The 23-year-old netted a speculative shot from outside Newcastle’s area in the 71st minute to seal three points after Jonny Evans and Patrice Evra had put the Red Devils ahead in the first half.
The England international appeared to have been delivering a cross to Robin van Persie, who was lurking at the far post – but Cleverley maintained it was legitimate attempt to beat Magpies goalkeeper Steve Harper.
“Yeah, I meant to put it in that far corner,” Cleverley told United’s website.
“I looked to the far corner and, whether it’s a good cross or obviously a good finish, luckily it’s found the net.
“The ball’s come back and I’ve seen the goalkeeper a little bit off his line so I’ve hit that area.
“Whether Welbz [Danny Welbeck] gets across and puts his head on it or the ball goes straight in, so I’d say it’s a good finish.”
Cleverley heaped praise on United’s defence for keeping their first clean sheet in five games, with the Team GB star convinced there is more to come from the 19-time English champions.
“We all knew it was going to be a tough game,” he added.
“Starting like we did was fantastic for us – not just the goals but we were playing really well. I think it took them 20 minutes to cope with us and we were 2-0 up by then and in control.
“We hit them on the counter-attack times and I thought we really controlled the second half.
“Away from home, any clean sheet is massive. Despite all the balls Newcastle put into the box, the back four and keeper were fantastic and fully deserved the clean sheet.
“We know we’ve got goals in the team and we’ve got players who can assist goals from everywhere.
“Welbz and Wazza [Wayne Rooney] were two of our main goalscorers last season and they’ve not scored yet so, when everyone clicks, I’m sure we can go on a run.”