Newcastle vs Man United – famous moments before thrilling Premier League clash

Manchester United and Newcastle United games used to be one of the highlights of a Premier League season.

Of course we go back to the mid-1990s when both sides were furiously battling for the Premier League title and Sir Alex Ferguson and Kevin Keegan locked horns.

Peaceful days indeed, but the two sides don’t just need a title race to offer some classic Premier League moments.

They’ve produced classics over the years, but it’s been a while since the game garnered as much attention as Eddie Howe’s side hosted the Red Devils in a big weekend of battling for the top 4 and a place in the Champions League.

With Newcastle United v Manchester United once again becoming a game of immense importance, Sportsmail looks back on some of the Premier League’s most memorable moments.

Eric Cantona (left) shoots Manchester United's win over Newcastle United in 1995

Eric Cantona (left) shoots Manchester United’s win over Newcastle United in 1995

Kevin Keegan goes both barrels

Kevin Keegan’s tirade towards the end of the 1995/96 season, when Newcastle lost their title fight, is arguably the most famous managerial interview in Premier League history.

After beating Leeds 1-0 in late April, Keegan let loose on Sir Alex Ferguson’s comments about teams treating Newcastle loosely ahead of the Toon’s season-ending games against Nottingham Forest and Tottenham.

Keegan’s crescendo of ‘We’re still fighting for this title and he is [Ferguson] I have to go to Middlesbrough and get something and I’ll tell you honestly I’d love it if we beat them, I love it! is the stuff of legend… but it almost never happened.

A month earlier was the key moment. Newcastle, at one point holding a 12-point lead at the summit, had a home game with the Red Devils in a crucial game in the title race.

At the March 4 meeting, the Magpies missed great scoring chances until Eric Cantona’s second-half strike propelled Man Utd to a famous 1-0 win and cut Newcastle’s lead to just a point, despite Keegan’s side still having a game in hand .

If Newcastle had won that night then Keegan’s Leeds post-match interview a few weeks later would have been related to his side needing a point from two games to clinch a famous title. It’s hard to imagine that it would have been anywhere near as explosive.

The rant also had the opposite effect. While Man Utd won 3-0 in Middlesbrough on the final day, Newcastle stumbled to a draw with Forest and Spurs which allowed the Red Devils to clinch the title by four points.

In the heat of a title fight, Kevin Keegan soon launched a verbal tirade at Sir Alex Ferguson

In the heat of a title fight, Kevin Keegan soon launched a verbal tirade at Sir Alex Ferguson

Newcastle makes style with a five-star appearance

Kevin Keegan’s reaction to losing the title on the final day of the 1995/96 season was to do the best Kevin Keegan could imagine and break the world transfer record to sign a forward.

Not content with having superb attacking talent in Les Ferdinand, David Ginola and Faustino Asprilla, Keegan ambushed Blackburn Rovers for England international Alan Shearer, who paid a cool £15m. Huge money back then.

Keegan’s Newcastle team weren’t called ‘The Entertainers’ for nothing, and on a Sunday afternoon in October they put on one of the greatest performances of all time.

First-half goals from Darren Peacock, a typically insane strike from Ginola and second-half strikes from Shearer and Ferdinand had Newcastle fans drooling… and that was before Philippe Albert’s daring lob from 25 yards out Red Devils keeper Peter Schmeichel made it look more than a little stupid to make it 5-0.

After full-time, Newcastle were top of the table after a seventh consecutive win, three points clear of their nearest rivals and five points clear of Man Utd.

However, at the end of the season Man Utd celebrated a title again and Newcastle went second with Keegan already departing as manager.

Philippe Albert (right) celebrates his famous chip in Newcastle's 5-0 win over Man Utd

Philippe Albert (right) celebrates his famous chip in Newcastle’s 5-0 win over Man Utd

Alan Shearer and Les Ferdinand were both top scorers at St James' Park in 1996

Alan Shearer and Les Ferdinand were both top scorers at St James’ Park in 1996

Keane punches Shearer

When the teams met at St James’ Park in September 2001, Newcastle had long since lost their status as a top-tier team in England.

Still, they had started the season well and went into their home game against the Red Devils knowing that a win over Man Utd would put them a game in hand above their former title rivals and with the pacemakers of.. earlier in the season would stay up to date. Bolton Wanderers and Leeds United.

However, nobody remembers this context. Even the seven-goal thriller doesn’t get much attention these days – it’s all about Roy Keane slamming into Alan Shearer in the final moments of the game.

