Newcastle United’s fantastic 2011-12 campaign was littered with a number of equally fantastic moments – all of which came together to give the Magpies a fifth-placed finish at season’s end.
It’s tough to pick exactly which moments meant the most to Newcastle fans this year, but after much deliberation, here are the top five moments that will live long in the memory for every Geordie around:
5. Shola Ameobi’s Equaliser vs. Sunderland
Though the final score wasn’t quite what we’d hoped or expected, Shola Ameobi’s equaliser against Sunderland was still pretty sweet. To take away a victory form the Mackems in their most highly-anticipated game of the season is always fun, and the look on their faces following the final whistle was enough to make it feel like a win.
4. Jose Enrique Being Forced to Play as Goalkeeper for Liverpool
After his comments essentially saying that Necastle would never again finish in the top six, karma certainly came back around for Jose Enrique in our final match-up with Liverpool. Following on from fellow traitor Andy Carroll’s poor game up front, Enrique was forced to play between the sticks for the last few minutes of the game, following Pepe Reina’s sending-off for head-butting James Perch. It was a great way to end one of Newcastle’s best performances of the season and was perfectly fitting considering that Carroll and Enrique had left thinking they were moving on to better things on Merseyside.
3. Newcastle defeating Chelsea 2-0 Courtesy of Papiss Cisse
Newcastle’s 2-0 victory sent a message to the football world, as it all but sealed Newcastle’s fifth-placed finish in the Premier League. And Papiss Cisse’s metaphorical postage stamp on that message – an unbelievable swerving volley in stoppage time – was a wonderful way to head into Europe.
2. Demba Ba’s First Hat-trick
Demba Ba finished last season with the highest goals total for a Newcastle striker since Alan Shearer, but it was his hat-trick against Blackburn in September that really kick-started things for the Senegalese forward. The three goals were Ba’s first three of the entire season, and led to an astounding run of 8 goals in 6 games.
1. Phil Jones’ Own Goal to Seal Newcastle’s 3-0 Victory vs. Manchester United
Newcastle’s biggest victory of the season was undoubtedly there 3-0 victory against Manchester United at St. James’ Park, and there was no better way to top it off than with an own goal from the Red Devils. The feeling of joy once it sunk in that Newcastle had actually just demolished the champions was simply indescribable, and will go down in history as one of Newcastle’s best games of the Premier League era.