Football: The Blaydon Races boomed out across the pitch before kick off but in truth Newcastle were never at them in a game which was one-sided from the start.
Alex Ferguson’s team bounced back from their historic loss to Spurs and took revenge for defeat by the same score in this fixture last season.
Newcastle will point to a second-half ghost goal, but unlike that January night the visitors owned the midfield this time, Tom Cleverley and Michael Carrick besting their counterparts Yohan Cabaye and Cheick Tiote.
The defensive pair provided the foundation for the attacking quartet of Shinji Kagawa, Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and Danny Welbeck to dominate.
The tone for the afternoon was set in the first five minutes in which the visitors had a barely credible 87 per cent of possession.
It didn’t take long for them to turn that into an all-important goal when Jonny Evans beat Mike Williamson to head home after just seven minutes.
Steve Harper then handed United a gilt-edged chance. Trying to walk the ball out of his area following a back pass he was caught in possession by Danny Welbeck who rounded him but shot wide when a reverse ball to van Persie would have made it two.
As it turned out the visitors only had to wait a minute to double their lead from yet another corner.
This time it was Patrice Evra who ghosted in at the near post, losing both Demba Ba and Davide Santon on the way, before directing a deft header past Harper.
Newcastle came out for the second half with renewed purpose and nearly scored after just four minutes, but David de Gea clawed Papiss Cisse’s header onto the post after Ba had hit the crossbar also with a header. Ba had an effort that appeared to have crossed the line, but replays showed otherwise.
Cleverley, who had hassled and harried to excellent effect all match, capped the afternoon off in superb style with a curling, dipping drive from 25 yards out.
An early contender for goal of the season it’s one you’ll see again and again, but like the game it’s one Newcastle and their fans will want to forget.