Newcastle 2 Manchester United 6

Last updated : 12 April 2003 By Footymad Previewer

The Championship dream is over after Newcastle were handed a painful lesson by Manchester United.

As Sir Alex Ferguson's Red Devils go to Highbury on Wednesday for a title showdown with Arsenal, Newcastle are left to rue what might have been after being hit for six.

This was only the second time Newcastle had suffered successive defeats this season, but it was the measure of the Manchester United victory that stunned a packed St James’ Park.

Quite simply the Red Devils were awesome as eight goals were scored for the second time this season in the two games featuring these sides.

This was Newcastle's biggest ever Premiership defeat and the first time in 40 years that they had conceded six goals at home.

Paul Scholes was devastating with his superbly taken hat-trick as Manchester United came back having conceded a magnificent Jermaine Jenas 25-yard volley after 20 minutes.

Not since January 2001 at Chelsea had Newcastle scored first and gone on to lose in the Premiership, but in this extraordinary match they suffered a real mauling.

By the time the interval arrived the game was over with Manchester United leading 4-1 and well on their way to completing the first double of the season over Sir Bobby Robson's side.

Manchester United were level after 32 minutes when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer evaded a woeful offside trap to beat Shay Given.

Three minutes later and Manchester United were in front when Scholes linked with Solskjaer to volley past Given and he doubled his tally after 38 minutes with a ferocious drive from just outside the box after being set up by Wes Brown.

Still the first-half power show was not over and young defender John O'Shea cut inside to smash the ball against the bar and from the rebound Ryan Giggs was perfectly positioned to score at the far post.

Any hopes Newcastle may have had of a revival were quickly dispelled. Scholes completed his hat-trick seven minutes into the second half when he got on the end of a cross from half-time substitute Gary Neville to bag his third of the game at the back post.

The nightmare continued after 57 minutes when Titus Bramble needlessly fouled substitute Diego Forlan and Ruud van Nistelrooy stepped up to coolly convert the penalty kick.

It was now simply a case of damage limitation as far as Newcastle were concerned.

Hugo Viana had a shot blocked by Fabien Barthez and the French keeper got his angles spot on when Alan Shearer found himself in the clear for the one and only time in the game.

Manchester United continued to press forward and Forlan was kept out by Given who then did the same again to the outstanding Scholes.

With the match in the final minute Newcastle did receive some reward when a poor clearance from Barthez was played in for substitute Shola Ameobi and he at least gave Newcastle some respectability.