Cristiano Ronaldo booked in bizarre incident during Man United v Newcastle
Man United 0-0 Newcastle.
Manchester United and Newcastle United played out an evenly-fought Premier League encounter on Sunday afternoon at Old Trafford. Neither side found the net but there were plenty of talking points from the match.
Man United and Newcastle arguably both should have been awarded penalties, while Cristiano Ronaldo endured another frustrating afternoon for the Red Devils.
Man United v Newcastle: First half.
Ronaldo returned to the Man United team to make just his second Premier League start of the season, and his first at Old Trafford.
The Portugal captain was presented with a commemorative trophy by Alex Ferguson before the game to mark Ronaldo scoring his 700th career club goal last week against Everton.
When the match started, the ex-Real Madrid forward was on the edge of the game and misplaced most of the passes that did come his way in a frustrating first half.
Ronaldo, however, was not alone in sloppy play in a frantic half where both sides failed to gain control of the proceedings. There were a lot of fouls, and play regularly broke down.
Casemiro and Fred, in particular, appeared to struggle to cope with the intensity of the match and the effective pressing from Eddie Howe's team.
Newcastle were the better side, and were unfortunate not to be awarded a penalty after Raphael Varane appeared to foul Callum Wilson.
The away side also came the closest to scoring. Kieran Trippier's free-kick from outside the Man United penalty area connected with the home team's wall before Joelinton's follow-up header hit the crossbar.
The Magpies were on top when half-time came, with most of the Man United team appearing off the pace.
Man United versus Newcastle: Second half.
The second half continued at the same pace. Wilson dragged a shot wide a few minutes after the match restarted and Ronaldo had the ball in the net twice, but both efforts were ruled out.
The Portugal forward scored a goal that was correctly ruled out for offside. His second effort, however, was more contentious. Newcastle appeared to take a short free-kick and the ball was at Nick Pope's feet.
Ronaldo ran over and knocked the ball past Pope and passed it into an empty net.
The referee, however, booked Ronaldo for the incident, as the whistle had seemingly not been blown for the free-kick to be taken.
Ronaldo trying to do a Nani vs Tottenham by scoring from a free-kick after the ball was rolled to Pope. Possibly had a case but got booked by Pawson. Pope has form for time-wasting at Old Trafford. #mufc
— Samuel Luckhurst (@samuelluckhurst) October 16, 2022
The Man United players were furious and surrounded the referee Craig Pawson.
Man United were enjoying their best spell of the game and continued to put pressure on Newcastle, but they lacked a cutting edge when they reached the final third.
Jadon Sancho appeared to have been fouled by Sean Longstaff in the Newcastle penalty area, but neither the referee nor VAR awarded a spot kick.
The game then descended into a tit-for-tat series of fouls from both teams, with Bruno Fernandes booked for a late challenge on Bruno Guimaraes.
Ronaldo was substituted for Marcus Rashford after 72 minutes and looked extremely frustrated as he left the pitch. His teammates couldn't find the winner against a side that could be rivals for a European spot this season.