Manchester United's title challenge suffered another blow with a heavy defeat at Newcastle.

The visitors, who lost to Blackburn on New Year's Eve , went behind before the break when striker Demba Ba hooked in his 15th goal of the season.

Yohan Cabaye doubled Newcastle's lead with a 30-yard free-kick before Phil Jones diverted in a late own goal.

Wayne Rooney had a shot blocked on the line and Dimitar Berbatov's header hit the post for the champions.

Ferguson credits "fantastic goals"

The Jones howler, which came deep in stoppage time, summed up Manchester United's night at the Sports Direct Arena.

Visiting manager Sir Alex Ferguson said prior to the match that his side may be affected by the strong winds - and they indeed failed to cope in the difficult conditions as Alan Pardew's Newcastle thrived.

But the champions were also slow to the loose ball and ineffective in attack. The defeat leaves them three points behind fierce local rivals Manchester City, who beat Liverpool 3-0 on Tuesday .

With Tottenham breathing down their necks, Ferguson will need to call upon all his great managerial experience to lift his players after two successive league defeats.

Analysis

Newcastle were sensational. They had every attribute for a team performance, but everything will worry Sir Alex Ferguson after this result. I expected a wounded animal after his team lost to Blackburn.

This was arguably his side's worst performance of the season, but the Magpies deserve credit because they were faster, stronger and sharper.

The home side won the key battles in the middle, while Manchester United centre-backs Rio Ferdinand and Phil Jones failed to cope with the muscle of strikers Ba and Shola Ameobi when the ball was pitched up.

At the other end of the field, Rooney and Berbatov were given little space by the Newcastle back four, with defensive midfielder Cheick Tiote producing another tireless performance as back-up.

Pardew hails 'good night' for Newcastle

The game may have turned out differently had Berbatov capitalised on Antonio Valencia's cross with the score goalless but his deflected header struck the base of Tim Krul's right-hand upright.

Manchester United's only other clear chance fell to Rooney, whose strike from four yards was blocked by Newcastle right-back Danny Simpson to preserve the home side's 2-0 lead.

Apart from those efforts, the Old Trafford side struggled to create. Nani occasionally delivered a dangerous ball, but the front two were often found dropping deep in order to bring themselves into the game.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Man Utd have conceded three+ goals in consecutive league games for the first time since Feb 2004 (4-3 v Everton, 2-3 v M'boro).
  • This is the first time Man Utd have lost two Premier League matches by at least three goals in the same season since 2005/2006.
  • It is nearly seven years since Man Utd last lost two successive matches to teams from outside the Traditional Big Four, losing to Norwich City and Everton in April 2005.

For Newcastle manager Pardew, he will enjoy what is undoubtedly one of the best results of his managerial career.

His side took the lead in the first half when Ba picked up a flick from partner Ameobi and then hooked his shot past Anders Lindegaard, who conceded only his second goal in eight appearances.

Two minutes after the break, the Magpies extended the lead with one of the strikes of the season when France midfielder Cabaye curled in a 30-yard free-kick which bounced in off the underside of the bar.

The visitors' night came to a calamitous conclusion when keeper Krul's long punt downfield was misjudged by Jones, who diverted the ball into the net.

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (6)

Newcastle

  • 26 Krul
  • 02 Coloccini
  • 03 Santon
  • 05 Simpson
  • 06 Williamson
  • 16 R Taylor
  • 04 Cabaye (Perch - 77' )
  • 18 Gutierrez
  • 24 Tiote Booked
  • 19 Ba (Obertan - 89' )
  • 23 Sh Ameobi (Best - 75' )

Substitutes

  • 01 Harper
  • 14 Perch
  • 10 Ben Arfa
  • 25 Obertan
  • 29 Vuckic
  • 20 Best
  • 28 Sa Ameobi

Man Utd

  • 34 Lindegaard
  • 03 Evra
  • 04 Jones Booked
  • 05 Ferdinand
  • 11 Giggs
  • 13 Park Ji-sung (Hernandez - 66' )
  • 16 Carrick
  • 17 Nani
  • 25 Valencia Booked
  • 09 Berbatov (Welbeck - 57' )
  • 10 Rooney (Anderson - 74' )

Substitutes

  • 01 De Gea
  • 21 Rafael
  • 08 Anderson
  • 42 Pogba
  • 53 Lingard
  • 14 Hernandez
  • 19 Welbeck
Ref: H Webb
Att: 52,299

Match Stats

Shots

10 6

On target

6 6

Corners

4 4

Fouls

16 15

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +4:45 Full time

Full Time The referee blows for the end of the match.

90:00 +2:01

Danny Welbeck concedes a free kick for a foul on Cheick Tiote. Tim Krul takes the free kick.

89:39

Assist by Tim Krul.

89:39 Goal scored

Goal! - Phil Jones - Newcastle 3 - 0 Man Utd Phil Jones puts the ball into his own goal from 12 yards. Newcastle 3-0 Man Utd.

