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Page last updated at 22:26 GMT, Monday, 16 August 2010 23:26 UK

Man Utd boss Alex Ferguson hails 'special' Paul Scholes

Paul Scholes and Fabricio Coloccini
Scholes pulled the strings for Manchester United

Sir Alex Ferguson paid tribute to Paul Scholes after the veteran masterminded Manchester United's 3-0 victory over Newcastle at Old Trafford.

The 35-year-old provided the assists for the first and third goals as the Red Devils got their Premier League title challenge off to a winning start.

"He's got a marvellous passing range and vision," said manager Ferguson.

"Anyone who gets to that age and retains that appetite is blessed with something special."

The midfielder has spent his entire 17-year professional career at Old Trafford, and has made over 400 appearances, winning nine league titles.

Fletcher hails 'unbelievable' Scholes

"The game always needs players like that," Ferguson added.

"There are still a lot of good players in the game and tonight Scholes produced."

The midfielder was handed the man-of-the-match award and played down the significance of his contributions.

"The most important thing was to win the game," he said.

"We could have scored more, but we'll take a 3-0 win. Newcastle came here and set their stall by defending deep. A lot of teams come here and try to make it difficult but we were patient."

Apart from the goals from Dimitar Berbatov, Darren Fletcher and Ryan Giggs, the home side created plenty of other chances during a match they dominated - although Newcastle went close early in the match when Andy Carroll powered a header wide.


"I expected Newcastle to work hard because they got back into the Premier League with a good work ethic. They played some good football in the first 10 minutes," added Ferguson.

"We were a little wasteful in front of goal - I think Berbatov had three or four chances."

Newcastle manager Chris Hughton said he was relieved his side did not have to play at Old Trafford every week.

"There will be games when we will have a larger share of possession," said the former Tottenham assistant.

"In those games, we will have to get to right areas and be as clinical as we can.

Hughton tries to find positives

"When you come to Old Trafford you have to contain as much as possible, and obviously attack when the opportunities appear.

"In the first 30 minutes we able to do that but then unfortunately we gave the ball away. They had too much quality not to capitalise on those errors."

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see also
Man Utd 3-0 Newcastle
16 Aug 10 |  Premier League
Man Utd v Newcastle as it happened
16 Aug 10 |  Football
Phelan hails 'vintage Scholes'
17 Apr 10 |  Man Utd
Scholes hints at World Cup regret
27 Jul 10 |  Football
Scholes wanted to quit - Ferguson
04 May 10 |  Man Utd

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