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Dublin: 10 °C Wednesday 20 February, 2019
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It's 20 years since King Kev's entertainers famously thumped Man United

On 20 October 1996, Newcastle humiliated Alex Ferguson’s side 5-0 at St James’ Park.

ONE AUDACIOUS MOMENT summed up this remarkable match. It was the very essence that helped Newcastle United become most people’s second favourite team in the mid-nineties.

Perhaps only a central defender in a Kevin Keegan side would have dared to chip the imposing Peter Schmeichel from 25 yards. But Philip Albert’s lob in the pouring rain perfectly rounded off a day that nobody who witnessed it would forget.

Soccer - FA Carling Premiership - Newcastle United v Manchester United - St James' Park Source: PA Archive/PA Images

The demolition of Manchester United was all the more sweeter, as the previous season Keegan famously claimed “I’d love it if we beat them. Love it,” as the campaign reached a climax.

That’s because Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson irked Keegan by suggesting that teams facing United were likely to try harder, as the Scot believed most neutrals would prefer Newcastle to win the league.

But by that stage the damage was already done. Newcastle had let a 12-point lead slip and their wait for a first league title since 1927 was to continue.

Soccer - FA Carling Premiership - Newcastle United v Manchester United - St James' Park Source: EMPICS Sport

The following season however, Keegan gained an early advantage on his adversary, when Newcastle completed a world-record £15 million transfer for the league’s most sought-after striker, Alan Shearer. Despite Ferguson’s advances, Shearer opted for a return to his hometown club instead of moving to Old Trafford.

And Shearer, along with Peter Beardsley, David Ginola and Les Ferdinand as well as the late Pavel Srnicek in goal, helped the Magpies to one of their most famous wins.

Defender Darren Peacock headed the home side in front, before a a superb right-footed effort from David Ginola made it 2-0 before the break.

Soccer - FA Carling Premiership - Newcastle United v Manchester United - St James' Park Source: EMPICS Sport

Shearer, who was booed by the away support throughout the game, expertly set up Ferdinand to blast home the third.

It was to get better for the former England captain after a fine double save from Schmeichel, first from Beardsley then Ferdinand led Shearer to pouncing for the goal he so desperately wanted, as Albert completed the rout.

That victory however, didn’t propel Newcastle to greater things as Keegan resigned from his post the following January, with Kenny Dalglish taking the reigns on Tyneside.

The season finished with Newcastle once again one place behind Ferguson’s men in the league table, without a coveted trophy, but that victory 20 years ago was the next best thing.

Newcastle: Srnicek; Watson, Peacock, Albert, Beresford; Lee, Beardsley, Batty, Ginola; Ferdinand, Shearer.

Subs: Hislop, Barton, Clark, Gillespie, Asprilla.

Manchester United: Schmeichel; G Neville, May, Pallister, Irwin; Beckham, Butt, Johnsen, Poborsky; Cantona, Solskjaer.

Subs: Van der Gouw, P Neville, Scholes, McClair, Cruyff.

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