Andy Carroll scored three goals as newly promoted Newcastle secured a 6-0 Premier League home win over Aston Villa today. Manchester United drew 2-2 at Fulham.
Newcastle’s victory was the third such score of the weekend’s program, after champion Chelsea beat Wigan 6-0 yesterday -- having defeated West Brom by the same score a week earlier -- and Arsenal defeated Blackpool by the same margin.
“I couldn’t have forecast this,” Newcastle coach Chris Hughton told ESPN. “We expected a very tough game, but once we got the first goal that lifted any fears we might have had and we played some very good attacking football. The quality and intensity of our play was too much for them.
Villa, which last week sold James Milner to Manchester City, was under the charge of caretaker manager Kevin MacDonald following the exit of Martin O’Neill.
Fulham’s Brede Hangeland scored an own goal before grabbing a late leveler in today’s game, after United could have gone 3-1 up from the penalty spot before the equalizing goal.
Paul Scholes scored his 150th goal for United as his team took the lead at Craven Cottage. The 35-year-old opened the scoring in the 11th minute, sending a right-foot shot from more than 25 yards just inside a post.
Simon Davies put the ball over United’s goal, and former Fulham goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar pulled off a double save from Dickson Etuhu.
Davies made it 1-1 in the 57th minute after Bobby Zamora set up a shooting chance for the team coached by ex-United player Mark Hughes. Fulham had a penalty appeal turned down when Nemanja Vidic tugged at Moussa Dembele’s jersey.
In the 84th minute, United broke through from a corner as the ball deflected into the net off Hangeland’s leg. Within three minutes David Stockdale saved a Nani penalty after Damien Duff was judged to have handled the ball when trying to clear.
Fulham equalized in the 89th minute when Hangeland headed in from a corner.
At Newcastle, Kevin Nolan scored twice and Joey Barton was the other scorer in Newcastle’s rout of Villa, who missed an early penalty kick.
Villa started brightly and should have taken the lead from the penalty spot in the 10th minute, only for John Carew to blast the ball over the bar.
Two minutes later Barton gave Newcastle the lead with a right-foot strike from outside the penalty area. As Villa’s defense crumbled, Nolan and Carroll made it 3-0 at halftime.
Carroll got his second goal in the 67th minute with a left-foot volley after more indecisive defending, then Nolan and Carroll completed the rout in the closing minutes.
Weekend results: Arsenal 6-0 Blackpool; Birmingham 2-1 Blackburn; Everton 1-1 Wolverhampton; Fulham 2-2 Manchester United; Newcastle 6-0 Aston Villa; Stoke 1-2 Tottenham; West Brom 1-0 Sunderland; West Ham 1-3 Bolton; Wigan 0-6 Chelsea.
Manchester City hosts Liverpool tomorrow.