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Newcastle v Leicester: Nine-goal thrillers and relegation deciders in five classic matches

Alan Shearer celebrates his hat-trick in a 4-3 triumph
Alan Shearer celebrates his hat-trick in a 4-3 triumph

Although no team has been involved in a lower scoring opening six Premier League games than Newcastle this season, history suggests the floodgates may open – at both ends of the pitch – against Leicester on Saturday.

The arrival of Claude Puel’s men at St James’ Park should stir memories of thrilling – and goal-laden – past meetings with the Magpies.

From two tongue-twisting 5-4 scorelines to a clutch of hat-trick heroes and a nerve-shredding relegation decider, we look back at five of Newcastle’s best ever encounters with the Foxes:

Newcastle United 4-3 Leicester City (02/02/1997)

Robbie Elliott put Newcastle in front early on, but Leicester hit back in the second half with goals from Matt Elliott, Steve Claridge and Emile Heskey to storm into 3-1 lead.

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But Alan Shearer pulled a goal back from the penalty spot with just over 10 minutes to go, and then lashed home an unstoppable free kick six minutes later to set up a feverish finale.

And the main man’s last-gasp tap-in sent St James’s into hysteria.

Leicester City 5-4 Newcastle United (01/12/1990)

Jim Smith’s Newcastle travelled to Leicester and lost in a manic game which saw two hat-tricks – one of them by a future Toon hero – and the visitors so nearly complete a comeback from 5-1 down.

Mick Quinn actually put the visitors in front before Seaham-born Terry Fenwick equalised.

Kelly then punished abject defending to score a hat-trick, before a stunning strike from Quinn brought it back to 4-2, and Liam O’Brien then reduced the deficit to one.

David Oldfield added Leicester’s fifth to leave Newcastle apparently down and out, only for Quinn to complete his hat-trick before Scott Sloan missed out on an injury-time equaliser by inches.

Newcastle United 5-4 Leicester City (13/01/1990)

Eleven months earlier, it was Leicester on the wrong side of a nine-goal thriller – and one of the Magpies’ most memorable ever comebacks.

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After Newcastle had gone ahead through Mark McGhee only to be pegged back by Tommy Wright, John Anderson missed the chance to regain them the lead from the penalty spot.

Leicester capitalised by taking the lead through goalscoring defender Steve Walsh, only for Mick Quinn to pull it back to 2-2.

But with Gary McAllister (with hair!) and Kevin Campbell then putting the visitors 4-2 up going into the closing stages, all seemed lost for United.

However, John Gallacher sparked hope of a revival with a tap-in, and Quinn then bundled home an equaliser before McGhee ended what he had begun with a superb turn and calm finish to cap an incredible game.

Leicester City 1-2 Newcastle United (02/05/1992)

With relegation to the third-tier looming Kevin Keegan’s Newcastle travelled to Filbert Street on the season’s final day in need of three points to guarantee survival.

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Gavin Peacock gave Newcastle the lead at the stroke of half-time, and all seemed relatively calm until a manic finale.

Geordie hearts were in mouths and ears glued to radios for news of events elsewhere after Steve Walsh equalised in the 89th minute.

But then Walsh sidefooted home a bizarre own goal deep into injury-time to send the away end – and many home fans – crazy.

The ensuing pitch invasion saw Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan screaming at his players to sprint for the dressing room and fighting break out between rival fans.

But United knew they were safe.

Newcastle United 7-1 Leicester City (09/05/1993)

Almost exactly a year on from the madness of Filbert Street, Newcastle swaggered to the old Division Two title with an astonishing first-half display.

The Magpies raced into a 6-0 half time lead thanks to hat-tricks from Andy Cole and former Leicester striker David Kelly.

Steve Walsh was also involved again, scoring for Leicester to make it 6-1, but Rob Lee added to the party atmosphere to round off the win and send Keegan’s entertainers marching into the top flight for the first time since relegation in 1988.