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Newcastle United

Given 6.0: Couldn't hold United at bay and with the defenders in front of him appearing to take the evening off, rarely looked like stopping United's seven year sequence of success against Newcastle. Replaced by Steve Harper.

N'Zogbia 5.0: Nightmare first half for the defender whose performance will not have enhanced his chances of an end of season move to London. Booked for a foul on Nani and guilty of ball-watching as Rooney ghosted in for first goal. Improved second half showing.

Taylor 4.5: Takes his share of responsibility for a poor defensive show. Turned a full circle instead of stopping Ronaldo for his first, and failed to mount a challenge of sufficient strength on Ronaldo to stop the winger's second goal but then redeemed himself by climbing well to meet a corner and serve Faye with an easy goal.

Faye 5.0: Showed his frustration at Newcastle's inability to test United with a needless booking for some pushing and shoving on Van Der Sar. Run ragged by United's fluent attack.

Beye 5.5: Tried to offer support along the right flank but his fear of being skinned by Ronaldo and Nani blunted his attacking impact. Less effective as Newcastle heads went down even further in the second half.

Duff 6.0: Some good touches and forward play but couldn't unsettle Wes Brown consistently enough and was ill served by the lack of movement and pace throughout the Newcastle team.

Butt 5.5: Rugged display from the former Red enforcer. Could not stop United from running the game from midfield.

Barton 5.0: Wasted possession with some poor distribution and control. A shadow of the player that had such an impact at Manchester City. Newcastle needed him to be a creative midfield influence. He could not oblige. Replaced by Carroll.

Milner 6.5: Troubled Evra with some good moments from the wing but was not found often enough by Newcastle players to turn the match in the home side's favour.

Smith 5.5: A disappointing display from the former United favourite when he so wanted to, show his best form. Rarely got the better of Vidic or Ferdinand and the poverty of Newcastle's midfield performance meant that he had few outlets when he did take possession of the ball. Did force Van Der Sar into a great fingertip save late on.

Owen 5.5: Poor display from the England frontman. Could not get into the match. Inadequate service from the wings or midfield meant that he was always fighting a losing battle against United's central defenders. His disappointment boiled to the surface with an ugly first half challenge on Vidic for which he was rightly booked.

Substitutes:

Harper 6.0: Couldn't improve on Given's showing, though he did make one good save to deny Scholes.

Caroll 5.0: Couldn't make a difference to a flat Newcastle team.

Manchester United

Van Der Sar 6.5: Generally solid throughout. Again dangerous with his goal kicks.

Brown 6.5: Kept Duff quiet for most of the evening. Part two of his job – getting forward to support Ronaldo was achieved with far less success.

Ferdinand 7: A magisterial moment in the first half when the defender dispossessed England's Michael Owen in the penalty area with a perfectly-timed challenged was indicative of a comfortable evening's work.

Vidic 7: Will nurse a heavy bruise on his leg after Owen's heavy challenge but that will hurt less thanks to United's emphatic victory and a satisfying personal display. Replaced by Scholes.

Evra 7: A few tricky moments early on caused by Milner ‘s pace gave way to another sterling performance. Had the Newcastle sorcerer in his pocket for most of the first half and is showing signs of developing a good understanding with Nani on the left. Replaced by O'Shea.

Nani 6.5: Will be pleased with the run of games in the first team after a mid-season dip in form and is showing up well. Had the beating of both Newcastle fullbacks and was a constant torment.

Carrick 8.0: Ran the midfield with a typically discreet display. His pass for Ronaldo's goal was showreel stuff.

Fletcher 7.0: Less flamboyant than against Arsenal last Saturday but effective in wresting midfield control away from Newcastle and giving United an effective central platform from which to control the game. Then, to demonstrate his versatility, filled in at right back without alarm.

Ronaldo 8.0: Two goals and a great assist for the Portuguese flyer, and that without having one of his most influential games. Takes his Premiership tally to 21 for the season.

Tevez 6.5: Not at his predatory best tonight. Should have scored with a first half header after being set up by a peach of a cross from Nani.

Rooney 8.5: Took his goals well and was his usual industrious self, running all over the pitch to win balls and tackes. What a team man! Rightly named the man of the match.

Substitutes:

Scholes 6.0: Maintained United's midfield dominance and might have scored midway through the second half after linking well with the attack.

O'Shea 6.0: Didn't match Evra's impact but with Newcastle offering little along the right, he was not unduly threatened.

Saha 6.0: Excellent interchange with Rooney for the fifth goal. At last, he smiled.
 
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