Newcastle 0 Man Utd 3

JONNY EVANS and Patrice Evra showed defence is the best form of attack as Manchester United cruised to victory. The back-line duo scored two simple headers from corners in the first 15 minutes at St James' Park. Newcastle claimed a Papiss Cisse header had crossed the line after the break but replays proved inconclusive. And Tom Cleverley's curling cross-come-shot put the icing on the cake for United who eased through the final 20 minutes. Alex Ferguson's side take second spot in the Premier League table � four points behind leaders Chelsea and level with rivals City. Newcastle have won just one of their last six matches but remain in 10th place. And with calamitous defending like the two incidents that gifted Evans' and Evra's goals it's easy to see why. Firstly, former Sunderland defender Evans left both Mike Williamson and Ba for dead to apply the finishing touch to Van Persie's right-wing delivery with eight minutes gone. And as many minutes later, Evra, hardly the most imposing of figures physically, was similarly left free to head in Wayne Rooney's set piece. Newcastle's defending was simply shambolic and while they could point to the absence of Tim Krul, Danny Simpson, Steven Taylor and Fabricio Coloccini. The Magpies gradually climbed out of the hole they had dug for themselves. But the movement of Rooney, Van Persie and Shinji Kagawa behind lone striker Welbeck had left the Magpies chasing shadows. Pardew opted to switch Hatem Ben Arfa to the right to give his side a better shape and a greater attacking threat. Gradually, his players worked their way into the game. Jonas Gutierrez dragging an 18th-minute shot just wide and Cabaye only just missing the target with a curling effort. Ba turned a Cisse cross over the bar under pressure and Cisse headed wide from a Cabaye free-kick, but crucially, the Magpies failed to test keeper David de Gea. There was little sign of the tempo abating after the break. Newcastle thought they were back in it within five minutes of the restart. Ba got to Shane Ferguson's cross ahead of De Gea but saw his effort come back off the bar. Strike-partner Cisse headed the rebound towards goal, where the keeper managed to divert it on to the post with the striker insisting the ball had already crossed the line, but to no avail. Ba headed wide from another Cabaye cross but United continued to threaten on the counter. And they might have extended their lead when Welbeck held off Davide Santon and laid the ball off for Cleverley, but the midfielder skied his 57th-minute effort. Keeper Steve Harper had to get down well to keep out Rooney's skidding left-foot effort three minutes later with the visitors pressing once again. The home side kept plugging away with Hatem Ben Arfa dragging a well-struck left-foot shot marginally wide. BNut the game was over 19 minutes from time when Cleverley accepted Rooney's lay-off on the left wing and curled the ball right-footed across Harper and into the top corner. DREAM TEAM SUN STAR MAN � WAYNE ROONEY (MAN UNITED) NEWCASTLE: Harper 5, Santon 6, Perch 6, Williamson 6, Ferguson 6 (Anita 6), Ben Arfa 6, Tiote 4 (Bigirimana 6), Cabaye 5, Gutierrez 5, Cisse 5 (Sh Ameobi 6), Ba 6. Subs not used: Alnwick, Simpson, Obertan, Sammy Ameobi. Booked: Tiote, Gutierrez, Perch, Bigirimana. MAN UTD: De Gea 6, Rafael 7, Ferdinand 7, Evans 7, Evra 7, Cleverley 8, Carrick 8, Welbeck 6, Rooney 9 (Scholes 6), Kagawa 6 (Valencia 6), Van Persie 7 (Giggs 6). Subs not used: Lindegaard, Anderson, Hernandez, Wootton. Booked: Kagawa, Ferdinand, Van Persie, Scholes. REF: H Webb 5