By Jack Wilkinson
Newcastle United 0-2 Manchester United: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer claims fourth win
Report and highlights as Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford seal victory at St. James' Park
Last Updated: 03/01/19 7:51am
Manchester United made it four wins from four under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with a 2-0 victory over Newcastle at St. James' Park that saw the interim manager emulate Sir Matt Busby.
Substitute Romelu Lukaku scored with his first touch on 63 minutes, 38 seconds after coming on, before Marcus Rashford wrapped up the three points 10 minutes from time.
The victory sees Solskjaer become only the second manager in Manchester United's history to win their first four games in charge, after Busby in 1946, and sees sixth-placed United move to within six points of the top four.
Newcastle, who have now won just one of their last eight league games, stay 15th, just two points clear of the relegation zone.
Newcastle: Dubravka (5), Yedlin (5), Schar (5), Lascelles (5), Dummett (5), Ritchie (6), Hayden (5), Diame (5), Atsu (6), Perez (5), Rondon (5).
Subs: Shelvey (6), Kenedy (5), Muto (n/a).
Man Utd: De Gea (6), Valencia (6), Jones (7), Lindelof (7), Shaw (6), Herrera (6), Matic (6), Mata (6), Pogba (6), Martial (6), Rashford (8).
Subs: Lingard (n/a), Sanchez (6), Lukaku (7).
Man of the Match: Marcus Rashford.
Manchester United had not tasted victory on Tyneside since March 2015, and that looked set to continue as they rode their luck in a first-half performance in stark contrast of those seen in Solskjaer's first three games.
Christian Atsu could have had a first-half hat-trick, but the Ghana international was twice thwarted by David de Gea before dragging a shot wide inside the opening 20 minutes.
Anthony Martial lofted an effort onto the roof of the net midway though the half before Salomon Rondon did the same with a header 10 minutes before the interval.
There were signs that Manchester United were just starting to build some momentum before the break, and that continued in the second half with Rashford flashing a shot wide on 52 minutes.
Fabian Schar replaced the injured Federico Fernandez at centre-back in Newcastle’s only change from the draw at Watford. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made three changes to the Man Utd side that beat Bournemouth, as Antonio Valencia, Phil Jones and Juan Mata were recalled.
Solskjaer brought Lukaku and Sanchez off the bench on 63 minutes, and the former had an immediate impact, punishing Martin Dubravka after he spilled a dipping Rashford free-kick in the six-yard box.
Rashford then got himself on the scoresheet, applying the finishing touch at the end of a rapid counter on 80 minutes as Solskjaer extended him dream start to life at United with a fourth win and a first clean sheet.
- Newcastle have lost eight of their 11 home Premier League games this season (W2 D1) - only in 2012-13 (9) have they lost more at St James' Park in a single campaign in the competition.
- Manchester United have won four consecutive Premier League games for the first time since April 2018 (a run of 5).
- Manchester United have won 68 of their 100 Premier League games in January - more than any other team has won in the month.
- Newcastle have picked up just one win in their last eight Premier League matches (D3 L4).
- Rashford has been directly involved in 10 goals in his last nine matches in all competitions (5 goals, 5 assists).
- Lukaku has had a hand in 11 goals in 12 Premier League appearances versus Newcastle (7 goals, 4 assists).
Rafa Benitez: "We made a mistake for the first goal and then conceded on the counter attack which happens when you play good players. They punish you. We had chances in the first half, you lose 2-0 but we deserved more. If you analyse how we concede it's not clear chances. It's mistakes."
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: "Finally we kept a clean sheet. A very professional performance. We didn't hit the heights that we can do but we were in control, kept plugging away and got the goals."
Man of the Match - Marcus Rashford
Rashford had a hand in both of United's goals as his renaissance under Solskjaer continued. The England international led the line against a physical Newcastle defence with the maturity of a seasoned centre-forward. Rashford has spoken of his desire to play as an out and out striker for his club, if he continues in this manner, those demands will simply have to be met by Solskjaer.
The third round of the FA Cup sees Newcastle host Blackburn (5.30pm) and Manchester United entertain Reading (12.30pm) on Saturday.
Newcastle resume their Premier League campaign away at Chelsea on January 12 (5.30pm), while Manchester United take on Tottenham at Wembley the following day, live on Sky Sports.