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By Jonathan Stevenson
2210: Shall we stop the fawning there, then? Manchester United kick off their campaign with a routine victory over a Newcastle side who might be in for a long, hard season. I'm off to check out
match report and do my prep on
Young Boys v Tottenham
for Tuesday. Be good.
Manchester United's Paul Scholes: "The most important thing in the first game is to win and even though we could have scored more we'll take that. We didn't start too well, but when we scored we were a constant threat after that and moved them around quite a lot."
2202: So, Manchester United climb into the Champions League berths (two places behind Blackpool), while Newcastle hover just a place above the relegation zone. I know managers tell us not to look at league tables so early, but it's fun, isn't it?
From Rebecca, Manchester, via text: "Can we have a break from the Scholes lyrics just for a minute to have a word about Berbatov? Hasn't he had an amazing game?! OK, back to Scholes..."
BBC Radio 5 live's Robbie Savage: "I said it would be a harsh introduction to Premier League football for Newcastle and it was. They've got a lot of the same players they had last season and it's not good enough, I think they're gonna struggle. Man Utd were fantastic, on the other hand."
2154: Full-time Manchester United 3-0 Newcastle
90 mins: Wonderful. Paul Scholes over-hits a pass out to the left, but with the ball up by his shoulder, Ryan Giggs sticks out his left boot and brings it down heroically. He ruins it by smacking a free-kick way over a few seconds later. Not long left now, folks.
90 mins: We'll have three minutes of injury time, in case you were wondering. Not much point to any of them.
89 mins: Paul Scholes gives the ball away with a careless short pass, but wins it back with a fabulously timed sliding challenge. Hang on, that's supposed to be the exact opposite, isn't it?
87 mins: Rafael comes on for Patrice Evra, who took a knock just before that third goal. It's been a breathtakingly easy start to the season for Manchester United, and a reminder of what they are up against this term for the visitors.
Man Utd goal: Hmm... now how do I talk you through this without mentioning Paul Scholes? Oops, too late. Newcastle give the ball away deep in their own half down their left and United switch it to Scholes 30 yards out - he plays a lovely ball in the air to the equally ageless Ryan Giggs on the left of the area and his volley flies into the ground and into the Newcastle net. That's that then.
85 mins: GOAL Manchester United 3-0 Newcastle
From HibaMS on Twitter:
"Stop waxing lyrical about Scholes in every post, Stevo. We get that he's been good. Now stop." I'm trying. Honestly I am. He's making it difficult.
82 mins: Great footwork from Dimitar Berbatov inside the Newcastle box, nutmegging Mike Williamson and forcing a low save from the legs of Steve Harper. The cross was from Patrice Evra - who was found superbly by Paul Scholes, again. I'm in awe.
81 mins: Another change, another striker for Newcastle as Xisco comes on for Jonas Gutierrez, who lets his hair down as he jogs off the pitch. They do have remarkable barnets don't they, Argentines? I wonder if one of them will be in residence at Aston Villa soon...
79 mins: Joey Barton floats over a cross from the Newcastle left and up gets Shola Ameobi at the far post, only for the striker to nod wide.
78 mins: Amazingly, the usually unflappable Paul Scholes has looked thoroughly disgusted with some of his team mates on occasions today, either for not passing it straight to him or for not converting his beautifully laid-on chances. This time he's annoyed with Javier Hernandez - he's on a different level to everyone this evening.
From Tom in Alton, via text: "Rooney subbed off? I was at Wembley on Wednesday and he deserved to be taken off then too. He hasn't been the same player he was a season or so ago. On Wednesday he was like a stroppy child. C'mon Wayne, get it together!"
75 mins: Newcastle have had a little more possession in the last few minutes, but they don't look especially like scoring and setting up a tense finale. They've taken 2-0 here, big time.
71 mins: Change for the visitors, with Shola Ameobi on for Kevin Nolan, the armband passing to former Man Utd player Alan Smith. The hosts make a sub too, with Ryan Giggs, still the only man to play in every Premier League season, replacing Nani.
