NEWCASTLE United suffered a fourth successive defeat at Old Trafford this afternoon.
Wayne Rooney scored twice, and Robin van Persie also found the net, in a comfortable 3-1 win for Manchester United.
Newcastle substitute Papiss Demba Cisse scored a late consolation from the penalty spot after Jack Colback was brought down in the box.
The result leaves Alan Pardew’s side in 10th place ahead of back-to-back Premier League home games against Everton and Burnley.
Newcastle manager Pardew had handed Adam Armstrong his full Premier League debut at Old Trafford, the scene of a memorable 1-0 success last season thanks to a goal from Yohan Cabaye,
But there was to be no repeat of that success.
Newcastle, however, started brightly, and should have had a 14th-minute penalty. Juan Mata inadvertently clipped the heels of Yoan Gouffran in the box, but referee Michael Jones waved play on.
Daryl Janmaat also forced a fine save from David de Gea with a fierce drive.
Man United’s breakthrough came in the 23rd minute when Ashley Young crossed for Radamel Falcao at the far post. Falcao slid in and managed to cross for an unmarked Rooney.
With nine minutes left in the half, the home side doubled their advantage.
A poor pass from Gouffran to Ayoze Perez was intercepted by Falcao, who passed to Mata. His ball in turn found Rooney, who had another simple finish.
Rooney turned provider after the break, finding Robin van Versie with a well-weighted delivery, which the striker headed past an exposed Alnwick in the visiting goal.
Pardew sent on Cisse and Remy Cabella, and Perez took the ball off substitute Darren Fletcher to set himself up for a near-post shot at countryman David de Gea.
De Gea, however, managed to turn his shot round the post.
However, the Spain international couldn’t stop Cisse’s late penalty, awarded for a Phil Jones trip on Colback.
But there was to be no dramatic late comeback, and Newcastle go into Sunday’s home game against Everton in desperate need of a win.
MANCHESTER UNTIED: De Gea, Jones, McNair, Evans, Valencia, Carrick (Fletcher, 62), Rooney, Mata, Young, van Persie, Falcao (Wilson, 65). Subs not used: Lindegaard, Rafael, Smalling, Blackett, A Pereira.
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Alnwick; Janmaat, Coloccini, S Taylor, Dummett (Cabella, 63); Colback, Anita; Sissoko, Perez, Gouffran; Armstrong (Cisse, 63). Subs not used: Woodman, Williamson, Satka, Vuckic, Riviere.
Goals: Rooney 23, 36, van Persie 53, Cisse 86 (pen)
Bookings: S Taylor 61 van Perside 66
Referee: Michael Jones (Chester)