A last-gasp Javier Hernandez strike settled a seven-goal thriller at Old Trafford as Newcastle were pegged back from a leading position on three separate occasions by Manchester United.
James Perch, a contentious Jonny Evans own goal and a Papiss Cisse strike had left the Magpies dreaming, but goals from Evans, Patrice Evra and a Robin van Persie equaliser set up a thrilling finale.
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was furious with referee Mike Dean after Evans' own goal (Newcastle's second goal) was allowed to stand after initially being ruled out.
Short match report:
Manchester United won a thrilling Boxing Day battle against Newcastle thanks to Javier Hernandez's late winner at Old Trafford.
The Magpies took the early lead when David De Gea palmed Demba Ba's effort out to James Perch, who scored.
Jonny Evans equalised before Newcastle regained the lead in controversial fashion.
Newcastle had the ball in the net but it was disallowed for offside. But after consultation with his assistant, referee Mike Dean awarded the goal because it had gone in off United man Evans for an own goal.
At half time United boss Sir Alex Ferguson showed his displeasure at the decision by berating the officials in front of the crowd.
United levelled through Patrice Evra's 20-yard strike before former Red Gabriel Obertan set up Papiss Cisse to put Newcastle ahead again.
Robin van Persie drew United level for a third time when he finished at the second attempt, and Hernandez pounced to score the winner late on.