Manchester United 1 Newcastle United 1

Last updated : 17 August 2008 By Footymad Previewer
Manchester United began the defence of their Premier League title with a disappointing 1-1 draw against Newcastle United at Old Trafford.

Points for the Magpies at Old Trafford are about as rare as the sight of the sun this summer.

Yet the sun shone on United's ground for much of the game and the Geordies picked up their first point at this normally nightmare venue for the first time since January 2004.

United's need for another striker is there for all to see and the absence of Carlos Tevez, due to a family bereavement, highlighted the problem even more.

Youngster Fraizer Campbell worked his socks off alongside Wayne Rooney, but that spark of the unexpected which can light the fire of destruction for visiting teams was missing.

False dawns at Newcastle are almost part of the Tyneside skyline, but manager Kevin Keegan would have been pleased with the performance of the three summer signings making their Premier League debuts.

Fabricio Coloccini produced a sound debut in the centre of defence, while Danny Guthrie was solid in midfield.

But the most impressive of the trio of debutants was Argentinian Jonas Gutierrez, whose dazzling runs caused the Red Devils problems and repeat performances will make him an instant hero at St James' Park.

Newcastle also had two older heads to thank for their excellent performance - goalkeeper Shay Given and striker Obafemi Martins.

Given produced three brilliant saves in the opening 14 minutes to keep the champions at bay.

In the seventh minute, Rooney produced a glorious cross from the left with the outside of his boot.

Campbell powered his way through to the six-yard box to meet it with a bullet header which Given saved thanks to a remarkable headed reflex save.

Seven minutes later, hesitation in the Newcastle defence allowed Rooney to pick up a loose ball from Darren Fletcher's right-wing cross.

Rooney pounced to fire in a shot from 10 yards which Given saved superbly with one hand. Paul Scholes was first to the rebound, only to see Given smother his point blank effort.

Newcastle took the lead after 22 minutes. Guthrie's corner saw Martins out-jump Fletcher in the six-yard box to power in a header which eluded Scholes on the far post on its way into the net.

Newcastle's lead lasted less than two minutes. Patrice Evra fed Ryan Giggs on the left edge of the penalty area and his cross was fired in right footed by Fletcher from six yards on the near post.

United created the better chances in the second half but, apart from a Campbell shot which was well saved by Given and Nemanja Vidic's 73rd minute header from a Fletcher corner which hit the bar, Newcastle looked comfortable and worth their point.