Sir Alex Ferguson was a happy man as he watched Manchester United take full advantage of Newcastle's generosity to climb into second place in the Barclays Premier League with a 3-0 win at St James' Park.
United were handed a flying start as the Magpies' makeshift defence crumbled horrifically on two occasions inside the opening 16 minutes to allow first Jonny Evans and then Patrice Evra to head home.
Alan Pardew's men rallied in determined fashion and might have been back in the game five minutes into the second half, but Demba Ba's header came back off the bar and Papiss Cisse's follow-up was clawed on to the post by keeper David de Gea with the home contingent claiming the ball had crossed the line.
But Tom Cleverley's 71st-minute strike from long range ensured the visitors avenged their 3-0 defeat at St James' Park last season in fine style.
The bulk of a crowd of 52,203 trudged away knowing their team had contributed to its own downfall with the kind of calamitous defending ...