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Manchester United 4-1 Newcastle United: Reds return to winning ways

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Paul Pogba returned from injury, and the goals csme back with him.

Manchester United v Newcastle United - Premier League Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Manchester United recovered their early season form in Paul Pogba's long awaited return to the team, dispatching Newcastle United 4-1 at Old Trafford.

José Mourinho named a much changed team and matchday squad against the Magpies. Pogba went straight back into the starting XI following his recovery from injury, and both Zlatan Ibrahimović and Marcos Rojo were named among the substitutes. Due to injuries to Phil Jones and Eric Bailly, Victor Lindelöf and Chris Smalling were paired at the back. Up front, Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s surprise - if not undeserved - omission meant that Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford made a rare start together.

United made a bright start to the match, playing with more confidence than has been on display in several weeks. It was Newcastle who drew first blood, however. A slick attacking move down the right played in Deandre Yedlin, who crossed into a box. An untimely slip from Lindelöf then allowed Dwight Gayle to finish in off the post with just 15 minutes played.

The Reds did not panic after conceding their first league goal at home this season, and continued to dominate possession. Clear cut chances were hard to come by however, until Pogba created something out of nothing. The Frenchman showed some lovely skill and patience before putting in a pinpoint cross to the far post. Martial leaped above Yedlin to head home the equalizer - his first league goal this season as a starter.

In injury time at the end of the first half, United took the lead through an unexpected source. Ashley Young crossed from the left wing, and Chris Smalling, who had stayed up front following a corner, headed home expertly.

After taking the lead, United never looked back. Nine minutes after the restart, that man Pogba was at it again. Romelu Lukaku sprinted down the right in a counter attack and crossed for Rashford at the far post. Rashford cleverly headed down into Pogba's path, and the midfielder made no mistake to put United two goals ahead.

Pogba's day was done after 70 minutes. Having run the game, he went off to a standing ovation to be replaced by Marouane Fellaini. Seconds after the change, Lukaku ended his goal drought. Belgium’s record scorer won the ball back himself, patiently froze the goalkeeper, and blasted the ball into the net.

With United now cruising, it was time to reintroduce some old faces. Ibrahimović made his first appearance of the season, replacing Martial in the 77th minute to rapturous applause. Zlatan went straight up front, sending Lukaku wide right.

Ander Herrera came on for Juan Mata in the Mourinho's final change, giving the midfield robust look for the final few minutes. United saw the result out from there, happily back amongst the goals, and keeping pace with their rivals at the top of the Premier League table.