When Dwight Gayle fired Newcastle into the lead at Old Trafford inside 15 minutes it looked like the unthinkable was going to happen.
Could a Magpies side, which was so poor against Burnley and Bournemouth, actually claim the scalp of one of the Premier League’s big teams?
It wasn’t as unthinkable as it sounded.
Newcastle tend to do better against the bigger sides, if recent history is to be believed.
I mean, the goal was hardly a thing of beauty. Manchester United’s resident defensive liability Victor Lindelof slipped, allowing Gayle to collect the ball and fire home past David De Gea.
As said, it wasn’t a beauty, but nobody in black and white cared.
Unfortunately, we’re Newcastle and this season surprise quality performances just don’t exist.
In the 37th minute, Paul Pogba crossed the ball and Anthony Martial was on hand to head in an equaliser.
We, in true Newcastle style, had collapsed and we looked like we were simply squaring up for more blows.
As such, it was no surprise when Chris Smalling met an Ashley Young ball on the stroke of half time and Newcastle went into the break behind.
The normality of the Premier League had been restored. Newcastle were the weaker side again, and losing accordingly.
The second half saw events simply get worse for the Magpies when Pogba – returning from nine weeks out with injury – found the net in the 54th minute, before Romelu Lukaku scored a fourth.
By now, Newcastle were well-beaten and were lucky to keep it at that scoreline for the remaining 20 minutes.
We were poor once more and we were comfortably brushed aside, walking away with nothing.
Normally, that wouldn’t have been as concerning as earlier results.
You don’t go to Old Trafford with the same expectation of winning points as you do going into games against Burnley and Bournemouth – anything you do win is simply a bonus.
However, having given them that early scare and finding the first goal, you gained a bit of hope of causing an upset and such a collapse, to leave losing by a margin of three goals is a little upsetting.
With winnable games against Watford and West Brom coming up for the Magpies, one just has to hope that we can take positives from the fact we at least have found the net in this game – even if we did suffer a heavy defeat.