Match ends, Newcastle United 0, Manchester United 1.
- Smalling survives strong penalty appeal
- Evans and Cisse appear to spit at each other
- Di Maria substituted after 59 minutes
- Gutierrez makes first appearance after cancer
Ashley Young capitalised on a late error by Newcastle keeper Tim Krul to give Manchester United victory.
Krul had made a string of fine saves but played Mehdi Abeid's backpass to Young and the winger finished well.
Manchester United defender Jonny Evans and Newcastle United striker Papiss Cisse appeared to spit at each other in a heated first-half exchange.
Newcastle brought on Jonas Gutierrez in the second half for his first game in 17 months after overcoming cancer.
His was not the only notable substitution, with Red Devils midfielder Angel Di Maria coming off for a second consecutive game after a subdued display.
Di Maria is not the only Red Devils player struggling for form this season and this was another laboured victory to keep them in the top four.
Fellow summer recruit Radamel Falcao was an unused substitute - despite the absence of strikers Robin van Persie and James Wilson.
Louis van Gaal said his decision to opt for Marouane Fellaini in place of Falcao was prompted by the expectation that Newcastle would press their visitors aggressively and Newcastle strived to make an early impact.
|Manchester United's Premier League run-in|
|Tottenham (h) 15 March||Everton (a) 26 April|
|Liverpool (a) 22 March||West Brom (h) 2 May|
|Aston Villa (h) 4 April||Crystal Palace (a) 9 May|
|Manchester City (h) 12 April||Arsenal (h) 16 May|
|Chelsea (a) 18 April||Hull (a) 24 May|
The away team were lucky to survive a penalty appeal in the early stages when Chris Smalling mistimed his challenge and brought down Emmanuel Riviere as the French forward burst into the 18-yard box.
The flashpoint between Evans and Cisse came in the closing stages of the first half as the pair jostled for position. Both appeared to kick out before Evans spat in Cisse's direction as the striker climbed back to his feet. Cisse then spat back at Evans's neck but neither was punished by referee Anthony Taylor.
David De Gea is one Manchester United player whose form has not been questioned and the Red Devils were indebted to their goalkeeper for keeping them level.
The Spaniard threw himself at Riviere's first time effort to make a point-blank save after Fabricio Coloccini's header across goal.
At the other end, Krul went one better, making a superb double save to deny Fellaini and Young in quick succession after Di Maria's pass sprung the offside trap.
The introduction of Gutierrez for Ryan Taylor added to the atmosphere and he was given the captain's armband by Coloccini. However his first action back in professional football was to collect a yellow card for a foul on Adnan Januzaj.
After 89 minutes the game's defining moment came. Abeid, under pressure from Wayne Rooney, put his goalkeeper in trouble with a poor backpass but Krul's clearance was weak and allowed Young to drill the ball into the bottom corner.
There was still time for De Gea to make one more save, diving to his right to keep out Cisse's header from six yards.
Newcastle United manager John Carver: "I'm devastated, I'm annoyed. I needed five to 10 minutes to calm down. Our guys gave every inch. But when you play Man Utd you have to concentrate for every minute and we didn't.
"I think we had the best chances and you have to put one of those away. You just wonder if they will hit you on the sucker punch and they did.
"I'm devastated for our guys. The goal at the end the way it came, young Abeid has learned a harsh lesson, he is learning the game."
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal: "I think we have dominated for 90 minutes, maybe our best match of the season, especially in an away match we deserved the victory.
"We didn't reward ourselves in the first half. It was a narrow escape because our rivals have won also so it's a rat race.
"We created a lot of chances and could have scored much earlier. They also made two big chances and I think David De Gea rescued us at that time."
Newcastle's Jonas Gutierrez on his return to playing after battling testicular cancer: "I will remember for the rest of my life the reception. I'm really happy with the reception and the support the fans gave me and the support through the illness.
"The support I have had from clubs all around the world, they don't matter about the shirt, it has helped me keep fighting. For people having the trouble I have been through, you have to be positive. If you believe in the heart you can beat the problems, you can."
- 4TaylorSubstituted forGutiérrezat 65'minutesBooked at 67mins
- 28AmeobiSubstituted forGouffranat 81'minutes
- 29RiviereSubstituted forPérezat 59'minutes
- 1de Gea
- 25A ValenciaBooked at 84mins
- 5RojoBooked at 60minsSubstituted forCarrickat 89'minutes
- 7Di MaríaSubstituted forJanuzajat 59'minutes
- 31FellainiSubstituted forMataat 82'minutes
- Anthony Taylor
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Newcastle United 0, Manchester United 1.
Attempt missed. Mehdi Abeid (Newcastle United) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.
Juan Mata (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Daryl Janmaat (Newcastle United).
Attempt saved. Papiss Demba Cissé (Newcastle United) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Moussa Sissoko with a cross.
Goal! Newcastle United 0, Manchester United 1. Ashley Young (Manchester United) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner.
Substitution, Manchester United. Michael Carrick replaces Marcos Rojo.
Foul by Marcos Rojo (Manchester United).
Mehdi Abeid (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Antonio Valencia (Manchester United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Antonio Valencia (Manchester United).
Yoan Gouffran (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Manchester United. Juan Mata replaces Marouane Fellaini.
Substitution, Newcastle United. Yoan Gouffran replaces Sammy Ameobi.
Foul by Chris Smalling (Manchester United).
Papiss Demba Cissé (Newcastle United) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Offside, Newcastle United. Mehdi Abeid tries a through ball, but Daryl Janmaat is caught offside.
Offside, Manchester United. Antonio Valencia tries a through ball, but Wayne Rooney is caught offside.
Attempt saved. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Ashley Young with a cross.