Like talismanic Old Trafford skippers Bryan Robson and Roy Keane before him, the team comes first every time.
Turning the clock back to happier times when he looked like scoring from every corner in an England shirt, the centre-backs header from Juan Mata’s corner was a belter.
And it laid the platform for the Red Devils to win it late on via Bruno Fernandes’ exquisite goal before late strikes from Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Marcus Rashford.
The Portuguese had already missed a penalty – his first in Manchester United red – and it looked like the honours would be shared.
But in the 86th minute the midfielder finished off a wondrous move, poking into the top corner from a tight angle after a great build up with Marcus Rashford.
With everything that came his way after the humiliation against Tottenham, this was a huge win for Solskjaer.
Defeat here and the clamour for his sacking would have grown louder and louder.
But if nothing else, three points at St James’ Park keeps the wolves at bay for a while at least.
Solskjaer made five changes after their 6-1 mauling by Tottenham but could still not find room for £35million midfielder Donny van de Beek.
Paul Pogba – fresh from signing a contract extension – and Nemanja Matic were benched for Scott McTominay and Fred, while Mason Greenwood was left out completely.
Whereas Solskjaer has barely had a minute to remedy the Old Trafford horror show over the international break, the opposite was true for Steve Bruce.
The Mags boss has had the majority of his squad on Tyneside throughout, priming themselves to inflict more misery on the Red Devils.
And it did not take long – 102 seconds to be precise.
After Wilson held it up and played it to Allan Saint-Maximin, Jonjo Shelvey found himself in acres of space in the middle.
Rather than pulling the trigger he laid it off to the overlapping Emil Krafth.
The right-back looked to play it square it but it ricocheted off the Shaw’s outstretched leg before ballooning into the air and inside De Gea’s near post.
The lifeless Spaniard was rooted to the spot as if he had no chance – but if he just stuck his left mitt out he could have stopped it.