| 0.9°C Dublin

Fergie: Scholes is still special

Alex Ferguson feels Paul Scholes is putting the smile back on the face of football.

Eight days after his man-of-the-match display in the Community Shield at Wembley, Scholes was at it again as Manchester United opened their campaign with an impressive 3-0 win over Newcastle.

Scholes created the opener for Dimitar Berbatov, then set up Ryan Giggs late on as the Welshman extended his remarkable record of scoring in every Premier League season.

And, while Ferguson played down claims the man Fabio Capello failed to talk out of international retirement to feature at the World Cup, is a man on his own, the Scot did admit Scholes has a talent to be cherished.

"We sometimes beat ourselves up about standards," said Ferguson. "There is still a lot of good in the game and Paul Scholes produced it tonight.

"You do not lose what he has got. He has a marvellous range of passing and his vision is still good. Anyone who gets to that age and retains that appetite is blessed with something special."

The words were echoed by Newcastle boss Chris Hughton, who missed out on playing against Scholes and Giggs by a couple of years.

"It doesn't surprise me that both players are so effective," he said. "They have been able to avoid the big injuries and they have also played all their football in top quality teams.

"They showed so much quality from such an early age."

Newcastle are also still in the hunt for new players, although Hughton claimed his players could take plenty of positives from their performance, even if, once Berbatov had made Andy Carroll pay for his failure to take an excellent early opportunity, the Magpies' chances of getting anything out of the contest were virtually non-existent.

Darren Fletcher followed up Berbatov's well-taken effort and Ferguson was relatively pleased with the performance, even though his side only managed half of Chelsea's opening day total.

That included another black for Wayne Rooney, who has now gone 13 games for club or country since he last found the net.

However, Ferguson does not seem too worried, despite replacing the 24-year-old with new signing Javier Hernandez after an hour.

"That was always the plan," revealed the United chief. "Those minutes will bring him on."