Harry Maguire and Manchester United were warned of wasting time just 20 minutes into their clash with Newcastle on Saturday evening. The Red Devils were being bombarded by Eddie Howe’s outfit at St James’ Park and the England centre-back took matters into his own hands to slow the game down and give his team-mates a breather.
Alexander Isak had just had an effort come close to breaching Andre Onana’s goal and the pressure was building on the visitors, having already come close to giving away a penalty when Diogo Dalot kicked the ball into his own arm but it was adjudged to have been accidental.
After Jamaal Lascelles had headed over the bar, Maguire took the moment to go down onto his knee and tie his shoelaces. He was taking some time and the Newcastle faithful showed their frustration, before the referee went over to the United defender.
The official warned Maguire of wasting time and slowing the pace of the game down, with United under the cosh and struggling to prevent Newcastle from breaking forward.
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It was a frustrating first half for United, who had travelled to the match by bus rather than plane as planned due to poor weather conditions. They started poorly and Newcastle attempted to get an early breakthrough, though Maguire as one of United’s top performers prevented them from doing so.
However, it is not the best look from Erik ten Hag’s side to be in such dire need of respite against Newcastle that they are forced to break up play and waste time, with the Dutchman wanting them to play on the front foot.