Newcastle United’s best Champions League run came during the 2002-03 competition, led by star striker Alan Shearer.
With the first legs completed in the Round of 16 in the UEFA Champions League, Newcastle United fans can continue to dream of days they will be back in the competition. It also allows for reflection on their previous appearances in the Champions League. Today, we look back at the run by Alan Shearer in the 2002-03 edition of the tournament.
First Group Stage
Shearer started each of the six matches in Newcastle United’s participation in Group E. Unfortunately, he was not able to register a goal or assist in the first four matches, despite playing 90 minutes in three of those fixtures. Finally in their fifth match, a crucial second matchup vs. Dynamo Kyiv, he buried a penalty in the 69th minute to give Newcastle United a 2-1 win. That result helped the Magpies finish ahead of Kyiv for the final spot to advance.
Second Group Stage
In the first match of the next round of the competition, captain Shearer was involved in an off-the-ball incident with Inter’s Fabio Cannavaro. He would be suspended for the next two matches. He returned on a mission in their second fixture vs. Bayer Leverkusen. The legendary striker scored a hat trick with all three goals coming in the first half in a 3-1 win. In the next fixture, Shearer scored twice, one on each side of halftime, to give Newcastle a 2-2 draw against Inter. With a loss to Barcelona in the final match, Bobby Robson’s Magpies finished in third and four points behind Inter.