Newcastle had opportunities of their own, through Mike Williamson and Shola Ameobi, before Haris Vuckic was unlucky with a curling effort after neatly side-stepping Michael Keane. But it was a move with menace from United that produced the first Reds goal in front of the Stretford End this season. Rooney was heavily involved and Welbeck passed inside to Cleverley, who calmly steered wide of Elliot before celebrating with a mixture of relief and delight.
Rooney, revelling in his deeper role, bent a shot over the bar but the hosts were caught out when Alan Pardew’s substitutes Shane Ferguson and Cisse had an immediate impact just past the hour. Ferguson raced past Vermijl on the left and his hanging cross evaded De Gea and debut-making Scott Wootton to enable Cisse to dive and nod in.
The response was swift with Rooney’s pass feeding Hernandez but, after Williamson committed himself, the Mexican lifted his finish against the bar. Anderson lashed a deflected shot off target and Keane almost got on the end of the corner as United hunted a killer third goal. Although the Tynesiders went close when Gosling latched onto a Vermijl clearance, Sir Alex reshuffled his pack with Nick Powell and another debutant, Ryan Tunnicliffe, replacing Rooney and Vermijl.
Cisse saw a textbook overhead kick arc over De Gea but thud against the bar and it was all hands on deck with Robbie Brady becoming the fourth debutant when taking over from Büttner after the Dutchman received a painful knock. Gosling prodded one half-chance through to De Gea but the Spaniard and his young defence held firm to register victory from an enjoyable cup tie which was a fine advertisement for the Capital One Cup.