Newcastle United managed to end a five year wait between wins against Manchester United on Sunday as Matt Ritchie’s goal secured what could prove to be a priceless three points for the Magpies.
Rafael Benitez’s men put in one of their best ever performances under the Spanish manager to stun the side sitting second in the table with a 1-0 victory at St James’ Park, climbing up the table after kicking off in the bottom three.
There were several impressive performances on display, namely Jonjo Shelvey, for his expert passing and midfield contribution, and goalkeeper Martin Dubravka, marking his debut with a series of stunning saves and confident decisions to deny the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku.
However, while they will quite rightly pick up the majority of the praise, time must be taken to credit the display from Mohamed Diame, who has been an absolute revelation in the centre of the park.
After being dubbed as one of the weakest members of the first team squad by the Newcastle faithful earlier in the season, with the likes of Mikel Merino and Isaac Hayden ahead in the pecking order, he has been handed a regular starting role by Benitez in recent weeks, and has repaid the faith with commanding displays.
Against Manchester United he was at his powerful best, hassling, harrying and generally dominating the likes of Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic, throwing himself into tackles and demonstrating immense stamina to keep up his quality throughout the 90 minutes.
That allowed Shelvey to play his best football, pinging the ball across the field and sliding passes into his team mates to act as a constant thorn in the visitors’ side.
The duo are creating quite the partnership, and Diame must go down as the unsung hero of what appeared to be a quite unlikely victory at St James’ Park.
In other Newcastle United news, Jose Mourinho had some interesting words about the Magpies after their victory over his side.