Barclays Premier League
Newcastle 3-0 Manchester United


French midfielder Yohan Cabaye (above) slides on his knees in front of the Gallowgate End after putting the Magpies two to the good early in the second half

By Adam Higgins
Chief Football Editor from St James's Park


Newcastle deservedly swept aside an out-of-sorts Manchester United who started their New Year off in the worst possible way as they lost back-to-back Premier League games for only the second time in nearly three years.

Goal machine Demba Ba bagged yet another to add to his collection this season, a spectacular free-kick from Yohan Cabaye shortly after half-time and a late Phil Jones own goal put pay to United's night as they find themselves three points behind in the title race to rivals Manchester City, whom they play in Sunday's FA Cup third round showdown at the Etihad Stadium.

Both teams going into the game were beaten in their final matches of 2011. The Magpies made two changes from their 3-1 defeat at Liverpool last Friday night with former Manchester United winger Gabriel Obertan and young Slovenian midfielder Haris Vuckic dropped to the bench as Alan Pardew opted for a front two of Demba Ba and Shola Ameobi while giving only a third Premier League start to summer signing Davide Santon at left-back from Inter Milan having played second-fiddle to Ryan Taylor for most of the season so far, who was pushed into midfield.

While the visiting United made wholesale changes after a shock 3-2 defeat to basement bottom Blackburn Rovers on New Years Eve with the main snap of team news coming in goal where Anders Lindegaard came in for David De Gea after another mistake for the winning goal by Grant Hanley at the weekend making Alex Ferguson ponder once again over the position of his recently new 20-year old shot-stopper. Also some welcome news in defence for the Red Devils in the return to the team of Rio Ferdinand after injury.

Manchester United knew what they had to do as Manchester City beat Liverpool on Tuesday to take themselves three points clear at the top of the table and Tottenham, also looking to close the gap on the second-placed Red Devils, won 1-0 against West Bromwich Albion.

There was a sight of goal for Newcastle, backed by a marvellous supporting cast of a full house of fans packed into the stadium, early on in the game when Danny Simpson overlapped Ryan Taylor on the right hand side from full-back and the former Manchester United defender crossed in for Ba, in the form of his life with 14 goals in his last 14 Premier League games.

But the Senegalese missed his kick at the vital moment as the ball flashed before him and the chance evaporated after four minutes as the home team settled quicker than the defending champions.


Manchester United have conceded three or more goals in consecutive Premier League games for the first time since February 2004.

Blustery conditions were widespread across the North East with gusts of upto 80 mph during the day making it an even more of an extremely difficult night for the two goalkeepers.

Danish international Anders Lindegaard, in between the sticks for United for his sixth league match of the campaign, would have been happy to deal with low efforts from distance by Cheik Tiote and Yohan Cabaye with relative ease in the first ten minutes - warming his hands on a bittertly cold night.

Dimitar Berbatov's deflected header off Davide Santon from Patrice Evra's left-wing cross lacked the needed power but grazed the bottom of the outside of the post on 14 minutes - a corner should have been awarded but the officials gave a goal-kick instead.

While Nani's tame curling effort from the edge of the box was flapped at by Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul, in tremendous form this season, but he grabbed the ball at the second attempt to stop it reaching Rooney who would have been on hand to pounce on any loose ball.

Later in the half, Ryan Giggs, at the evergreen age of 38, slipped a marvellous through-ball for Rooney, who has a splendid goalscoring ratio against the Toon Army.

The forward thought he may have been offside so pulled out of running for the ball as Krul raced out to gather following a good advantage played by referee Howard Webb.

Patrice Evra was taken out late after the ball had gone on by Cabaye - who incidentally escaped punishment for his tackle on Jay Spearing at Anfield in the last match after the FA decided not to follow up on it.

Newcastle should have had a penalty after 24 minutes when Demba Ba, who along with Tiote will be leaving for about a month for the Africa Cup of Nations prior to their FA Cup tie with Blackburn on Saturday, had the ball under control inside the box and appeared to have had his legs taken from him by Rio Ferdinand.

However, Webb was unmoved in waving away the protests, much to the disbelief of the vociferous Newcastle fans in the stands and irate boss Alan Pardew animated in the technical area.

The game at this point was being played at a ferocious pace with challenges and tackles flying in with the Newcastle faithful getting on the back of the referee, who awarded United several soft free-kicks all over the park.

The threat of Ba and Shola Amoebi as a front pairing, with strength and their physical presence, were a handful for Phil Jones and Rio Ferdinand all night long and the two strikers combined to make the breakthrough just after the half-hour mark.

A long goal-kick from Krul was flicked on by Ameobi, who sprung above Jones, to Ba who then hooked a shot over the left shoulder of Ferdinand who was trying to get tight and it dropped into the net with Lindegaard absolutely motionless for the first goal that he has conceded in the Premier League this season after five clean sheets.

