Manchester United 3-0 Newcastle United
Manchester United eventually cruised to victory over last season’s Football League champions Newcastle United at Old Trafford, thanks largely to a midfield masterclass from the veteran Paul Scholes.
Had Newcastle striker Andy Carroll scored from a free header on 10 minutes, matters might have been different. But the Toon number nine missed the target. And once Manchester United shrugged off some early sluggishness, they were in control.
They took the lead on 32 minutes when Jonas Gutierrez lost possession in Newcastle’s own final third and Scholes found Dimitar Berbatov with a slide-rule pass which the Bulgarian striker converted with a right-foot shot past keeper Steve Harper’s right-hand.
Newcastle’s hopes were all but ended when they fell further behind on four minutes before half-time, Patrice Evra’s pull-back eventually falling to Darren Fletcher who turned and shot right-footed past Harper from inside the six-yard box.
Manchester United continued to dominate possession after the interval but a hard-working defensive display from the visitors kept clear sights of goal to a minimum.
But the Red Devils were an irresistible force on the night. And with five minutes remaining, substitute Ryan Giggs converted another fine Scholes pass with a well-controlled, perfectly placed left-foot volley past Harper’s left-hand.
Tags: Manchester United, Newcastle United, Old Trafford, Dimitar Berbatov, Darren Fletcher, Ryan Giggs