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Season 2004-05
 Manchester City (h) Premiership


Date: Sunday 24th October 2004, 3pm

Venue: SJP

pleasant / mad


Newcastle United

Manchester City

4 - 3



Half time:  Newcastle 0 Manchester 0

49 mins Butt was fouled by Bosvelt and Robert curled a left-footed free-kick just inside David James' left post at the Gallowgate end. Robert slipped over as he hit it but he couldn't have hit it any better as James will testify - the keeper stood rooted to his line and watched it sail past him. 1-0

58 mins Carr rode one tackle and made his way into the box. He rounded James but tumbled under the challenge. Shearer stepped up and hit and forceful penalty to the "Sorensen side" while James went the other way. 2-0

64 mins Wright-Phillips almost re-enacted his goal for England at St.James', picking the ball up down our right and striding into the box before beating Given with a low cross-shot into far corner. 2-1

67 mins Butt seemed to have won the ball cleanly but referee Dunn pointed to the spot. Fowler stroked a low penalty past Given with the 'keeper diving the other way. 2-2

69 mins A Robert free-kick was whipped into the box and Elliott glanced a header towards the far post. With Bellamy waiting to pounce the ball hit the upright and seemed to bemuse a number of players on the line before creeping in. Cue the trademark funky chicken goal celebration.... 3-2

77 mins A loose ball was cleared only as far as Wright-Phillips on the edge of the box who hit a low drive past an unsighted and wrong-footed Given. 3-3

89 mins A goal that seemed to happen in slow-motion. Bernard beat Flood down the left before cutting the ball back to Bellamy ten yards out. His first touch wasn't great but he managed to prod the ball goalwards and it somehow evaded the reach of James to find the far corner. 4-3

Full time: Newcastle 4 Manchester 3

We Said

Graeme Souness said:

There's two ways to look at it and right now I just want to enjoy the win. I'll look at the video during the week but we must also give Wright-Phillips some credit."

"I went into the dressing room and told them I've had open heart surgery. There is no way I can cope with this sort of game every week."

"Craig has made the headlines for the right reasons today. The two of us will have our moments in the future, but the fact he wants to win is not in doubt.

"I want to work with people who won't lie down and, if he maintains that attitude, he's a proper player.

"I was happy with all my players, though. It is really encouraging that we came back twice."

About ref Steve Dunn and Keegan's criticism of the official:

"I'm not going to get into trouble when we win - only when we lose."

"Refs are asked to make decisions in a game that is so fast and furious that they are going to get some things wrong.

"I hope I can say that when we've lost a game, but I don't know."

A contrite Bellamy commented post-match about recent events concerning him:

“It would be easy for me to blame others, but I have to look at myself. These are not headlines I want to be involved in. I’m a 25-year-old with a missus and two kids and I don’t need that and nor does the club. It’s not nice for the fans to read about the same player causing aggro.

“It really hit home after the last week and now I just want to get on with playing for Newcastle and putting in better performances. Emotionally, it’s been a tough week and I’ve been drained by it.

“Maybe it was just me, but I felt the fans might have been ready to turn against me. I heard a couple shouting at me from the sides and I’ve never really experienced that before at Newcastle. Maybe it’s just me being paranoid, but it was the first time it hit home.

“But the reception at the end was brilliant. I think it was the Geordie fans saying ‘thanks for the winner and as long as you try your best, then we’ll stand by you’. People always see me as someone giving 100 per cent. I probably wouldn’t still be here after the incidents I’ve been through down the years if they didn’t think I gave 100 per cent. Maybe I would have been shown the door a long time ago.”

"It was a tough, tough morning in terms of getting motivated for the game, but the way it ended just shows how football turns out for me. It wasn't one of my best games by any means, but I tried to get myself going and just to get the late winner like that was just incredible."

They Said

A seething Kevin Keegan said:

"I'd said to the fourth official when it was 3-2 that we would get it back to 3-3 and they would probably get another."

