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Struggling Manchester United salvage a point at St. James’ Park

Horrible performance, and only a point against 19th placed Newcastle.

Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo shows frustration during their Premier League clash with Newcastle United at St. James' Park in Newcastle, England, December 27, 2021. /CFP

Ralf Rangnick accused his Manchester United stars of lacking aggression after Edinson Cavani rescued a 1-1 draw at struggling Newcastle in the English Premier League on Monday.

Rangnick’s side trailed to Allan Saint-Maximin’s eye-catching early goal and were outplayed for long periods at St James’ Park.

Cavani came off the bench to bag his first goal since October in the second half, ensuring Rangnick avoided a first defeat in four games as United’s interim manager.

But United remain in seventh place in the Premier League, seven points behind fourth-placed Arsenal with two games in hand.

Rangnick had won his first two league games since taking over from the axed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but neither performance was especially convincing and this was another underwhelming effort.

The game started really poorly from United, who looked like they’d not trained regularly or played in weeks, and Newcastle took full advantage. Allan Saint-Maximin cut in past Maguire to strike in the 7th minute for the home side, punishing a sloppy defensive recovery from the Reds. In all fairness to the Frenchman it was a lovely taken goal off balance, but the defense left a lot to be desired in their attempts to deal with the situation.

Newcastle didn’t let up for most of the first half, and Saint-Maximin had acres of space down United’s right hand side. The set up from the Reds left Dalot high up the pitch nearly the whole game, meaning Varane had a lot to cover for. The structure

The match ended 1-1 despite 6 minutes of added time, and it probably deserved to end as such. A relegation side and a shambolic top end side, both transitioning to new managers and new systems. United also likely rusty with players recovering from Covid, missed training sessions, and isolated/interrupted training, but the performance was shockingly bad still. Has to be better.

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