The race for England's last two European Champions League places took another twist on Saturday as Newcastle's sixth successive victory left London's three leading clubs battling for qualification.
They have seen Papiss Cisse's like before. They know what it is to cherish a number nine in these parts. But though this is the club of Alan Shearer, Les Ferdinand and Jackie Milburn, it is Andy Cole who springs immediately to mind when the Newcastle United supporters watch Cisse play. Not since Cole have Newcastle boasted a striker so potent, so direct and so gloriously uncomplicated.
Liverpool's disastrous run in the English Premier League continued Sunday with a 2-0 defeat at Newcastle - the sixth defeat in the last seven for Kenny Dalglish's men.
A last minute Thomas Vermaelen goal gave Arsenal a vital 2-1 Premier League home win over Newcastle on Monday, a result that closes the gap on third-placed Tottenham to just a single point.
Capped! - Viv Anderson becomes the first black player to represent England
Manchester United's hopes of retaining the Premier League title suffered a setback on Wednesday as the English champions slumped to a 3-0 defeat at Newcastle.
Liverpool recovered from going a goal behind to defeat Newcastle 3-1 on Friday, a result that lifts them up to fifth place in the English Premier League table.
Manchester City may have announced losses of more than $300 million for last season, but the English club's massive investment in players is paying off on the pitch.
Five things we learned from Saturday's action in the Barclays Premier League:
Demba Ba scored a superb hat-trick to help Newcastle United win 3-1 at Stoke City on Monday, a result that lifts the unbeaten Magpies up to third place in the English Premier League.
Five thoughts from Saturday's action in the Barclays Premier League:
The Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew admitted that his side had been "lucky" to beat Wolverhampton Wanderers, who "deserved a point at the very least." You needed the fingers of both hands to count the saves that the goalkeeper Tim Krul had to make at Molineux, including two impressive stops with his feet that kept Kevin Doyle and Steven Fletcher from scoring, and only a dubious call from the referee's assistant prevented a last gasp equalizer. It is still far too early in the season for the Premier League table to be much worth looking at, and Toon must navigate a course past Tottenham, both Manchester clubs and Chelsea in upcoming fixtures.
Five thoughts from Saturday's action in the Barclays Premier League ...
New striker Gervinho was sent off on his Premier League debut as Arsenal drew 0-0 against Newcastle United at St James Park in their opening match of the season on Saturday.
English Premier League team Liverpool announced on Thursday they have agreed a deal with Newcastle United for left-back Jose Enrique.
Manchester United failed to extend their lead at the top of the English Premier League on Tuesday after a 0-0 draw with Newcastle United at St James' Park.
Manchester United returned to the top of the Premier League on Sunday after a 0-0 draw against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane.
The Premier League table at Christmas is generally regarded as a kind of crystal ball, channelling the end of the season to reveal the likely winners and losers. Since 2005-06, the festive leaders have gone on to lift the trophy four times out of six, while only one bottom-placed club has escaped relegation with a new-year flourish in the Premier League era. If you want to delve even further -- all the way back to 1888-89, in fact -- you'll find that 41 percent of champions have led at Christmas, while 71 percent of last-place stragglers were already dawdling behind the pack by the time Rudolph skidded to a halt on your rooftop. Sorry, Hammers.
Manchester City moved up to second place in the English Premier League on Saturday after a 3-1 win against bottom of the table West Ham at Upton Park.
What is it they say about being united by a common enemy? In the last few weeks England's soccer types have waved their fists as one at the BBC (for suggesting that FIFA's executive committee might not be squeaky clean), then turned their pitchforks, in perfect unison, on FIFA's executive committee (because, after choosing Russia and Qatar as 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosts, it might not be squeaky clean). Rarely can English soccer have seen such widespread collective vitriol.
Coach Martin Jol has been linked with English Premier League side Newcastle United following his decision to quit Dutch club Ajax.
Newcastle United have sacked manager Chris Hughton, the first English Premier League dismissal of the season.
