Ruud van Nistelrooy scores a header against Newcastle

Five memorable victories over Newcastle

Saturday 20 February 2021 12:00

Manchester United welcome Newcastle United to Old Trafford on Sunday, for a fixture that has provided plenty of thrills and spills down the years, as well as maximum home points more often than not.

Our visitors from the North East have only triumphed once at the Theatre of Dreams since 1972, while the Reds have enjoyed big victories, stirring comebacks and 90th-minute winners amid some absolute classic contests.

Here we’ve selected five of our most memorable home wins against the Magpies in the Premier League… 
United's top 10 goals v Newcastle Video

United's top 10 goals v Newcastle

Four current Reds are included in our list of the best strikes against the Magpies at Old Trafford…


The Reds hosted the managerless Magpies early in the 1999/2000 season, with Ruud Gullit having lost his job following a home defeat to local rivals Sunderland.

It didn’t take long for the Treble winners to get going, when a lovely exchange between Dwight Yorke and David Beckham put ex-Newcastle forward Andy Cole through on goal, who slotted home for his first of the afternoon. 

A Henning Berg own goal ensured the score was level going into half-time, but after the break it was all about the home side, with Cole adding another three goals to his personal tally for the day.

The striker then set up Ryan Giggs for a fifth goal as Sir Alex Ferguson's men signed off the first month of the season in style.


Old Trafford staged a thriller between the sides in 2002/03, one of the Premier League’s all-time classic contests.

This was vintage Ruud van Nistelrooy, as the striker grabbed a hat-trick to the dismay of Sir Bobby Robson’s Magpies.

Paul Scholes also netted a beauty while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer got in on the act, cancelling out Newcastle goals from Olivier Bernard, Alan Shearer and Craig Bellamy.
Classic Match: United 6 Newcastle 0 Video

Classic Match: United 6 Newcastle 0

This resounding win, from 2008, featured Cristiano Ronaldo’s only Reds hat-trick and a rare goal for Rio Ferdinand…


The Reds faced a Magpies side on the downward spiral, and just a few months off relegation. In comparison, Sir Alex's men were on course for a Premier League and Champions League double, so Newcastle fans were probably pleasantly surprised to see a goalless first half at the Theatre of Dreams.

A clever Cristiano Ronaldo free-kick, his 20th goal of the season, went under the wall and wrong-footed Shay Given to open the scoring in the 49th minute, and it was all one-way traffic from then. The Portuguese was just getting started and he grabbed his only Reds hat-trick that afternoon as his team ran riot.

Carlos Tevez also grabbed two goals in the second period, but the pick of the bunch came from an unlikely source: Rio Ferdinand. The defender crashed the ball past Given to help the Reds achieve a resounding win.

It was a Christmas cracker in 2012.

These two sides have only met twice on Boxing Day during the Premier League era, but the first of those was an absolute humdinger to warm the huge crowd in attendance. 

A depleted Newcastle side took a shock lead just four minutes in when James Perch fired home, before Jonny Evans pulled the Reds level when the ball fell to him after Tim Krul saved Javier Hernandez’s effort. Evans was amongst the goals again, but this time at the other end as he poked the ball past his own goalkeeper David De Gea from a shot by former Reds defender Danny Simpson, restoring the lead for the Magpies. 

Thirteen minutes into the second period, the Reds drew level for a second time, as Patrice Evra's strike from 20 yards proved too powerful for Krul. However, Papiss Cisse soon gave the lead back to the Magpies.   

With under 20 minutes to play, the hosts grabbed a third equaliser of the game when Robin van Persie took two bites of the cherry, finishing at the second attempt after Krul had saved the first. 

In typical style, the Reds won the game late on as Michael Carrick’s delightful ball over the top was side-footed home by Hernandez, giving us a crucial three points as we went on to secure our 20th top-flight title, in Sir Alex’s final season.
Remember this Mata free-kick, Reds?

Rafa Benitez’s side rocked up to Old Trafford without a win so far that season, but for the first 10 minutes, they certainly didn’t play like that. Kenedy and Yoshinori Muto gave the visitors a two-goal lead that lasted for around an hour, until Juan Mata’s free-kick sparked hope of a home comeback. 

It wouldn’t be long until the scores were level, as Anthony Martial rose above DeAndre Yedlin to head the ball past goalkeeper Martin Dubravka to stage a grandstand finish. This time the seemigly inevitable late winner came from Alexis Sanchez, as the Chilean diverted home Ashley Young’s cross to snatch it for Jose Mourinho’s side and break the hearts of all the Geordies in the away end.