69 mins: Paul Scholes' range of passing today has been absolutely sensational. Only Xavi on earth could live with him in this form - another stunning ball into the box for Dimitar Berbatov sees the Bulgarian acrobatically volley miles wide.
68 mins: Man Utd are patiently biding their time, almost toying with Newcastle, with the prompting Paul Scholes at the creative hub once more, before Nani clips a left-foot shot wide from 20 yards. Moments later Mike Williamson takes the ball off Darren Fletcher inside his own box before haplessly firing it straight at Dimitar Berbatov, who is presumably too surprised to take advantage.
64 mins: If Newcastle boss Chris Hughton wants to change things, he's got FOUR strikers on the bench in the shape of Nile Ranger, Xisco, Shola Ameobi and Haris Vuckic.
63 mins: Loud cheers = Man Utd change. Wayne Rooney is taken off and Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez comes on in his place. Cue sombreros being donned in the crowd. Classic.
61 mins: OK, enough of the James Perch gags, he's not been that bad today. Has he? Anyway, it's all Manchester United now, I think the visitors would snatch your hand off if you offered them a 2-0 defeat right now. Meanwhile, our friends at
tell us Dimitar Berbatov's next goal will be his 50th in the Premier League. He will be the first player from Eastern Europe to score a half century of PL goals.
56 mins: Another yellow card, this time for Darren Fletcher going in hard and heavy on Joey Barton. He wins the ball and the player in equal measure, and is cautioned.
55 mins: Now some of Manchester United's passing is sublime. Paul Scholes is at the heart of everything and his quick ball in to Wayne Rooney produces a magical flick with the outside of Rooney's boot to send Dimitar Berbatov through, but his outside-of-the-right-foot finish dribbles wide. What a goal that would have been.
54 mins: It's the Paul Scholes Show. He plays one-twos with Nani and Dimitar Berbatov and strolls into the Newcastle area, but under a challenge from Fabricio Coloccini he goes down, and referee Chris Foy waves play on. Moments later, Wayne Rooney's ball to the back post intended for Dimitar Berbatov is crucially cut out by James Perch.
52 mins: Paul Scholes goes straight through the side of Kevin Nolan, dumping the midfielder to the floor and picking up a fairly typical yellow card in the process. Two moments that sum up the career of Scholes, the little genius.
50 mins: Paul Scholes plays a ludicrously brilliant 50-yard pass out to the Manchester United right to Luis Valencia, who fails to keep it in play. The fans applaud Scholes, and the camera cuts to England assistant Franco Baldini in the stands. Cheeky.
49 mins: Newcastle just don't have any real pace down the middle of their team, a fact Robbie Savage underlines on BBC Radio 5 live. Nani burns past Joey Barton and takes on two defenders who between them manage to thwart the Portuguese inside their own penalty area.
47 mins: Man Utd start the second half by trying to reel Newcastle in again, but Nani's cross from the right is well collected inside his six-yard box by Steve Harper.
2106: I fell for that gag hook, line and sinker. Meanwhile, we're back under way at Old Trafford, with Manchester United leading Newcastle 2-0 after the first half.
2101: Bit more from our friends at
then: The only home Premier League match which Manchester United have lost in August was their first - a 0-3 defeat against Everton in the second match of the 1992/1993 season. Since then they are unbeaten in 29 PL home matches in the first month of the season.
From Renzo_23 on 606:
"Personally a bit disappointed at Newcastle's tactics. United had the ball in their own half and there were no Newcastle players closing down. They have sat 11 in their own half and said come and attack us. 78% of the possession at times for United. Newcastle deserve all they have got so far. Don't understand why teams invite Man United on to them."
From Tim, via text: "Despite the score, Newcastle have looked decent. As an Arsenal fan, I'm already worried about the problems Andy Carroll will cause our defence come November."
BBC Radio 5 live's Robbie Savage: "I felt Newcastle started really well, but the first goal came from a stupid error and Man Utd they could almost have scored at will after that. As it is, they thoroughly deserve their 2-0 lead."