Before we get to that, Sir Bobby Robson’s side had put in an incredible performance, taking twice the lead in the first half, either side of a Ruud van Nistelrooy equalizer through Laurent Robert and Rob Lee.

Nikos Dabizas made it 3-1 to star of the second half, only for Ryan Giggs and Juan Veron to level the Red Devils just after the hour mark.

But a Wes Brown own goal eight minutes from time restored the home side’s lead and it stayed 4-3 until injury time, when football was turned into a sideshow.

Keane, furious that his side was minutes away from a costly defeat, made a provocative throw-in at Shearer, who had stopped him from making a short seconds earlier, only for the Toon skipper to barely react.

This seemed to anger Keane even more, and after a punch that only managed to knock a yellow card out of the referee’s hand, he was sent off for violent behavior.

Roy Keane beats Alan Shearer during Man Utd's 4-3 defeat at Newcastle in 2001

Roy Keane beats Alan Shearer during Man Utd’s 4-3 defeat at Newcastle in 2001

Scholes stars with a 6-2 triple win

After Keane’s moment of madness, Man Utd only returned to Newcastle in April 2003 as this time they let football do the talking en route to the Premier League title.

The game started with a Newcastle goal from Jermaine Jeans and ended with another one from Shola Ameobi a minute from time.

The problem for the Magpies was that little bit in between, or at least a crazy half-hour of play after the 30-minute mark was up.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer equalized in the 32nd minute and two minutes later Ferguson’s side were in front through Paul Scholes. Scholes doubled his tally and United’s lead in the 38th minute before Ryan Giggs scored a minute before the break and Robson’s side went into half-time 4-1 down.

United kept their foot on the gas after the break, Scholes scoring his hat-trick before Ruud van Nistelrooy’s penalty gave United a 6-1 lead with less than an hour to go.

The game effectively ended Newcastle’s hopes of winning the title as, while sitting in third place, they fell nine points behind Ferguson’s side with just five games left.

Paul Scholes scored a hat-trick for Manchester United in a 6-2 win at Newcastle in 2003

Paul Scholes scored a hat-trick for Manchester United in a 6-2 win at Newcastle in 2003

Chicharito boxes cleverly

A big moment in the 2012-13 title fight as that result effectively gave Manchester United a wide margin for error in the second half of the season.

Newcastle didn’t have much in their way at Old Trafford on paper, at least until James Perch opened the scoring for the visitors in the fourth minute on Boxing Day.

Jonny Evans then equalized only for the defender to score an own goal to restore the Magpies’ lead.

Patrice Evra equalized again in the 58th minute only Papiss Cisse gave Newcastle a third lead 10 minutes later.

Robin van Persie equalized again with 19 minutes to go before Javier Hernandez’s last-minute emergence sealed three big points for the Red Devils.

The 1-0 defeat of title and local rivals Man City in Sunderland allowed Ferguson’s side to open a seven-point lead at the top.

Javier Hernandez scored in the last minute for Man Utd in the 2012 Boxing Day win

Javier Hernandez scored in the last minute for Man Utd in the 2012 Boxing Day win

Sanchez saves Mourinho

It wasn’t often that Alexis Sanchez showed his best at Old Trafford – as he was cruel it was usually the opposite – but he put in a stunning display off the bench to ward off the toon and save Jose Mourinho’s managerial job .

Both teams were keen to earn points ahead of the October 2018 meeting, with United sitting 12th after seven games with just 10 points, while Newcastle were winless and second from bottom with two points.

But within 10 minutes, Mourinho’s side were 2-0 behind at Old Trafford thanks to goals from Kenedy and Yoshinori Muto.

And it stayed that way until the 67th minute when Jose sent Alexis Sanchez to try to salvage a sinking ship. Three minutes later, Juan Mata pulled one back and in the 76th minute, Anthony Martial equalized.

United then pushed forward in search of a winner and it finally came in the final minute as Sanchez clinched a deserved winner from close range.

Unfortunately for Mourinho, it was just a stay of execution as he was axed just two months later after the Liverpool defeat. Sanchez never scored again in the Premier League.

Alexis Sanchez's last top-flight goal for Man Utd was a comeback win over Newcastle

Alexis Sanchez’s last top-flight goal for Man Utd was a comeback win over Newcastle Newcastle vs Man United – famous moments before thrilling Premier League clash

Maureen Mackey

Maureen Mackey is a WSTPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Maureen Mackey joined WSTPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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