MANCHESTER UNITED 3
NEWCASTLE UNITED 0
Barclays Premier League
Monday, August 16 2010
Dan King reports from Old Trafford ...
90+3mins - It's finished 3-0 and although that suggests a one-sided game, Newcastle have done okay here. If they could have taken advantage of some early pressure, things could have been different but in the end, Man United's cutting edge has told.
90mins - There will be a minimum of three minutes of added time.
89mins - Xisco lets fly from 20 yards but his low effort lacks the power to beat a keeper of Van der Saar's standing.
86mins - Rafael is on for Patrice Evra at left-back for the final few minutes.
85mins - MANCHESTER UNITED GOAL (3-0): United's two old-stagers combine - the excellent Scholes spotting Giggs in space on the left-hand angle of the box, picking him out perfectly and the Welshman half-volleying past Steve Harper. A wonderful goal and the three points are certainly Man United's now.
81mins - Berbatov has scored one tonight but could have had a couple more at least. This time, he wriggles through a couple of defenders but sees a strong hand from Steve Harper block his shot - although no corner is given.
80mins - Xisco is on for Jonas Gutierrez - which means three strikers are now on the pitch for Newcastle, although the Spaniard will presumably play primarily as a wideman. Tonight's attendance, meanwhile, is 75,221.
79mins - Joey Barton's left-wing corner is only cleared back as far as the Scouse midfielder and he swings the ball into the box for Ameobi, who heads wide having done well to get above the Reds' defence.
77mins - Ryan Giggs' clever ball puts Berbatov in behind but it's a narrow angle and Steve Harper does well to stand up tall and pat down his shot. And the more Newcastle press, the more dangerous Man United are going to be on the break.
73mins - Newcastle are enjoying a decent spell here and Andy Carroll has just failed to get on the end of a decent cross from Jonas Gutierrez. The visitors definitely seem to be going for it here and if they could get one goal back, who knows what could happen.
70mins - Chris Hughton clearly agrees that United need to get someone alongside Andy Carroll and so he's brought on Shola Ameobi for Kevin Nolan. Man United make a change of their own by bringing on Ryan Giggs for Nani. Not a bad substitute to have...
68mins - Scholes once again is the provider for the home side - the man's passing is just ridiculously good - but Berbatov's overhead kick is mistimed and he scuffs it wide.
66mins - Portuguese winger Nani flashes an effort wide of Steve Harper's far post after being teed up by Paul Scholes, who really is impressing tonight.
62mins - Wayne Rooney is replaced after a quiet evening for him - Mike Williamson has generally enjoyed the better of their personal duel. His replacement is the Mexican youngster Javier Hernandez, making his Barclays Premier League debut, and his arrival is greeted with a huge cheer by the Old Trafford faithful.
60mins - Andy Carroll is causing all kinds of problems for Jonny Evans in the air - he's winning almost every header. If Newcastle can get some support to him quicker, they could get a lifeline here... but of course, that would run the risk of conceding a third goal which would kill off The Magpies.
55mins - Darren Fletcher is the latest player shown a yellow card, and deservedly so as he chops down Joey Barton near the centre circle.
54mins - And the action keeps coming as a delightful Man United move sees Scholes feed Rooney who flicks into the path of Berbatov, but the Bulgarian drags his shot wide.
53mins - A crazy few seconds here - Scholes goes down in the box under a challenge from Coloccini but the referee waves play on, United break and Carroll sees his shot saved then the Reds attack again with James Perch clearing off the line from Nani.
52mins - Paul Scholes goes into the book for a late tackle on Kevin Nolan.
Half-time report (click F5 for updates)
45+2mins - Half-time - Newcastle have competed well and can consider themselves unlucky to be two goals down, but this has been a typical Manchester United home performance in many ways. They've absorbed a bit of pressure and then probed at the visitors' defence, eventually finding a way through twice, and Newcastle have their work cut out to get anything here now.
45mins - There will be two minutes of added time.
