International Soccer

Man Utd vs Newcastle: Complete head-to-head record

When Kevin Keegan marched out to confront an angry mob of Newcastle United fans seething at the sale of Andy Cole to Manchester United in 1995, he was met with the same question: “How could you sell our best player to our biggest rivals?”

Quick as a flash, Keegan shot back: “When I came here a year and a bit ago our biggest rival was Southend United, now it’s Man Utd. You have to trust me.”

Since the two clubs first met in 1895, the rivalry has fluctuated with the fortunes of each United. Yet, it is a fixture that routinely churns up enthralling affairs, even when they have been competing at opposite ends of the division.

Here is everything you need to know about a head-to-head that peaked in the 1990s but has delivered on either side of that golden decade.

Manchester United manager Herbert Bamlett was born in Gateshead but there was no question of conflicting allegiances when Newcastle rocked up at Old Trafford at the start of the 1930/31 season. United simply couldn’t beat anyone.

The rot had begun at the end of the previous campaign before the Red Devils opened the new season with a record-breaking streak of 12 consecutive defeats. Until Benevento came along in 2017, it stood as the single longest-losing start to any top-flight season across Europe’s top five leagues.

Newcastle sauntered into the Theatre of Dreams in the middle of this damning sequence, romping to a chaotic 4-7 away victory which condemned Tommy Reid’s hat-trick for Bamlett’s hosts to irrelevance.

In the history of English top-flight men’s football, only two away sides have ever won a match by the unusual 4-7 scoreline. Incidentally, the only other instance also involved Newcastle, who were on the losing end of the same result in the same season when Portsmouth travelled north in November 1930.

Just six weeks before Manchester United‘s visit to St James’ Park on a Monday night in spring 1996, Newcastle had boasted a yawning 12-point gap at the Premier League summit. By the end of the contest, United were one point behind.

Eric Cantona scored the only goal of the game but United’s goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel was the star of the show. After denying Les Ferdinand and Peter Beardsley during a first-half barrage, Schmeichel recalled thinking: “They’re never going to score, this team will never score. They had already had a couple of chances and, inside, I knew it.” The unbeatable Dane was proved correct.

In one of the pubs outside St James’ Park, there are framed pictures of the great figures from Keegan’s famed ‘Entertainers’. Philippe Albert’s homage captured the Belgian in the midst of performing an overhead kick. He was a centre-back.

That underscores the attacking verve coursing throughout Newcastle’s side. Never was the ‘Entertainers’ tagline more appropriate than on United’s visit to Tyneside in October 1996. Albert was Newcastle’s fifth different goalscorer in a 5-0 thumping, serving as some whisper of revenge for their collapse in the previous season’s title charge.

Arguably the most memorable victory in Newcastle’s modern history was particularly special for Albert. “When you chip someone as tall as Schmeichel from outside the penalty area, it’s not something you forget in a hurry,” he wistfully remembered.

“If you’re going to get sent off you might as well punch him properly,” Roy Keane reflected in his inimitable style. A bonkers contest, which the home manager Sir Bobby Robson rightly hailed as “an absolute belter”, ended with a scrap between both captains.

After twice getting pegged back, Newcastle’s Alan Shearer fired in what would prove to be the winner in the 82nd minute. Yet there was still time for Keane to throw the ball at Shearer’s head before following up with a fist in the striker’s general direction. Much to Keane’s chagrin, he didn’t make contact. Although Sir Alex Ferguson’s defence wasn’t as watertight as he perhaps thought. “He didn’t actually cut his head off,” the United boss shrugged.

Ferguson famously crept on to the pitch along with his jubilant assistant Brian Kidd when United won their first Premier League title in 1993. Across the subsequent two decades, he had scarcely strayed towards such an outward show of joy until a Boxing Day gift of a game in 2012.

Javier Hernandez slotted the winner in a seven-goal thriller beyond Tim Krul in the 90th minute, sending Ferguson jumping into an embrace with his assistant Mike Phelan.

This festive free-for-all contributed to the staggering 29 points United won from losing positions during Ferguson’s triumphant final campaign at Old Trafford. Ironically, Newcastle are the only club to have ever claimed more in a single Premier League season (32 in 2001/02).

Man Utd vs Newcastle – Complete H2H record

Man Utd vs Newcastle – Premier League H2H record

Top scorers in Man Utd vs Newcastle Premier League fixtures

Player

Teams represented

Goals

Wayne Rooney

Man Utd

13

Andrew Cole

Newcastle & Man Utd

11

Paul Scholes

Man Utd

9

Ruud van Nistelrooy

Man Utd

9

Alan Shearer

Newcastle

7

Cristiano Ronaldo

Man Utd

7

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