Newcastle, forced De Gea into a rare piece of action, low at the foot of his near post, as the game wore down.

The visitors' consolation finally came, five minutes from time, after Jones needlessly tripped Jack Colback and substitute Papiss Cisse convincingly beat De Gea with a penalty into the top-right corner.

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
Friday, 22 February 2019
Cardiff City v Watford, Cardiff City Stadium 21:45
West Ham United v Fulham, London Stadium 21:45
Saturday, 23 February 2019
Burnley v Tottenham Hotspur, Turf Moor 14:30
Newcastle United v Huddersfield Town, St. James' Park 17:00
AFC Bournemouth v Wolverhampton Wanderers, Vitality Stadium 17:00
Leicester City v Crystal Palace, King Power Stadium 19:30
Sunday, 24 February 2019
Chelsea v Brighton & Hove Albion, Stamford Bridge 14:00
Arsenal v Southampton, Emirates Stadium 16:05
Manchester United v Liverpool, Old Trafford 16:05
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2018/19 season?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.