"The referee's off my Christmas card list. The referee was not strong enough and made too many mistakes that had a major impact on the game.

"I've been in the dressing room and told him so. He wants to sit down and take a look at the video and analyse it. He had one - a shocker. All my players to a man are livid with the referee, but I'll be their voice and get fined.

"Everybody has a bad day, but this is a hard enough place to come without that happening, but I'm not taking anything away from Newcastle. 

When Graeme Souness, one of the most volatile managers around, tells you 'I know how you feel, but don't get into trouble' that says a lot."

About Shaun Wright-Phillips:

"He's the best young player in the country and just waiting for his chance to start for England."

"He's got to be patient, but once he gets in, nobody will keep him out. "I only hope he's not 30 when he gets the chance."


games undefeated since the loss at Aston Villa, eight of those under Souness.

First Newcastle game since 1961 that has seen seven goals in one half. That was a 1-6 loss to Chelsea, which was also goalless at the break.

The last time we scored four goals in one half was at SJP against Blackburn on 22nd March 2003: HT was 1-0, FT was 5-1. Souness was there that day as well.....

Last team to score four in one half at SJP? Man Utd, 12th April 2003, 1-4 HT, 2-6 FT.  

For City, Wright-Phillips and Fowler both scored in the Leazes goal - reprising their goals at the same end of the ground when playing at SJP for England (SWP v Ukraine in Aug 2004 and RF v Albania in Sep 2001.)

Keegan's poor record as a manager at SJP continues:

2004/05 NUFC won 4-3 Robert, Shearer, Elliott, Bellamy
NUFC won 3-0 Shearer 2, Ameobi
NUFC won 2-0 Shearer, Bellamy
NUFC won 1-0 Solano (FAC)

A first goal of the season in any competition for Robert, ending a barren run stretching back to the visit of Mallorca in March - this being the 26th game. In terms of Premiership goals only, his last success was at SJP against Fulham in January - that record going at the 24th attempt. 

Our four-goal haul means that with 21 Premiership goals this season, we lie second only in the scoring charts to Arsenal, who have 29. However, with 17 having gone in at the opposite end, only Fulham and Blackburn have conceded more (Charlton and Norwich have also let in 17.) 

Only Robbie Elliott's second goal since returning to Tyneside from Bolton in 2001 - his other one also came in a 4-3 victory, when we won away at Leeds in December 2001. Note that we don't refer to his goal in the 4-4 Intertoto draw with Troyes in 2001 which has gone down as a Hughes effort despite our protests......

And for his last goal at SJP one has to go back to the final game of his first stint in black and white, as Forest were beaten 5-0 in May 1997 and he hit a fine effort, again at the Gallowgate end.

Toon seven-goal thrillers: Premiership

03.04.96 Liverpool 4 NUFC 3
30.09.96 NUFC 4 Villa 3
02.02.97 NUFC 4 Leicester 3
10.03.97 Liverpool 4 NUFC 3
03.04.99 Derby 3 NUFC 4
15.09.01 NUFC 4 Man U 3
22.12.01 Leeds 3 NUFC 4
26.12.02 Bolton 4 NUFC 3
24.10.04 NUFC 4 Man City 3



After an arid 45 minutes in which we seemed to be feeling the effects of our Athens excursion, Tyneside was somewhat unexpectedly treated to a rip-roaring second period in which it simply rained goals. 

And by the end it was easy to believe that the whole thing was being played out by automatons in a full-size computer game or had been scripted and filmed for that accursed "Goal" movie. Only here there was nobody to shout "cut" and go for another take (luvvie.)

No, this was the real deal - warts and all - and a spectacular reminder of the potency of this game to enthral spectators and involve them to an extent that other pastimes can only aspire to.

To say that this didn't look likely at half time is almost an understatement - if anything, this seemed to have all the hallmarks of a fixture that got decided by an 89th minute deflection off a defender's backside from a mis-hit corner, rather than a seven-goal spree. 

