Manchester progressed to the fourth round of the Capital One Cup with a 2-1 victory over Newcastle at Old Trafford.
United score either side of half-time with goals from Anderson and Tom Cleverley, before Papiss Cisse came off the bench to give Newcastle hope for the final half an hour.
As has become customary in England’s secondary cup competition, both sides made considerable changes to their starting lineup from the teams that took to the field in the Premier League at the weekend.
The big team news was the inclusion in the Manchester United lineup of Wayne Rooney. The England forward had been out of action for a month after suffering a deep gash on his leg against Fulham. Alongside Rooney in attack was Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck, while Darren Fletcher made his first start in 10 months, in the midfield, as he battles a chronic inflammatory bowel condition.
Newcastle also featured important players returning from injury in Cheik Tiote and Fabricio Coloccini.
It was United who took the lead less than two minutes before the break. Anderson received the ball from the returning Darren Fletcher and cut in toward goal, while holding off the challenge of Dan Gosling, before unleashing an unstoppable left-footed shot from 20 yards that clipped the inside of the post before finding the back of the net.
In the 58th minute, United looked to be heading for a comfortable victory as Tom Cleverley scored his first goal for the club. Welbeck laid it across the edge of the box and the midfielder produced a simple curled shot past the unsighted Robert Elliot.
Newcastle immediately pulled themselves back into the contest, though, less than five minutes later. Manager Alan Pardew’s substitutions worked a treat as Shane Ferguson burst down the left and produced a fine cross to his fellow substitute Papiss Cisse who got the better of young defender Scott Wootton before heading past David de Gea from close range.
Both sides came close to adding to the scoring in the closing stages as first Hernandez rattled the cross bar, and later Cisse did likewise for Newcastle. The visitors were unable to get back on level terms, though, as United moved onward.