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The Red Devils proved their title credentials, moving up into second place in the Premier League with a dominating 3-0 victory over Newcastle at the Sports Direct Arena. Sir Alex Ferguson employed both Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie on the evening, but the goals came largely from their defensive line.
Jonny Evans opened the scoring with a superb header in the 8th minute before Patrice Evra doubled the lead, again via the headed route in the 16th minute. Although Newcastle made feeble attempts to get back into the game, United completed the demolition of the uninspired Toon with a wonderful long-range strike from Tom Cleverley in the second half.
Manchester United now sit alongside their noisy neighbours with 15 points, four points behind league leaders Chelsea. Meanwhile, Alan Pardew will have to rework his tactics if the Magpies aim to repeat leave alone better their 5th place finish of last season. (Read the Full Match Report)
Steve Harper: 3/10
The stand-in keeper had a tough night between the posts as United took the game with well-worked set pieces.
Davide Santon: 5/10
The full-back contained Kagawa relatively easily, forcing United to play more down the middle of the park.
Mike Williamson: 2/10
The centre-back was the culprit in both of Unitedâ€™s headed goals as he failed to mark his targets well.
James Perch: 3/10
With Coloccini and Steven Taylor injured, the defender failed to gain Pardewâ€™s trust on a rather forgettable evening.
Shane Ferguson: 2/10
After nailing down a starting spot with a series of decent performances this season, the full-back failed to contain Welbeck.
Hatem Ben Arfa: 6/10
The Frenchman was Newcastleâ€™s key player in attack, pushing forward with confidence.
Cheick Tiote: 4/10
The Ivorian had an uneventful night, picking up a yellow card for a clumsy challenge of Rooney.
Yohan Cabaye: 3/10
The French international did not perform at his usual best as Newcastle struggled to dominate play in midfield.
Jonas Gutierrez: 3/10
Gutierrez was slow on the evening and his frustration was evident as he picked up a booking for a wild tackle on Kagawa.
Demba Ba: 3/10
The striker misfired for most of the night barely forcing a save or two from De Gea.
Papiss Cisse: 4/10
The Senegalese striker was unlucky at being denied a goal that TV replays showed had crossed the line. On the whole, Cisse failed to dazzle as he did in this fixture last season.
Vurnon Anita: 3/10
Newcastleâ€™s summer signing did a better clean up job than Shane Ferguson, whom he replaced after 63 minutes.
Shola Ameobi: 5/10
The striker made a spirited attempt to salvage a consolation goal for his side after replacing Cisse in 63 minutes. Ameobi was the focal point of Newcastleâ€™s aerial attack on the evening.
Gael Bigirimana: 1/10
The midfielder made a brief 10 minute substitute appearance, barely making an impact on the game and even picked up a yellow card with a clumsy challenge.
David De Gea: 5/10
The Spanish stopperâ€™s weakness against aerial attacks was evident once again on the evening. But he did manage to keep a clean sheet
The full-back was highly effective in attack testing the Newcastle defence with a flurry of crosses.
Rio Ferdinand: 6/10
The centre-back was effective in keeping De Geaâ€™s work to a bare minimum as Newcastle chose the aerial route of attack frequently.
Jonny Evans: 8/10
The young defender's return from injury has been phenomenal as he netted the opener then kept the relentless Newcastle attack at bay with equal ease.
Patrice Evra: 6/10
The Frenchman played an instrumental role, scoring the second goal with a wonderful header. But on the whole, the left-back failed to control the rampant Newcastle wingers.
Tom Cleverley: 8/10
Cleverley was one of Unitedâ€™s most agile players on the pitch and his third goal from long range capped off a wonderful night for the midfielder.
Michael Carrick: 6/10
The midfielder has a fairly decent night in midfield as he played behind Unitedâ€™s four-man attacking line.
Danny Welbeck: 4/10
The English international was sluggish in attack and missed several chances to get his name on the scoresheet.
Wayne Rooney: 7/10
The Englishman combined fairly well with Cleverley and Van Persie in attack and provided important assists in United last two goals.
Shinji Kagawa: 5/10
Unitedâ€™s Japanese import of the summer was largely ineffective in attack as Unitedâ€™s only goals in his playing time came off set pieces.
Robin Van Persie: 6/10
The Dutchman barely troubled Harper by himself but had a major part to play as he took a beautiful corner kick to assist Evans for Unitedâ€™s opener.
Antonio Valencia: 4/10
The winger replaced Kagawa with 35 minutes left on the clock, but was as equally ineffective as his Japanese compatriot.
Paul Scholes: 4/10
The veteran midfielder came on in place of Rooney after 79 minutes and failed to impress in his short time on the pitch.
Ryan Giggs: N/A
With just 3 minutes left for the final whistle, the experienced midfielder replaced Van Persie but barely made a contribution to the game which was well within Unitedâ€™s control by then.
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