Full-time - 90'
0 - 0
18:45 +00:00, April 19, 2011
St. James' Park
Referee: Lee Probert
Newcastle 0-0 Man Utd. What threatened to be an electric, end-to-end game really fizzled out, especially in the second half. I feel sorry for referee Lee Ptobert because I reckon Sir Alex may not be able to resist a dig after that late penalty refusal. There's hope for the chasing pack with Man Utd seven points ahead of Arsenal now. Thanks for tuning in folks and be sure to return for Spurs v Arsenal on Wednesday.
And that is that.
Valencia picks out Rooney with a cross but it's wide from the England striker.
United piling on the pressure...
Just a minute to go and it's got 0-0 written all over it.
I think Danny Simpson may be a lucky boy there, not sure how much intent there was in terms of cheating from Chicharito.
Hernadez booked for diving.
Newcastle breathe again, and we will have four added minutes.
Good battling for Carrick in midfield to set Valencia away. His cross is too deep for Owen and Rooney though.
O'Shea has it on the right and crosses for Giggs, who turns and once again spoons his shot wide.
Lovely bit of movement from Owen sees some space open up.
Stats: Man Utd have won an extra 13 points from goals in the last 15 minutes of games this season.
Poor play from O'Shea sees the move break down.
But Man Utd coming straight back at them, the tempo has quickened again.
Ranger accelerates away down the left as the volume increases around St James' Park.
The game is deteriorating into quite a scrappy affair - where are the chances lads?!
Peter Lovenkrands tries his luck before coming off.
What a reception form the Newcastle fans. A terrible one that is. Boos ring around St James' Park for the former striker, who left the club after their relegation in 2009.
Owen on for Nani.
Rooney unleashes a wild shot from 25 yard that sails over.
Ireland and Barton exchange well in midfield but Vidic intercepts to win it back.
Nani takes it into the area with Gutierrez in close attendance but he manages to get a shot away. It didn't curl quite as much as he wanted though and was never troubling Krul.
Rooney stepped over it and Giggs hit it. A big deflection off the wall takes it out for a corner.
Free-kick on the edge of the box. Rooney and Nani eye it up.
Williamson fouls Nani
Giggs tries to find Rooney after a marauding run through midfield, but his pass is far too firm. The oldest player on the pitch has struggled today.
Vidic temporarily leaves the pitch after suffering a cut to his face.
Wayne Rooney vents his spleen to the referee.
Ranger on for Ameobi
Ireland takes a volley superbly on the turn - it had Van der Sar chasing but just drifted wide.
Stats: Ryan Giggs completed just 65% of his passes in the first half. That was the lowest of the 20 outfield players.
Stephen Ireland making his Newcastle debut, but will the former Man City man be able to conjure a goal for the Magpies.
Valencia on for Anderson.
Ireland on for Lovenkrands
Man Utd straight down the other end - Hernandez releases Evra, who pulls it back for Giggs. The Welshman has the goal at his mercy from 12 yards but somehow side-footed wide.
Gutierrez with a probing run but it finishes with him tumbling over unconvincingly after a heavy touch.
Smalling falls awkwardly after jumping with Ameobi for a header. He's trying to shake it off now.
No problem for Krul. He clutches it close to his chest.
Lovenkrands tugs Carrick back when he was at full flight, free-kick to Man Utd about 30 yards out. Rooney sizing it up.
Tiote brings down Rooney and gets a booking for his trouble.
Anderson witha dllightful through ball to Hernandezm who looked to be running the foot race with Coloccini. Superb defending from the Argentina defender to shepherd him off the ball.
Stats: Newcastle have won just two of their last seven Premier League games at St James' Park.
Newcastle free-kick from the right, O'Shea slices his clearance and Lovenkrands heads the loose ball over and pays for it with a clash of heads with Vidic. Ouch.
The replay appeared to show Anderson wrapping his leg around Lovenkrands', maybe it was a pen.
The noise levels are rising as the Magpies finally show some attacking intent.
Lovenkrands down the other end goes over in the box. The referee shakes his head.
Nani again crossing from the right, this time Krul collects.
O'Shea fouls Gutierrez who appears a little upset by the Irishman's physicality.
Rooney sprays it to Nani, but his shot may well have reached the River Tyne. It is a long, long way over.
Wonderful diagonal ball from Carrick to Giggs, whose cross is met by Hernandez but deflected off Williamson to safety.
Newcastle just need to take a second to regroup here. What's happened to the efficient workhorses of the first half?
Rooney, Hernandez and Giggs link up well but the final ball from the veteran is poor and Newcastle can breathe again.
