Ronaldo and Neville are former United team-mates, and Neville said: “I love that lad, he’s the best player I’ve ever seen in my life almost, but don’t run off at the end of the game. I’m not having that.”

Neville added: “They’re all at each other. They’re not helping each other. The spirit of a dressing room is really important. I don’t think they’re all with each other at this moment in time. I think there’s a bit of a leadership struggle going on.”

For Newcastle’s seventh-minute opening goal, Varane was dispossessed by Sean Longstaff before Maguire was skilfully sidestepped by scorer Allan Saint-Maximin.

“The two centre-backs for Manchester United tonight were absolutely atrocious, from the very first minute to the last. They were nervous, they looked like they weren’t sure,” Neville said. “Maguire’s having a nightmare season.”

It was chiefly Cavani who gave Neville any encouragement, with the veteran Uruguayan striker making his presence felt in Newcastle’s penalty area, unlike so many team-mates.

“I always feel better when he’s in the team,” said Neville. “He looks like the badge doesn’t sit too heavily on him.

“I don’t think he wilts in the presence of Ronaldo or Fernandes. I think he stands up to them. I think he helps the other younger players on the pitch and I think he needs to be on the pitch because they need to get rid of that whingeing attitude.”