From Faustino Asprilla’s Champions League delight to THAT Derby County defeat - September 17 has been a rollercoaster for Newcastle United
Newcastle United has been a football club for 129 years but has a date ever summed up their journey in that time more than September 17?
September 17, 1997: Barcelona Delight
Bayern Munich’s 3-0 victory over Barcelona on Tuesday was the Spanish side’s first defeat in their opening game of the Champions League since… you guessed it, that night in 1997.
Newcastle were 3-2 victors on a night dominated by a Colombian superstar.
Faustino Asprilla cemented his cult-hero status this night with a superb hat-trick and ensured the absence of Alan Shearer would not impact the side.
In case you had forgotten Asprilla’s first goal came from the penalty spot after referee Pierluigi Collina judged that the striker was taken down illegally by the Barcelona goalkeeper.
His next two goals came from the same routine, a ball out to the right, a dangerous cross from Keith Gillespie finished with a towering header.
Seeing the sight of Asprilla leaping into the air and planting his header into the back of the net is truly one of the greatest photos ever taken at St James’s Park.
Everyone who was fortunate enough to attend that game has memories to last a lifetime, however, the story couldn’t have been more different exactly a decade on.
September 17, 2007: Derby Misery
Yes, exactly a decade after Newcastle United defeated Barcelona 3-2, they travelled to Pride Park to face a Derby County side that were yet to win a game following their return to the Premier League.
Derby came into the game bottom of the table with just one point from five games having shipped 15 goals in the process.
On the other hand, Newcastle were unbeaten in their first four, knowing a win would take them into 4th position, leap-frogging Chelsea and Manchester United in the process.
Ninety minutes later, a Kenny Miller goal sealed a 1-0 victory for the home side.
It wasn’t known then, however, this would prove to be the Rams’ only victory that campaign.
Their measly 11 points from 38 games was the worst return over a season the Premier League has ever seen.
In the end, Derby took four points off Newcastle that season - a far cry from that Champions League night a decade earlier.