United 4 Newcastle 3
Have you got your breath back yet?
In a thumping game and probably the best there has been this season, for the neutral, United took all three points on the day City, our closest rival, lost up at Sunderland, allowing us to open the gap at the top of the Premier League to 7 points.
On the back of his poor performance against Swansea City, Wayne Rooney wasn`t selected for this game with Sir Alex opting to use Javier Hernandez alongside Robin Van Persie. But there were starts for the two veterans - Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs, in midfield. Later it was to be confirmed that Rooney and Young were out through injuries picked up in training on Christmas Day whilst Danny Welbeck was ill.
Having fallen behind early so many times, it probably came as no surprise it happened again when Demba Ba tried his luck from some way out and De Gea could only parry the ball for James Perch to crash the ball home with a mere four minutes gone.
The goal seemed to spark some life into United and United were denied a penalty when Hernandez appeared to be used as a climbing frame by Williamson but the referee waved play on.
Twenty-four minutes into the half United drew level and it was Jonny Evans who did the trick. A free kick was delivered into the United box, Hernandez saw his shot saved by Krul but Evans was on hand to poke home from close range.
Four minutes later, Newcastle were back in the lead with a hugely contested goal. Danny Simpson burst forward and unleashed a shot, from some distance. The shot took a deflection off of Evans and beat De Gea. Initially Mike Dean (referee) gave offside but after consultation with his assistant changed his mind.
United went into the break trailing 2-1.
Before the second half could start, Sir Alex Ferguson, in a pitch side rant, let the officials know what he thought about the second Newcastle goal. But, just before the hour mark United were back on level terms when that man Evra netted his fourth of the season.
The goal came after Perch cleared a corner to the edge of the box and there was Evra lurking to drive a low shot past Krul and into the net. The lead was to only last ten minutes though with Papiss Cisse scoring a fantastic goal with his strike flashing past De Gea before the keeper could move.
Three minutes later though it was 3-3 when Van Persie saw his low shot saved by Krul was delighted when the ball came back to him and he was able to stick it away in the corner of the net.
United thought they could / should have had a penalty when Hernandez`s shot struck the arm of Coloccini but the appeal was waved away. As United went for the winner Van Persie saw a shot flash wide whilst a header from Hernandez clipped the post.
Newcastle also had aspirations of snatching a winner and Sammy Ameobi was unlucky to see his shot hit the inside of the post and bounce into the graceful arms of De Gea.
But you just knew one side would grab that winner and it was to be United when, in the 90th minute, a ball from Carrick beat the Newcastle defence and Hernandez was on hand to finish from close range.
What a game!
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