Manchester United returned to winning ways with a 4-1 triumph over Newcastle United on Saturday afternoon. While the game saw the return of Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo in the matchday squad, and there were a couple of notable absentees in the form of Eric Bailly and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
In a report covered by The Manchester Evening News, Jose Mourinho explained that it was a tactical decision to drop Mkhitaryan, who had scored for Armenia in back-to-back friendlies against Belarus and Cyprus earlier this month. Meanwhile, Eric Bailly is understood to have suffered another injury during the international break, although he was suspended for Ivory Coast’s World Cup qualifier game versus Morocco.
With both Jones and Bailly injured, United started the game in a relatively slow fashion with a slip from Victor Lindelof allowing Dwight Gayle to open the scoring. After a few more jittery moments, United got a stranglehold in the game with goals from Anthony Martial and Chris Smalling providing a 2-1 lead prior to the break.
The second-half was pretty much one-way traffic with Paul Pogba finding the scoresheet after a long injury lay-off while Romelu Lukaku ended his seven-match goalless streak for United with a bullet finish from close range.
Manchester United are now up to 26 points for the campaign, but they still trail league leaders Manchester City, who maintained their eight-point lead courtesy of a 2-0 victory at Leicester City.