Across the years – Newcastle United’s promising record against German competition

Written by on 25th October 2023

By Liam Brusby and Joshua Nichol

Newcastle United take on Borussia Dortmund in a competitive fixture for the first time ever as they face off in group F of the UEFA Champions League.

The Magpies currently sit top of the group following a goalless draw against AC Milan and a historic 4-1 win against Paris St Germain at St James’ Park.

Despite Newcastle playing German teams in friendlies as recently as 2022, this will be just the sixth competitive meeting between NUFC and German opposition in the history of the club, with the most recent meeting coming in 2006 in the UEFA Cup (now Europa League).

Eddie Howe will join a list of only two Newcastle managers who have faced German opposition in competitive fixtures when his side welcome Dortmund to St James’ Park.

Only Sir Bobby Robson and Glenn Roeder have led the Magpies against German clubs when their sides turned out in the Champions League and UEFA Cup respectively. Robson also led the team in the Intertoto Cup in 2001.

The Mags hold an unbeaten record against German competition scoring 12 and conceding just five.

The earliest German opponents came in the semi-finals of the Intertoto Cup against 1860 Munich back in July 2001. Newcastle won the two legged tie 6-3 on aggregate.

The first leg resulted in a back and forth 3-2 win at the Olympiastadion, Munich. which saw Nobby Solano score a brace and Aaron Hughes score the winner following a brief comeback from Die Löwen.

Following the first leg, Solano said: “It was a tremendous result for us but we must not now fall into the trap of thinking the tie is already won. 1860 Munich are a very good side and we must show them the same respect in the second leg at St James’s Park.”

Newcastle left no doubt at St James’ Park winning 3-1. Goals from Gary Speed, Lomana LuaLua and Solano wrapped up the tie for Robson’s men.

Involved in the tie was 19-year-old Shola Ameobi, who had only broken into the first team squad in December the previous year. Ameobi went on to score 79 goals in all competitions for the Toon Army.

Newcastle would lose to Troyes in the next round of the competition in two legs, bowing out on away goals following a 0-0 draw in France and a thrilling 4-4 draw at home.

The Magpies were surprisingly without club legend Alan Shearer during the two games, who missed out due to injury.

In Robson’s 2003 Champions League run, Newcastle faced Bayer Leverkusen twice in the Second Group Stage.

In both legs Newcastle triumphed 3-1. However, they proved to be the only two wins of Newcastle’s Second Group Stage outing as they finished bottom of the group.

In the away leg on Robson’s birthday, February 18, an 11 minute brace from Shola Ameobi put Newcastle in the driving seat. Despite a small scare from Leverkusen’s Franca, Newcastle gifted their boss a game wrapped up in the 32nd minute courtesy of LuaLua.

Newcastle’s team that day featured a midfield including Speed, Kieron Dyer and Jermaine Jenas – who has gone on to forge a career in TV as a regular presenter on BBC’s ‘The One Show’.

The home leg on February 26 saw Alan Shearer return to the team in style scoring a first half hat trick. A second half goal from Marko Babic was merely a consolation for Leverkusen who left Tyneside with nothing.

The most recent of these games came in Newcastle’s UEFA Cup campaign on November 30, 2006 against Eintracht Frankfurt.

Playing in Germany, Roeder’s side laboured to a 0-0 draw with only two shots on target. The Toon saw an effort from Antoine Sibierski cleared off the line. A 17-year-old Andy Carroll was an unused substitute.

The draw ensured that Newcastle finished top of their UEFA Cup group and booked them a trip to Belgian side Zulte Waregem in the round of 32. The Toon would go on to lose to AZ Alkmaar in the quarter finals.

Breakdown of results:
1860 Munich 2-3 Newcastle United – 25th July, 2001
Newcastle United 3-1 1860 Munich – August 1st, 2001
Bayer Leverkusen 1-3 Newcastle United – 18th February, 2003
Newcastle United 3-1 Bayer Leverkusen – 26th February, 2003

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