United went into the match on 49 league goals so far this season and they they needed to reach the 50 mark if they were to leave with anything from the game.

They did not rush to search for the equaliser like many expected, remaining patient in their approach, as some of their bigger guns had nights to overlook.

A free-kick was awarded to Newcastle when Ba was fouled in the process of getting a shot in goal from about twenty-five yards out by Giggs, who was unhappy with the decision.

Ryan Taylor, renowned for his free-kicks and long range efforts, couldn't get the ball up and back down in one single movement and the ball went over with the wind not entirely helping him.

It took only a minute into the second period for the first yellow card of the night when Michael Carrick, born in Newcastle and making his 250th appearance for United, gave away possession to Shola Ameobi and Phil Jones stopped Demba Ba from getting past him who had taken the ball away from his reach.

The young defender brought down the powerful forward in a threatening position for a side with a number of specialists from dead-ball situations.

From the free-kick, Taylor left it to Cabaye who struck it beautifully with superb technique which bounced down off the crossbar definitely crossing the line despite spinning back out into play as assistant referee Darren Cann flagged immediately to indicate the goal of the finest eminence to double Newcastle's lead.

It was Cabaye's second Premier League goal as the 25-year old Frenchman, one of the thresholds to the display and one of the buys of the season, brought the stadium into total eruption - the loudest it has been all season.

They almost had a 3-0 lead which would have secured the points for sure as a wonderfully whipped corner by Cabaye was headed over by Mike Williamson, who perhaps didn't expect the ball to come his way from such a pinpoint delivery and he got over the attempt as the tails of the Toon Army wagged vigorously.

September 2001 was the last time Newcastle defeated Manchester United - the 4-3 win was Bobby Robson's 100th match in charge and saw Roy Keane dismissed for a spat with Alan Shearer, who scored the winning goal via a deflection.

United brought on forward Danny Welbeck - beaten 5-1 on this ground last season when on loan at Sunderland in the Tyne Tees derby - to replace boyhood Newcastle fan Dimitar Berbatov, who failed to add to six goals in his previous three appearances.

Rooney, somehow, did not bring United back into the match when Nani collected the ball, as Newcastle fans vehemently shouted for handball against the Portuguese winger, whose ball into the box got a little touch of Welbeck before Rooney got something onto it to take it towards goal but full-back Simpson, celebrating his 25th birthday on his 40th consecutive start for the Magpies, cleared off the line.


It is nearly seven years since the last occasion that Manchester United lost back-to-back Premier League matches to teams outside of the traditional Big Four - losing to Norwich City and Everton in April 2005.

Valencia had his name taken by referee Webb, who had been lenient with the Ecuadorian after getting away with several infringements, for persistent fouling. The former Wigan man again found himself playing at right-back as United gradually eased Rafael Da Silva back into fold after a serious injury.

Consecutive away defeats to Chelsea and Liverpool in March was the last time United lost two Premier League games, something that doesn't happen very often.

Even the arrival of Javier Hernandez from the substitutes bench, who replaced Park Ji-Sung, failed to add any inspiration to a gloomy United performance as Sir Alex Ferguson gave a blank expression from his dugout seat.

As the game went distinctly quiet, the place was brought to life again when the number ten was held up for United on the electronic board from the fourth official as Wayne Rooney trotted off the field and snatched his jacket, amid being fined by the club for a Boxing Day boozing binge, with Anderson taking his place.

Leon Best, without a goal since September, came on for Newcastle with Shola Ameobi going off having looked a little fatigued in the last ten minutes he had on the pitch.

A long ball pumped forward by United was brought down and latched onto by Danny Welbeck, whose touch unfortunately let him down slightly and Krul claimed directly at the feet of Hernandez.

There was a standing ovation for Demba Ba, who scored 21 goals for both West Ham and Newcastle in the Premier League in 2011, who was substituted with a minute to go giving 22-year-old Gabriel Obertan, a regular starter in recent months, a few minutes against his old side having left Old Trafford in the summer for a better opportunity to play football.

There was even more misery for United to endure in the final minutes when Krul's long punt down field was touched into the net by Jones for an own goal as the 19-year old miscalculated where the ball was going to land and got his body shape all wrong as the ball bounced off his thigh as he arched his frame to head and fell into the net which was left unguarded by Lindegaard.

The keeper had rush of blood to race away from the net to catch as a lack of communication must have had the 70-year-old boss seething afterwards in the dressing room.

It gave Manchester City the edge going into the FA Cup derby in four days time while Spurs could go level on points with United if they beat Everton in next week's game in hand.

It was Newcastle's night as the tactics employed by boss Alan Pardew, who was questioned when he took over in December 2010, were spot on as they enjoyed only a fourth ever Premier League win over the defending champions.

