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Chris Smalling (centre) sees a late header rebound off the post.
Chris Smalling (centre) sees a late header rebound off the post.
Image: PA Wire/PA Images

Man United drop first points of the season as Newcastle frustrate at Old Trafford

Louis van Gaal’s men could only muster up a 0-0 draw at home to Steve McClaren’s Magpies.
Aug 22nd 2015, 3:07 PM 6,731 54

MANCHESTER UNITED’S WINNING start to the Premier League season has ended as they were held to a frustrating 0-0 draw by Newcastle United at a sun-soaked Old Trafford.

The hosts, who gave Bastian Schweinsteiger a full debut, dominated the early stages and Wayne Rooney saw a goal ruled out for a tight offside, but Newcastle went close when Aleksandar Mitrovic headed against the bar.

Louis van Gaal’s side laid siege to the Newcastle goal in the second half, Tim Krul saving from substitute Javier Hernandez and Chris Smalling heading against the post, but Newcastle debutant Florian Thauvin was inches away from toeing in a late winner at the other end.

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Manchester United v Newcastle United - Old Trafford Javer Hernandez sees his strike saved. Source: PA Wire/PA Images

United had won their opening two league games 1-0, against Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa, before beating Club Brugge 3-1 in the first leg of their Champions League play-off in mid-week.

But they were let down by both their final ball and their finishing against Steve McClaren’s Newcastle, while Rooney has now gone 10 games without a goal for United in all competitions.

The point provisionally took United top of the table, but Leicester City will replace them if they avoid defeat at home to Tottenham later on Saturday.

Manchester City, who have also won their first two games, visit Everton on Sunday, while champions Chelsea, beaten 3-0 at City last weekend, travel to West Bromwich Albion.

© AFP, 2015

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