Ferguson thrilled as Man Utd hit five

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Wayne Rooney set the ball rolling after 25 minutes when he was presented with the simplest of chances by Cristiano Ronaldo, who then left the Newcastle defence for dead on the stroke of half-time to make it 2-0.

The game was all but over within 11 minutes of the restart when Ronaldo once again waltzed through the black and white rearguard to score his 29th goal of the season.

Defender Abdoulaye Faye forced home what looked like a consolation goal with 12 minutes remaining, but another unerring finish from Rooney and substitute Louis Saha's late effort took United's tally in the two league meetings between the sides this season to 11.

Ferguson said: "We were all disappointed with the performance against Manchester City and the players did their best to atone for that against Arsenal last week and in midweek against Lyon, which was a very good result.

"And today stresses the urgency to try to do better and be top of the league."

Ferguson also hailed his forwards and said: "We freshened up the midfield.

"But really the match was settled by the ability of the front players who were absolutely fantastic, we could have scored more goals.

"They (the forwards) all did really well, Ronaldo and Rooney will take the headlines but the movement of (Carlos) Tevez and the penetration of Nani (added) to all that.

"It was a good team performance, I'm delighted, because coming to Newcastle is never easy, it is a volatile place to come."

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