Sports Desk, Feb. 21 (efe-epa).- Bruno Fernandes on Sunday once again led Manchester United to a win, this one a 3-1 victory over Newcastle three days after blanking Spain’s Real Sociedad 4-0 in Turin in the Europa League Round of 16 competition.
The Portuguese striker has become the first Premier League player this season to figure in more than 25 goals as scorer or by lending an assist. On Sunday, he notched one more.
The home team showed some rather sloppy play in the first half, and the score was 1-1 at the half, but as the match progressed they seemed to recover their mojo and handily dominated Newcastle, who – despite the loss – played a rather scrappy match, although nowhere near the overall quality of the Manchester squad.
Marcus Rashford needed no help to get Man U on the board first after about 30 minutes of play with a nice opening tally on home turf, but Newcastle – way down on the table – responded well with Allan Saint-Maximin wasting no time to even things up just six minutes later.
It was Daniel James, on an assist by Fernandes, who got the home team back in front at Old Trafford after the break and then Fernandes who put the icing on the cake on a penalty kick in the 75th minute.
It was the debut match with Manchester United for Shola Shoretire, just 17 years old, who was sent onto the pitch during the match by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The win puts Man United in the second slot tied with Leicester, 10 points back from surging Manchester City, which beat Arsenal 1-0 on the road on Sunday.
Solskjaer opted to start the match with De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw, Fred, Matic, sending in Greenwood for Martial in the 70th minute, Mata for James in the 88th and Shoretire for Rashford in the 89th.
After the loss, Newcastle sits in 17th place, just three points ahead of Fulham, who is third-from bottom, but trying hard to claw their way out of the relegation zone. It was their eighth loss in the last 10 league matches.