Miles Starforth’s match analysis: Newcastle United 0 Manchester United 1

WINNER ... Ashley Young.
WINNER ... Ashley Young.

ANTHONY Taylor probably won’t need to buy too many drinks at his local this week.

But Newcastle United’s fans probably felt like a stiff drink after last night’s 1-0 defeat at St James’s Park.

They saw their team match Manchester United for 89 minutes – only to concede a goal to Ashley Young.

The 1-0 scoreline didn’t tell half the story.

It could have been very different had the official from Wynthenshawe, which is just nine miles from Old Trafford, pointed to the spot early in the game.

It was as blatant a penalty as you will see in the Premier League – or any league – this season.

CLASH ... Jonny Evans and Papiss Demba Cisse.

CLASH ... Jonny Evans and Papiss Demba Cisse.

Yet Taylor – and his assistant Stephen Child – didn’t see it.

Certainly, 49,801 others inside St James’s Park saw Chris Smalling crudely stop Emmanuel Riviere early in the match.

No wonder Newcastle head coach John Carver was still “raging” long after the final whistle.

The game was also marred by a spitting incident involving Papiss Demba Cisse and visiing centre-back Jonny Evans, who tangled later in the first half.

It could have been very different had the official from Wynthenshawe, which is just nine miles from Old Trafford, pointed to the spot early in the game.

Supporters, at least, got to see Jonas Gutierrez return to the field just months after being given the all-clear after treatment for testicular cancer.

Gutierrez, fittingly, was handed the captain’s armband by his close friend and Argentinian countryman Fabricio Coloccini.

Carver opted to keep forward Ayoze Perez, given a “breather” at the weekend, in reserve, and again partnered Cisse with Riviere up front.

Ryan Taylor was handed his first start in more than three months against Angel Di Maria, a £59.7million player.

The game’s first moment of controversy came in the 10th minute, when Riviere was blocked in the box by Smalling after knocking the ball past the defender.

Taylor took a long look before waving play on.

It was a decision – or non-decision – few inside St James’s Park could fathom.

There haven’t been too many clearer penalties this season, and replays clearly showed that Smalling impeded Riviere.

While Taylor’s sightline was blocked, Child had a clear view of the incident.

Five minutes later Ander Herrera shot just wide from 20 yards, but chances were few and far between.

One fell to Cisse, who did the hard by by lifting the ball away from Evans. The striker, however, sliced his effort, and it flew well wide of David de Gea’s goal.

Cisse and Evans tangled later in the half, with both appearing to spit at each other. Neither was booked by Taylor.

Tim Krul stopped a header from midfielder Maroune Fellaini, and de Gea dived at the feet of Riviere after he was put through by Moussa Sissoko.

Riviere forced another save from de Gea early in the second half after getting a toe to a knock-down from Coloccini.

The match, finally, was coming to life.

And Krul pulled off a double save from Fellaini and Ashley Young in the 54th minute.

With the game opening up, Carver and van Gaal each made a change.

Perez replaced Riviere, and Adnan Januzaj came on for Di Maria, who was taunted by Newcastle’s fans with a chant of “what a waste of money” as he left the field.

Then came the change the stadium had been waiting for.

Gutierrez – who had been battling cancer in his native Argentina a few short months ago – was sent on to battle Manchester United to a standing ovation.

Within seconds, he had brought down Januzaj. He meant business.

The game was alive. Perez took the ball off Januzaj and raced upfield.

He rolled the ball to Cisse, who miskicked his effort, and the ball rolled wide of de Gea’s goal.

The visiting fans chanted “attack, attack, attack” in the latter stages.

And Man United attacked, but their goal was as much about Newcastle’s defending as their attacking, though it did come from a disputed throw-in.

Mehdi Abeid’s dreadfil pass across the six-yard box to Krul, whose kick found Young in space.

Young won’t score too many easier goals in his career.

But this certainly wasn’t an easy night for van Gaal’s side.

Twitter: @milesstarforth

NEWCASTLE UNITED: KRUL 7; Janmaat 7; Williamson 6, Coloccini 7, R Taylor 7 (Gutierrez, 65, 7); Obertan 6, Sissoko 7, Abeid 5, Ameobi 6 (Gouffran, 81); Riviere 6 (Perez, 59, 7), Cisse 5. Subs not used: Woodman, Satka, Anita, Armstrong.

MANCHESTER UNITED: De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Evans, Rojo (Carrick, 89); Herrera, Blind; Di Maria (Januzaj, 59), Fellaini (Mata, 82), Young; Rooney. Subs not used: Lindegaard, Jones, McNair, Falcao.

Man of the match: Tim Krul. Had it not been for his earlier heroics, Newcastle would have been behind long before he mishit Mehdi Abeid’s poor backpass.

Highlight: Jonas Gutierrez’s long-awaited, emotional and inspirational comeback.

Lowlight: The series of errors which led to Ashley Young’s winning goal.

Goal: Young 89

Bookings: Rojo 60, Gutierrez 67, Valencia 84

Referee: Anthony Taylor (Wythenshawe)

Attendance: 49,801