London: A turbo-charged start yielding two goals in the opening 15 minutes and a spectacular effort by Tom Cleverley led Manchester United to a 3-0 victory at Newcastle United in the Premier League on Sunday.
Elsewhere, Tottenham Hotspur chalked up their fourth successive league win by beating Aston Villa 2-0 with goals from Steven Caulker and Aaron Lennon.
Liverpool’s struggles continued when they were held to a goalless draw by Stoke City at Anfield and promoted Southampton needed a last-gasp goal from defender Jose Fonte, his second of the game, to rescue a 2-2 draw with Fulham.
Manchester United, desperate to bounce back from last weekend’s surprise 3-2 home defeat by Spurs, made a high-tempo start at Newcastle and were rewarded in the eighth minute when defender Jonny Evans scored with a towering header from a corner.
Newcastle had a lucky escape four minutes later when keeper Steve Harper was robbed as he tried to dribble around Danny Welbeck on the edge of the penalty box and the striker slid the ball wide of an empty net.
Harper then dived full-length to deny Man of the Match Wayne Rooney but left back Patrice Evra made it 2-0 when he nodded in a corner at the near post.
“The way we played in that first 20 minutes was excellent,” Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson said.
“It was strange in a way because we played some good football and made a lot of good openings but those two goals both came from set pieces.”
Newcastle raised their game in the second period and twice went close to pulling a goal back in the 50th minute.