How Newcastle Lined Up in Their Last Champions League Appearance, Two Decades Ago
Regardless of by some means failing to attain in opposition to Leicester on Monday night, Newcastle lastly secured their return to the higher echelons of European soccer subsequent season, a full 20 years since their final look. In mild of their confirmed high 4 standing, we’re rewinding the clocks and having a look on the final Newcastle Champions League line-up, and the way they fared in 2003’s version of the match.
Newcastle Champions League Line-Up (2002/03)
Though the Newcastle aspect of the early noughties, led by the late, nice Sir Bobby Robson, secured Champions League soccer in successive seasons, their most up-to-date look noticed them bow out within the third qualifying spherical of the 2003/04 season.
Due to this fact, we choose to deal with their closing line-up of the season prior, the place they featured throughout 12 video games within the then-two-stage group spherical.
After crusing by the primary group stage with three wins from a doable six, together with a memorable three factors in opposition to eventual runners-up Juventus on match day three, the Magpies superior to the second group stage firstly of 2003.
In what was the ultimate yr of this largely unpopular format, eight group winners and eight group runners-up had been drawn into 4 teams, with Newcastle going up in opposition to Barcelona, Inter Milan and Bayer Leverkusen within the second stage.
Though the agency favourites, Inter and Barca, had been the eventual group qualifiers, Newcastle managed to register a formidable seven factors of their first season in Europe’s elite competitors.
This included a well-known double in opposition to Bayer Leverkusen – the primary leg in Germany seeing fan-favourite Shola Ameobi hearth in a brace, earlier than Alan Shearer went one higher again on residence soil, scoring a memorable hat-trick.
He additionally added one other brace in a 2-2 stalemate on the San Siro a month in a while the best way to registering six targets in complete. However, it wasn’t to be sufficient as a heavy defeat at residence to Inter, in addition to zero factors throughout their two conferences with Barcelona finally noticed them end 4 factors adrift of qualification.
The fun of the unknown made that marketing campaign on the continent a particular interval within the wealthy tapestry of Newcastle United, and now 20 years later the Magpies devoted will embark on one other European journey.
Their closing Champions League look to this present day noticed them stoop to a disappointing defeat in opposition to a Barcelona aspect that includes the likes of Xavi, Juan Roman Riquelme and Patrick Kluivert.
Alan Shearer, Shay Given, Craig Bellamy, Titus Bramble. These are the names which might be nonetheless etched into the recollections of Geordies, who’ve been longing, craving for a return to membership soccer’s most prestigious competitors.
And so, this newest era – Callum Wilson, Nick Pope, Kieran Tripper, Sven Botman – will attempt to higher what Newcastle have solely skilled twice earlier than.
Strap in, St James’ Park.
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