NEWCASTLE UNTED 0, MANCHESTER UNITED 4
A much-changed Manchester United side continued their exemplary away record with their forth win in a row away from Old Trafford.
A brace of goals by Juan Mata either side of the break was followed by second half strikes by Javier Hernandez (who had hit the woodwork in the first half) and an injury time finish by Adnan Januzaj who had played the majority of the game after an early wrist injury to Ashley Young.
The handsome win continued their record as the best performing club away from home in the Barclays Premier League with ten wins and three draws on their travels this season.
There were few surprises when David Moyes’ team for the game at Newcastle United was revealed today. With a vitally important trip to Munich looming next Wednesday there were eight changes to the side that faced Bayern at Old Trafford as they prioritised a place in the Champions League Semi Finals.
Out went David de Gea, Alexander Buttner, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Michael Carrick, Ryan Giggs, Danny Welbeck, and Wayne Rooney.
In came Anders Lindegard, Patrice Evra, Chris Smalling, Darren Fletcher, Ashley Young, Shinji Kagawa, Mata and Hernandez.
In an ideal world, any team would have felt they had a chance against a team making so many changes and with one eye on the a trip to Munich next Wednesday but Newcastle United proved to be very accommodating hosts who gave Moyes’ side the freedom of St James’ Park.
United made light of the absence of Wayne Rooney who was absent with a toe injury sustained in last Tuesday’s Champions League Quarter Final 1st Leg against Bayern Munich.
He joined Robin Van Persie on the sidelines and could miss the return leg in Munich next Wednesday if David Moyes is to be believed.
It was Mata, a player who is ineligible for this season’s Champions League due to being Cup tied with Chelsea earlier in the season, who dominated the game for United today along with Kagawa to the point where Rooney wasn’t missed.
He scored an early free kick after Fletcher had been fouled by Dan Gosling. Kagawa played in Hernandez only to see the little Mexican’s shot tipped onto the post by Rob Elliot in the Newcastle goal.
Hernandez provided the ammunition for Mata to wrong-foot Elliot and score his second after the break and got onto the scoresheet himself from six yards out after Kagawa’s cut-back.
Mata topped a sparkling show by back-heeling the ball into the path of Januzaj for United’s fourth.
United will certainly miss the influence shown by their cup-tied Spanish playmaker although Bayern will not be as easy a proposition as the Magpies were.