2049: Half-time Manchester United 2-0 Newcastle
45 mins: We're into injury time at Old Trafford, and we're gonna have about two minutes of it. For Newcastle, the half cannot end soon enough. I'd imagine Chris Hughton will want to remind them that giving the ball away cheaply against Manchester United is probably not a good idea.
BBC Radio 5 live's Robbie Savage: "That first goal killed Newcastle. They poured forward after it and then got caught out at the back. It's going to be a really long evening for them now."
Man Utd goal: Trouble for the visitors now. Nani takes his time before laying it back to Patrice Evra down the United left and the Frenchman's low, driven cross takes a touch off Wayne Rooney before falling for Darren Fletcher six yards out, He rolls Fabricio Coloccini and slams past Steve Harper to double the lead.
42 mins: GOAL Manchester United 2-0 Newcastle
40 mins: Newcastle are getting into some good positions, but they aren't getting close to capitalising on any of them so far, they've been so wasteful inside the Man Utd half. This time a three-on-three comes to nothing when Jonas Gutierrez over-runs the ball and then falls over. Oops.
38 mins: Joey Barton and his 'tache get into a great position down the Newcastle right and he surges into the area, but he picks the wrong option and slams into the palms of Edwin van der Sar at the near post instead of pulling it back for a team-mate.
From hawick on 606:
"The one thing Newcastle did really well last season was to come from behind, again and again. This is a very different level of course, but the next hour might provide interesting clues as to how they will fare this season."
34 mins: Newcastle are close to an immediate response, but after getting to the byeline down the left, Jonas Gutierrez cannot pick out Kevin Nolan six yards out and the chance goes begging.
Man Utd goal: It's a shame after Newcastle's good start, but their sloppy play had increased and this goal was coming. They are slow to clear the ball after a Man Utd attack and Jonas Gutierrez is dispossessed by Luis Valencia. He plays the ball forward to Paul Scholes and Scholes picks out Dimitar Berbatov inside the Newcastle box on the right - after Jose Enrique can only push it into the Bulgarian's path, he slams it low across Steve Harper and into the far corner of the net.
33 mins: GOAL Manchester United 1-0 Newcastle
31 mins: Quiet start for Dimitar Berbatov, until the Bulgarian floats over a super cross from the left that Steve Harper alertly tips away from Nani at the far post. Moments later, Berbatov heads a Luis Valencia cross down at the far post and a swivelling Wayne Rooney fires over left-footed.
From Kev, Newcastle, via text: "Can I be the first to point out that Perch looks out of his depth? C'mon the Toon." Great - and this is the nearest Forest have been to the Prem for more than a decade, too :(
27 mins: Madness. Fabricio Coloccini's ball along his own area is crazy and Mike Williamson's attempted clearance to rescue the situation isn't much better, but Williamson at least redeems himself with a sliding, saving tackle to deny Nani a run through on goal.
25 mins: There seems to be an even split from you guys/girls out there on whether Joey Barton's moustache is a good/bad idea. For my money, I think the 'tache's disappearance from football is a shame. Thoughts?
22 mins: The ball bounces inside the Newcastle half and James Perch gets the wrong side of Nani, the Newcastle right-back hauling down the winger and picking up a yellow card on his Premier League debut.
21 mins: Andy Carroll, in fact, has three Premier League goals to his name already - against West Ham, Manchester City and Stoke City, all two seasons ago. But he's not yet scored in the number nine Newcastle shirt, the shirt of Hughie Gallagher, Jackie Milburn, Malcolm Macdonald and Alan Shearer. Yet.
18 mins: The good and the bad of Newcastle inside a minute - firstly, Andy Carroll slams in a left-foot shot from 20 yards that Edwin van der Sar has to get down well to save, before Joey Barton picks up a yellow card for a naughty, late challenge on Nani as the Portuguese went flying into the Magpies half.
From everton_tony on Twitter:
"It's nice to see the newly promoted teams playing well. Let's hope hard work and effort beats mad budgets this season."
15 mins: Much better from Man Utd in the last couple of minutes, they are properly bossing possession right now. And of course Andy Carroll has played in the Prem before. Of course he has.
