Newcastle v United: Five terrific trips to Tyneside
Manchester United travel to St James' Park on Sunday for what has proved to be a classic fixture down the ages.
The match marks our 82nd visit to Newcastle's stadium in all competitions and we’ve won on 31 of our previous trips, a number which includes some particularly memorable matches.
Let’s take a look at five of the very best...
Newcastle 2-3 United, February 1990
The Reds famously won the FA Cup in 1990 without playing a match at home and, after narrow 1-0 wins at Nottingham Forest and Hereford United, we were drawn against Second Division high-flyers Newcastle United at St James’ Park for a place in the quarter-final. When Mark Robins – scorer of the vital goal at the City Ground in the third round – headed home the opening goal after 19 minutes, it looked like being a comfortable afternoon for the Reds, but Mark McGhee won and converted a penalty early in the second half to draw the Magpies level. Danny Wallace put United back in front with a well-taken finish from Brian McClair’s cross, but when Kevin Scott took advantage of a mix-up in the box to make it 2-2, it looked like the match was headed to a replay. Step forward McClair, who bundled home with 13 minutes to go to move Alex Ferguson's men a game closer to Wembley.
Newcastle 0-1 United, March 1996
The Reds faced Kevin Keegan’s Magpies needing a win to stay in the Premier League title race. Newcastle – labelled the ‘Entertainers’ – had stormed to a 12-point lead at the summit in January and, although Alex Ferguson’s side put together a five-game winning run to narrow the gap to four points, the north-east club could still count on their game in hand over the Reds. The clash would go down as one of Peter Schmeichel’s finest for our club – the Great Dane made several world-class saves as we struggled to withstand a wave of first-half pressure from the home side. But Eric Cantona, not for the last time that season, struck what proved to be the only goal of the match just after half-time and, of course, we’d end up reeling in the Geordies to claim what was our third league title in four years.
Newcastle 2-6 United, April 2003
Seven years later, the Magpies were once again involved at the top of the Premier League table, sitting six points behind Arsenal and United in third with a month to play, thanks mainly to a formidable home record - Sir Bobby Robson’s side came into the game having dropped just five points at St James’ Park in the league all season. That record was well and truly blown apart, however, as the Reds put in one of our finest away performances under Sir Alex, despite falling behind to Jermaine Jenas’s early rocket. Our current manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer drew the Reds level on 32 minutes after latching on to Ryan Giggs’s through ball to spark a remarkable spell of six goals in 26 minutes either side of half-time to leave the away fans in dreamland. Paul Scholes’ spectacular hat-trick, Giggs' tap-in and Ruud van Nistelrooy's penalty set up our biggest win on Tyneside for 96 years, with Shola Ameobi’s late strike proving to be the scantest of consolations for the Geordies.
Newcastle 1-5 United, February 2008
During this period, the Reds got into the habit of getting results in the north-east – after a thrilling 4-3 defeat in 2001, we didn't lose to the Magpies on their own turf again until 2012. During this period, we won on six of our eight visits to St James’ Park, with this demolition job proving to be especially memorable. Newcastle, back under the management of Keegan, were in the midst of a dismal 13-game run without a win, but the manner with which the table-topping Reds put them to the sword was breathtaking. Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney bagged a brace each, with the latter’s delightful second strike coming just moments after Amdy Faye had given the home side something to cheer. Louis Saha finished the job with our fifth goal in injury time to leave the Magpies sick of the sight of us – Ronaldo had scored his only Reds hat-trick in a 6-0 win at Old Trafford just a month previously.
Newcastle 0-4 United, April 2014
The Magpies had secured their first league win at Old Trafford since 1972 in the reverse fixture, so David Moyes’s men were out for revenge. After a cagey opening half an hour, Juan Mata curled home a superb free-kick and the Spaniard made it two shortly after the break, tapping in to finish off a sweeping counter-attack. The Reds weren’t finished there, however. Javier Hernandez, who had netted a memorable winner against Newcastle at Old Trafford the previous season, proved to be the scourge of Alan Pardew’s side again when he slid in to convert Shinji Kagawa’s cross, before Adnan Januzaj rounded off the scoring in injury time, courtesy of a slick one-two with Man of the Match Mata.