Ritchie's lone strike gives Newcastle shock victory over United

Monday, 12 Feb, 2018

Matt Ritchie running to celebrate his strike with the delirious St James' Park crowd, after putting Newcastle in the lead against Manchester United in the 65th minute yesterday.

Newcastle United's manager Rafa Benitez would have taken a victory against just about anyone on Sunday, such was his side's predicament, but a 1-0 win over Jose Mourinho's Manchester United would have tasted that bit sweeter.

Conceding United could have no complaints about the result, Mourinho said: "My verdict is that we could've been here for 10 hours and not scored a goal".

"When you play a top side like Manchester United you know every ball is important because if you make a mistake they will punish you".

Making his debut for the club against the Red Devils, the Slovak made a fine save from an Anthony Martial shot in the first half and was commanding inside the Newcastle box throughout the game.

Souness, whose last managerial role was with Newcastle back in 2006, says that Manchester United are missing a player who can sit in the attack and forge out opportunities for the likes of Romelu Lukaku, and has identified Eriksen as the missing piece of the puzzle at Old Trafford. They must have an wonderful feeling after giving absolutely everything.

"We had some (chances) with the score at 0-0. The double miss of Martial is incredible".

Ritchie's goal came from a free-kick awarded for a needless dive by United defender Chris Smalling inside his own half. "It was an intuitive thing", he said.

There was a warm handshake at the final whistle, though, between the two managers who have both managed Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Chelsea.

"He can buy the lottery and win today".

Yet they responded with a gritty display, riding their luck at times to take the points courtesy of Matt Ritchie's 65th-minute victor which propelled them from 18th to 13th.

"But still the team worked so hard and in this kind of game anything can happen".