MANCHESTER: Anderson and Tom Cleverley scored rare goals to ensure Manchester United progressed to the League Cup fourth round with a 2-1 win over Newcastle at Old Trafford on Wednesday.
United striker Wayne Rooney made his return from a thigh injury, but it was a pair of less prolific stars who delivered for Sir Alex Ferguson?s side in this third round tie.Brazilian midfielder Anderson scored his first goal since October 1 last year ? and only his eighth in six seasons at Old Trafford ? to put United ahead just before the break.
And England midfielder Cleverley doubled United?s lead when he claimed his first goal for the club in the second half.
Papiss Demba Cisse pulled one back with his first of the season, but Newcastle couldn?t complete their fightback.
There was more good news for Ferguson as Rooney, who sustained a deep gash to his thigh in the 3-2 win over Fulham in August, came through 76 minutes against Alan Pardew?s side, producing an impressive performance.
Ferguson also gave first starts to a trio of defenders, Marnick Vermijl, Scott Wotton and Michael Keane, with Ryan Tunnicliffe and Robert Brady coming off the bench for their debuts.
Vermijl showed no early nerves when he pushed forward from right back and clipped over a cross that was headed wide by Javier Hernandez.
But United?s youthful defence looked nervous in dealing with set-pieces in the early stages and Mike Williamson looked to have got a header on target from Sylvain Marveaux?s free-kick, only for the ball to deflect wide.
Pardew?s team should have taken the lead after 14 minutes when Gabriel Obertan?s cross was flicked on by Shola Ameobi but Dan Gosling failed to hit the target from 12 yards.
United finally carried some threat when Anderson burst through midfield and Cleverley had an effort pushed wide by goalkeeper Rob Elliot.
Williamson beat Rooney to head a Marveaux free-kick just past the post before Shola Ameobi and Marveaux each missed with shots from the edge of the area.
Rooney set up a great chance for Danny Welbeck when he picked out his England colleague with a 60-yard pass and the United striker cut in-field to be denied at the near post by Elliot.
The hosts carved Newcastle open once again when Hernandez played in Welbeck, who picked out Cleverley only for the midfielder to miss from a good position.
But a minute before the break, Fletcher passed square for Anderson and the Brazilian held off the challenge of Gosling before bending a shot into the corner from just outside the area for his eighth goal for United.
Mexico striker Hernandez went close to adding a second after the break when he was picked out at the near post by a fine cross from Vermijl only to head wide from a couple of yards out.
But Pardew?s side should have moved level when Haris Vuckic saw his bending shot fly just past the far post.
Just before the hour United extended their lead when Welbeck?s pass found Cleverley on the edge of the area and the midfielder curled a shot into the bottom corner of the net.
Rooney also bent a shot narrowly wide soon after but Newcastle got themselves back in the game thanks to the immediate impact of Pardew?s substitutes.
Shane Ferguson clipped over a cross and Cisse evaded Wotton to head in from close-range.
Gosling almost pulled Newcastle level when he broke from midfield and hit a dipping shot that flew just over the bar.
Cisse also hit an over-head kick that beat David de Gea only to bounce back off the cross-bar as Newcastle pressed in vain for an equaliser.
Source : AFP