Why Liverpool v Newcastle classics are legendary, but a thing of the past

The Premier League has seen some classics between Liverpool and Newcastle but they are purely vintage, mainly due to foreign imports.

As John Barnes and Ian Rush exchanged passes on the edge of the box, nobody realised that a match-winning moment from the onrushing Stan Collymore was about to go down in the annals of Premier League history.

When Collymore, who is now a radio pundit, scored the goal that put Liverpool 4-3 up against Kevin Keegan’s Newcastle side renowned for their exciting, attacking football, it truly was one of the first real Premier League classics and will always be regarded by many as the greatest match in the league’s history.

Not only was it a game that had it all, with Newcastle coming back from a goal down three times, but the last-minute blow saw the Geordies flailing title push all-but end with Liverpool handing their great rivals Manchester United the crown.

The 1996-97 season had seen Keegan leave Newcastle and replaced by Kenny Dalglish. Everyone expected a more subdued game without the drama of the previous year but remarkably, Liverpool secured yet another 4-3 win over their rivals after another last-minute winner, this time from Robbie Fowler.

It was an unprecedented period which continuously saw the two teams play out thrillers as they both looked to overhaul Sir Alex Ferguson’s United with predominantly British squads.

But unfortunately, due to the rise of foreign imports and owners, these clashes are a thing of the past.

The two teams meet on Monday in completely different situations to what they were nearly 20 years ago. Neither are anywhere close to being title challengers anymore.

Mid-table Newcastle have seen long-serving boss Alan Pardew leave the club amid a French revolution which has seen them field just seven Englishmen all season.

Meanwhile, whilst Liverpool have given young, English talent a chance, they are by no means the finished article and find themselves behind the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and a Ferguson-less United in the table.

As much as we want to see more thrilling battles between Liverpool and Newcastle, the classic 90s matches are confined to memory.

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