29-year-old Ashley Young's last minute winner on Wednesday night earned Manchester United a vital victory in their chase for Champions League qualification.

The Magpies' keeper, Tim Krul, 27, had made a fine catalogue of saves during the match, but made a costly mistake when he played Mehdi Abeid's back pass to Young, which he finished by slotting the ball into the bottom left-hand corner.

The Red Devils dominated in the first half, but neither team created goal chances. The game became more intense in the second-half, when both sides had some superb opportunities.

Newcastle's Jonas Gutierrez, 31, who overcame his battle with testicular cancer and had been absent for 17 months, came on in the second half for Ryan Taylor. As for United, their midfielder Angel di Maria, 27, was also substituted following another unimpressive display. His form has been the subject of the media in recent days, as he is struggling to live up to his £59.7 million price tag.

The Red Devils' keeper, David de Gea, made some crucial saves. He has been one of the success stories at Manchester United this season and his form was never under question during this match, which secured a victory for his team.

The game's only sour point was an incident where both Manchester United defender Jonny Evans and Newcastle United striker Papiss Cisse appeared to spit at each other in a heated first-half exchange.

Evans spat first in the direction of Cisse, while the Senegalese striker then spat back at Evans, but the incident went unnoticed by referee Anthony Taylor. Cisse was subsequently banned for seven games for his part in the spitting storm, while Evans now faces a possible ban of six games. He will need to persuade the FA that he did not mean to spit at Cisse and may still be lucky to escape.

Louis Van Gaal believes his player and is concerned about the rest of the season. His relationship with his assistant, Ryan Giggs was also questioned at the press conference, as Giggs failed to join in with Van Gaal's celebrations after Ashley Young's 89th minute goal. But the subject will probably go away if United's performances pick up, starting with a home FA Cup match with Arsenal on Monday.