By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor
At St. James' Park
Newcastle United 0
Manchester United 4 (Mata 39, 50, Hernandez 65, Januzaj 90)
Newcastle United suffered a 4-0 home defeat at the hands of reigning Barclays Premier League champions Manchester United on Saturday.
Juan Mata bagged a brace either side of half-time, while Javier Hernandez and Adnan Januzaj were also on target for the Red Devils on another disappointing afternoon at St. James' Park.
The Magpies were in fact the better team for much of the first half but Dan Gosling and Papiss Cisse both spurned decent chances and were made to pay by Mata, who curled home a free-kick against the run of play.
The Spanish schemer then slotted in early in the second period before Hernandez swept home number three from close range and Hernandez completed the scoring in stoppage time.
Cisse was denied a consolation late on by an outstanding Anders Lindegaard save as Newcastle were comfortably beaten, tasting defeat for a third game in a row.
With less than two minutes on the clock, Newcastle created the first chance of the afternoon.
Gosling, making his first Barclays Premier League start since December 2011, rose well to meet a Davide Santon free-kick, but directed his firm header narrowly wide of the upright.
Cisse was next to try his luck, out-muscling Phil Jones but striking off target from 20 yards as the hosts continued their bright start.
On 22 minutes, the same player hooked an overhead kick goalwards, after centre-back Mike Williamson had nodded down into his path, but the ambitious effort lacked power and was straight at Red Devils keeper Anders Lindegaard.
Minutes later, Cisse gave Lindegaard a much sterner test, flicking a header towards the top corner following Vurnon Anita's centre, but the Danish stopper was up to the task, sticking up a hand to turn it over the bar to safety.
But with six minutes remaining before half-time, Manchester United broke the deadlock against the run of play.
Gosling was adjudged to have fouled Darren Fletcher right on the edge of the box, and Mata stepped up to duly curl a stunning free-kick over the wall and past the despairing dive of Rob Elliot.
That goal knocked the stuffing out of United, and the visitors came within inches of doubling their advantage with half-time approaching.
Hernandez exchanged passes with Mata before bearing down on goal and sidefooting an effort against the foot of the post.
Within five minutes of the restart, Manchester United scored their second of the afternoon and it was that man Mata again.
Coloccini's misplaced header was seized upon by Hernandez, who squared for Mata inside the area. The Spaniard still had a bit to do but made it look so simple, toying with Coloccini and Elliot before calmly rolling the ball home.
But it failed to stem the visitors' tide and they made it 3-0 on 65 minutes.
A neat move down the left saw Shinji Kagawa cut the ball back towards the edge of the six-yard box, and Hernandez was on hand to sweep it under Elliot at the near post.
Newcastle's response came from Cisse but, not for the first time, Lindergaard was equal to his effort, flying to his left to claw away a firm strike.
Ben Arfa then sent a low drive narrowly wide before Lindegaard saved his best for last.
A Massadio Haidara cross from the left found its way through to Cisse, unmarked, six yards out. The front man's touch was good and he promptly lashed the ball goalwards only to be denied by a brilliant point-blank save.
And Manchester United netted goal number four deep into four minutes of stoppage time, latching on to a Mata backheel to complete the scoring.
Newcastle United (4-4-2): Rob Elliot; Davide Santon, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini (c), Massadio Haidara; Vurnon Anita, Cheick Tiote, Dan Gosling, Yoan Gouffran (Shola Ameobi 85); Luuk de Jong (Hatem Ben Arfa 61) Papiss Cisse
Manchester United (4-2-3-1): Anders Lindegaard; Antonio Valencia, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Patrice Evra (Alexander Buttner 64); Darren Fletcher, Marouane Fellaini (Nani 69); Ashley Young (Adnan Januzaj 17), Juan Mata, Shinji Kagawa; Javier Hernandez
Subs not used: David de Gea, Nemanja Vidic, Tom Cleverley, James Wilson
Referee: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire)
Bookings: Newcastle - Tiote (52); Manchester United - none