London - Newcastle sent Manchester United spinning to their second consecutive
Premier League defeat on Wednesday to give Manchester City a vital edge
in the title race.
Goals from Demba Ba, Yohan Cabaye and a late Phil Jones own goal
clinched a deserved 3-0 victory for Newcastle at St James Park, as
United missed the chance to go level on points with City at the top of
The defeat means United, beaten by Blackburn at Old Trafford in their
last outing at the weekend, now trail City by three points after the
league leaders downed Liverpool 3-0 at Eastlands on Tuesday.
An end-to-end first half saw both sides threaten early on, with
Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov grazing the post with a
header on 15 minutes to set alarm bells ringing in the Newcastle
At the other end, Newcastle had strong appeals for a penalty turned down
by referee Howard Webb after Rio Ferdinand brought down Ba as the two
players tussled for possession.
The deadlock was broken on 33 minutes when Newcastle's readiness to play route one football paid dividends.
A long kick upfield by Newcastle keeper Tim Krul was met by Shola
Ameobi, who flicked on for Ba, who in turn hooked a superb volley into
the side netting beyond Anders Lindegaard, favoured in goal ahead of the
dropped David De Gea.
Ba's strength and mobility continued to cause problems for United and it
was a foul on the striker by Jones early in the second half that led to
From the ensuing free-kick Cabaye stepped up and struck a powerful
curling effort into the top corner beyond the despairing dive of
Newcastle's second stung United into action, and only a magnificent
goal-line clearance from Danny Simpson prevented Wayne Rooney from
pulling a goal back for the visitors on 59 minutes.
Rooney, who had missed the Blackburn defeat after being dropped by
Ferguson for disciplinary reasons, endured a miserable evening and
eventually suffered the indignity of being substituted with 15 minutes
A bad night for United got worse in the dying minutes when a long punt
forward by Krul caused confusion in the visiting defence and Jones
steered a header past Lindegaard for 3-0.
In the night's other game, Bolton moved off the bottom after coming from behind to beat Everton 2-1 at Goodison Park.
Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard opened the scoring with a freak effort
before Bolton hit back with goals from David Ngog and Gary Cahill.
Howard's 63rd minute effort came when the Everton goalkeeper's long
clearance bounced over the head of Bolton keeper Adam Bogdan and flew
into the net.
But Bolton responded almost immediately, with David Ngog beating John
Heitinga and curling a left-footed shot into the far corner.
Cahill – expected to join Chelsea later this month – then drove in the winner for a vital three points for Bolton.