41mins - MANCHESTER UNITED GOAL (2-0): Newcastle's response to going a goal down has been good as they have really forced the issue, but unfortunately the task has become twice as hard now. Wayne Rooney got in a shot after a clever pass from Nani caught the Magpies' backline flat-footed, and although it was blocked, it well kindly to Darren Fletcher - the home team's scorer in this fixture two years ago - who swivels and shoots into the back of the net.
37mins - Joey Barton robs Nani down the right-hand side and fizzes in a shot from a tight angle, which Van der Saar is able to save.
32mins - MANCHESTER UNITED GOAL (1-0): Paul Scholes slips the ball through to Berbatov and the Bulgarian finishes well from a tight angle. Newcastle appealed in vain for offside but replays show that the Reds striker was onside and the goal has been coming based on the last ten minutes or so.
32mins - Coloccini saves United with some great defending just as Rooney looks through on goal. There would have been serious questions asked had the Man United man got his shot away though - Joey Barton was surely fouled in the build-up.
30mins - Man United are definitely getting into their stride now but although they look dangerous at times, they have yet to really breach the Newcastle defence. Having said that, Rooney should have done better just now as he skied his effort from Dimitar Berbatov's headed knock-down.
22mins - James Perch is shown a yellow card by Chris Foy as the former Nottingham Forest man drags back Nani 30 yards from goal. But Rooney's free-kick is blocked by the black and white wall.
17mins - Again it's Newcastle who threaten, and again it's Carroll who is the danger. He plays a one-two with Jonas Gutierrez before letting fly from 20 yards, but his low effort is relatively comfortable for Edwin van der Saar. Nonetheless, more encouragement for The Magpies.
10mins - The first corner of the game goes to Newcastle - and the first chance too. Joey Barton's accurate flag-kick is met by the rising Carroll and the big Geordie striker should have got his header on target following his majestic leap. A real let-off for the home side.
9mins - The Toon Army are in full voice with a rendition of "Stand up for the champions" - normally it's the home fans who sing that at Old Trafford but here the away fans are fully entitled to chant it following their superb campaign last year!
8mins - A strong run by Wayne Routledge ends in an overhit cross for Andy Carroll, which sails out of play. United attack down the other end through Nani and Rooney, but the striker hasn't quite got his goalscoring touch back yet after his disappointing World Cup and his effort from the edge of the box curls over.
5mins - Play has stopped here for a head injury to Kevin Nolan, and so far both teams have been happy to play the ball around. If anything, Newcastle have had more of the ball but it's mainly been passed amongst their defenders as The Magpies try to ensure they don't give themselves a mountain to climb by conceding an early goal.
Andy Carroll will be on his own up-front with support from Kevin Nolan in what looks like a 4-4-1-1 formation. Alan Smith, against his old club, and Joey Barton will be in the engine room with Wayne Routledge and Jonas Gutierrez providing an outlet on the wings.
James Perch gets the nod at right-back and on the bench are youngsters Haris Vuckic and James Tavernier. Danny Guthrie misses out with a minor knee injury.
For Man United, Michael Owen is not involved but Wayne Rooney is in a strong Reds line-up.
MFC: Edwin van der Saar, Patrice Evra, Dimitar Berbatov, Wayne Rooney, Nemanja Vidic, Nani, Paul Scholes, John O'Shea, Jonny Evans, Darren Fletcher, Antonio Valencia.
Subs: Ryan Giggs, Chris Smalling, Javier Hernandez, Michael Carrick, Rafael da Silva, Federico Macheda, Tomasz Kuszczak.
NUFC: Steve Harper, James Perch, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini, Jonas Enrique, Wayne Routledge, Alan Smith, Joey Barton, Jonas Gutierrez, Kevin Nolan, Andy Carroll.
Subs: Ryan Taylor, Xisco, Shola Ameobi, Tim Krul, Haris Vuckic, Nile Ranger, James Tavernier.