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Brilliant Magpies Stun Manchester United

5/1/2012
Manchester United lost ground on league leaders Manchester City last night as they crashed to a morale-sapping 3-0 defeat by Newcastle at the Sports Direct Arena.

Having seen their bitter cross-city rivals brush aside Liverpool the night before, Sir Alex Ferguson’s men knew that they’d need to deliver a big performance in the north, but unfortunately for their army of travelling fans they delivered quite the opposite.

Lining up with a central midfield pairing of Michael Carrick and Ryan Giggs, the visitors were completely bossed by the strength and guile of Cheick Tiote and Yohan Cabaye, ceding possession often and generally being out-muscled by the home side.

Their central defence too, made up of Rio Ferdinand and Phil Jones, were given a torrid time not only by the magnificent Demba Ba, but also by the aerial prowess of Shola Ameobi, with the latter in particular giving Jones a torrid time all evening.

As such, it was only a matter of time before Newcastle made the breakthrough and – having seen a penalty appeal turned down – they got the reward their play deserved as Ba hooked in his 15th goal of the season after getting in between Jones and Ferdiand.

Going in at half-time a goal down after an abject display, you’d have expected United to start the second half strongly, but before they even had the chance to settle they were rocked by a superb 30-yard free-kick from France international Yohan Cabaye.

Even at 2-0 down, United teams under Ferguson are known for their resilience and ability to battle back, but this time a response was not forthcoming as Newcastle played out the remainder of the game under very little pressure from the visitors.

Indeed, things only got worse for United as a long punt from Newcastle keeper Tim Krul was misjudged by Jones, with the young defender guiding the ball into the back of his own net to seal what surely ranks as the home team’s best result of the season.
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