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TYNE BOMB!; Over the Toon; STEVE MILLAR reports on a day soccer will never forget.

Newcastle 5 Man Utd 0

The six-bellied Geordie who risked heart damage with a 100-yard wobble across the St James's Park pitch said it all.

With one enormous bump he sank to his knees, raised both burly tattooed arms and dropped them slowly to the turf in a one-man worship of Kevin Keegan.

Thirty-six thousand dis-believing souls roared their approval.

Keegan's team had just out-played, out-thought, out-witted, out-manoeuvred and finally booted United out of Tyneside without any mercy.

It left the champions with their egos badly bruised, their confidence shredded.

Newcastle hadn't beaten United in the League since Boxing Day 1987.

They had the championship cruelly snatched away from them amid a psychological war, and then their faithful left Wembley in floods of tears after a 4-0 battering by the double-winners.

Two months on and you couldn't believe the difference as Keegan's men blasted their way to the top of the Premiership.

At times it was a breathtaking sight, their passing leaving United breathless and bamboozled.

There were raw-boned confrontations followed by accusations of dirty tricks, with United captain Eric Cantona the accused.

Philippe Albert felt the Frenchman had attacked him too many times and then agreed whole-heartedly as referee Steve Dunn booked Cantona for a push on the Newcastle defender.

England captain Alan Shearer thought Cantona had used his studs on him and then Peter Beardsley needed treatment after going down in a heap from a full-blooded Cantona challenge which resulted in uproar. Shearer ran 60 yards and joined his angry team-mates in a pushing and shoving game with the United captain.

We also witnessed a bust-up with David Batty and Nicky Butt with their hands gripping each other's throat.

But tempers were bound to be lost as tensions ran high in a game for men. A match for bravehearts where the spoils of victory meant so much.

And Cantona, an enormously proud man, could do nothing to prevent his and United's humiliation.

Newcastle scored some devastating goals, but the first was a rather scrappy affair in the 13th minute.

Shearer rose high to reach a corner which he headed on to Darren Peacock. The pony-tailed defender, who hadn't scored in 12 months, nodded towards goal.

Denis Irwin thought he'd cleared in time as United complained long and hard that it hadn't crossed the line, but the referee's assistant called the shots and TV evidence proved him right.

If United were still upset by the opener, they could have had no complaints about the second on the half-hour.

David Ginola ghosted away and whipped in a terrific right-footer which flew into the top corner. Goal three in the 62nd minute was set up when Shearer sped away from Irwin and crossed superbly for Les Ferdinand to rise and nod in his 10th goal in nine games.

Thirteen minutes later it was 4-0. Shearer picked out Beardsley beautifully, and the little England midfielder dug in a snapshot which Schmeichel parried.

The keeper saved again from Ferdinand's effort on the rebound, but Shearer popped up on the blind side to tuck the ball into the bottom corner.

The last goal was magnificent - fit to finish any game.

Albert took on the whole United defence as they retreated to the edge of the area and then with a piece of delightful skill he fooled Schmeichel completely by chipping him from 25 yards when the big Dane was expecting an orthodox shot.

"What's it like to be outclassed?" roared the whole of St James's.

Everyone who witnessed this demolition knew the answer. Horrible.

SRNICEK: Rewarded Keegan's faith with a clean sheet. Made two excellent second-half saves. 7

WATSON: Did a successful job on Poborsky. 7

BERESFORD: Tidy performance. No frills, no mistakes. 7

PEACOCK: Arguably his best performance of the season - and not just because of his goal. 8

ALBERT: Another classy display. Scored a wonder goal. 9

BATTY: Tigerish as ever. Clashed with Butt but won midfield battle. 8

LEE: Typically wholehearted display. Tireless workhorse in midfield. 7

BEARDSLEY: May be 35, but chased like a teenager. 7

GINOLA: Keegan's man for the big occasion. Proved it with his first goal of the season on his recall. 7

FERDINAND: Terrific work-rate up front and at the back. Few chances but scored the clincher. 7

SHEARER: Finally turned the knife in the club he could have joined. 8

BARTON and CLARK: Substitutes only on for last two minutes.

SCHMEICHEL: Couldn't stop the Geordies this time. 6

NEVILLE: Let Ginola off the hook and paid the price. 6

IRWIN: Protested fiercely over Newcastle's first goal but TV replays showed the ball was over. 6

MAY: Solid job but eventually overrun. Had his hands full with Shearer but never flinched. 6

PALLISTER: Kept United's heads above water. Not to blame 7

BECKHAM: No room to flower. Victim of midfield stranglehold. 6

BUTT: Lost out to Batty in the big battle of the game. 5

CANTONA: Played on a short fuse and almost found himself back in the bad-tempered old days. 5

POBORSKY: Not his day and couldn't complain over his 67th-minute substitution. 5

JOHNSEN: Struggled to get to grips with the game. 4

SOLSKJAER: Looked lightweight against Peacock and Albert. 5

Subs: CRUYFF (56) 5, McCLAIR (67) 5, SCHOLES (67) 5.

And here's

Keegan's

bombers

No1

13 MINUTES

Alan Shearer wins the aerial duel for David Ginola's corner and Darren Peacock heads goalwards from close range. Peter Schmichel can't stop it, Denis Irwin can - but a linesman rules that the ball has crossed the line.

No2

30 MINUTES

Ginola takes a short pass from John Beresford on the left of the area and spins past his marker Gary Neville. In an instance, he unleashes a right-foot drive that arrows past Schmeichel into the top corner.

No3

62 MINUTES

Shearer surges past Irwin on the right and hoists a cross to the far post. Les Ferdinand rises majestically to power a header past Schmeichel and in off the underside of the bar.

No4

75 MINUTES

SchmeicheL mounts a one-man resistance act as he parries Peter Beardsley's drive and reacts instinctively to block Ferdinand's follow- up. But he's finally left helpless as the lurking Shearer pounces on the rebound from close range.

No5

83 MINUTES

Philippe Albert moves forward menacingly from 30 yards and looks to be shaping for a long range blockbuster. But he shows a deft touch and world-class vision by floating a chip over the stranded Schmeichel.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:Millar, Steve
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Oct 21, 1996
Words:1073
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