x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Newcastle United 0 Manchester United 3

Wayne Rooney was eager to praise Manchester United's defence after they claimed an impressive 3-0 win at Newcastle United.

Jonny Evans, centre, celebrates after scoring the first goal against Newcastle United. Stu Forster / Getty Images
Jonny Evans, centre, celebrates after scoring the first goal against Newcastle United. Stu Forster / Getty Images

NEWCASTLE // Wayne Rooney was eager to praise Manchester United's defence after they claimed an impressive 3-0 win at Newcastle.

United have leaked goals at the start of the Premier League season, but picked up a clean sheet.

Early headers from the defenders Jonny Evans and Patrice Evra put the visitors in front before Tom Cleverley wrapped up the win with a fine curling shot.

Rooney told Sky Sports: "It's a great result. Everyone knows this is probably one of the hardest games of the season. We came here, defended brilliantly. The first six games of the season we haven't defended well enough - not just the back four, the whole team, and today we were brilliant against a physical team."

Rooney himself is still to get his first goal of the season, but he claimed he was "not concerned" by his personal drought.

There was some doubt over whether Cleverley meant his excellent finish or if he had over-hit his attempt to pick out Robin van Persie at the far post. He said: "I meant to put it in the far corner."

Sir Alex Ferguson, the United manager, felt his side's display was their best of the season. "To come here and win 3-0 against a very powerful and aggressive Newcastle you have to really perform," he said.

The visitors survived a scare at 2-0 when Demba Ba was denied by the bar and then Papiss Cisse was thwarted by a fine recovery save from David de Gea, the keeper clawing the ball away seemingly just before it could cross the line.

Ferguson acknowledged his opposite number Alan Pardew could feel hard done by the goal that was not awarded, even though replays seemed to show the whole ball did not cross the line.

Pardew said: "Probably the turning point was whether the ball went in or not and probably from the replay it didn't. It's tight, looking at the angles ... it looks like it hasn't gone all over the line."

sports@thenational.ae

twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE