19 years ago today: Newcastle hammer Manchester United 5-0

The Magpies went top with a resounding victory over the Red Devils that still stands as United’s heaviest ever Premier League defeat.

Newcastle United’s 6-2 demolition of Norwich City may have felt good to most Magpies fans, but their moment of true Premier League perfection came during another Super Sunday encounter with Manchester United some 19 years ago.

The date is October 20th, 1996 and with the Toon hosting Sir Alex Ferguson’s side at St James’ Park, Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan was out for revenge.

Beaten to the Premier League title the previous season despite, at one stage, holding a 12-point advantage over the Red Devils, the Magpies were bigger and better now with record signing Alan Shearer in their ranks.

What followed was as close to perfection as any Newcastle United match is likely to get, with the Toon pummelling Manchester United from start to finish.

An early header from Darren Peacock set the tone before a sublime strike on the edge of the box from David Ginola calmed any concerns over a United fight back.

Les Ferdinand, Newcastle’s goalscorer-in-chief over the previous campaign, then got in on the act with a textbook header before Shearer added another, slotting home a rebound to make it a perfect day for the Magpies.

Except it, somehow, got even better for the Toon, with Belgian cult hero Philippe Albert stealing the show with a truly astonishing left-footed chip from all of 25 yards.

The once seemingly invincible Peter Schmeichel was left stranded, during an afternoon in which the Dane could do little to deny wave after wave of attacks from the hosts.

Newcastle would go top that night and while the season would end in disappointment, with Keegan eventually leaving the club, for one magical day everything that could go right, did go right for the Magpies.

It remains one of the three heaviest defeats ever suffered by Manchester United in the Premier League era – they lost 5-0 to Chelsea in 1999 and 6-1 to Manchester City in 2011 – and a delight for almost any fan not of the Red Devils persuasion.

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