Man Utd pair prove Erik ten Hag point to leave decision in Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s hands

Manchester United recorded a win over Newcastle in their final match of the season at Old Trafford and Erik ten Hag was left smiling following the 3-2 win in the Premier League

Erik ten Hag speaks to Bruno Fernandes of Manchester United after the team’s victory(Gareth Copley)

With his jacket and tie, Erik ten Hag was suitably dressed for a special occasion.

Whether or not that special occasion was his last game at Old Trafford as a Manchester United manager remains to be seen. The chances are that Sir Jim Ratcliffe and his growing entourage have already decided Ten Hag’s fate, and that even a trophy-winning finale to a loss-heavy season will not keep the Dutchman in position.




But at least the new co-owners and, more importantly, the fanbase, finally got a glimpse of what could be more buoyant times ahead – with or without Ten Hag. Newcastle will have considered themselves unfortunate to leave with nothing, but they were undone by the audacity of youth, combined with the know-how and intelligence of seniority.

They were undone by Kobbie Mainoo and Amad, combined with Bruno Fernandes and Casemiro.

One of United’s young players, Rasmus Hojlund, was actually given a breather for most of the night and Ten Hag would have been excused for taking no chances with players who were feeling the physical strain. He might have thought about resting the likes of Amad or Mainoo but it is just as well he did not.

In harness with those older operators, the teenage pair gave Ten Hag’s team a threat that has been rarely seen in recent fixtures. When the manager talks about promise in the pipeline, he has a point.

And no-one, of course, has more promise than Mainoo, who, not for the first time, flaunted his eye for the cool finish as well as his combativeness. The 19-year-old was indulged by some abysmal Newcastle defending but even though he was unattended, Mainoo – after an Amad pass had somehow found its way to him in glorious isolation – still had to compose himself and pick his spot.

Kobbie Mainoo fires home his fourth goal of the season(Getty Images)

And he did that meticulously. It was the most precise piece of work in an entertaining, error-prone first half, notable for Casemiro’s sterling defensive deeds.

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