Newcastle United captain Jamaal Lascelles said most of Manchester United’s players “went missing” and that their defence “didn’t really know what to do” in his side’s 1-0 victory.

Rafael Benitez oversaw a memorable and much-needed victory for relegation-threatened Newcastle on Sunday afternoon at St. James’ Park.

Matt Ritchie struck the decisive blow after the visitors failed to deal with a free kick into the box and Lascelles, the club’s captain, was critical of the second-placed visitors.

“They have got some great players, but I don’t think United turned up,” Lascelles said. “We have played against Arsenal and Man City and you can really see the quality, and one mistake or a lack of concentration [by United] and a goal will go in.

“I don’t think they were at it from the start of the game. A lot of their players went missing. It was probably the way we were playing, we made them play like that. In the first half, they were making a lot of mistakes [and] passing the ball around, but it was down to our pressing.

“We were aggressive and they didn’t like it. You could see their centre-halves on the ball and they didn’t really know what to do with it. We set up really well and we matched up really well against them. The manager got it spot on.”