For the second straight loss, Manchester United have lost. Once again, it was to a team outside of the top six. Though, there was something strangely not shocking about the Red Devils' 3-0 loss to Newcastle United at St. James' Park, as United looked very similar to the team who lost at home to Blackburn less than a week ago. Demba Ba, Yohan Cabaye and goalkeeper Tim Krul were brilliant, while United looked very much like a team dealing with an injury crisis.
Man United's center of midfield featured Wayne Rooney and Ryan Giggs, and it is hardly a poor reflection on them as footballers that they were inferior to Cabaye and Cheik Tiote in the center. Demba Ba stole the show, however, scoring a stunning first-half goal and helping to create other opportunities for his teammates with great runs off the ball. His 33rd minute volley was perhaps the highlight of the match, but it merely the beginning of Newcastle's time on top of the Red Devils.
Cabaye scored Newcastle's second in the 47th minute, hitting a jaw-dropping free kick from 30 yards, sneaking his shot just under the crossbar. It was the icing on the cake of a brilliant performance, where the Frenchman contributed just as much with his passing and tackling as he did with that free kick goal.
Manchester United were mostly on top from then until the end, but only because Newcastle let up on the gas a bit. They never really created any clear-cut chances, and Newcastle always looked in control. Krul's command of his area was superb, as was Fabricio Coloccini's positioning.
Phil Jones put in an own goal to make it 3-0 in stoppage time, but the game was already over before then. Newcastle send Tiote and Ba to the African Cup of Nations on a perfect note, with a massive win over one of the best teams in England.