For their third league match of the season, Manchester United are away from home but taking the initiative right from the kick-off here at Newcastle United and the crowd is pumped.
The Newcastle fans, the Toon Army as they're known, are some of the best fans in the country. They love their football passionately at St James Park and expect their team to play similarly.
Quite like Manchester United in fact, who are determined to make up for a bitterly disappointing last season. Now the Red Devils are driving forward looking for an early advantage, leaving Newcastle only the occasional counter attack. Their first, in the 11th minute, sees new Spanish striker Alberto Luque, who only arrived in the North East on Thursday from Deportivo La Coruña, have a goal disallowed for offside.
This encourages Newcastle, who are starting to make a real fight of it now, but lose a little momentum when Turkish midfielder Emre takes a knock and is replaced by Jermaine Jenas.
Half an hour gone and things are starting to boil. Newcastle's main striker and captain, former England goal man Alan Shearer seems to have taken an accidental knock from United's Argentinian left back Gabriel Heinze. As he often does, Shearer sees red and swiftly clatters into first Silvestre and then Ronaldo. The heat is on!
United remain focussed however and keep pressing forward. The 37th minute brings a lovely flowing move ending with Ruud van Nistelrooy feeding a lovely pass to Ronaldo in the penalty area but the Portuguese winger shoots straight at Newcastle goalie Shay Given. A minute later he has another chance when Lee Bowyer attempts an insane back pass to Given and Ronaldo intercepts, but he hurries the shot and it's wide of the target.
Newcastle get another chance when Heinze fouls Shola Ameobi on the left corner of the United penalty area. Luque takes the free kick but shoots straight at United midfielder Paul Scholes and it goes for a corner. Luque takes it but United goalie Van der Sar punches clear. This is the home team's best spell of the match so far. They surge again in the last minute of the first half, Ameobi crossing from the left to Luque (again) lurking at the far post who tries to volley but can't control the ball.
It's half time and Luque has easily been the star of the show so far, he looks a great buy for Newcastle. Manchester United have been solid if not inspired and are going to have to do better in the second half.