Welcome back to the big league, Newcastle

United cruise to 3-0 opening win despite Rooney’s struggle for form

Paul Scholes inspired Manchester United to a 3-0 win over Newcastle United as Sir Alex Ferguson's side brushed aside last season's Championship winners at Old Trafford last night.

Dimitar Berbatov, Darren Fletcher and the substitute Ryan Giggs scored the goals in a convincing performance from the home side. It was Scholes who was the outstanding performer, however, dictating the play from the midfield and playing a crucial role in two of the three goals.

Responding to champions Chelsea's 6-0 thrashing of West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, Alex Ferguson's side were a class above Newcastle who faded away after a bright start.

Darren Fletcher's close-range poke home had effectively ended the match as a contest shortly before half-time and United, runners-up to Chelsea last season, spent the second period toying with their overawed opponents.

Scholes said afterwards that it was the sort of performance that United had been looking for. "The most important thing in the first game is to win and even though we could have scored more we'll take that," he said. "We didn't start too well, but when we scored we were a constant threat after that and moved them around quite a lot." Scholes said afterwards that more was to come from United. "We're still finding our feet," he said. "We've had a lot of players away and it can only get better from here for us."

United's success last night was built on waiting for gaps to appear in the Newcastle defence, he said. "We had to be patient and keep the ball," he said. "It took a fantastic goal to break the deadlock."

Scholes said that he was enjoying his football as much as he ever had at the age of 35. If his performance was impressive, though, equally so was Giggs'. The Welshman is into his 21st professional season and his goal last night meant that he has scored in every one of them. It is a remarkable record by anyone's standards.

Scholes, typically modest, played down his contribution afterwards. "I'm just happy to get in the team," he said. "I really enjoy playing in this team. Tonight we felt we were going to score every time we got forward."

For Newcastle there is no such positivity although they will face few such difficult away trips this season. Having been out of the Premier League for a season, though, they now know the size of the challenge that awaits them.

Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck stars as prime suspect Nick Dunne in the film adaptation of Gone Girl
filmBen Affleck and Rosamund Pike excel in David Fincher's film, says Geoffrey Macnab
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Life and Style
fashionThe supermodel on her career, motherhood and Cara Delevingne
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
premier league
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Arts and Entertainment
Rachel, Chandler and Ross try to get Ross's sofa up the stairs in the famous 'Pivot!' scene
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments