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Manchester United have new roles for three FA Cup final starters after Newcastle win

Manchester United kept alive their hopes of qualifying for Europe through their league position by beating Newcastle 3-2 in an entertaining game at Old Trafford.

United took the lead through Kobbie Mainoo in the first half. Amad's pass was intended for Bruno Fernandes but found Mainoo in acres of space inside the penalty area and the academy graduate finished well.

Newcastle had their chances in the game and they equalised through Anthony Gordon, who finished smartly from a Jacob Murphy cross. Parity lasted only eight minutes before Amad thrashed in an unstoppable left-footed half-volley to put United back in front.

The victory looked to be sealed when Rasmus Hojlund came off the bench to score a third, narrowing a right-footed drive past the despairing Martin Dubravka, and although Lewis Hall got one back in injury time United held on.

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Fernandes finds cup final role

The official reason for Hojlund's absence was that it was a case of managing his workload, but the 21-year-old was left out after 10 successive starts while Alejandro Garnacho was starting for the 36th successive match.

With Anthony Martial's Manchester United career effectively over it left Ten Hag without a striker and he turned to Fernandes to fill the void. The role as a false nine worked well a couple of years after the Portuguese was played there by Ralf Rangnick, in a defeat to Manchester City and a draw with Leicester.

Fernandes dropped into the space away from the centre-backs to collect the ball and clip a pass in to create a chance for Garnacho in the first half and found the space in those areas well. One diagonal pass put Amad into space late in the

Read more on manchestereveningnews.co.uk