Manchester United 3-2 Newcastle: Erik ten Hag avoids unwanted record with crucial victory

Hojlund was amongst the goals for Man United (REUTERS)
Hojlund was amongst the goals for Man United (REUTERS)

Manchester United claimed a morale-boosting win over Newcastle to leave them with a chance of qualifying for Europe on the final day of the Premier League season.

The Red Devils are now level on points with Eddie Howe’s side and only three points behind sixth-placed Chelsea as they prepare to travel down to Brighton to wrap up a turbulent campaign.

United had been at risk of losing a record tenth game at home this season but goals from Amad Diallo and Rasmus Hojlund secured all three points after Anthony Gordon had cancelled out Kobbie Mainoo’s opener.

Lewis Hall’s fine strike in extra-time made things interesting but the hosts ultimately held out.

The injury-ravaged hosts have lost 19 in all competitions this term and knew defeat on Wednesday would set unwanted records, as well as end any hope of continental qualification through the Premier League.

But as United's new decision-makers Ineos consider how to turn the club around, there was a glimpse of what could have been - and perhaps could yet still be - under Ten Hag as they ran out 3-2 victors against Newcastle.

It was far from perfect but Mainoo put United into a deserved lead midway through a first half that saw Gordon's penalty appeals rejected and a Dan Burn header cleared off the line by Casemiro.

Gordon drew Newcastle level early in the second half and Sofyan Amrabat's block sent an Alexander Isak strike looping onto the bar as Erik ten Hag's team wobbled, only for Diallo to laser the hosts back ahead.

Recently criticised substitute Hojlund drove home a third as the clock wound down, meaning Lewis Hall's wonderful stoppage-time strike was only a consolation.

The win puts eighth-placed United level on 53 points with Newcastle in seventh, but they are well behind on goal difference heading into the final day of the season.

Additional reporting from PA