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Joy for Benitez as Newcastle United stun Jose Mourinho's United, Liverpool cruise

Newcastle United's manager Rafa Benitez would have taken a victory against just about anyone on Sunday, such was his side's predicament, but a 1-0 win over Jose Mourinho's Manchester United would have tasted that bit sweeter.

Huddersfield Town's 4-1 home victory over Bournemouth earlier in the day meant Newcastle started their home clash against United in the Premier League's bottom three.

Yet they responded with a gritty display, riding their luck at times to take the points courtesy of Matt Ritchie's 65th-minute winner which propelled them from 18th to 13th.

The result also left second-placed United a whopping 16 points behind leaders Manchester City and looking anxiously over their shoulders in what looks like becoming a tense battle for the remaining Champions League places.

Fifth-placed Chelsea can move to within three points of United with victory at West Brom on Monday.

There was a warm handshake between Benitez and Mourinho when the final whistle sounded at a tumultuous St James' Park to confirm Newcastle's first home league win since October.

But their previous history has been marked by frostiness -- a result of former Liverpool manager Benitez twice getting the better of Mourinho's Chelsea in Champions League semi-finals.

The fact that they have both managed Chelsea, Real Madrid and Inter Milan, with Mourinho enjoying a superior record, meant Benitez's triumph on Sunday, only his second in the Premier League against Mourinho, had added meaning.

Ritchie rifled a shot past David De Gea in the 65th minute to punish a profligate United side who wasted several good chances with Anthony Martial and Alexis Sanchez culpable.

Newcastle dug deep for their manager and debutant keeper Martin Dubravka made several superb saves.








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