Tom Cleverley's goal helps Manchester United overcome Newcastle 2-1 in the Capital One Cup
Last Updated: September 27, 2012 10:20am
Anderson celebrates his first half goal for Manchester United
Manchester United booked their place in the fourth round of the Capital One Cup with a 2-1 win over Newcastle at Old Trafford.
Anderson set Manchester United on their way with the opening goal just before the break and Tom Cleverley added a second early in the second half with his first goal for the club.
Papiss Cisse came off the bench to pull a goal back for Newcastle just past the hour mark with his first goal of the season.
Cisse almost sent the game into extra-time when his overhead kick struck the crossbar, but the home side held on to go through.
With Wayne Rooney making a successful comeback from his gashed thigh and Darren Fletcher completing the full 90 minutes on his first start since it was revealed he was suffering from a chronic bowel complaint 10 months ago, it was a satisfactory evening for Sir Alex Ferguson's men.
So, on an evening when Fletcher was named captain, more interest was in Anderson.
Signed as a teenager from Porto in 2007 for a fee it was estimated would eventually reach £20million, the midfielder has flattered to deceive.
Dogged by injury, the Brazilian has rarely put together anything like a consistent series of performances and more than once it has appeared his time at United was over.
Yet, physically at least, he remains the player in the ranks most capable of imposing himself on the opposition in the way Yaya Toure does up the road at City.
So, after a typically inconsistent performance, the manner in which Anderson broke the deadlock a minute before the break was another example of what could be.
Picking the ball up 40 yards out, Anderson ran hard towards the Newcastle box, neatly manoeuvring himself into a shooting position from where his well-struck effort flew in off the inside of Rob Elliot's right-hand post.
It gave the home side a half-time advantage they just about deserved.
Although their defence boasted just two appearances between them, for the most past they kept Newcastle at bay.
Dan Gosling wasted a decent chance and returning skipper Fabricio Coloccini had a header deflected wide, but with debutant Marnick Vermijl and England Under-19 international Michael Keane both impressing, United could go forward with confidence.
Cleverley should have scored after 34 minutes when he strode onto Javier Hernandez's lay-off.
But with just Elliot to beat, the England international sent the ball flying wide, much to his own disbelief.
Vermijl crossed dangerously for Hernandez straight after the restart, only for the Mexican to send his near-post header narrowly wide.
Newcastle carried a threat though. Haris Vuckic was not far away when he got the better of Keane inside the box and took aim for the far post.
After his earlier woeful effort, Cleverley was eager to make amends.
Collecting Welbeck's pass, the England man only had one thought on his mind.
And virtually as soon as the shot left his foot, he set off in celebration at such a landmark moment as his first goal for United nestled in the Newcastle net.
Within a minute of his introduction though, last season's scoring sensation Cisse scored his first of this term, a close-range header from a cross delivered from the left by fellow substitute Shane Ferguson to breathe fresh life into the tie.
In response, luckless Hernandez crashed a shot against the bar.
Rooney's exit 14 minutes from time led to Nick Powell's introduction, confirmation of a Ferguson masterplan that went way beyond the actual result.
With the clock ticking down, Cisse's overhead kick came crashing back off the crossbar.
It was as close as Newcastle came to an equaliser, although the late exit of Alexander Buttner threatened to give Ferguson another defensive headache.