Alexis Sanchez saves two careers at Newcastle

Kenedy showed excellent composure to find the net as he capitalised upon slack defending from the United players

And for 70 minutes of this game, the biggest team in this country turned in a performance of such abject misery that they might as well have had a corpse for a manager and cadavers for players. Then, just when it seemed that all was lost, the players who seemed to have forsaken their manager breathed new life into him.

Sanchez's late goal may serve to ease the pressure on manager Jose Mourinho following his side's recent bad form

Whether their stirring comeback from 2-0 down to 3-2 winners will be enough to save him remains to be seen. It was tempting to think that United and Mourinho were only saved here because they finally came up against a club even more dysfunctional than they are.

Similarly, there has been a lot of speculation about Alexis Sanchez Old Traffors career. Many felt he would be offloaded to a yet unknown destination as early as the winter break. But his impact at Newcastle may have just prolonged his stay at Old Trafford.

Sanchez has endured a frustrating spell at United but proved to be the decisive figure in his side's victory against Newcastle

And for almost three quarters of this match, Mourinho played silly games with his substitutions and his players played as if they had no love for their boss and no pride in their shirt. They played as if they had given up. They played as if they wanted Mourinho gone.

United boss Mourinho was delighted to see his side show great spirit in the second half to take all three points on Saturday

But in the end, they roused themselves. In the end, some instinct rose up inside them and they dredged up the victory that may prolong Mourinho’s tenure. Whether that just prolongs the agony of a managerial regime that seems to have run out of energy and run out of friends is a question for another day.

Sanchez's goal sparked jubilant scenes amongst the United players as their run without a victory came to an end

The reality is that this was still pretty desperate stuff from United. On the weekend when Liverpool and Manchester City play out a top of the table clash, this was poor man’s fare. United were lucky Newcastle were so dire and so low on confidence. Their comeback flatters them. They are still a world away from the best teams in the division.

The 22-year-old is congratulated by his Newcastle team-mates after putting the visitors in front against United

This was just a papering over of the cracks. This was a three goal rally that makes things more difficult for Ed Woodward and his embattled Old Trafford regime. Defeat to Newcastle would have made it easier for him to end the agony. This makes it more difficult.

United manager Mourinho was livid as his side conceded two early goals against Newcastle in a woeful start to the game