Premier League

Sir Alex Ferguson hailed Manchester United's best showing so far at Newcastle

Fergie: We controlled the game

Sir Alex Ferguson (C): Was pleased with United's display at St James' Park

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Sir Alex Ferguson believes his Manchester United side produced their best performance of the season so far as they beat Newcastle United 3-0 on Sunday.

The Red Devils contributed a convincing display at St James' Park as first-half goals from defenders Jonny Evans and Patrice Evra and a strike from Tom Cleverley after the break handed them victory.

The win lifted them into second in the Premier League table and got them back on course after defeat to Tottenham at Old Trafford last weekend.

Asked if it was the best United have played this season, particularly in a dominating first 20 minutes, Ferguson told Sky Sports: "I would agree with you. I think so.

"It's inconclusive to be honest to you. The whole ball isn't over but I would be disappointed if we didn't get a goal ourselves in that situation."

Sir Alex Ferguson

"Although the second half against Tottenham we were terrific, but the first half spoiled the whole day. Whereas today I thought the whole game we were on top of our game in the sense of concentration, determination, all the things you want to see in a team that's going to win."

He added: "It was a great result. To come here and win 3-0 against a really powerful, aggressive Newcastle team, you have to make sure you really perform and keep control of the game and I think we did that most of the time."

Wayne Rooney produced an influential performance at the head of Ferguson's midfield diamond formation and the boss was pleased with his showing as he continues to move towards full fitness from a leg injury.

United down Toon

"I think he's getting fitter all the time," added Ferguson.

"He needs the games obviously. He's put so much work into it. Some of his football was terrific today."

Newcastle fans will be disappointed not to have been awarded a goal after Papiss Cisse's headed effort appeared to be clawed out by goalkeeper David De Gea from behind the line.

Ferguson said: "It's inconclusive to be honest to you. The whole ball isn't over but I would be disappointed if we didn't get a goal ourselves in that situation.

"The goalkeeper has done fantastic to get to it."