Nani crosses to Giggs but his header - a free one, with not a sole around - was poor and directly at Krul.
It's been all Sir Alex's side in the opening exchanges. Newcastle sitting very deep.
A fourth corner in as many minutes now for the league leaders, but again nothing comes of it. A nice piece of skill from Nani created that chance.
Tiote hooks it away and Evra collects for a throw-in on the left.
And here comes a third delivery.
Clash of heads between team-mates Simpson and Williamson, with the latter crashing into the former. That looked pretty nasty. It's another Man Utd corner though.
Nani whips a cross in that breaks to Giggs ont he left wing. The Welshman does well to pull it back to Rooney, who crosses towards Nani. Corner Man Utd.
Stats: Man Utd are unbeaten at St James' Park since September 2001, when they lost 4-3.
And we're off for the second 45...
Here they are, all coming out together in a Joey Barton-inspired show of unity. And not a cigar in sight!
Second half almost ready to begin, no changes as yet. Man Utd out on the pitch as Newcastle stay in the tunnel.
Should Man Utd slip up here, Arsenal have a chance to reassert themselves on the title race on Wednesday. It's a difficult game for them to do so though, a North London derby against Spurs awaits.
Remember, you can follow us on Twitter. For all things ESPNsoccernet, @ESPNSoccernet is unsurprisingly the destination for all you Twitterati.
Nani and Tiote battle for the ball.
Newcastle 0-0 Man Utd. A hugely entertaining first 15 minutes fizzled out a little bit towards the end of the half. Credit to Newcastle, who have attacked with verve and intent, while also frustrating their opponents in possession with a high-pressing game.
There goes the half-time whistle.
Rooney engineers a fantastic break with a cross-field ball to Giggs, who plays in Hernandez. But Williamson is able to block the striker's shot.
Carrick booked for catching Ameobi's leg in midfield. Seemed a tad harsh.
This time, Lovenkrands shoots from 25 yards but his effort is high and wide.
Lovenkrands with a free header but it's nodded wide, he looked as surprised as anyone that the ball reached him.
Giggs releases Hernandez but Coloccini gets his body in the way and eases the Mexican off the ball. It's been a fruitless evening so far for the Man Utd striker.
It seemed to be half cross, half shot and drifted slowly towards Van der Sar, who collected but should perhaps have been put under more pressure by the Magpies.
Barton again eyeing it up, slightly better for a right footer this one.
Ameobi wrestles with Smalling on the edge of the box - both players have a handful of shirt but it's Newcastle who have the free-kick.
Sir Alex still sporting his rather fetching ear-piece from up in the stands, I still think a paper cup with a string would have been more entertaining.
Man Utd have enjoyed 66% possession over the past ten minutes. They are trying to step it up but Newcastle are doing a great job of frustrating their opponents.
Stats: Man Utd have only won five of their last 16 Premier League away games.
Neat exchange betwen Rooney and Hernandez but the Magpies standing firm against some heavy bombardment from Sir Alex's side.
Giggs tries to pull a left-wing cross back for Anderson, but it's cleared away. The Welshman has a second bite at the cherry and wins a Man Utd corner.
Rooney sees some space open up after a decent period of possession but there are just too many Newcastle bodies for Man Utd to cope with on the edge of the box.
Simpson a bit woozy after that as I think Chicharito caught the defender's head on the way through.
O'Shea crosses from the right and Hernandez climbs above Simpson but his header is straight at Krul and lacked power.
Fair play to Pardew, he's told his players to have a good crack at Man Utd and they are doing just that. A spirited and dominant showing from the home side thus far.
This is Jonas Gutierrez's 100th league appearance for Newcastle.
Gutierrez strikes wide from just inside the left edge of the box. Newcastle still looking dangerous.
He went down far too easily and there was minimal contact from Gutierrez. The ref has a word with the Portuguese winger and must have been close to booking him for diving.
Nani goes down inside the area to a chorus of boos from Newcastle fans. No penalty.
Nani chips one towards O'Shea on the right-side of the penalty area and Krul gets caught in two minds. The ball comes back to Nani who slices a shot wide.
Man Utd haven't built up any rhythm yet - Newcastle aren't letting them, they are playing a hugely effective pressing game.
Straight into Van der Sar's arms. That wasn't the sort of quality I'd expect from someone who labels himself England's best midfielder!
Barton the man stepping up.
A tenacious challenge from Barton dispossesses Anderson and Newcastle win a free-kick after Giggs fells Gutierrez. Between 25 and 30 yards out and fairly central this one.
But then slips on the ball and gives away a throw-in.
Coloccini and Williamson are up, but Vidic heads it away and Nani looks to break.
