Krul made a host of top saves, including a brilliant one to deny Juan Mata in the first period and an even better one after the break to prevent substitute Javier Hernandez from snatching a winner.
Van Gaal made just one change to the side that began the 3-1 Champions League play-off win over Club Brugge with Bastian Schweinsteiger starting his first competitive match for the Reds since his summer move, in place of Michael Carrick.
Newcastle, who arrived in M16 with just one point to their name for the season and on a run of seven consecutive defeats on the road across the end of last term and start of this, were on the back foot almost straight away and were lucky not to be a goal down after four minutes when Wayne Rooney had the ball in the net, but was flagged offside despite replays suggesting otherwise.
Rooney took aim soon afterwards, following nice combination play with Schweinsteiger, but his low drive was claimed by Krul. The Newcastle goalkeeper was also on hand to save Mata’s free-kick on 12 minutes and he denied the Spaniard again a few minutes later as he clawed his shot away low to his left. Rooney was next to have a go as the wave of United attacks continued but Krul was there once more.
Having barely been in the match, the visitors went within inches of going ahead when Aleksandar Mitrovic rose to send a superb header on to the United bar with Sergio Romero well beaten. At the other end, Memphis Depay found himself through on goal, but his touch around Krul took him too wide and the Magpies cleared the danger.
Thereafter, clear-cut chances were few and far between, despite both sides looking dangerous around the box.