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Plenty has happened at Manchester United in the 20 years since Newcastle United last played in the Champions League. A group-stage defeat to Barcelona sealed the Magpies’ fate back in 2003, but they will get a chance to succeed where they previously failed when they travel to the San Siro to face AC Milan on Tuesday evening.
The likes of Shay Given, Titus Bramble and Craig Bellamy were all involved last time the Toon featured in Europe’s top-tier club competition. On that night at St James’ Park, Patrick Kluivert and Thiago Motta scored to give Barca a 2-0 win.
After a sensational fourth-place finish under Eddie Howe last season, Newcastle are back in the big time. And their fans will be treated to a series of blockbuster fixtures with Paris Saint-Germain, AC Milan and Borussia Dortmund also making up Group F.
To illustrate just how long it has been since the Magpies’ last Champions League appearance, Express Sport takes you through three key Man Utd statistics over the past two decades…
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Overseen primarily by the Glazers, the Red Devils certainly haven’t been shy in the transfer market since the 2003/04 season. Even back in the summer of 2007, United splashed out on the likes of Nani, Anderson and Owen Hargreaves in the same transfer window.
Spending has only ramped up in recent seasons, and manager Erik ten Hag was backed heavily over the past few months with big-money deals for Rasmus Hojlund, Mason Mount and Andre Onana. Over the past five campaigns, only Chelsea have a higher net spend, and according to Tranfermarkt, United have splurged a whopping £2bn since Newcastle’s defeat to La Blaugrana.
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Five bosses sacked
The legendary Sir Alex Ferguson remained in charge at Old Trafford for a full decade after Newcastle’s last Champions League exit. But United have rattled through a sequence of managers since then, with the club unable to find a leader worthy of filling the Scotsman’s boots.
Of all those to have tried their luck, David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer were all sacked. Despite initially taking charge in an interim capacity, Ralf Rangnick can also be added to the list as United opted to cut ties completely at the end of his reign, when he was set to step into a consultancy role.
Ryan Giggs, Michael Carrick and current boss Ten Hag have also featured in the dugout since Fergie’s departure.
15 trophies won
Although the flow of silverware into Old Trafford has slowed down dramatically in recent years, United have still won a staggering 15 trophies since Newcastle’s last Champions League showdown.
Strictly speaking, the Magpies haven’t won a major title since 1955. In the last 20 years alone, United have won five Premier League crowns, five Carabao Cups, a pair of FA Cups, a Champions League, a Europa League and a Club World Cup.
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