Manchester United go easy on poor Newcastle
Manchester United veteran Paul Scholes felt his team could have scored more but was content with the 3-0 win over Newcastle as the Red Devils opened their campaign with a convincing victory.
The veteran shone in midfield as goals from Dimitar Berbatov, Darren Fletcher and Ryan Giggs, the first and third of which were created by the 35-year-old, made it a comfortable night for United.
“The most important thing is to win the game,” said Scholes.
“Maybe we could have scored more but we'll take a 3-0 win on the first day of the season.
“Newcastle came, set their stall out and defended deep. Once we got the goal we were a constant threat.
“A lot of teams come here and try to make it difficult. We just had to tire them out as much as we could.
“Second half especially, I really enjoyed that: creating chances, looking like we were going to score whenever we went forward.”
On Giggs' strike, which the Welshman finished following a fine team move, he added: “It was a great goal to watch. We kept the ball well and it was a fantastic goal to start off with.”
Red Devils boss Sir Alex Ferguson was impressed with Scholes, who also shone in the Community Shield.
Ferguson said: “He showed at his age, you don't lose what he's got: passing, vision, and he's still got a good appetite for the game.
“The game needs that. There's plenty of good players in our country. Sometimes we beat ourselves up about the standard but there's plenty of good in it.”
Ferguson felt Newcastle provided his side with a good early test.
“They got into the Premier League last season by being determined, good work ethic, good unit and we saw that out there,” he said. “They were difficult to break down at times.
“We were wasteful with some chances. Dimitar Berbatov could have scored three or four, but his performance was excellent.
“The three points is always important in your first home match. For most of the game we controlled it, we passed the ball well at times. It was a steady performance.”
The only real disappointment for United was another blank day for Wayne Rooney, who has now gone 13 matches for club and country since he last scored, against Bayern Munich in March.
Questions will continue to be asked of Rooney until he starts to show the form that established himself as one of the world's leading players last season. But at the moment he is trying too hard.