Manchester United's blistering start blew away Newcastle as the visitors won 3-0 on Sunday to move up to second in the Premier League table.
United raced into a 2-0 lead in a frenetic 15 minutes courtesy of goals from defensive duo Jonny Evans and Patrice Evra, but the hosts felt Papiss Cisse had pulled one back before Tom Cleverley added a long-range third. Danny Welbeck scuffed wide for United in the opening minutes, but the Magpies failed to heed this warning and Robin van Persie's precise corner was powered in by Evans after eight minutes.
Welbeck somehow dragged wide after robbing Steve Harper and Rafael fired across the face before the Toon keeper made amends with a diving stop from Wayne Rooney's free-kick. But the hosts' hapless marking at corners was exposed again when the diminutive Evra stole into the box on the quarter-hour mark to nod home and Jonas Gutierrez's shot wide was the best the Magpies could muster in the first half.
Newcastle thought they had reduced the deficit after the break as Cisse's header was clawed away from the line by David De Gea, but referee Howard Webb waved play on amid protests from the home side.
Rooney tested Harper with a shot as United looked for a killer third, although the Magpies remained a threat and Hatem Ben Arfa fired wide.
But Cleverley sealed it with either a moment of class or good fortune as his looping effort flew in the far corner to leave United just four points off the top.
More to follow