Back In Tyne: Opening day victories
Written by Luke Vinton
As Newcastle United prepare to kick off their 2019/20 Premier League campaign against Arsenal on Sunday, August 11th (kick-off 2pm BST), we take a look at the Magpies' most memorable wins on the opening day of the season.
A four-star hammering (2002-03)
After finishing fourth in their 2001/02 Premier League campaign, Newcastle began the new season where they left off with a 4-0 thrashing of West Ham United.
All goals were surprisingly netted in the final half-hour of the top flight clash, with Lomana LuaLua grabbing a brace along with strikes from Alan Shearer and Nolberto Solano.
Sir Bobby Robson's side enjoyed a memorable season after challenging with Manchester United and Arsenal for the Premier League title before ultimately finishing third with a total of 69 points, securing a Champions League Qualifying Round place spot for a second successive year.
Ba and Ben Arfa down Spurs (2012-13)
Newcastle's last win on the opening day of the season was recorded seven years ago as the Magpies defeated Tottenham 2-1 on Tyneside.
After Jermain Defoe and Gareth Bale had struck the woodwork for Spurs, striker Demba Ba's wonderful curling finish sent the home side into the lead.
Defoe levelled the scoreline after reacting quickest to a loose ball after Tim Krul denied the forward by pushing his header onto the post.
With the contest approaching its conclusion, Hatem Ben Arfa sealed the victory for United with a composed penalty, sending veteran goalkeeper Brad Friedel the wrong way after the Frenchman was bundled over inside the penalty area by Aaron Lennon.
Tottenham sent on Harry Kane for his Premier League debut at St. James' Park but the teenage striker was unable to find a goal as Alan Pardew's side held on for maximum points.
Martins' acrobatic finish (2007-08)
Newcastle got off to a marvellous start to the 2007-08 season after a 3-1 victory at Bolton Wanderers, with United racing into a three-goal lead inside 27 minutes.
Sam Allardyce's first competitive game in charge of United, against the club he left three months prior, began in tremendous fashion as Charles N'Zogbia broke the deadlock with a curling free-kick before Obafemi Martins' stunning overhead kick doubled Newcastle's lead.
The Nigerian striker added a third six minutes later and, although Nicolas Anelka cut the deficit five minutes into the second half, Newcastle deservedly held on for their second Premier League opening day win away from home in eight top-flight outings.
Newcastle outfox Leicester (1994-95)
Kevin Keegan's side began their Premier League campaign in strong fashion with a 3-1 win against Leicester City on the opening day.
Andy Cole, Peter Beardsley and Robbie Elliott all found the target with second half strikes although Newcastle were reduced to ten men as goalkeeper Pavel Srnìček received a red card in the closing stages of the contest.
The Magpies made an electric start to the season - their strongest start to any top division season in the club's history - after scoring 22 goals and winning their opening six league matches to go top of the table.
Sir Les' debut to remember (1995-96)
Les Ferdinand marked his Newcastle United debut with a 3-0 win against Coventry City at St. James' Park.
After Rob Lee opened the scoring inside seven minutes, Peter Beardsley's penalty seven minutes from time extended United's lead before Ferdinand netted his first goal in Newcastle colours to the delight of the home supporters.
Ferdinand's 29 goals in all competitions that term resulted in the English forward winning the PFA Players' Player of the Year but United were unable to deliver the Premier League crown, missing out by four points to Manchester United.