The first match in this league fixture was first played over 120 years ago – on 6th April 1895 – when Manchester United, still known then as Newton Heath, beat Newcastle United 5.1 at Bank Street in Clayton, Manchester in front of a crowd of 6,000. Newton Heath had moved there two years earlier after playing their early league games at North Road; this was a Second Division clash with the team having been relegated from the Football League’s First Division the previous season. Since then, Manchester United teams have won more than twice as many of their home games against Newcastle as they have lost, with their first home loss coming in November 1897: 1.0 through a goal by Newcastle’s Willie Wardrope.
Newcastle’s biggest away win against the Red Devils came 25 years after the team had officially changed its name to Manchester United, on 10th September 1927. Newcastle won 7.1 in front of a crowd of 50,217 at Old Trafford where the Manchester club had moved in 1910. Newcastle scored seven goals again in the 1930/31 season, conceding four in reply. Jack Cape scored a hat-trick for the visitors with Tommy Reid also scoring a hat-trick for the home team.
A high-scoring draw of 4.4 took place on 31st January 1959 with Bobby Charlton and Dennis Viollet and the Alberts – Quixall and Scanlon – scoring the home team’s goals. Newcastle scored through Ivor Allchurch, John McGuigan and two from Len White.
Close high scoring games between the two teams include a narrow 3.2 win for the Lancashire team on 3rd September 1966 when Denis Law scored the winner. It was 3.2. to Manchester United again on 15th October 1977, shortly after Dave Sexton had replaced Tommy Docherty as manager. Jimmy Greenhoff scored the winner that day
The home team won 5.3 on 23rd November 2002 with Ruud Van Nistelrooy scoring a hat-trick. Newcastle’s goals that day included Alan Shearer’s 100th Premier League goal for the club (he also thus became the first player to score 100 Premiership goals for two different clubs – Blackburn Rovers being the other one).
On Boxing Day, 2012 Manchester United won 4.3 with Javier Hernandez scoring the winner in the last minute of one of the most breathtaking games this fixture has produced.
Manchester United teams have put six goals past the Magpies in this fixture on three occasions and distinctive periods in the club’s history, and all in the top tier of English football. The ‘Busby Babes’ beat Newcastle 6.1 on 12th January 1957 in front of a little over 45,000 fans and the last time this fixture was played before disaster would strike in Munich just over a year later. Whelan, Pegg and Viollet scored two goals apiece that day, with one Jacky Milburn replying for the Toon.
They won 6.0 on 4th May 1968, just 25 days before Busby’s rebuilt team would win the European Cup at Wembley Stadium for the first time by beating Benfica. Sadler, Kidd (2) and a George Best hat-trick collectively routed Newcastle that day in front of an attendance just short of 60,000.
Almost forty years later, on 12th January 2008, Manchester United again won 6.0, this time in front of a crowd of almost 76,000. Their goals that day included a hat-trick from Cristiano Ronaldo. Alex Ferguson’s team would win the second of three consecutive league titles that season and the club’s third European Cup (now Champions League) in Moscow just over four months later against Chelsea.
On 7th December 2013 Newcastle United won at Old Trafford for the first time in over 40 years, with a single goal by Yohan Cabaye in the second half proving to be the difference between the two sides
Author: Mark Rasdall
Title: Founder, The Football Ground
Date: 20th August 2015