Greatest Newcastle matches of the 21st Century (part 1/2)


This article will be looking back at some of Newcastle's greatest matches in the club's recent history. Let's forget the doom and gloom for today so just sit back and recall and ponder our finest moments that have filled us with joy! Enjoy!

2001/02

Newcastle United 4-3 Manchester United (Premier League)

Sir Bobby Robson celebrated his 100th game in charge of Newcastle in style with a dramatic 4-3 win over Manchester United. The season was only one month old when the Red Devils came to Toon as they went in search of their fourth consecutive league title.

Laurent Robert got proceedings off to a flyer early on as he scored his first of many free kicks as a Newcastle player. Newcastle midfield legend, Rob Lee's long range effort gave the Geordies a 2-1 lead five minutes after Ruud van Nistelrooy's equaliser. That goal turned out to become Rob Lee's final Newcastle goal. Seven minutes into the second half, Greek defender Nikos Dabizas added to Newcastle's lead.

Man United fought back with goals from Ryan Giggs and Juan Veron. Towards the end, however, Alan Shearer's effort was diverted into the back of the net by Laurent Blanc which turned out to be the winner. In trying to see out the victory, Roy Keane's frustration got the better of him, prompting him to throw the ball at Shearer followed by throwing referee, Steve Bennett's yellow card to the ground saw him leave the field late on.

2002/03

Feyenoord 2-3 Newcastle United (Champions League 1st group stage)

Still to this day, Newcastle are the only team to have still qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League after losing their first three games. When the Toon Army travelled to Rotterdam for the final fixture of the group, qualification was still a possibility and they did it in dramatic style.

Newcastle took the lead on the stroke of half time with Craig Bellamy. Hugo Viana's shot from outside the area soon after the restart doubled Newcastle's lead. But Newcastle sometimes seem to win matches the hard way. Later in the second half, Feyenoord brought the scores level with two goals in quick succession.

But the game is not over until it's over as Bellamy grabbed the winner in the dying minutes after reacting quicker to the rebound of Kieron Dyer's effort sending Newcastle fans into raptures. Newcastle we then unlucky in the second group stage after being drawn with Barcelona, Inter Milan and Bayer Leverkusen.

2003/04

Newcastle United 4-0 Tottenham (Premier League)

This was a match where Laurent Robert staged his personal goal of the season competition. The French international opened the scoring halfway through the first half with a 20-yard volley that dipped into the top corner.

He scored his second later on after latching on to a cross-field ball on the halfway line. After a quick dribble and a Tottenham defence not closing him down, Robert let fly and hit the back of the net once again. These two wondrous strikes is the reason this match makes the list.

Alan Shearer added two goals of his own to the scoreline making it a convincing win for Newcastle on a cold December afternoon.

2005/06

Newcastle United 2-0 Portsmouth (Premier League)

This game will be remembered for one thing: this is the game that saw Alan Shearer become Newcastle United's top goalscorer as he overtook the previous record set by Jackie Milburn.

Charles N'Zogbia broke the deadlock in the first. In the second half, a backheel from Shola Ameobi set Shearer on his way. Shearer broke away from former teammate Andy O'Brien, took the ball into the box and managed to poke the ball past the onrushing Dean Kiely to send the Newcastle fans who were in attendance that day to witness history being made.

2010/11

Newcastle United 6-0 Aston Villa

On a sunny Sunday afternoon, Newcastle were about to play their first home match of the season after their immediate return to the Premier League. Aston Villa, who sent Newcastle down on the final day of the season the previous summer, were the visitors and boy, did the club get their revenge on the claret and blue that day.

Villa were still trying to recoup after the sudden departure of manager Martin O'Neill and James Milner left Villa Park to the blue side of Manchester that week as well. It was a case of trying to hit Villa while they were still in a vulnerable state.

A long range shot from Joey Barton gave Newcastle the lead which was soon added by Kevin Nolan. There was still time for more before half time as Andy Carroll capitalised on poor defending to give Newcastle a 3-0 lead. Nolan added one more whilst Carroll grabbed a further two to give him his first Newcastle hat-trick and a massive amount of joy for Newcastle fans.

Watch out for part two where we will look back on a further five great Newcastle matches from the 21st century.


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