Despite all the crap that gets thrown at the punters, it's matches like these that make it all worthwhile - the farting round airports in the wee small hours, the over-priced tickets, whatever - just for those seconds when the ball hits the back of the net and the world seems a happier place.  

Certainly anyone who turned out for that recent fraud football match here between alleged celebs and old timers would have been left incredulous at the goings on today. Never mind teen idols and assorted hangers-on being fawned over for lacing their boots up properly, here were the thick end of 50,000 people going collectively mad over the decisive input of a striker who often seems to be a rebel without a cause.

And having slumbered throughout this season, at last the ground came collectively alive as the Blaydon Races swept round the place, habitual spectators suddenly becoming participants, swept up in the emotion of the moment.

Prodigal sons? Soap opera villains? whatever - it's all here.  

Enough of the scene-setting, what was the game like? Well, you know really, whether you were there or not. After all, we've been doing this sort of thing since time immemorial....

At 2-0 up we were in something of a comfort zone, relaxed and thinking of post-match pursuits. Unfortunately that wasn't just the punters, that was the team. 

Cue Ian Wright's offspring exposing our backline for what it is and we were back in the room with more of a jolt than Robbie Fowler felt when he tumbled down in the box. Penalty converted and it's as you were.

Once again we were away upfield and almost too easily had slipped back in front again, only for another switch-off moment to peg us back again, by which time City seemed in the mood to go on and win this game themselves - even if their manager felt weighed down by the tide of history (see KK's quote above.)

And of course, the Bellamy winner is simply the stuff of legend and meant that we ended yet another difficult week smiling. 

As for performances, at times everyone played well and at others many of them looked as if they'd just woken up - it was that sort of afternoon. So what.....

It's easy to toss out a line about the City boss returning to his spiritual home, mentioning 4-3's etc. etc. but frankly, it's all as much a load of old nonsense as calling the present-day Philippe Albert a legend was in that recent "match" tripe staged here. 

It may make for good soundbites and PR spin for those who don't know any better, but when all comes to all it's just empty hyperbole - the past is the past, the half time hero who stayed 90 minutes. He's almost irrelevant now as...Bobby Robson.  

Keegan failed at Newcastle, he's on the verge of failing at Manchester City and the post-match interview comments were those of a hollow man - parallels with the defeat by the Germans that closed England's Wembley chapter and KK's international management career were obvious.

Quite simply, our 90s vintage heart-on-the-sleeve football was great, but it didn't work, for a whoe raft of reasons too convoluted to be rehashed here (thankfully, I hear you mutter.) 

We need now to be looking beyond Shearer, to be addressing the failings of the academy and the reserve side - if Souness comes in and does what we dreamed Dalglish would achieve, in marrying the attacking flair with defensive common sense, then he'll receive adulation far in excess of anything he ever received at Anfield or Ibrox. 

But as we keep saying, it's the earliest of early days - one of the reasons we're unbeaten since Bobby left is that we've played nobody - and had the Knight survived the visit to Villa, this recent set of games should have cemented his position. 

A look at the Blackburn stats from Souness's opening months in that job shows a similar pattern of early success - and we all know how rotten Rovers were when his team turned up on Tyneside last month....    

While the fans and players headed off into the night to bask in the victory, the man with the unbeaten run no doubt underlined his mental notes about the gaping holes in our defence that may well be blatantly exposed in the weeks to come, as the calibre of our opponents goes up a notch or three.

Souness may well be up the Duff as far as his wish list goes, but he knows that the players he's relying on at the back aren't suitable for the task in hand, chicken dance or no chicken dance. Unlike Keegan, our present incumbent knows there's no room for sentiment - that's one thing he has in common with Sir Bobby anyway.... 

Back to the day though and what was ultimately breathless stuff - a mini classic and a success to savour. Next week it will probably be 0-0.....but anything could happen and knowing us, almost certainly will. Twice.



Page last updated 24 October, 2012