Gary Neville pinpoints where it went wrong for Man United against Newcastle

Manchester United dropped two valuable points in the race for a top-four finish over the weekend as Newcastle left Old Trafford with a draw, putting a long losing streak away to the Reds to an end.

Neither team created enough to win the game and a draw was probably a fair result in the end but United will be disappointed not to have created more chances after dominating possession.

As the game progressed, it was becoming increasingly clear that United were missing Christian Eriksen’s presence on the pitch, with his replacement, Fred, failing to replicate the Dane.

Eriksen has almost immediately become a vital figure for United and in that deep midfield role, he controls proceedings and starts almost all of United’s dangerous attacks.

Speaking after the game, former Reds skipper Gary Neville has pinpointed Eriksen’s absence as a contributing factor as to why United failed to grab a stranglehold of the game.

“It didn’t feel like a good performance from United. Eriksen didn’t play and it looked like they missed him,” Neville said on the Gary Neville Podcast, via The Metro.

“They had Fred, Casemiro and Fernandes, and I think when they’ve been doing really well – apart from at City, who are just a phenomenal team – Eriksen has been a big player.

“And when he doesn’t play you maybe realise how big a player he is, because he connects and glues the team together.”

SN’s verdict…
Eriksen’s importance to this side cannot be understated. It’s absolutely imperial that he returns to fitness as soon as possible and hopefully, he will have recovered from his illness to play against Tottenham on Wednesday.
It’s good to have a tenacious player like Fred in your squad but if you ask him to do the things Eriksen does with ease, you’re asking for problems.
United must also find a way to cope with the loss of key players. Rashford’s absence from the start was also felt.
More Stories Erik ten Hag Gary Neville Manchester United Newcastle Premier League