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Monday, August 30, 1999 Published at 21:46 GMT 22:46 UK


Cole stars as Man United crush Magpies

Manchester United made sure Newcastle's disastrous season continued

Manchester United 5-1 Newcastle United

Andy Cole turned his former club's disastrous season into a nightmare as he smashed four goals past Newcastle.


The BBC's Simon Brotherton: "Newcastle fell apart"
It was the perfect riposte to Kevin Keegan, who could not find room for Cole in his squad for the crunch Euro 2000 qualifying double header against Luxembourg and Poland.

The romp puts the champions three points clear of Aston Villa at the top of the Premiership after six games.


Andy Cole: "It's always nice to win"
At the other end, Newcastle remain second bottom, with just one point.

Cole opened his account after 13 minutes and hit a second-half hatrick before helping Ryan Giggs to hit United's fifth.


Steve Clarke: "It was always going to be a struggle"
Newcastle ended the first-half level but after a horrendous re-start in which they conceded a goal and had Nicos Dabizas sent off for swearing within 60 seconds, there was no way back.

Stand-in Newcastle manager Steve Clarke named Alan Shearer, Duncan Ferguson and Rob Lee - seen as the ring-leaders of the dressing room rebellion against Ruud Gullit - in his starting line-up

Bad run

But the changes made no difference to Newcastle's appaling form which has seen them fail to win since April.


Newcastle fans believe Bobby Robson is the man
Lee, not even given a squad number by Gullit but now wearing the slightly embarassing 37, was back in midfield alongside Peruvian Nolberto Solano.

United - skipper Roy Keane, Dennis Irwin and Jesper Blomqvist on their own lengthening casualty list - still had the formidable trio of England team-mates Paul Scholes, David Beckham and Nicky Butt in midfield, with Ryan Giggs on the flank.

Cole had tormented the St James' Park faithful with two goals last season in United's win 2-1 over Newcastle. And he was on the mark again after 13 minutes.

Surprisingly, Newcastle hit back. No footballer is more competitive than Scotland striker Duncan Ferguson and it was his massive aerial threat which forced Henning Berg to hammer an own goal past his helpless keeper for the equaliser.


[ image: Newcastle Caretaker manager Steve Clarke and Alan Shearer know things have to change]
Newcastle Caretaker manager Steve Clarke and Alan Shearer know things have to change
If the Newcastle dressing room were encouraged by the 1-1 scoreline at half time, there was more gloom 60 seconds after the restart.

First Cole reclaimed the lead for United with his second - and when Nicos Dabizas protested to the referee, he was swiftly sent off for dissent.

If Newcastle had a lot to do before the kick-off, now a man down and a goal behind, they had a mountain to climb.

Cole squandered an easy chance to go three ahead when he raced into the box unmarked but sliced wide.

Here, have a hatrick

But when Newcastle presented him with an even easier opening a few minutes later, Aaron Hughes failing to cut out a simple ball, Cole nipped in to grab his hatrick.


[ image: Ferguson's aerial threat led to Newcastle's equaliser - but disaster was to come]
Ferguson's aerial threat led to Newcastle's equaliser - but disaster was to come
Alex Ferguson sensed he could relax and, after Beckham came close with a trademark shot from the halfway line, he brought off Scholes to give Quentin Fortune his debut.

Within a minute Cole had his fourth, this time making something from nothing with a flash of individual skill as, in one swift move, he turned and buried the ball in the corner of Tommy Wright's net.

It was his neat one two with Giggs which led to United's fifth, the Welshman dinking his side footed volley past Wright from six yards as Newcastle's defenders stood and watched.

The consolation for Newcastle, who face Chelsea after the break for England's international fixtures, is things can surely only get better from here.

Teams:

Man Utd: Van Der Gouw, G. Neville, Stam, Berg, P. Neville, Beckham, Butt, Scholes, Giggs, Cole, Yorke. Subs: Culkin, Sheringham, Clegg, Cruyff.

Newcastle: Wright, Barton, Goma, Dabizas, Hughes, Dyer, Lee, Speed, Solano, Shearer, Ferguson. Subs: Harper, Robinson, McClen, Maric, Beharall.

Referee: J Winter (Stockton-on-Tees)




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