Both sides had opportunities to score and both could have found the back of the net through their Brazilian midfielders. Joelinton hit the crossbar and the post in the same sequence in the first half before Fred failed to score with the goal at his mercy late on.
Kieran Trippier created four chances from right-back, including the opportunity for Joelinton, and may have been left wondering how he did not pick up an assist by the end of the match.
Whilst the England international was sublime on the right and put in another classy performance for the Toon, central defender Sven Botman was the true hero for Howe’s side.
The Dutchman, who was previously described as “dominant” by journalist Josh Bunting, bullied United’s forwards and was an absolute rock at the back for the Magpies as they kept a clean sheet at Old Trafford – ending a three-match winning run for the hosts.
Nick Pope only had two saves to make in the match and that was, in large part, due to Botman’s superb defending at the back as he was regularly putting out fires alongside Fabian Schar.
Defensively, the Dutch machine was unbeatable throughout the 90 minutes as he won 100% of his individual duels. No United player was able to get the better of him in a 50/50 clash and he also made three clearances, two blocks, and one interception – as per SofaScore.
This shows that he was switched on at the back as his positioning allowed him to make vital interventions to prevent an opposition player from getting a shot away at Pope’s goal.
On the ball, Botman was not fazed by playing away at Old Trafford as he completed 83% of his attempted passes and only lost possession seven times from 50 touches. He completed an eye-catching five of his long pass attempts, as he showcased the quality of his range of passing, while creating one chance at the top end of the pitch.
Therefore, the former Lille man was Howe’s real hero in the match as his defending was crucial to the side picking up a point and a clean sheet from the match.