This was an error-riddled, controversial and utterly compelling game. Newcastle United led three times but Manchester United kept fighting, kept clawing their way back into contention and winning with a 90th-minute goal from Javier Hernandez. Little Pea. Big goal.
If the scoreline made good reading at the final whistle for Sir Alex Ferguson, particularly with Manchester City losing to Sunderland, Mike Dean’s report may make less enjoyable reading for the Manchester United manager. Before the start of the second half, Ferguson confronted Dean on the pitch, arguing over Newcastle’s second goal.
Amidst all the bouts of anger in this game, it needs recording what a classic match this was. Defensively flawed, scarred with lapses of concentration but totally mesmerising. Michael Carrick grew in influence, but Newcastle can count themselves unfortunate to lose.
Alan Pardew’s side had started the quicker, delighting their fans, some of whom were resplendent in fancy dress. In amongst the black-and-white-striped hordes were Thunderbirds, jockeys, Dorothy (with beard), Cowardly Lion and the Tin Man from Wizard of Oz. There were plenty of characters on the pitch too.