The veteran Newcastle goalkeeper lost the ball carelessly early on to Welbeck and was lucky not to be punished with a conceded goal but, to be fair to him, both first-half goals were not his fault but his defenders'.
In the biggest start of his fledgling career, Ferguson did not look bothered by the occasion but his crosses were not up to standard when he did move higher up the pitch for the Magpies.
A questionable performance from the centre-back, who allowed Evans in for the first and was generally dodgy for every other corner that United were able to win due to poor marking.
Switching flanks from his more familiar left-back slot, Santon was a bright spark in the first 45 minutes, marauding up the wing to instigate attacks on a regular basis. He continued his positive performance in the second half too but to no avail.
Continuing to deputise at centre-back, Perch looked decent without being anything more in the unfamiliar position.
Looked like a rabbit in the headlights early on as he adjusted to the rapid tempo the visitors were playing at, but eventually recovered to provide support when Newcastle blazed forwards in search of a comeback. Brought off in final 10 minutes.
Did not look as imperious as when he played in this fixture last season - when Newcastle won 3-0 - and will be disappointed with how his game panned out over the 90 minutes.
Marginally lucky not to be sent off for a rash tackle on Kagawa and looked lacklustre in centre midfield on Sunday afternoon.
H. Ben Arfa
The mercurial attacker was only intermittently excellent in the first half - for every genius dribble there was at least two scuffed shots or poor passes.
Having scored in his last two league clashes against United, the Newcastle striker will be gutted not to have netted a third on Sunday. Won plenty of aerial challenges, but was simply outmarked by the Man Utd defenders all game.
Limited in opportunities at first, but eventually the Senegal international was gifted numerous chances as the first half wore on. Each effort was just off target though and he was denied a goal that many argued was over the line early in the second half. Withdrawn shortly after for continuing to misfire.
The Spaniard was picked ahead of Lindegaard for this clash and was fairly limited in first-half chances to prove his pedigree as Newcastle were restricted to off-target shots. In the second half he was tested early on and was lucky to have been deemed to have kept Papiss Cisse's header out less than five minutes after the break, when many thought it was in.
The left-back scored a rare goal (with his head!) 15 minutes in to give Manchester United a comfortable cushion to sit on for the remainder of the first half. He did not look as weak as he has in recent matches and covered his flank well most of the time.
He has endured a rough week, having essentially been dropped from the England squad permanently, but he responded with a battling display for the Red Devils.
Scored a cracking header in the first 10 minutes to give the visitors the lead and held his own at the back against Cisse, Ba and Co.
The Brazilian right-back lashed a shot just wide for United as they dominated the early stages and was booked not long after for a cynical foul on the speeding Ben Arfa. Overall his performance was admirable and he dealt adequately with the threat on Newcastle’s left.
Playing just in front of the back four for much of the match, Carrick was the stand-out player for the visitors. He broke up numerous attacks with clever tackles and interceptions, while his passing was also key to their win at the Sports Direct Arena.
Coming into midfield for the iconic Paul Scholes after last week’s 3-2 defeat to Tottenham, Cleverley was not perfect but he put in a good shift as the Red Devils recorded their first league win at the stadium since the 2008-09 season. He capped his showing off with superb 25-yard goal too, but it's debateable how much he meant it as replays showed it was supposed to be a cross!
The quietest of United’s attackers but also impressively error-free every time he was in possession. Replaced by Valencia on 55 minutes.
R. van Persie
Yellow carded on 30 minutes after couple of soft but silly fouls. Prior to that lack of discipline, he had been masterful with his corner-taking prowess by supplying the strikes that United converted.
Sir Alex Ferguson handed Rooney a free role between midfield and attack it seemed and the England international lapped the freedom up. He also did a valiant job in defence as Newcastle flooded forward in search of a comeback.
A weak shot early on was followed by a glaring open-goal miss after hustling Newcastle goalkeeper Steve Harper. Worked hard for the rest of his match but was limited by United going onto the back foot for much of the 90 minutes after their second strike.