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Player Ratings: Newcastle United 1-0 Manchester United

Smalling and Pogba both poor at St. James' Park

Newcastle United v Manchester United - Premier League Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Manchester United slipped to their second consecutive away defeat with a 1-0 loss at Newcastle United. Mourinho’s winless streak continues at St. James’ Park as Matt Ritchie’s second-half goal was enough to give the Magpies all three points. Chris Smalling had a miserable afternoon, Paul Pogba overcomplicated things and Martial was wasteful in front of goal, here are our player ratings:

David De Gea: 6.5

The leading clean sheet holder in the top European leagues was unable to add another to his list. He was helpless to prevent Matt Ritchie’s close range strike, which was well taken. He made some good saves in the game, including an early attempt from Shelvey.

Antonio Valencia: 5.5

United’s captain was effective defensively against the lively Kennedy, but was unable to influence the game going forward.

Chris Smalling: 4

Smalling endured a terrible game. He should’ve conceded a penalty in the first-half, needlessly bringing down Dwight Gayle just inside the box; thankfully for the Reds, the referee waved it away. The only goal of the game resulted in a set-piece, which Smalling caused after being booked for diving. Looked shaky and nervous throughout.

Phil Jones: 6

Better than his center-back partner. Provided some good blocks and tried to carry Smalling at times in the backline. However, Jones can look uncomfortable without a strong presence around him.

Ashley Young: 5

Defensively sound, but wasteful at times going forward. Got better as the match progressed and United’s attacking threat increased.

Nemanja Matić: 5.5

Matic provided Martial with a sensational through ball in the first-half, which the Frenchman was unable to convert. Solid but struggled at times with Newcastle’s energetic, busy midfield. Substituted after 77 minutes for McTominay.

Paul Pogba: 4

Very poor performance from the midfield maestro. Mourinho decided to make another statement with Pogba, replacing him after just 66 minutes, shortly after United conceded. Overcomplicating the game at times, he was unable to find his usual creative drive. Newcastle frustrated him from early on and seemed this seemed to affect the rest of his game.

Anthony Martial: 5.5

The in-form player had the best of United’s chances. Martial squandered a chance in the first-half after latching onto a wonderful through ball by Matić. He could've quite easily found his name on the scoresheet two or three times.

Jesse Lingard: 5.5

After having such a prolific Christmas and January period, Lingard is enduring some fruitless performances. Unable to influence the game in the number 10 role, he looked somewhat lost at times.

Alexis Sanchez: 6

Once again, Sanchez was United’s most likely player to turn the game around. Since signing, he has offered the Reds consistent movement, trickery and threat going forward. The Chilean had a few chances, including one mazy run which ended with a shot deflected just wide of the post. He should have scored after a Lukaku through ball set the winger up perfectly, but he wasted his chance.

Romelu Lukaku: 6

Held the ball well at feet but was uncharacteristically beaten in the air on multiple occasions. Fed a good ball through to Sanchez, who should’ve converted but had little sights at goal himself.

Michael Carrick (Sub, 66'): 5.5

The veteran looked composed on the ball, but his Rolls Royce like style of play was not what United needed after going a goal down. Almost leveled with one of the last kicks of the game, but was superbly denied by the goalkeeper.

Juan Mata (Sub, 66'): 5.5

Buzzed around endlessly to help provide United with creativity.

Scott McTominay (Sub, 77'): 5

The youngster looked to add another dimension to United’s attacking play but was helpless at this point to influence the game.

José Mourinho: 4

Reverted to his traditional formation once more, which backfired. Pogba roamed without creating, leaving Matic isolated defensively. Jesse Lingard struggled in the attacking midfield role, without having room to run at players, he found it difficult to influence. His substitutions were ineffective; yes, Paul Pogba was poor, but going a goal down, United needed creativity and Pogba has the ability to change a game at any stage.