The Senegal international scored the opening goal, before a superb Yohan Cabaye free kick doubled the Toon’s lead; Phil Jones put through his own net late in the game to compound the Premier League champions’ misery.
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew will now be without Ba, as the striker goes to compete in the African Cup of Nations, but was happy with his team’s performance.
“We won because we controlled the game in terms of what we wanted to do, we wouldn’t let them play,” he told Sky Sports.
“Physically and aerially today we had an advantage. It was a great victory for us – we beat the champions 3-0 and we probably deserved that scoreline.
“You’ve got to have brave players who are going to push on – we had some outstanding performances individually,” he stated.
The result leaves United three points behind cross-town rivals Manchester City at the top of the Premier League, but Sir Alex Ferguson refuses to panic after the defeat.
“It’s advantage to City, of course. But it’s not a time to panic – we have the experience to cope with that,” he commented.
“We started reasonably well. But they scored a fantastic goal and it really picked everyone up in the stadium.
“The second was a killer for us. We didn’t make enough of our possession,” he concluded.
By Gareth McKnight