Cristiano Ronaldo’s first goal on Man Utd return in pictures
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Manchester United were too strong for Newcastle in their Premier League clash on Saturday. Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side now top of the table as a result. However, the result isn’t good news for every player of the squad.
Manchester United took the lead against Newcastle through Ronaldo, who tapped in from close range just before the interval.
Javier Manquillo then equalised, briefly silencing the raucous crowd in the process.
But Ronaldo fired United back in front and, from that moment on, it was one-way traffic.
Bruno Fernandes and Jesse Lingard also stuck to secure all three points, on what was in the end a positive day at the office.
But there are still four players who may struggle to get into the side in the wake of the result.
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Victor Lindelof recently sparkled for Sweden against Spain, picking up a man of the match award in the process.
But with Raphael Varane and Harry Maguire’s partnership having promising signs, the former Benfica star may have his work cut out when it comes to a starting berth.
Varane’s speed offers United’s defence a new dimension, while Maguire has long been an important figure for Solskjaer.
Some fans have suggested using Lindelof as a defensive midfielder.
But this isn’t FIFA and giving the centre-back a new role could backfire spectacularly.
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Nemanja Matic started for United against Newcastle in the absences of Scott McTominay and Fred.
McTominay was sidelined with a groin injury, while Fred was banned from playing.
Yet Matic’s performance was concerning.
While he broke up the play well enough, his lack of speed was exposed and he looked clunky on the ball in the middle of the park.
Matic didn’t play the ball forward enough for Solskjaer’s liking and that’s why he’s not expected to start many more Premier League matches this term.
Just how does Marcus Rashford get into this United side?
The England international still has so much potential at the age of 23 but Solskjaer’s attackers are all looking good.
Jadon Sancho produced his best performance for the club since joining from Borussia Dortmund, while Ronaldo is simply undroppable.
Then, there’s Mason Greenwood too.
Greenwood is the future of the club and has three goals to his name already. As a result, it’s hard to see where Rashford fits in.
Likewise, Edinson Cavani.
Cavani did well last term, netting 17 times across all competitions and rising to the fore in the wake of Anthony Martial’s injury in March.
But with Ronaldo already taking the Premier League by storm, he’ll struggle to play in the No 9 role.
Cavani doesn’t have the speed to play out wide, like Anthony Martial.
So it’s hard to envisage him starting many matches, especially given Solskjaer’s preference is to play with just a single striker.
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