Fergie: It's advantage City after Newcastle defeat
ALEX FERGUSON conceded that Manchester United had handed the advantage to Manchester City in the Premier League title race following their comprehensive 3-0 defeat at Newcastle.
"It is advantage Manchester City, of course," Ferguson said after the game.
"We had an opportunity, they played last night, they won theirs, we lost ours, so it is advantage to them now. We don't normally have back-to-back defeats, the only plus for me is that we had two or three players back tonight.
"We're not panicking or anything, we've got the experience to cope with that. But obviously we need to get the show on the road in terms of the run in."
Ferguson refused to criticise his defence for conceding three goals for the second successive game.
"We started reasonably well and had a good chance with Wayne Rooney when he has gone through and the ball has run under his foot," he said. "They scored a fantastic goal and that got them up and gave their support a lift."
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew hailed Demba Ba as one of the Premier League's top strikers after watching him tear champions Manchester United apart.
The Senegal international, who will now head off on African Nations Cup duty to leave a huge hole in the Magpies' armoury, inspired the home side to their first victory over the Red Devils in more than a decade.
Free transfer Ba's 33rd-minute volley, his 15th goal of the season, set Newcastle on their way to a 3-0 win.
Ba's first-time strike as he ran on to Shola Ameobi's flick-on handed the home side a half-time lead which they doubled within two minutes of the restart through Yohan Cabaye's stunning free-kick.
United attempted to respond, but barring a goal-line clearance by Danny Simpson, rarely looked like doing so.
The Magpies completed the job, or rather teenage defender Phil Jones did when he kneed keeper Tim Krul's 89th-minute free-kick past Anders Lindegaard to leave the locals in raptures.