24th February 1996
It’s hard to believe looking at the current Premier League table that City and Newcastle’s fortunes would change so dramatically. In 1996 it was Newcastle who were chasing Premier League title’s and City fighting relegation, a full 36 points behind the leaders. It looked like a complete mis-match as the title-chasers arrived at Maine Road, looking to extend their six point lead over Manchester United.
Meanwhile, City would move out of the relegation zone with a win and other results going in their favour.
The blues got off to a great start. Scott Hiley’s run and cross down the left found Nigel Clough in a bit of space on the edge of the area. The midfielder’s shot was going wide until Niall Quinn’s deflection sent the ball past the keeper to give City the lead.
City pressed for a second goal with the midfield maestro Georgi Kinkladze weaving his way through the Newcastle defence before firing over the bar.
Then City’s defensive frailties came to the fore again. Losing possession in midfield, City were made to pay as Philippe Albert got away from the City defence to casually equalise for the visitors on the stroke of half time.
Usually, blue heads would drop, but on this occasion, City started to fight and were back in front on 62 minutes. Kinkladze, who had tormented the Newcastle defence all afternoon, crossed to the far post where Quinn was waiting and his header was deflected home to make it 2-1.
Back came Newcastle and they were level nine minutes later. Albert’s powerful shot was parried by keeper Eike Immel, but only into the path of Faustino Asprilla, who tapped home to make it 2-2.
Six minutes later, City took the lead for the first time. Steve Lomas collected the ball on the edge of the penalty area and his cross-cum-shot was met at the far post by Uwe Rosler, who side-footed home for what should have been the winner.
But the lead lasted just four minutes and it was that man Albert again. Just as Kinkladze had been a pain for Newcastle. So had the Belgian for City. The blues failed to close down a Newcastle attack and Albert rifled home the visitors third equaliser of the match.
Within a month of the match, City had moved out of the relegation zone and were five points clear of Southampton in 18th place. As for Newcastle, they had gained just another three points, while United had taken control of the title race, leading Newcastle by three points.
Final Score: Manchester City 3-3 Newcastle United