Willock, Wilson goals earn Newcastle 2-0 win over Man United

NEWCASTLE, England (AP) — Joe Willock and Callum Wilson scored second-half goals to lead Newcastle to a 2-0 win over Manchester United in the Premier League and above its rival in the race for Champions League qualification on Sunday.

Willock’s 65th-minute header, for his third goal of the season, and a second from substitute Wilson in the 88th inflicted just a second defeat in 17 games in all competitions on Erik ten Hag’s team and gained Saudi-run Newcastle a measure of revenge for its English League Cup final loss to United at Wembley Stadium in February.

It was a deserved victory, too, for the Magpies, who created the better chances in the game and might have gone ahead through Alexander Isak, Sean Longstaff and Willock before they broke the deadlock in front of a home crowd of 52,268.

Newcastle is now tied on 50 points — one more than the team collected during the whole of the last campaign — with United, but has a significantly better goal difference with both having 11 games to play.

Marcus Rashford, who withdrew from the recent England squad through injury, was named in Ten Hag’s starting lineup, while Newcastle manager Eddie Howe kept faith with the 11 who started the 2-1 win at Nottingham Forest last time out.

That meant only a seat on the bench for in-form midfielder Joelinton on his return from a two-match ban.

Both teams made early inroads in an enterprising start to the game, with Rashford and Antony menacing in wide positions for the visitors as Isak stretched their defense.

Longstaff miskicked in front of goal after Isak headed down Kieran Trippier’s sixth-minute cross at the end of a flowing counterattack, seconds after Sven Botman dived in to block as Marcel Sabitzer burst into the Newcastle penalty area.

A fiercely contested game saw both teams employ high presses when out of possession with time at a premium for defenders and, as Allan Saint-Maximin started to find his feet, it was the home side which began to exert sustained pressure.

David de Gea had to palm away Isak’s header from Jacob Murphy’s 16th-minute cross, with the Spaniard also managing to block Willock’s follow-up, and he was grateful to be able to field Saint-Maximin’s curling effort in short order.

Murphy blasted a 25th-minute shot over from Bruno Guimaraes’ layoff and United needed the calming influence of Raphael Varane to guide them through a testing period.

Longstaff blasted just wide from distance after Saint-Maximin had rolled the ball square for him with seven minutes of the first half to go, and the Frenchman set up Willock two minutes later, but saw him clear the crossbar from much closer range.

Antony was unable to hit the target with a first-time effort from Luke Shaw’s corner as a pulsating half drew to a close.

Saint-Maximin continued to torment Diogo Dalot without finding the killer final ball as the second half unfolded, and although Nick Pope had to collect a speculative attempt from Antony, defender Fabian Schar went close from distance with the Magpies pressing once again.

Ten Hag made his move with 28 minutes remaining when he sent on Jadon Sancho and, making his first appearance since February 1, Anthony Martial for Antony and Wout Weghorst, but his side fell behind three minutes later.

Guimaraes ran on to Isak’s astute pass and lofted the ball to the far post, where Saint-Maximin headed it back for Willock to turn home from point-blank range.

De Gea produced a superb reaction save to turn Joelinton’s header on to the crossbar before Schar’s stooping effort came back off the post to keep the visitors in the game, but he was beaten for a second time at the death when Wilson nodded home from Trippier’s corner.

___

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up