Toon Fans ... Look Away Now!

Last updated : 12 August 2008 By Footy Mad - Editor
MAN UTD 6 (Ronaldo 49, Tevez 55, Ronaldo 70, Ferdinand 85,
Ronaldo 88, Tevez 90) NEWCASTLE UTD 0

MAN UTD: Van der Sar, O'Shea, Ferdinand, Vidic,Evra (Simpson 67), Ronaldo, Carrick, Anderson (Fletcher 72),Giggs (Nani 72), Rooney, Tevez.

NEWCASTLE UTD: Given, Carr, Taylor, Cacapa, Jose Enrique,Milner (Viduka 64), Smith, Butt, N'Zogbia, Duff,Owen (Rozehnal 82).

Att: 75,965
Hat-trick hero Cristiano Ronaldo led a merciless second-half destruction of crisis-club Newcastle as the Red Devils soared back to the top of the table.
While the managerless Magpies stagger from one setback to another, the Red Devils seem intent on adding a 10th Premier League title to their regained status as the world's richest club.
And with Ronaldo in this mood, it is difficult to see how they can be stopped.
After a goalless opening period, the Portugal winger broke Newcastle's resistance with a low free-kick, added a startling second with a neat finish to a move involving Wayne Rooney and double scorer Carlos Tevez, then completed his first Red Devils three-timer two minutes from time.
Ronaldo now has 22 goals for the season, which puts him on a par with another legendary marksman, Alan Shearer, the man whose name Newcastle's long-suffering fans are demanding should succeed Sam Allardyce following Harry Redknapp's high-profile snub.
If the backdrop to Newcastle's trip from Tyneside was bleak, the return journey would have been positively thunderous as owner Mike Ashley and chairman Chris Mort ponder their next move.
Without a boss since Allardyce's departure on Wednesday and rejected by Redknapp at lunchtime, stand-in boss Nigel Pearson described morale as no better than 'OK' immediately before kick-off.
As the Geordies last tasted victory at Old Trafford in 1972, three years after they last won any trophy of note, it was hard to escape the feeling they would be little more than lambs to the slaughter.
After all, Arsenal's surprise draw with Birmingham had provided Sir Alex Ferguson's men with the extra incentive of knowing an 11th straight win on home soil would send them back to the top.
And, following a hard-fought opening period, the theory proved fully justified as the hosts cut loose in amazing style. Quite aside from Ronaldo's heroics, Tevez scored twice and Rio Ferdinand blasted home an impressive volley from Rooney's chipped pass.
The game ended with Newcastle skipper Alan Smith dismissed for his protests at Tevez's rout-completing effort, which may, or may not have crossed the line.
It seemed a spurious point for Smith to question given the state of the game. And, when he finds out what happened, Allardyce and Redknapp, in their different ways, are probably both relieved to be well out of it.
With seven goals in eight appearances against the Toon, Rooney was intent on maintaining that impressive record but by half-time, it had proved costly to his own team as he became increasingly blinkered, seemingly oblivious to better placed team-mates screaming for passes.
Sir Alex Ferguson has had plenty to say on Newcastle's groundless over-optimism but the home boss was more vexed at referee Rob Styles, who turned down what the hosts believed were two stone-wall penalty claims.
Critics would argue Ronaldo merely fell over Steven Taylor's outstretched leg as he flew into the area. However, as Taylor made no contact with the ball, it was easy to see why Ferguson had a different opinion.
There was no mitigating factor on the second occasion though as Alan Smith barged over Ryan Giggs. Styles was only a couple of yards away but yet again, he waved play on.
Ferguson was not the only one to feel aggrieved though as Newcastle, despite their lack of chances, were denied a goal when an incorrect offside flag was raised against Michael Owen, who finished off James Milner's lofted pass.
The controversies merely proved the prelude to a massacre, which began before Newcastle had time to catch their breath after the re-start.
Smith clipped Ronaldo's heels just as he was about to shoot, offering the Portugal winger the kind of free-kick chance he craves.
As the Newcastle wall, to a man, jumped, Ronaldo drove a low shot underneath them which Given could not keep out.
Five minutes later, the visitors committed the kind of defensive blunder for which they have become so famed down the years, Given driving a clearance into Claudio Cacapa. Giggs was onto the loose ball in a flash and squared to Tevez, who swept home with ease.
Their hopes of gaining something from the contest virtually extinguished, Newcastle could have done without lone front-man Michael Owen firing wide from close range after Edwin van der Sar had pushed Charles N'Zogbia's shot into his direction.
And so it proved as Ronaldo finished off an excellent move involving Rooney and Tevez.
Newcastle could barely believe they were only halfway through their torture. But a brilliant Ferdinand finish was followed by Ronaldo's third, before Tevez completed a win of such a magnitude, Stoke will really be fancying their chances of an FA Cup upset at St James' Park next week.