88:37

Free kick taken by Tim Krul.

88:37 Substitution

Substitution Gabriel Obertan comes on in place of Demba Ba.

88:37

Danny Welbeck concedes a free kick for a foul on Cheick Tiote.

88:15

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Javier Hernandez by Fabricio Coloccini. Michael Carrick takes the free kick.

87:43

Luis Nani crosses the ball, comfortable save by Tim Krul.

86:37

Michael Carrick concedes a free kick for a foul on Leon Best. Free kick crossed by Ryan Taylor.

83:26

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Phil Jones by Leon Best. Free kick taken by Rio Ferdinand.

83:06

Michael Carrick takes a shot. Cheick Tiote gets a block in.

82:48

Short corner taken by Rio Ferdinand from the right by-line.

82:43

Ryan Giggs sends in a cross, Davide Santon manages to make a clearance.

82:29

Patrice Evra decides to take a short corner.

82:03

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Luis Nani by Davide Santon. Oliveira Anderson takes the free kick.

80:47

Antonio Valencia concedes a free kick for a foul on Jonas Gutierrez. Free kick taken by Tim Krul.

80:22

Direct free kick taken by Oliveira Anderson.

80:22 Booking

Booking Booking for Cheick Tiote for unsporting behaviour.

80:18

Free kick awarded for a foul by Cheick Tiote on Michael Carrick.

79:35

The referee blows for offside against Javier Hernandez. Tim Krul restarts play with the free kick.

78:52

The ball is swung over by Ryan Giggs, Davide Santon manages to make a clearance.

77:55

Centre by Luis Nani, save by Tim Krul.

76:32

Tim Krul takes the free kick.

76:32 Substitution

Substitution James Perch replaces Yohan Cabaye.

76:32

The offside flag is raised against Javier Hernandez.

73:45

Free kick taken by Tim Krul.

73:45 Substitution

Substitution Leon Best replaces Shola Ameobi.

73:45 Substitution

Substitution Oliveira Anderson joins the action as a substitute, replacing Wayne Rooney.

73:45

Javier Hernandez is flagged offside by the assistant referee.

72:02

Shola Ameobi concedes a free kick for a foul on Michael Carrick. Michael Carrick restarts play with the free kick.

71:37

Ryan Taylor crosses the ball, Headed effort from inside the area by Demba Ba misses to the left of the goal.

70:16

Antonio Valencia crosses the ball, Danny Simpson manages to make a clearance.

67:45

Michael Carrick gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Yohan Cabaye. Direct free kick taken by Tim Krul.

66:41

Unfair challenge on Ryan Giggs by Fabricio Coloccini results in a free kick. Michael Carrick takes the free kick.

65:52

Outswinging corner taken by Ryan Taylor, save by Anders Lindegaard.

65:36

The assistant referee flags for offside against Jonas Gutierrez. Free kick taken by Michael Carrick.

64:09

Free kick taken by Ryan Taylor.

64:09 Substitution

Substitution Javier Hernandez comes on in place of Ji-Sung Park.

64:09

Antonio Valencia challenges Jonas Gutierrez unfairly and gives away a free kick.

63:15

The ball is swung over by Ji-Sung Park, clearance made by Mike Williamson.

62:04

Unfair challenge on Tim Krul by Wayne Rooney results in a free kick. Tim Krul takes the direct free kick.

60:42

Tim Krul takes the direct free kick.

60:42 Booking

Booking Antonio Valencia receives a caution for unsporting behaviour.

60:33

Jonas Gutierrez fouled by Antonio Valencia, the ref awards a free kick.

60:15

Centre by Ryan Giggs.

59:48

Ji-Sung Park crosses the ball, clearance made by Fabricio Coloccini.

58:33

Unfair challenge on Davide Santon by Antonio Valencia results in a free kick. Tim Krul takes the direct free kick.

58:07

Luis Nani crosses the ball, Wayne Rooney produces a volleyed right-footed shot from 12 yards. Danny Simpson manages to make a clearance.

57:56

A cross is delivered by Antonio Valencia, clearance made by Danny Simpson.

57:11

Yohan Cabaye challenges Patrice Evra unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Phil Jones.

56:10

Phil Jones takes the direct free kick.

56:10 Substitution

Substitution Danny Welbeck is brought on as a substitute for Dimitar Berbatov.

56:10

Shola Ameobi gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Patrice Evra.

53:39

Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Ryan Taylor, Mike Williamson produces a header from deep inside the six-yard box that clears the crossbar.

52:55

Corner taken by Ryan Taylor from the right by-line.

52:48

The ball is delivered by Ryan Taylor, blocked by Patrice Evra.

52:05

The ball is crossed by Antonio Valencia.

49:44

Luis Nani takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Save made by Tim Krul.

48:47

Centre by Cheick Tiote, Anders Lindegaard makes a save.

