Alexis Sanchez rescued Manchester United – and perhaps under-fire Jose Mourinho – in a thrilling 3-2 comeback win against embattled Newcastle.
Off-field issues have been compounded by poor performances in recent weeks, but senior figures strongly denied a report in the build-up that the manager would lose his job this weekend regardless of the outcome here.
Newcastle, lifeless and winless heading to the north-west, looked set to ratchet up the pressure on Mourinho and sent United into a tailspin after deservedly racing into a two-goal lead through Kenedy and Yoshinori Muto.
But Old Trafford was rocking during a second half that will live long in the memory as Juan Mata and Anthony Martial struck before Sanchez snatched a last-gasp winner.
This could prove a huge moment in Mourinho’s United career, although there remains big questions to answer after a pathetic first-half display in which Kenedy netted early on.
Muto compounded matters as United conceded twice within the opening 10 minutes of a Premier League match at home for the first time and matters could well have got worse.
Mourinho, gesticulating furiously on the touchline, brought on Mata for Eric Bailly after 19 dreadful minutes and exasperated fans chanted ‘Jose’s right, the board is s****’.
That underlined the issues that need solving off the field, but on it United belatedly showed togetherness, skill and intent in the second half.
Mata pulled one back from a free-kick and Martial levelled with a smart low finish, before Sanchez headed home in front of the Stretford End in a memorable win.