Manchester United conceded a 90th minute goal that concluded a 3-3 draw with Newcastle United in what was an entertaining, absorbing and end-to-end encounter at St James’ Park.
Goals from Wayne Rooney and Jesse Lingard put the Reds ahead but the Magpies fought back to draw level through strikes from Georginio Wijnaldum and Aleksandar Mitrovic. The captain then hit a superb goal that looked to secure three important Barclays Premier League points until Paul Dummett struck a deflected shot off Chris Smalling and past David De Gea with seconds to play.
St James’ Park came together before kick-off to hold a minute’s applause in tribute to Pavel Srnicek, the much-loved former Magpies goalkeeper who sadly passed away following a heart attack on 29 December aged just 47. The Czech was a cult hero during his two spells as a player on Tyneside and, fittingly, his image also adorned the cover of Tuesday night’s official match programme.
Louis van Gaal made three changes to his starting XI by recalling Ashley Young, Morgan Schneiderlin and Lingard, but it was his ever-present captain, Rooney, who broke the deadlock from the penalty spot on nine minutes after Chancel Mbemba handled Marouane Fellaini’s header inside the box. A neat finish into the right-hand corner clinched Wayne’s 240th Reds goal and a third in as many games.
Newcastle could have conceded a second penalty on 25 minutes when Dummett’s hand struck the ball in the area as Fellaini was rather harshly cautioned for a foul on the Magpie. Rooney then scuppered a clear opportunity by shooting wide when through on goal, before Georginio Wijnaldum forced an excellent close-range save from David De Gea on the Spaniard’s 200th United appearance.
Jesse Lingard doubled the advantage on 39 minutes by latching onto Rooney’s neat pass to convert a fine finish past Rob Elliot, scoring his second senior goal in the process. Newcastle responded well, however, and hit back just before the break as Wijnaldum struck Fellaini’s header past De Gea to notch his eighth goal of the season, all of which have been scored at St James’ Park.