Skip to main content

Hernandez winner lifts Manchester United seven points clear in EPL

updated 5:38 PM EST, Wed December 26, 2012
Javier Hernandez (right) celebrates with Tom Cleverley after scoring Manchester United's winner in the 4-3 win over Newcastle.
Javier Hernandez (right) celebrates with Tom Cleverley after scoring Manchester United's winner in the 4-3 win over Newcastle.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Manchester United beat Newcastle 4-3 in a Boxing Day thriller
  • Javier Hernandez scores in the last minute for United
  • They increase lead to seven points over Manchester City who lost at Sunderland
  • Chelsea take closer order with 1-0 win at Norwich

(CNN) -- Javier Hernandez grabbed a dramatic late winner as Manchester United beat Newcastle 4-3 in a pulsating Boxing Day encounter at Old Trafford.

The Mexican's 90th minute strike, combined with a 1-0 defeat for reigning champions Manchester City at Sunderland, left United seven points clear of their neighbors at the top of the table.

He was drafted into the starting line-up in the absence of Wayne Rooney, who was injured in a training session and will be sidelined for up to three weeks with a knee ligament problem.

But United trailed three times to an enterprising Newcastle, who took the lead as early as the fourth minute through James Perch.

Lionel Messi breaks goal scoring record

Home defender Jonny Evans drew them level in the 25th minute, but three minutes later was involved at the other end in a controversial own goal.

Danny Simpson's shot struck the Northern Irish international and deflected into his home net, but it was initially ruled out because Papiss Cisse was in an offside position.

Referee Mike Dean then consulted with his linesman and reversed the decision, leaving Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson in a furious exchange with officials.

United took until the 58th minute to draw level with Patrice Evra on target again with a low shot, but Newcastle responded with their third goal.

Read: RVP 'could have been killed'

The statement was our performance, that was a championship winning performance
Alex Ferguson

Former United winger Gabriel Obertan set up Cisse to sweep home to give them a 3-2 lead but again it was short lived.

Robin van Persie saw his shot saved by Tim Krul but was on hand to sweep home the rebound.

The points looked to be shared until Michael Carrick found Hernandez with a clever pass and the striker scored on the half volley.

Ferguson was delighted by the fighting spirit showed by his team in what could prove to be key moment in the title race.

"The statement was our performance, that was a championship winning performance," he told Sky Sports.

Meanwhile, City were coming unstuck at Sunderland, with their former player Adam Johnson scoring early in the second half, his shot eluding Joe Hart to creep in.

Chelsea took closer order in third, four points behind Manchester City and with a game in hand, with a 1-0 win at Norwich.

Spanish star Juan Mata scored the only goal of the match for a side fast improving under Rafa Benitez.

They had thrashed Aston Villa 8-0 Sunday and Villa's woes continued in the late kick off as a Gareth Bale hat-trick saw Tottenham Hotspur win 4-0.

Jermain Defoe scored the other goal for Tottenham, who moved back into fourth position with the thumping away win.

Everton also kept up their challenge for a Champions League place and have the same points tally as Tottenham after an earlier 2-1 home win over Wigan.

Second half goals from Leon Osman and Phil Jagielka put them in command before Arouna Kone's late consolation for struggling Wigan.

West Bromwich Albion are also on 33 points in sixth place with a 2-1 win at Queens Park Rangers, who slipped to the bottom as Reading secured a point in a 0-0 home draw with Swansea.

In the late evening match, Stoke continued their fine recent run with a 3-1 win over Liverpool, who had led through an early Steven Gerrard penalty.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
The U.S. government recognizes Kosovo, as do most European states, but getting football's ruling bodies to play ball has proved harder.
updated 11:04 AM EDT, Wed June 4, 2014
National heroes don't always belong to one country. Ask France's World Cup hero Patrick Vieira, who is rediscovering his roots.
CNN's John Sinnott on the quiet Cambridge graduate behind Liverpool's resurgent campaign.
updated 11:19 AM EDT, Fri May 30, 2014
They are the dispossessed -- stateless, and unrecognized by football's ruling body. But these teams will still play at their own World Cup.
Louis van Gaal will be a perfect fit for Manchester United the club, business and brand, says CNN's Patrick Snell.
updated 3:24 PM EDT, Mon May 19, 2014
There's a new force in Spanish football -- and Atletico Madrid's ascendance is sharply contrasted by the fall from power of Barcelona.
updated 8:06 AM EDT, Tue May 13, 2014
Rubber bullets, drones and FBI-trained riot police. Welcome to Brazil's 2014 World Cup -- will protests overshadow football's showpiece event?
updated 9:18 AM EDT, Fri May 9, 2014
The former England international, who famously kicked a banana off the pitch 27 years ago, says education is the key to tackling racism.
updated 8:00 AM EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
Of course not. But former Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed seems to think the removal of Michael Jackson's statue was a very "bad" idea.
updated 12:03 PM EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 01: Neymar of Barcelona celebrates his goal during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final first leg match between FC Barcelona and Club Atletico de Madrid at Camp Nou on April 1, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
The Brazilian star's first season in Spain may have spluttered along, but the 22-year-old says he'll be firing on all cylinders at the World Cup.
updated 1:15 PM EDT, Wed April 30, 2014
Former Soviet footballer Sergei Baltacha traveled from the land of the hammer and sickle to join The Tractor Boys and in doing so broke new ground.
updated 5:31 AM EDT, Tue April 29, 2014
Brazil's Dani Alves arrived at Barcelona from Sevilla in 2008 and he has gone on to make over 180 appearances for the club.
Villarreal football supporter who threw a banana at Barcelona's Dani Alves during league match handed a life ban by the La Liga club.
ADVERTISEMENT