48:16

Free kick awarded for a foul by Ryan Taylor on Ji-Sung Park. Ji-Sung Park restarts play with the free kick.

46:44

The assist for the goal came from Demba Ba.

46:44 Goal scored

Goal! - Yohan Cabaye - Newcastle 2 - 0 Man Utd Yohan Cabaye hits the back of the net with a goal direct from the free kick from long range to the top left corner of the goal. Newcastle 2-0 Man Utd.

45:47 Booking

Booking Phil Jones receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.

45:43

Unfair challenge on Demba Ba by Phil Jones results in a free kick.

45:26

The ball is sent over by Luis Nani, clearance made by Fabricio Coloccini.

45:01

The second half has started.

45:00 +2:45 Half time

Half Time The ref blows to signal half-time.

45:00 +2:03

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Fabricio Coloccini by Wayne Rooney. Tim Krul restarts play with the free kick.

45:00 +1:46

Drilled right-footed shot by Demba Ba. Save by Anders Lindegaard.

41:07

Ryan Giggs challenges Demba Ba unfairly and gives away a free kick. Ryan Taylor produces a shot on goal direct from the free kick.

38:51

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Ryan Giggs by Shola Ameobi. Free kick taken by Ryan Giggs.

37:12

Antonio Valencia challenges Davide Santon unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Tim Krul.

35:45

Corner taken by Ryan Giggs played to the near post, Demba Ba manages to make a clearance.

35:36

The ball is crossed by Ryan Giggs, clearance by Ryan Taylor.

34:25

Centre by Shola Ameobi, Anders Lindegaard makes a save.

33:37

A cross is delivered by Antonio Valencia, Fabricio Coloccini gets a block in.

33:16

Foul by Cheick Tiote on Wayne Rooney, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Ryan Giggs.

32:06

Assist by Shola Ameobi.

32:06 Goal scored

Goal! - Demba Ba - Newcastle 1 - 0 Man Utd Demba Ba gets on the score sheet with a goal from inside the area to the top left corner of the goal. Newcastle 1-0 Man Utd.

31:30

The official flags Dimitar Berbatov offside. Tim Krul takes the free kick.

30:55

Demba Ba challenges Rio Ferdinand unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Michael Carrick.

30:11

The ball is swung over by Luis Nani, Danny Simpson manages to make a clearance.

29:16

Ryan Taylor produces a cross.

28:11

Foul by Fabricio Coloccini on Ji-Sung Park, free kick awarded. Rio Ferdinand takes the direct free kick.

27:53

Jonas Gutierrez crosses the ball, Phil Jones manages to make a clearance.

27:14

Antonio Valencia gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jonas Gutierrez. Ryan Taylor takes the direct free kick.

26:27

Cheick Tiote produces a cross, Shola Ameobi produces a header from inside the area that goes over the crossbar.

23:46

Unfair challenge on Antonio Valencia by Jonas Gutierrez results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Antonio Valencia.

23:39

Yohan Cabaye produces a cross.

22:25

The official flags Dimitar Berbatov offside. Indirect free kick taken by Fabricio Coloccini.

20:08

Corner taken by Ryan Giggs from the left by-line.

19:17

The referee gives a free kick against Yohan Cabaye for handball. Wayne Rooney produces a strike on goal direct from the free kick.

18:03

The ball is sent over by Danny Simpson, Rio Ferdinand makes a clearance.

17:39

Corner taken by Ryan Taylor, save by Anders Lindegaard.

17:29

Yohan Cabaye takes a shot. Blocked by Phil Jones.

15:29

The ball is crossed by Luis Nani, clearance made by Fabricio Coloccini.

14:12

Patrice Evra sends in a cross, Headed effort from inside the area by Dimitar Berbatov strikes the post.

12:15

Antonio Valencia challenges Jonas Gutierrez unfairly and gives away a free kick. Tim Krul restarts play with the free kick.

12:06

Patrice Evra sends in a cross, clearance made by Ryan Taylor.

12:02

The ball is delivered by Ryan Giggs, Fabricio Coloccini makes a clearance.

11:00

Luis Nani produces a curled right-footed shot from 20 yards. Tim Krul makes a save.

10:22

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Wayne Rooney by Mike Williamson. Free kick taken by Ryan Giggs.

7:28

Cheick Tiote takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Save made by Anders Lindegaard.

5:32

Yohan Cabaye takes a shot. Save by Anders Lindegaard.

4:51

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Wayne Rooney by Cheick Tiote. Direct free kick taken by Michael Carrick.

4:08

Centre by Yohan Cabaye, save by Anders Lindegaard.

3:55

Danny Simpson produces a cross.

2:46

Danny Simpson delivers the ball, save made by Anders Lindegaard.

0:37

Ji-Sung Park produces a cross, Mike Williamson makes a clearance.

0:00

The game gets underway.

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