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Diallo Stars As United Bag Narrow Win

Written by on May 16, 2024

Eager to end their three-game winless streak in the league, Manchester United welcomed Newcastle United to Old Trafford for their penultimate Premier League clash of the season on Wednesday night (May 15). Erik ten Hag’s boys could not put on a show for their fans, but thanks to the Magpies’ poor finishing and a masterclass from Amad Diallo, they limped their way to a much-needed 3-2 victory.

Manchester United Enjoy A Bright Start At Old Trafford

Ten Hag‘s side took a while to settle in, not creating anything of note in the first few minutes. Their first opportunity came in the 10th minute, as Sofyan Amrabat headed the ball into the area, prompting Casemiro to attempt an overhead kick. The Brazilian’s audacious attempt sailed over the bar for a harmless goal kick. In the 27th minute, Alejandro Garnacho went one-on-one with the goalkeeper down the left flank, but the Argentine could not escape the clutches of Martin Dubravka.

The breakthrough inevitably came in the 31st minute, thanks to a brilliant bit of play by Diallo. The winger cut in from the right flank and picked out an unmarked Kobbie Mainoo inside the area, leading to a simple finish. The goal sent Old Trafford into pandemonium, but the home team could not build on it.

Newcastle United’s Lackluster Finishing Cost Them Three Points

Only a couple of minutes after conceding, Newcastle almost pulled one back, as Sean Longstaff’s low drive flashed across the goal. All it needed was a simple tap-in. Then, Amrabat gave the ball away only 20 yards from goal, prompting Casemiro to attempt a risky tackle on Anthony Gordon inside the area. Luckily for the hosts, he won the ball cleanly. Casemiro came to United’s rescue once more in the 37th minute as he spectacularly cleared Dan Burn’s header off the goal line.

Newcastle got their equalizer in the 49th minute, with Gordon tucking away Jacob Murphy’s cross from close range. United, however, responded just eight minutes later, as Diallo scored his first Premier League goal on the half-volley from a Bruno Fernandes cross. Newcastle’s Longstaff and Miguel Almiron had two great chances to equalize before United fired their third goal. In the 84th minute, Rasmus Hojlund received the ball from Fernandes, beat Burn, and found the bottom-right corner through Lewis Hall’s legs.

Hall scored a left-footed screamer from outside the box in added time to put pressure on United. But the home team defended with all their might to deny a turnaround.

At Old Trafford, Newcastle created more big chances (6 vs 2), had more shots (21 vs 17), completed more passes (384 vs 186), had more possession (56% vs 44%), and finished with a considerably higher xG (2.37 vs 1.45). But they fumbled their lines when it mattered the most.

Amad Diallo Was A Class Apart Against Magpies

Diallo, who joined Manchester United from Atalanta BC in January 2021, started only his second Premier League game on Wednesday night. The 21-year-old made the most of the opportunity, producing a Man of the Match performance. He was eager to get on the ball, always looked to run at the opposition, combined well with his teammates, and directly contributed to two goals.

Over the course of the game, Diallo created two chances, had two shots on target, pulled two dribbles, won four duels, and completed 24 passes with 80% accuracy. If he can keep himself injury-free— missed four months because of injuries/fitness issues this season — he will definitely be in contention to become a Manchester United regular next season.

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