United, on the evidence of their last two displays, may be tempted to dip into the transfer window for an urgent injection but on the plus side, it was their first league defeat on the road this term and unlike rivals City, do not have to contend with a two-legged Carling Cup semi-final later this month.

Follow our Chief Football Editor Adam Higgins on Twitter



Wednesday 4th January 2012

Barclays Premier League

St James's Park (Newcastle, Tyneside)


Newcastle United 3-0 Manchester United                        KO 8pm           Live on Sky Sports 2/HD2         (HT 1-0)

Ba 33
Cabaye 47
Jones 90 (og)


Newcastle: (4-4-2)  26 Krul - 8/10, 5 Simpson - 8.5/10, 2 Coloccini (C) - 8/10, 6 Williamson - 7.5/10, 3 Santon - 7/10, 16 R Taylor - 7.5/10, 4 Cabaye - 9/10 (Perch 77 - 2.5/10), 24 Tiote - 8.5/10, 18 Gutierrez - 8/10, 19 Ba - 9.5/10 (Obertan 90 - 0.5/10), 23 Shola Ameobi - 7.5/10 (Best 74 - 3.5/10).

Subs not used:  1 Harper (GK), 10 Ben Arfa, 29 Vuckic, 28 Sammy Ameobi

Booked:      Tiote (80)


Manchester United: (4-4-2)  34 Lindegaard - 6/10, 25 Valencia - 6.5/10, 4 Jones - 5.5/10, 5 Ferdinand - 7/10, 3 Evra (C) - 6.5/10, 17 Nani - 6.5/10, 16 Carrick - 6.5/10, 11 Giggs - 6.5/10, 13 Park Ji-Sung - 6/10 (Hernandez 65 - 3.5/10), 9 Berbatov - 6/10 (Welbeck 56 - 4/10), 10 Rooney - 6.5/10 (Anderson 74 - 2.5/10).

Subs not used:  1 De Gea (GK), 21 Rafael, 42 Pogba, 53 Lingard

Booked:      Jones (46), Valencia (61)


My Man of the Match:    Demba Ba (Newcastle United) - Rating 9.5/10

My Poorest Performer of the Match:    Phil Jones (Manchester United) - Rating 5.5/10

Referee: Howard Webb (South Yorkshire)- 9/10
Attendance: 52,299



Match Facts:

Possession: Newcastle - 51%                  Manchester United - 49%

Shots: Newcastle - 10                   Manchester United - 6

Shots on target: Newcastle - 6                 Manchester United - 6

Shots off target: Newcastle - 4                  Manchester United - 0

Corners: Newcastle - 4                    Manchester United - 4

Fouls: Newcastle - 16                 Manchester United - 15

Offside: Newcastle - 1                     Manchester United - 5

Assists: Newcastle - 3 (Shola Ameobi, Ba, Krul)                 Manchester United - None




Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew

"The fact that we have only won one of the last eight games before this one masks the story really- we've had suspensions and injuries and not really had our best team out on the pitch in a lot of those matches. We have still had a fantastic year without really beating any of the big teams still coming close in one or two games like at Old Trafford for example. Tonight, we probably had our best available side out and it showed. We were due a win and I thought we deserved it. We were terrific in all departments- we had a number of players turning in an eight of ten performance wise and against the champions you cannot ask for more than that. The two lads going to the Africa Cup of Nations were outstanding and it was typical of them wanting to leave on a high note. It was just a brilliant night for us all, the supporters have waited a while for a win at St James Park over Manchester United and to deliver it in the manner we have done tonight makes me very proud to manage this football club. Everyone stuck to the gameplan- we controlled what we wanted to happen in the game which is how we want to play in games. We've had a lot of solid performers this season such as Tim Krul in goal who had to save us a couple of times tonight and I am very pleased with the night all-round."

Click here for the full interview with Magpies boss Alan Pardew after the match



Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

"I think it wasn't really a case of going wrong- two fantastic goals from them has obviously put them in the driving position to go and win the game. They weren't going to lose the match from then on there was plenty of determination and aggression from Newcastle and they fully deserved to win. The opportunities we had weren't taken and if I am being honest there weren't any chances for us in the game. We started reasonably well- had Wayne (Rooney) took his chance early on it maybe could have been a different outcome. It was a good opportunity and one that we know he was capable of scoring from so that was disappointing. We penetrated their backline quite well in the opening minutes and looked in control through possession but the two goals killed us. They were fantastic strikes worthy of winning any match- we could look at the fact we have conceded two minutes after the restart as the turning point but we were well beaten. You have to give credit where credits due- Newcastle were much better and they showed a lot of fighting spirit and resolve. Our players tried their best as they always do although it just wasn't our night- we had no luck whatsoever."

Click here for the full interview with United boss Sir Alex Ferguson after the match 


Make a Free Website with Yola.