The two English heavyweights met at Old Trafford in a bid to strengthen their respective top 4 ambitions, but the match eventually ended 0-0.
Both sides failed to offer much in terms of offensive creativity, which led to an unexciting 90 minutes.
Despite the lack of goals, the match certainly wasn’t devoid of drama, as two incidents, in particular, stood out as controversial, with referee Craig Pawson at the centre of it all.
One of these was a penalty shout after Jadon Sancho was taken out in the Newcastle box, but Pawson quickly waved it away.
The second incident led to far more outrage, and fans are still puzzled by the referee’s indifference to it.
It occurred in the 49th minute after Newcastle were awarded a free-kick in close proximity to their goal.
Magpies’ centre-back Fabian Schar took charge initially and passed the ball back to goalkeeper Nick Pope, who appeared to be waiting for the referee’s whistle.
United striker Cristiano Ronaldo pounced upon the keeper’s confusion and nicked the ball away, eventually slotting it into the net.
To the surprise of everyone in Red, Pawson quickly flagged off the goal and proceeded to give Ronaldo a yellow leading to strong protests from the players.
The incident earned Pawson plenty of infamy amongst Manchester United fans, who simply couldn’t fathom the ref’s decision-making.
So you can imagine the elation United fans felt yesterday, as Pawson was seemingly ‘punished’ for his blushes in Manchester with a dip into the Championship’s tepid waters.
By the looks of it, the 43-year-old was demoted to 2nd division football, as he officiated Sunderland’s game against Blackburn.
United supporters on Twitter were overjoyed with the decision, and many stated that Pawson is in fact a Championship-grade referee.
His case certainly wasn’t helped by yet another refereeing blunder, as he appeared to have wrongly denied Sunderland a penalty.
Fans online felt a sense of vindication as Pawson got another call wrong, and calls for him to be permanently demoted grew even louder.
Safe to say, the ref won’t be looking forward to officiating a United game for years to come.