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Newcastle United 4 Manchester United 3 – 20 years ago today and a Sky Sports classic

1 month ago

One of my all-time favourite matches – Newcastle United 4 Manchester United 3.

The game that I think signalled lift-off under Sir Bobby Robson.

Exactly 20 years ago today on 15 September 2001, once again, that scoreline reading Newcastle United 4 Manchester United 3.

Sir Bobby had replaced Ruud Gullit early on in the 1999/2000 season, Newcastle United finished mid-table (11th) as the Geordie knight stabilised and then mid-table (11th again) in 2000/01.

Newcastle fans disappointed at the time not to see any real tangible progress although interesting to look back at the fact that those two seasons still saw 52 and 51 points accumulated, comparing to just how low we have sank now. This is the 15th Mike Ashley season and only once have Newcastle United managed to reach 50 points or more in the Premier League under this shameful owner, truly staggering.

Anyway, Craig Bellamy and Laurent Robert were two brilliant signings that summer (2001), who when put alongside existing quality players such as Shearer, Given, Speed, Dyer, Lee, Solano etc, would prove such a potent and exciting mix.

After draws against Chelsea and Sunderland opened the season, a 4-1 away win at Middlesbrough had lifted spirits, though the opposition had been reduced to only 10 men after half an hour when keeper Schwarzer was sent off.

However, no luck about Newcastle United 4 Manchester United 3, although we did see another red card…

The game was Bobby Robson’s 100th game in charge of the club in all competitions, whilst also the first NUFC match following the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York.

The pace and ability of Bellamy and Robert were a major factor in this brilliant victory and would prove to be in many matches to come.

As you can see in the highlights below, it was an exhilarating seven goal thriller BUT one that Newcastle United always deserved to win and a game they were never behind in.

The scoring:

5 minutes 1-0: A superlative Laurent Robert free-kick.

29 minutes 1-1: Van Nistelrooy equalises.

34 minutes 2-1: A long range Rob Lee effort amusingly goes right through Barthez.

52 minutes 3-1: Dabizas smashes home after the ball falls for him in the box.

62 minutes 3-2: Giggs pulls one back.

64 minutes – 3-3: Veron levels.

82 minutes – 4-3: Alan Shearer’s shot is heading in but credit for the goal given to Wes Brown who can only help the ball into the net as he attempts to clear off the line.

Laurent Robert had started the scoring and that final goal and winner was set up by fellow new boy Craig Bellamy who sped up the pitch through the Man Utd midfield and backline to set up that winner.

Final score – Newcastle United 4 Manchester United 3

That was the final score but the seventh goal wasn’t the final action of the match.

That came in the very final minute of normal time when Alan Shearer had ran the ball down into the corner by the Gallowgate end, then made it difficult for Man Utd to take the throw in quickly.

A petulant Roy Keane embarrassingly threw the ball at Alan Shearer before trying a bit of handbags.

Shearer simply standing there coolly and laughing in his face basically, as Keane was red carded.

Enjoy these highlights…

It was great to have Alan Shearer for those ten great years and as well as his goals, he was a massive asset as well when Newcastle encountered bullies like Roy Keane.

On Saturday it was Newcastle’s latest hammering by Man Utd, yet again Steve Bruce belittling out club pre and post-match, making out NUFC are even lucky to be on the same pitch as the club / team that Bruce loves.

Interesting to look back at those early years in the Premier League that featured the management of KK and Sir Bobby.

The first 10 meetings at St James Park in the Premier League era (including a League Cup game), saw Newcastle United with a record against Man Utd at home of played 10 won 4 drawn 3 lost 3 Goals For 18 Goals Against 9.

As well as that 4-3 twenty years ago today, the wins also including the 5-0 in the 1996/97 season and 3-0 in 1999/2000.

Happy days. We didn’t win anything but Newcastle United competed, which is always the most important thing.


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