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 romp puts the champions three points clear of Aston Villa at the top of the Premiership after six games.
Cole opened his account after 13 minutes and hit a second-half hatrick before helping Ryan Giggs to hit United's fifth.
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
But the changes made no difference to Newcastle's appaling form which has seen them fail to win since April.
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.
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.
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.
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)