Manchester United 3-2 Newcastle United: Rasmus Hojlund ends goal drought as home side wins thriller

After all the grief he received for his positioning on Sunday against Arsenal, Casemiro was a surprise starter at central defense given that Lisandro Martinez was available and had demanded to play against the Gunners.

Martinez’s conversation with Ten Hag before this match could only be guessed at and when the Brazilian wandered into midfield in the opening minutes and then gave the ball away to set up a dangerous Newcastle counter-attack, the selection been even more closely monitored.

Yet rather than exit the game, Casemiro drew on his vast experience to play a leading role for the rest of the first half.

Perfectly positioned to head Dan Burn’s header over the line just inches before it became a goal, Casemiro then produced a brilliant tackle on Anthony Gordon which denied Newcastle a shooting chance with only Andre Onana to beat.

Howe was convinced his team should have had a penalty as part of that decision and presumably shared Wolves’ feelings in questioning the validity of VAR as Jarred Gillett chose not to overturn Rob Jones’ on-field decision that Sofyan Amrabat had not unlawfully obstructed Gordon.

Casemiro also came close with an overhead kick and when he sees the replays he may wonder if Trippier will be subjected to the same vilification he has received over the past three days.

The overall result means Manchester United have something to play for on the final day, which doesn’t always seem to be the case.

And, as Ten Hag pointed out at the start of his team appreciation tour, his team ends their season at Wembley in the FA Cup final against Manchester City, when he promised his team would “give it their all”.

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