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Man United keeps hopes for European football alive

Manchester United secured a dramatic 3-2 victory over Newcastle United in a Premier League match that was not short of action and intensity. Despite a late scare, the Red Devils managed to hold onto their lead, thanks to crucial goals from Kobbie Mainoo, Amad Diallo, and a late clincher by substitute Rasmus Højlund.

Tense moments at Old Trafford

The match at Old Trafford saw Manchester United initially take the lead in the 31st minute through a stroke of luck that fell to young midfielder Kobbie Mainoo, who made no mistake from close range. This early advantage, however, was short-lived as Newcastle equalized through Anthony Gordon just after the break, capitalizing on a sluggish start by United in the second half. United regained the lead in the 58th minute with Amad Diallo's first competitive goal for the club, a crucial strike that came from a corner kick. The goal provided a temporary cushion until Rasmus Højlund, who had just replaced Amad Diallo, added a third for United with a well-placed shot in the 84th minute, seemingly sealing the win.

Late drama

Despite appearing to have the match under control, United faced intense pressure in the final moments. Newcastle’s Lewis Hall found the net in the second minute of injury time, setting up a nail-biting finish. The match's intensity was mirrored by several substitutions and bookings, with United's manager Erik ten Hag making strategic changes to combat Newcastle’s attacking threats. Goalkeeper André Onana was a standout performer, making several key saves to deny Newcastle, including a crucial sequence in the 68th minute where he prevented a goal from Sean Longstaff and then a header from Joelinton.

VAR controversy

The match also had its share of controversy with a penalty call for Newcastle being overturned by VAR in the dying minutes, sparing Manchester United from a potential equalizer. The decision was critical as it helped United clinch all three points in a match where their defensive vulnerabilities were once again exposed.

European football

With this victory Man United still has a chance of getting European football via the Premier League. If Man United wins the FA Cup final against Man City, they are automatically qualified fort he Europa League. If Man City wins the final, the Europa League tickets goes to sixth placed Premier League team and number 7 will get Conference League football. Man United is equal on points with 7th place Newcastle United, only the goal difference is a lot better for Newcastle. So when Newcastle drops points and Man United wins on the weekend, they are secured of European football.