'We want Brucie out' - Newcastle United fans vent frustration as Callum Wilson's injury proves costly
Steve Bruce had been on the defensive ahead of this afternoon’s game against Manchester United following Newcastle United's failure to sign any more senior players before the transfer deadline.
Bruce had responded to a lengthy statement from the winless club setting out its "approach” to the summer window at his pre-match press conference.
Newcastle fans feared the worst at Old Trafford, where the team was without the injured Callum Wilson. The club, however, had seemingly got its approach to this game just right as the half-time break neared – and the outcome may have been different had Wilson been up front.
Bruce’s side had frustrated their hosts, but mistakes in defence – and a failure to take chances – cost them, and Ronaldo settled a end-to-end contest, which was won 4-1 by Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s side.
Bruce, without Callum Wilson, Jonjo Shelvey and Ryan Fraser, made four changes – and named 18-year-old midfielder Joe White on the bench.
Solksjaer started Ronaldo, signed from Juventus last month in a £25million deal.
The first appearance of Ronaldo’s second spell at the club was greeted with much fanfare inside Old Trafford, which was filled with expectant home fans.
However, Man United supporters quickly became frustrated once the game kicked off. Newcastle, minute by minute, frustrated their hosts – and created chances of their own.
Joelinton should have done better with an early opportunity – the striker shot wide from just inside the area after linking with Allan Saint-Maximin – and Ronaldo missed the target with two chances.
United slowed the game down at every opportunity. Freddie Woodman took his time with every kick.
When they did break forward, they threatened. They created problems for Solksjaer’s team, and Joe Willock, still getting up to speed at the club following his summer move from Arsenal, put a shot over after nicking a ball from a throw-in.
Late in the first half, the only supporters signing were those in black and white tucked into one corner of the stadium.
But that all change in added time. Mason Greenwood tried his luck from outside the box, and Woodman fumbled his low shot. Ronaldo was first to the loose ball - and prodded it home.
It was tough on Newcastle, who had been excellent up to then. But they weren't done. Early in the second half, Miguel Almiron broke up the left before rolling the ball to Saint-Maximin. The overlapping Javier Manquillo then took the ball, and fired a low shot which beat David De Gea at his far post.
They were back in the game, but not for long. Luke Shaw broke out of defence and played in Ronaldo, who squeezed the ball through Woodman’s legs from 10 yards.
A stunning late strike from Bruno Fernandes, given too much time and space 25 yards from goal, ended any hopes of a comeback.
That strike sparked a chant of “we want Brucie out” from the away end, and Jesse Lingard added a fourth goal before the final whistle.
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Woodman, Manquillo (Murphy, 77), Hayden, Lascelles, Clark (Lewis, 84), Ritchie, S Longstaff, Willock, Almiron, Saint-Maximin, Joelinton. Subs not used: Darlow, Schar, Hendrick, Krafth, Fernandez, Gayle, White.