13 mins: Man Utd pile some real pressure on the Newcastle goal and the final shot falls to John O'Shea on the edge of the box - but his effort is brilliantly and bravely blocked by Alan Smith.
BBC Radio 5 live's Robbie Savage: "If that's in the Championship, Andy Carroll scores."
10 mins: Andy Carroll will never, ever, ever get a better chance to get off the mark this season. Joey Barton drifts a corner into the Man Utd box and with the home team's defence sleeping, Andy Carroll, from six yards, has a free header in front of goal, which he can only thump well wide. It was easier to score. Remarkable miss.
9 mins: Wayne 'Ambitious' Rooney chances his arm from the left-hand corner of the 18-yard box, playing a neat one-two with Nani and slamming miles over Steve Harper's crossbar.
7 mins: Decent start from Newcastle, quite happy to pack men behind the ball and try and get Kevin Nolan playing off Andy Carroll, with Wayne Routledge providing a pacy threat from the right. Man Utd content to knock it around at the minute.
From jonnysimples on Twitter:
"Great to see NU back in the PL. Fixtures against them always seem to have a sense of theatre and tonight's no exception!"
2 mins: Of course it didn't take them long to get one, as James Perch booted the ball high into the night sky in Manchester and Darren Fletcher headed away. Perch is an interesting one - after years of filling in the gaps at Championship side Forest, he's playing in his best position of right-back tonight. But the second tier this is not. Big night for him.
2002: Yep, we're officially under way. Man Ud haven't had a touch yet.
2001: The injured Rio Ferdinand chats away with England assistant Franco Baldini in the Old Trafford stands as the players go through their final warm-up routines. I was at OT (as a neutral) for this fixture a few seasons ago, when Cristiano Ronaldo ran riot and United won 6-0. Ooh look, Roberto Mancini and Attilio Lombardo are there as well.
2000: Hey, remember when
Wayne Rooney volleyed in after only two minutes
of Man Utd's Champions League quarter-final first leg against Bayern Munich in March? Yeah, but did you know that that was the last time Rooney found the net? The 24-year-old has appeared in 12 games since - five for United and seven for England - and drawn a blank in each and every one. What price a Rooney rocket to light up this fair eve? He's probably due.
1958: Anyone fancy some Monday night football? Both sets of fans are in fabulous voice as the teams, led by Nemanja Vidic and Kevin Nolan, emerge from the tunnel in one corner of the Old Trafford pitch. There's no plinth for referee Chris Foy to pick the ball up from, but we're moments away from kick-off nevertheless.
1954:Infostrada Sports add:
Newcastle United are Wayne Rooney's favourite opponents in Premier League matches, together with Portsmouth. He has scored 10 goals against each of them, more than against any other team.
From StamfordLuke on 606:
"That Newcastle back four looks distinctly average, could be a field day for Rooney, Valencia, Nani and co. 3-0 Man United."
1950: For Newcastle, it's likely that big unit Andy Carroll will be leading the line. If you don't know much about the 21-year-old, let me fill you in: he's 6ft 4in, strong as an ox, likes to hold the ball up and
will happily go toe-to-toe with any defender in the world.
If you're a Man Utd fan, trust me - come 2200 BST, you won't like Andy Carroll. Oh, and after 19 league goals last season, he knows where the net is, too.
Newcastle manager Chris Hughton: "It's probably not the ideal choice. I think the ideal choice would have been to have a home game, but we're aware that everything's possible even though we're massive underdogs. We mustn't go in there with any fear."
Man Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson: "I didn't expect Newcastle to come back so quickly, it is not easy to go down and come back at the first go and very few teams have done that over the years. But you have to give Chris Hughton credit."
From MUFC4LIFE via text: "Just seen the line up. Looks like the Geordies are going to park the bus in front of the goal. I think they would "love it", love it" if they got a point. 3-0 to Man Utd."
1944: Wouldn't be a day of football without our friends from
would it? Manchester United are the second best club in Europe according to the Euro Club Index
(Latest ranking is here).
