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Newcastle 2-2 Man Utd

A second-half strike from Newcastle's David Edgar denied leaders Manchester United victory in a thrilling match.

The Magpies took a surprise lead when James Milner fired in a stunning shot high into Edwin van der Sar's goal.

The visitors bounced back when Scholes rifled in a brilliant 20-yard shot before he scored a sublime second from a similar distance.

But 19-year-old defender Edgar grabbed a point for Newcastle with a 25-yard drive that deflected in off Scholes.

The action started almost from the word go when Louis Saha came close to giving the visitors the lead, but fired just wide of Shay Given's goal.

Ronaldo, who tormented the inexperienced Newcastle defence all match, gave Saha the chance to make amends for his earlier miss, but this time the Frenchman was thwarted by an impressive save from Given.

The striker then had a header blocked on the line from Giggs' cross, before his miserable day was complete when he came off with an injury.

Nevertheless, Sir Alex Ferguson's men still looked formidable opposition and when Newcastle took the lead it not only stunned the leaders but also the crowd at St James'.

Milner, one of Newcastle's players of the campaign so far, was quick on to Dyer's pass and after cutting in from the left flank smashed in a superb 25-yard shot high into the roof of Van der Sar's goal.

If one thing let Newcastle down earlier in the season it was their defence, and with three first-choice defenders out injured the home side were always going to find it difficult to keep this fantastic Manchester United side at bay.

And true to form, the visitors bounced back courtesy of a bit of magic from Scholes.

The little maestro tricked past two Newcastle challenges on the edge of the area to fire in low.

It was what Ferguson's team deserved and straight after the break Scholes scored his second with another wondrous effort.

The midfielder was fed a square ball and took little time to fire a low drive through the legs of defender Steven Taylor and past a helpless Given.

It looked all over for Glenn Roeder's men until Edgar decided to make a rare foray into the opposition's half.

The Canadian, making his first start for the club as a replacement for the injured Nicky Butt, ventured down the left and hit an opportunist strike that took a slight deflection off Scholes and beat the hand of Van der Sar.

The visitors feverishly looked for a late winner, but their best opportunity, a Ronaldo header, was cleared off the line by an alert Nolberto Solano.

Newcastle manager Glenn Roeder:
"It was terrific and we will enjoy the result. When you play Manchester United you have to keep trying to take the game to them.

"The lads came in and did a great job and it just shows how much courage and team spirit there is in the squad.

"David Edgar is not renowned for his 25 yarders and he must have been saving it for a special occasion."

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson:

"We missed a stack of chances but we have to admire Newcastle's character, they deserved their point.

"We should have won the match but we did not play as well as we have been because they did not allow us to play. I have nothing but praise for them.

"It is a real challenge now for the championship but we are a serious contender and points will be dropped by both teams."

Given, Solano, Taylor, Huntington, Edgar, Dyer, Parker, Emre (Pattison 87), Milner, Martins, Sibierski.
Subs Not Used: Srnicek, Luque, O'Brien, Carroll.

Booked: Parker.

Milner 33, Edgar 74.

Man Utd: Van der Sar, Neville, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Ronaldo, Fletcher (Carrick 77), Scholes, Giggs, Rooney, Saha (Park 36).
Subs Not Used: Heaton, Heinze, O'Shea.

Booked: Scholes, Neville.

Goals: Scholes 40, 46.

Att: 52,302

Ref: R Styles (Hampshire).

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I live in Newcastle, I spent new year's eve waiting to meet the players at the Copthorpe hotel on Newcastle's Quayside, where they have stayed for the past 3 years and it turns out they were at the Hotel Hilton. I really wanted to meet my hero Van der Sar. :(

I usually go up to the Stadium (St James's) to meet the players as they go back onto the bus, I've been for the past 3 years but with it being New year's day and no bus or train services, I didn't go.

We should of won the game, I got a lot of stick from my Newcastle supporting mates, I kept saying that we were the best team and we should of won but as usual they disagreed. :(

That last goal off Edgar was flukey. Definitley.

It's always nice to see my hometown get beaten by Manchester United, so I can rub it in, but it wasn't to be.
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