Gutierrez once more the corner winner for Newcastle.
The crowd, as always, sound immense at St James' Park - it's a cracking atmosphere.
Rooney lifted the ball over an onrushing Williamson and was clean through, but his finish was sky high and lacked composure.
Rooney fires over, that was a real chance.
Stats: Man Utd have won 13 of their last 16 encounters with Newcastle.
Hernandez hits an optimistic one from all of 30 yards but Krul was never troubled.
Barton crosses to the back post but Williamson and Ameobi get in each other's way.
Smalling and Anderson get it away but the black and white wave returns immediately.
Newcastle corner won by Gutierrez after a penetrating run down the left wing.
Lovenkrands again gets in behind Smalling and Vidic, but the Serbian this time recovers to hoof the ball away. Man Utd looking shaky at the back.
Carrick drags a 20-yard left-foot shot tamely wide of Krul's left-hand post.
Barton is taking the game of the scruff of the neck with regular captain Kevin Nolan serving the final game of a suspension. I wonder if there will be any chicken dance celebrations in tribute.
Nani delivers the corner but Hernandez is penalised for holding Barton.
There is smoke coming off my fingers - this is the most I've ever had to type in the first ten minutes of a game! Newcastle looking fantastic and well up for it. Man Utd title talk is a little premature.
Now United have a corner down the other end, Nani to take.
Barton bursts down the right - he's playing like his life depends on it out there - but his cross is overhit.
Wow. What an amazing opening ten minutes.
United clear their lines after an attempted dummy on the edge of the box spins harmlessly away.
Barton delivers and Vidic heads it away for ANOTHER corner.
Giggs closed down by Barton and the Welshman fouls him on the right wing.
Tiote strikes one from 30 yards - a fizzing low drive that Van der Sar does well to keep hold of. He had visions of his thunderbolt against Arsenal.
A header from Coloccini is prodded goalwards by Lovenkrands. It's another corner.
Lovenkrands springs the offside trap but Smalling recovers to block his shhot out for a corner.
Gutierrez, looking very lively, crosses from the right this time to Ameobi, who stretches to divert the ball goalwards at the back post. Van der Sar saves though.
Mazy run from Gutierrez ends in his curling shot being deflected out for a corner.
Great tempo to this game so far and Barton just had a chance at the back post. Gutierrez's cross fell to the midfielder and he took a touch but tried to pulled it back instead of going for goal. Vidic poked clear.
Cheeky back-heel from Nani looking for a one-two with Rooney but the return pass is overcooked.
Ameobi fires a speculative effort high over the bar
Rooney peeled away down the left wing and slid the cross in to Chicharito but Krul got a hand in to prevent the Mexican getting a goalscoring touch.
Great touch from Krul to deny Hernandez!
Good break from former Man Utd youngster Danny Simpson but he gives it away to Nani after advancing up the wing.
O'Shea looks long for Hernandez but Coloccini rises to win the header.
Right, we're off...
Just realised I am going to have to call United Man Utd throughout the game to avoid confusion with Newcastle. That's plenty of extra typing for me to look forward to!
Wait a second, there he is!
The sun is out in Newcastle, which makes it even more surprising that I haven't yet spotted a fat, balding Toon fan with his top off!
The players are out on the pitch and kick-off is closing in, there are going to be some nervous observers in North London this evening I reckon.
These two met on the opening day of this season, with Man Utd triumphing 3-0 - Fletcher, Berbatov and Giggs netting.
Ameobi and Lovenkrands start for the Magpies - the latter was on the scoresheet the last time Man Utd visited St James' Park in 2009. Newcastle lost 2-1 that day, thanks to goals from Berbatov and Rooney, on their way to relegation from the Premier League.
The main team news is that Rooney and Giggs return for Man Utd, while Chris Smalling replaces Rio Ferdinand in defence. There was talk Stephen Ireland could make his first start for Newcastle tonight but he only makes the bench.
Hello everyone and welcome to live text commentary of Newcastle United v Manchester United. Sir Alex's side can go nine-points clear of Arsenal this evening if they win but I'm sure Alan Pardew's Magpies won't be giving them an easy ride.
Tonight's game will almost certainly come too soon for Newcastle star Hatem Ben Arfa, but Magpies boss Alan Pardew believes the Frenchman may play some part before the end of the season.
Wayne Rooney returns to the Man Utd starting line-up after his two-match ban.
Join us from 1945 BST for live text commentary of Manchester United's trip to St James' Park to face Newcastle, as the Premier League leaders look to extend their lead over Arsenal to nine points.
Ismael Cheik Tioté
Edwin van der Sar