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Wednesday 16 August 2017

Krul blow as United ride their luck

Young nets winner as LVG's men play poorly

Ashley Young fired Manchester United to a last-minute victory at Newcastle to maintain their charge for a top-four finish.

The game looked to be heading for a draw when Magpies keeper Tim Krul could only stab a hurried clearance straight to the wing-back, who steered the ball past him to secure a precious 1-0 Premier League win.

The Holland international had earlier cast himself in the role of hero after pulling off a stunning double-save to deny first Marouane Fellaini and then Young on a night when Papiss Cisse and Jonny Evans became involved in an ugly spat which could yet have repercussions.

But having survived strong 10th-minute appeals for a penalty for Chris Smalling's challenge on Emmanuel Riviere, the visitors extended their recent run to just two defeats in 22 games in all competitions with the victory they craved.

Wayne Rooney looked to be the man most likely to break the deadlock during a first half in which the visitors dominated possession.

With Ander Herrera and Fellaini, who was preferred to Radamel Falcao, using the space in the middle of the field to feed Antonio Valencia and Angel Di Maria down one wing and Marcos Rojo and Young down the other, the Magpies found themselves having to defend deep and in numbers.

However, Louis van Gaal's men might have paid had referee Anthony Taylor viewed Smalling's 10th-minute challenge on striker Riviere inside the penalty area in the same way as the locals.

Television replays suggested Taylor had got it wrong, but Newcastle had little time to reflect upon their misfortune as United surged forward with Herrera slicing wide with 15 minutes gone. But it was Rooney who passed up two glorious openings inside four minutes as he first shot wide from close range after Young had helped on Di Maria's cross, and then allowed to ball to get away from him as he attempted to flick it around defender Mike Williamson.

Cisse smashed a left-foot shot from distance wide 10 minutes before the break, but then became involved in an angry exchange with Evans, with television pictures suggesting both men had spit, although not necessarily at each other.

But the most significant goalmouth action came in the final minutes of the half with Krul turning away Fellaini's firm header at one end before De Gea managed to block Riviere's shot as he slipped after running on to Moussa Sissoko's beautifully weighted through-ball.

Rojo had Krul looking anxiously towards his top corner within two minutes of the restart when he unleashed a swerving left-foot shot.

However, it was De Gea who had to be at his best two minutes later to repel Riviere's stabbed effort after Fabricio Coloccini had headed on Ryan Taylor's free-kick. But Krul then prevented the visitors from taking a 54th-minute lead when he parried Fellaini's shot on the turn, and then recovered in time to block Young'sfollow-up.

Di Maria departed four minutes later as Adnan Januzaj took his place, but it was the arrival of Jonas Gutierrez for the first time since October 2013 following his successful battle against testicular cancer which caused the bigger stir.

Newcastle should really have been ahead three minutes later when sub Ayoze Perez broke from his own half and slipped Cisse in, but the 11-goal Senegal international scuffed his shot horribly wide.

Krul was finally beaten at the death when he could only scuff Abeid's ill-judged back-pass to Young, who fired into the empty net to win it.

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