Following draws with Everton and West Brom, United had fallen 10 points adrift of leaders Manchester City, which was extended further on Sunday when Pep Guardiola’s side won at Arsenal
Marcus Rashford broke the deadlock when he found the near post (30) but Newcastle deservedly leveled after Allan Saint-Maximin’s half volley flashed beyond David de Gea six minutes later.
United looked lethargic following their Europa League exertions in the opening period, but Dan James struck (57) to restore their advantage before Fernandes’ penalty with 15 minutes remaining settled matters.
The result enabled Manchester United to move into second place again following Leicester’s win at Aston Villa while Newcastle stay in 17th, three points above the relegation zone.
Man Utd return to winning ways
Newcastle, who were again without 10-goal top-scorer Callum Wilson because of a hamstring injury, had won just one of their previous 35 away league games at Old Trafford.
It was Steve Bruce’s 850th game as a manager, back where he enjoyed so much success as a player under Sir Alex Ferguson, and his side grew in confidence following a high-tempo start. Ultimately fell short on the night
After De Gea punched clear Jonjo Shelvey’s cross from Joe Willock’s short corner, Joelinton forced the United’s keeper into a fingertip save via a deflection off Victor Lindelof.
Miguel Almiron was a lively presence throughout the opening half-hour and the Paraguay midfielder was next to spring De Gea into action with a long-range drive but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side went ahead in the 30th minute through a fine Rashford strike.
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