Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Newcastle slay Manchester United

Demba Ba
Demba Ba

Newcastle 3-0 Manchester United: Newcastle striker Demba Ba signed off in style as Manchester United's hopes of retaining their Barclays Premier League title were dealt a fresh blow with a 3-0 defeat.

Ba plundered his 15th goal of the season in what seems certain to be his final appearance before heading off on African Nations Cup duty with Senegal to set United on the way to their first back-to-back league defeats for 10 months.

Yohan Cabaye sealed a first victory over Sir Alex Ferguson's men in more than 10 years with a stunning 47th-minute free-kick with Phil Jones' late own goal simply cementing their seventh place in the table.

Alan Pardew's men took the game to the visitors in the early stages. Ba was uncharacteristically wasteful when he failed to make a meaningful connection with Danny Simpson's teasing fourth-minute cross and Cabaye tested Anders Lindegaard's mettle with a shot from distance two minutes later.

Dimitar Berbatov clipped the outside of the post with a deflected header three minutes later, but Newcastle were not content to sit back and defend.

Ba got another chance 12 minutes before the break, and as so often this season, took it in spectacular fashion.

Shola Ameobi climbed high above Phil Jones to flick on Tim Krul's long free-kick and Ba swivelled instantly to smash a right-foot volley high past the stranded Lindegaard.

Jones barged Ba to the ground 30 yards out as the striker threatened to run away from him, and Cabaye curled the resulting free-kick in off the underside of the crossbar with Lindegaard once again helpless.

United would have been back in it within four minutes had it not been for old boy Simpson, who somehow managed to block Wayne Rooney's effort.

Jones' miserable evening was complete in the final minute of normal time when he headed Krul's deep free-kick into his own net.

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