Manchester United missed a chance to join Manchester City atop English soccer’s Premier League with a 3-0 defeat at Newcastle, its second straight loss.
Demba Ba and Yohan Cabaye scored the first two goals for the home team last night and United’s Phil Jones added an own goal late in the game as Newcastle ended the defending champion’s unbeaten away league record this season.
“We won because we controlled the game in terms of what we wanted to do, we wouldn’t let them play,” Newcastle manager Alan Pardew told Sky Sports. “It was a great victory for us.”
City, which two days ago beat Liverpool 3-0, has 48 points, followed by United with 45. Tottenham has 42, Chelsea 37, Arsenal 36 and Liverpool 34, one more than Newcastle.
In yesterday’s other game, goalkeeper Tim Howard scored for Everton before Bolton rallied to win 2-1 and climb off the bottom of the league into 18th spot.
In the fourth minute at the Sports Direct Arena, Ba was unable to make contact with a cross by fullback Danny Simpson as Newcastle created the first scoring chance.
Anders Lindegaard, preferred in goal to David de Gea for United, held a low 20-yard (18 meter) drive from Cabaye two minutes later, then a long-range effort by Cheick Tiote.
United tested Newcastle keeper Tim Krul with a swerving shot by Nani and a header from Dimitar Berbatov that deflected against the foot of a post.
Ba scored for a 15th time this season on 33 minutes. Shola Ameobi flicked on the ball and Ba volleyed past Lindegaard under pressure from Rio Ferdinand. The Senegal striker is now set to represent his country at the African Nations Cup.
Newcastle doubled its advantage two minutes after the interval after Jones fouled Ba about 30 yards from goal. Cabaye, who along with Ba is in his first season with the Magpies, bent the free kick into the top corner of the net.
“They scored a fantastic goal which lifted everyone in the stadium,” United manager Alex Ferguson told Sky Sports. “The second one just after halftime, killed it for us.”
United was denied a goal in the 59th minute as Simpson, on his 25th birthday, blocked Wayne Rooney’s attempt on the line.
Rooney and Berbatov were substituted in the second half, with Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck coming on, as United attempted to find a way back into the game.
Defensive Mix up
Newcastle’s defense held firm and the hosts got a third goal when Jones headed the ball into his own net in the final minute following a misunderstanding with Lindegaard.
The Magpies had won only once in their past eight games and lost two of the last three at home. United is on a two-game losing run after a 3-2 home defeat to Blackburn on Dec. 31.
Everton gave a start to Los Angeles Galaxy forward Landon Donovan, who is on a two-month loan. The all-time top scorer for the U.S. national team was upstaged by countryman Howard at Goodison Park.
The goalkeeper put the home team ahead on 63 minutes when a long clearance down the field bounced past Bolton’s Adam Bogdan in the other goal and into the net. Howard is the fourth goalkeeper to score in the Premier League.
Bolton recovered with a goal from David N’Gog four minutes later before England center-back Gary Cahill got the winner after 78 minutes.
Cahill, who has held talks with Chelsea about a move during this month’s transfer window, fired past Howard from the edge of the penalty area.
Blackburn drops to last place, with Wigan also below Bolton, which is now one point behind Wolverhampton Wanderers and Queens Park Rangers. Everton remains in 11th.