With the game against Manchester United last week, Newcastle United fans would be expectedly downcast as their team gave away a two-goal lead to lose 3 – 2 at Old Trafford.
Having gone all season without a win in all competition, with 2 draws and 6 defeats in the Premier League, the match offered an opportunity for the Magpies to register their first win for the season and get a kick off the relegation places.
With an unbelievable two goals in ten minutes – a dream start to the game and the first time the Magpies had gone into a game scoring first – it seemed like the Tyneside club were on course to get the three points.
However, a substitution by the Red Devils with the game – United midfielder, Juan Mata coming on in the 19’ minute – started the process toward United getting back into the game.
A sublime free kick in the second-half from the Spanish midfielder and the Red Devils had halved the two goals deficit.
Another from substitute striker Alexis Sanchez – after United’s winger, Anthony Martial had gotten the Reds back in the game – led to United picking up all three points.
After the game, in the post-match comments, Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez bemoaned the lack of quality players on the Magpies bench, players who could have come on to influence the proceedings in the game.
Twice the Magpies manager emphasized the need for quality recruitment into the squad.
“When they have top class players, this things (referring to Juan Mata getting the first goal) would happen.”
“They scored a great goal. And after they put (Marouane) Fellaini, they put Alexis (Sanchez), so many good players on the bench. And they come on, and they made the difference.”
This was one of the best Newcastle performances since the start of the season. However, the Magpies were unable to put the game to bed, due to the unavailability of quality signings to effect the needed change.
Magpies’ winger, Christian Atsu was brought on but the Ghanaian midfielder was only able to marginally effect play.
Much has been said about Newcastle owner, Mike Ashley unwilling to allocate funds towards player purchase and strengthening the squad.
He would look on bemused at the unavailability of quality signings on the bench, as United pulled off a remarkable comeback on the stroke of full-time.
With the billionaire owner, in the past week, having organized a formal dinner to build team morale, for the manager and his squad, he probably might be better off putting the money to use toward restructuring the club squad.