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Player & Manager Ratings: Newport County 2 – 4 Manchester United

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In a tense FA Cup fourth-round clash, Manchester United narrowly avoided an upset at the hands of League Two’s Newport County, ultimately securing their progression in the competition.

The game began with United in high gear, as they quickly established a 2-0 lead thanks to the finesse of Bruno Fernandes and Kobbie Mainoo within the first 13 minutes. Despite Alejandro Garnacho hitting the woodwork and United’s initial dominance, Newport County, spurred on by a vibrant home crowd at Rodney Parade, mounted a remarkable comeback.

The gap on the league table, which separates the two teams by 73 places, seemed irrelevant as Bryn Morris’ strike deflected off Lisandro Martinez to beat debutant United goalkeeper Altay Bayindir at the 36-minute mark. The energy at Rodney Parade reached fever pitch just two minutes into the second half, when Adam Lewis’ cross was capitalized on by Will Evans, drawing Newport level to the delight of their fervent supporters.

However, United managed to restore their lead in the 68th minute. Antony was quick to pounce on a rebound off the post from Luke Shaw’s effort, putting the ball past Newport’s Nick Townsend. Rasmus Hojlund later cemented United’s victory with a close-range finish, following Omari Forson’s attempt being thwarted by Townsend.

Despite the late fightback, Newport County couldn’t mount another response, allowing United to breathe a sigh of relief as they booked a fifth-round spot against either Bristol City or Nottingham Forest.

The player ratings from the match reflected a range of performances:

– Altay Bayindir: 6/10

– Diogo Dalot: 6/10

– Raphael Varane: 5/10

– Lisandro Martinez: 7/10

– Luke Shaw: 6/10

– Kobbie Mainoo: 7/10

– Casemiro: 6/10

– Bruno Fernandes: 7/10 (Man of the Match)

– Antony: 6/10

– Hojlund: 6/10

– Garnacho: 5/10

Substitutes Willy Kambwala, Scott McTominay, Omari Forson, Jonny Evans, and Harry Maguire were not rated due to their brief appearances.

Erik ten Hag, getd a 5/10 rating. His team’s performance was below par as usual, they almost squandered a lead against a tier-2 team, indicating vulnerabilities despite fielding a strong lineup.

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