Newcastle Shock Man Utd To Leap Out Of Relegation Zone
Matt Richie scored a dramatic second-half winner as Newcastle stunned Manchester United to move out of the relegation zone at St James’ Park on Sunday.
Rafa Benitez’s side had slipped into the bottom three after Huddersfield’s 4-1 victory over Bournemouth earlier in the day, but Ritchie’s first goal of the season was enough to move his side up to 13th.
Manchester United created the better chances and generally looked more threatening in the first period, but the talking point of the opening 45 minutes was Craig Pawson’s decision not to give the hosts a penalty when Dwight Gayle was clipped inside the box by Chris Smalling.
Earlier in the half Newcastle’s debutant goalkeeper Martin Dubravka – on loan from Sparta Prague – had denied Anthony Martial when the Frenchman was released by Nemanja Matic.
After the restart Alexis Sanchez was presented with a golden chance when he rounded the goalkeeper but Florian Lejeune was well positioned on the goal-line to make a crucial sliding challenge to deny the Chilean.
And Newcastle were finally rewarded for their committed performance when Chris Smalling conceded a free-kick for an alleged dive, the set-piece delivery found its way into the path of Ritchie who was left unmarked in the penalty area to slide the ball past a helpless David De Gea in the 64th minute.
It was a memorable debut for Dubravka who pulled off a great save to deny substitute Michael Carrick from point-blank range at the death, as Newcastle held on for a famous victory. The loss means Manchester United fail to make up any ground on champions-elect Manchester City who remain 16 points clear at the top of the Premier League.