Joy for Benitez as Newcastle stun Mourinho's United, Liverpool cruise

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David Klein Reuters

PAUL POGBA'S substitution against Newcastle was NOT down to injury, according to Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho.

Matt Ritchie running to celebrate his strike with the delirious St James' Park crowd, after putting Newcastle in the lead against Manchester United in the 65th minute yesterday.

"My verdict is that we could've been here for 10 hours and not scored a goal".

The one player who many decided was at fault however was Chris Smalling, who had a bad game - and it was said defender who Mourinho actually defended following the game, and made it clear he thinks defenders have to give away fouls at some point - and it seems that the main annoyance for the United boss was actually that the side managed to lose balls in the air - something they simply don't expect and something the manager will not accept.

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"I loved the way Newcastle fought for 90 minutes and I loved the way my players fought for the last 25 minutes to change the result". "The double miss of Martial is incredible".

Ritchie's victor came from a clever flick by Dwight Gayle after Jonjo Shelvey's lofted free kick had been headed down in the area.

While United's defending of the free-kick which saw Ritchie score the only goal of the game was shambolic enough, the manner in which it was conceded was equally as farcical. "It was an intuitive thing", he said. "Players (who do it) in the box deserve a card more than Smalling in that situation", Mourinho added.

Victory was a huge relief for Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez against a man with whom he has often clashed.

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Newcastle dug deep for their manager and debutant keeper Martin Dubravka made several superb saves.

"He can buy the lottery and win today".

"They fought for their points and when they went in front, they gave their lives to keep a clean sheet".

"We worked as hard as other games, but against a team like Manchester United every ball is important, they can punish you, so you work like them".

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