Paul Pogba scored one and created another as Manchester United came from a goal down to beat Newcastle 4-1 at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Rafa Benitez went into the game looking to spring a surprise defeat upon Jose Mourinho’s men and the Spaniard would have been delighted when his side took a shock early lead.
With just 14 minutes on the clock Dwight Gayle swept home via the post from 12 yards following excellent work from DeAndre Yedlin down the right. At that stage, it looked like being another torrid evening for Victor Lindelof, who slipped in the build-up to that goal, meaning that he couldn’t get across to block the strike.
Jacob Murphy fired narrowly wide from the edge of the box five minutes later in what was an impressive start to the game from the visitors.
From that stage though, United began to take control of the game, dominating possession.
Romelu Lukaku perhaps should have done better just before the half hour mark as he headed a cross from the right high and wide after shaking off his marker.
As half-time approached though, United’s quality started to show and they were soon level.
With 37 minutes played Anthony Martial restored parity, heading home at the far post after some good work and an excellent cross from compatriot Paul Pogba.
United continued to press at that point as they searched for a half-time lead. Joselu almost put the ball in his own net for the visitors before the ‘red devils’ saw a vociferous penalty appeal turned down after Ciaran Clark appeared to have manhandled Lukaku.
Nevertheless, the pressure eventually told and in added time at the end of the half, the home side took the lead. Newcastle were caught out by a quick corner and Ashley Young sent in a sensational cross from the left, allowing Chris Smalling of all people to nod home at the far post and give United the lead at half-time.
Newcastle looked shell-shocked at having caved so easily and United started the second half on top once again.
Martial slipped when well-positioned but with just nine minutes of the second period played United extended their lead.
Romelu Lukaku was set away in the channel down the right and his cross to the far post was met by Marcus Rashford, who unselfishly headed the ball back across goal for the returning Pogba to tap home from close range.
The hosts looked like they could run away with it at this point and may well have done so had it not been for some errant passing.
Nevertheless there were still a few signs of life from Newcastle, not least when Murphy called David De Gea into a fine save away to his left with a curling effort from 25 yards.
With 70 minutes played, Romelu Lukaku finally managed to end his barren spell in front of goal, cutting in from the right and exchanging passes with Juan Mata before planting an emphatic finish past a helpless Rob Elliot to make it 4-1.
Despite all the goals, the biggest cheer of the afternoon was reserved for Zlatan Ibrahimovic when he replaced Anthony Martial with 13 minutes to go. The Swede even came close to marking his return with a goal as his acrobatic volley was well kept out by Elliot.
In the end though, United were made to settle for four as they switch their attentions to the Champions League once again.