Tonight's opponents Newcastle United are ranked outside the top-100 in Europe in 103rd position. Manchester United are given an 84% chance of winning this match by the Euro Club Index. Newcastle United have just a 5% chance. That makes this the second most lop-sided match of the first Premier League weekend. Only Chelsea were bigger favourites (87%).
1940: Manchester United v Newcastle team news: Once again, here's
Saj Chowdhury:"Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov will partner Wayne Rooney up front, with new signings Javier Hernandez and Chris Smalling on the bench. Forward Michael Owen fails to feature. Jonny Evans joins Nemanja Vidic in the heart of the defence. Newcastle pack the midfield with Andy Carroll the lone man up front. New signing James Perch takes his place at right-back, while there are four forwards on the bench for the Magpies."
1937: BBC Radio 5 live are currently playing a Mark Chapman interview with the great Ryan Giggs, in case you're interested.
1935: Manchester United v Newcastle line-ups: Man Utd: Van der Sar, O'Shea, Vidic, Jonathan Evans, Evra, Valencia, Fletcher, Scholes, Nani, Berbatov, Rooney. Subs: Kuszczak, Rafael Da Silva, Smalling, Carrick, Giggs, Macheda, Hernandez. Newcastle: Harper, Perch, Coloccini, Williamson, Jose Enrique, Routledge, Smith, Nolan, Barton, Gutierrez, Carroll. Subs: Krul, Ryan Taylor, Xisco, Ameobi, Vuckic, Ranger, Tavernier. Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside)
From 50in50 on 606:
"Not upset Stevo, you lot in the media keep writing us off, we keep winning things. It's a system that works. 3-1 Man Utd."
From Arfa the bear on 606:
"C'mon the Toon. We may not be the best technical team, but there is no question we are a team of fighters."
1923: MAN UTD v NEWCASTLE Here's our match reporter
anyway: "Champions Chelsea's 6-0 thrashing of West Brom was a scoreline that would have sent shivers down the spines of every other Premier League team, with the probable exception of Manchester United. A week earlier, Sir Alex Ferguson's men laid down their own marker with a 3-1 victory over the Blues in the Community Shield and they, again, are likely to be the London side's main challengers. Promoted Newcastle's first XI will have a familiar look to the side that slumped at Aston Villa two seasons ago, which confirmed their relegation. The one big difference is the addition of confidence. Chris Hughton's side cruised to the Championship title in an often staid, methodical yet effective manner. Expect more of the same this season from the new-thinking Magpies."
1921: Breaking transfer news: Birmingham have announced the signing of former Blackburn striker Matt Derbyshire on a one-year loan from Olympiakos.
From olliescrim on Twitter:
"I'd be delighted to see as comical a finish from Chicharito as the one he scored against Chelsea. Still makes me laugh."
BBC Radio 5 live's Robbie Savage on Craig Bellamy: "Craig has not been fined, that's not true. He's got a good relationship with Man City, says there's no problem at all between them. He thinks he should be in the City 25-man squad, but he's not. He's been at a club today having discussions but I can't tell you who it is. It might surprise you, possibly. He's had offers from clubs who might finish higher than Man City!"
From Mark, Reading, via text: "Don't forget the classic MNF game from March 96 at St James Park- Newcastle battered Utd but Cantona scored a second-half winner as Newcastle's implosion gathered pace."
and this is always a pleasure, never a chore - especially when you ignore your so-called *mates* down the pub and whack your top drawer chat over to me instead. Here's how: you can send texts to 81111 (UK) and +44 7786200666 (worldwide); you can get in the mood on the 606 page of truth; and you can
join the revolution by tweeting me right up too.
Oh happy, happy days.
1908: Hearing news that Dimitar Berbatov will play alongside Wayne Rooney this evening, with Michael Owen not even on the United bench. Newcastle have packed their midfield - full line-ups on the way shortly.
1907: Anyway, the warmest of all welcomes to the first Monday of the new campaign. We're nine games, 23 goals, three red cards and a whole host of controversial incidents into the new Premier League season already, so what will tonight bring? Eighteen teams down, only two to go, and what I want to know this evening is as follows: Manchester United, Newcastle United - what are you saying?
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