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Back in Tyne: Opening day victories

As Newcastle United prepare to kick off their 2021/22 Premier League campaign against West Ham United on Sunday, 15th August (kick-off 2pm BST), we take a look at the Magpies' most memorable wins on the opening day of the season.

Lift-off for LuaLua as Magpies hammer Irons (2002-03)

Newcastle got their 2002/03 Premiership campaign off to a flying start after thrashing West Ham 4-0 at St. James' Park.

All goals were surprisingly netted in the final half-hour of the top flight clash, with Lomana LuaLua, known for his eye-catching acrobatic celebrations, 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 spot for a second successive year.

Martins too hot to Trot (2007-08)

Newcastle got off to a marvellous start in their opening fixture of the 2007/08 season with 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's curling free-kick broke the deadlock against the Trotters 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.

Double debut delight (2020-21)

Callum Wilson and Jeff Hendrick both netted on their Newcastle United debuts as the Magpies claimed an impressive 2-0 away win against West Ham United on the opening day of the 2020/21 season.

Wilson, who joined Newcastle from AFC Bournemouth in September, broke the deadlock at the London Stadium after prodding home Hendrick's flick-on in the second-half before the Irish midfielder sealed the victory in the closing stages, arrowing a terrific strike into the top left-hand corner.

It was the first time Newcastle had claimed maximum points on the opening day of a Premier League campaign since the 2012/13 season after a 2-1 triumph over Tottenham Hotspur.


Sir Les' debut to remember (1995-96)

Les Ferdinand marked his Newcastle United debut with a goal as the Magpies brushed aside Coventry City in a 3-0 win 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 striker winning the PFA Players' Player of the Year but United were unable to deliver the Premier League crown, missing out by four points to champions Manchester United.

Ba and Ben Arfa down Spurs (2012-13)

Demba Ba and Hatem Ben Arfa were the heroes for Newcastle as the Magpies prevailed in a 2-1 win against Tottenham Hotspur on home soil.

Ba's wonderful curling finish sent the hosts into the lead before Jermain Defoe levelled the scoreline, reacting quickest to a loose ball after goalkeeper Tim Krul pushed the striker's header onto the post.

With the contest approaching its conclusion, 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 three points.

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