Manchester United’s hopes of retaining their English Premier League title under new manager David Moyes suffered another major setback on Saturday when they were beaten 1-0 at Old Trafford by Newcastle United.
A well-taken 61st minute goal, stroked in from 10 metres by French midfielder Yohan Cabaye, condemned Moyes’ team to a second home defeat in four days and their third in eight outings this season.
It was the first time United, playing without Wayne Rooney, had suffered back-to-back home defeats since May 2002.
The result leaves them ninth, 12 points behind leaders Arsenal, who can make that 15 points when they host Everton on Sunday.
Newcastle’s first victory at Old Trafford since 1972 lifted them above Tottenham Hotspur temporarily, into sixth place, before Spurs won 2-1 at Sunderland in the day’s las kickoff.
|English Premier League
Saturday December 7
Man Utd 0-1 Newcastle Utd
In afternoon games Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea suffered a shock 3-2 defeat at struggling Stoke City.
A Luis Suarez-inspired Liverpool climbed to second in the table with a 4-1 romp over West Ham United at Anfield and Manchester City slipped one place to fourth after being held to a 1-1 draw at Southampton.
Also on Saturday, Norwich City won 2-0 at West Bromwich Albion while Crystal Palace picked up their second successive victory with a 2-0 home win over Cardiff City.
‘Poor old Moyes’
Alan Pardew, who has guided Newcastle to five wins in six league games on a climb to sixth place, said his team’s success would be overshadowed by coverage of United’s faltering season.
“It’s one of the top moments for me in my time here – it’s been 41 years we’ve been waiting,” he told BT Sport television.
“It was a magnificent performance. I know we won’t get the headlines because of United and poor old David Moyes.
“But we deserve them because our players were magnificent. I asked them to play differently today, to keep the ball, and we did that. We made it difficult for them and it’s a great day for us.”
The home side had seven changes from the team that lost to Everton at the weekend, including Rooney through suspension.
“It’s tough for David Moyes,” added Pardew. “I thought events worked against him with no Rooney today. He’s a great person and a great manager and the best thing this great club can do is to stick by him.
“They’ve done that before and he’ll come out smiling.”
United threatened briefly at the end of the first half and early in the second, when a Patrice Evra header hit a post, before French midfielder Moussa Sissoko’s angled pass gave Cabaye his chance to put the visitors ahead.
Recalled Dutch striker Robin Van Persie had a goal disallowed, but lacked sharpness as his team extended their winless league run to four games.
Moyes used all three of his substitutes, including giving a Premier League debut to England winger Wilfried Zaha, to no avail as Newcastle cooly retained possession and control.
“It could have been much better,” said Moyes. “We were needing a goal to give us confidence… We did not create enough.”
Asked if his team were out of the title race, Moyes said: “I stand firm that we will be close to it and be in there or around at the end of the season.”