Newcastle United's Champions League return revives memories of iconic San Siro clash
Posted : 19 September 2023
Newcastle United's return to the Champions League after 20 years evokes memories of their iconic San Siro clash with AC Milan in 2003. Back then, Newcastle battled their way through the group stages, becoming the first team to lose their first three games and still progress.
They needed a victory against AC Milan at the San Siro to advance further. Despite ultimately failing to progress, the match is remembered for its atmosphere and high stakes.
The squad built by manager Sir Bobby Robson was a mix of youthful energy and experience, making them unpredictable and challenging to play against. Players like Jermaine Jenas, Kieron Dyer, Craig Bellamy, and Laurent Robert combined with veterans like Alan Shearer and Shay Given.
After a tough start in the Champions League group stages, victories over Juventus, Feyenoord, and Dynamo Kyiv turned their campaign around. A memorable win over Juventus at St James' Park, with a crucial goal deflected off Gianluigi Buffon, reignited their spirit.
The away match against Feyenoord is etched in history, with Newcastle going 2-0 up, then conceding two quick goals. Craig Bellamy's stoppage-time winner sent the team and fans into a frenzy. Bellamy's fiery character was well-managed by Robson, and his contribution was immense.
Despite their elimination in the second group phase, Robson's team's exploits have become legendary. Now, under Eddie Howe, there is anticipation on Tyneside as Newcastle aims to recreate those memorable European nights.