Interim manager Ralf Rangnick saw Edinson Cavani come off the bench to rescue Manchester United from defeat to claim an undeserved point at relegation-threatened Newcastle.
The trip to the Magpies was United’s first game for 16 days following an outbreak of Covid-19 at the club, with their rustiness clear for all to see.
Sean Longstaff capitalised on Raphael Varane’s error to set up Allan Saint-Maximin to score a stunning goal just seven minutes in.
The Magpies had chances to double their lead but half-time sub Cavani swept the ball past Martin Dubravka to equalise before David de Gea made a series of stunning saves to rescue a point at the Premier League strugglers.
Here, Daily Star Sport looks at four things Rangnick got wrong that led to the defeat…
Rangnick recalled Raphael Varane to the starting line-up for the first time since October in a Premier League game.
Varane has been sidelined since going off injured away at Atalanta, but Rangnick opted to deploy him as soon as he had returned to fitness for the trip to Newcastle.
That proved to be the wrong decision though, with Varane giving the ball away to Sean Longstaff who set up Allan Saint-Maximin to open the scoring for the hosts.
Varane was shaky throughout, losing four of his defensive duels and half of his aerial duels as he struggled on his return to action.
Who was your man of the match as Newcastle held Manchester United to a draw? Let us know in the comments section…
Ralf Rangnick's brilliant effort to contact Man Utd players during Covid isolation
Mason Greenwood has struggled to find a place in United’s team since Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival at Old Trafford.
But he was finally given a chance by Rangnick for the clash with the Magpies, partnering Ronaldo up front.
The Englishman put in a poor performance at St James’ Park though, having just one shot on target in the first-half and a pass success rate of an astonishingly poor 63 per cent.
Greenwood’s display will have done him no favours in earning the trust of Rangnick, who hauled him off at half-time.
Failing to find a cutting edge
Arguably United’s biggest problem under Rangnick has been a lack of goals, with the Red Devils scoring just three times in the three outings under the German heading into the trip north.
That trend continued at St James’ Park, with United managing just one shot on target in the first-half.
A look at their Expected Goals ratio tells the true story of their struggles going forward, with the Red Devils xG from open play being an astonishingly low 0.05 before the interval.
The visitors failed to get their attacking players to spark, with star man Ronaldo having only 19 touches of the ball before the break.
No Saint-Maximin plan
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Diogo Dalot has emerged as United first-choice right-back since Rangnick replaced Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the Old Trafford hotseat.
The Portugal international has risen above Aaron Wan-Bissaka in the pecking order, with his attacking attributes earning him the new manager’s trust.
But while Wan-Bissaka has earned a reputation for his defensive performances, Dalot struggled badly against Newcastle’s star winger Saint-Maximin.
United appeared to have no plan to deal with one of the Magpies' biggest threats, with Dalot frequently left to deal with Saint-Maximin single-handedly, with the Frenchman getting the better of him time and time again.
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