Chelsea's poor Premier League run continued on Sunday as the English champions dropped points for the third match in a row and failed to return to the top of the table.
There are times when football makes no sense. Two weeks ago, the initial reports that Newcastle United manager Chris Hughton was under pressure sounded absurd. Even more so when they were accompanied by rumors that owner Mike Ashley might be considering turning back to Joe Kinnear, an abrasive and unpopular relic of the 1990s who had been forced to leave the job in February 2009 after heart problems.
This Premier League season is almost 10 games old, the first point at which it is really permissible to scan the table and suck your teeth as you read the names at the bottom. The last one you'll reach is West Ham United, which has taken six points from the first 27 available.
Little pleases Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson more than the chance to revel in victory over Liverpool. Perhaps nothing. He launches in like a hippo charging toward a mudhole, energetically rolling around and making as much of a splash as possible.
There is always something to enjoy about a World Cup, and South Africa was no exception. But the verdict this summer was that we'd all seen better. So much of the soccer was mind-numbingly defensive and the final was so teeth-grindingly short of the occasion. We emerged from the tournament nursing something like a hangover, squinting and groggy, with a bit of a thirst on.
A late header from Brede Hangeland, who had scored an own goal just six minutes earlier, earned Fulham a 2-2 home draw with Manchester United in a thrilling English Premier League match on Sunday.
Manchester United got their Premier League campaign off to a winning start with a 3-0 victory over newly-promoted Newcastle United at Old Trafford.
Newcastle United clinched an immediate return to the English Premier League with six matches left in the season after promotion rivals Nottingham Forest were held to a 0-0 draw by Cardiff on Monday.
English Premier League side Fulham have completed the signing of Republic of Ireland winger Damien Duff from cash-strapped Newcastle for an undisclosed fee.
West Ham United's long-term future was secured on Monday when the Premier League club was sold to a company owned by Iceland's largest investment bank in a deal reportedly worth around $162million.
Some of the world's top coaches had a torrid time this season.
The managing director of Newcastle United, Derek Llambias, has told the club's Web site he will be in talks with manager Alan Shearer this week to see whether the former England striker will continue in the role despite the team being relegated from the English Premier League on Sunday.
Newcastle's 16-year stay in the English Premier League has come to an end as a Damien Duff own goal saw them lose 1-0 at Aston Villa.
Alan Shearer's Newcastle United side are back in the bottom three of the Premier League after a 1-0 home defeat by Fulham on Saturday -- and they will be relegated if they lose their final match of the season at Aston Villa next Sunday.
Substitutes Obafemi Martins and Peter Lovenkrands lifted Newcastle out of the Premier League relegation zone with a 3-1 win over doomed north-east rivals Middlesbrough.
Newcastle United have suspended former England international Joey Barton "until further notice" -- the Premier League club relegation candidates confirmed on Tuesday.
Newcastle United edged closer to relegation from the Premier League as they slumped to a 3-0 defeat at Anfield, a result that keeps Liverpool's slim title hopes alive.
Steven Gerrard is winning the race to be fit for Liverpool's crunch Premier League clash against relegation battlers Newcastle on Sunday.
Newcastle United's relegation form showed no signs of abating in the English Premier League after a 0-0 draw at home to Portsmouth left the side in the drop zone, three points from safety with four games remaining.
Tottenham's 1-0 win over Newcastle boosted their hopes of European football next season and left Alan Shearer's team ever closer to relegation from the Premier League.
That the new castle to which the city owes its name is now 929 years old is not Newcastle's only temporal oddity. Dominating the skyline above the medieval keep is St. James' Park -- home of Newcastle United -- a rare place where time's normally linear passage takes peculiar cyclical paths.
Former Newcastle United hero Alan Shearer has been confirmed as the struggling Premier League club's new manager on Wednesday.
Goals from Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov saw Manchester United come from behind to win 2-1 at Newcastle, a result that restores their seven-point lead at the top of the Premier League.
Aston Villa wasted a chance to strengthen their Champions League qualification claims as they were held to a 2-2 draw by relegation strugglers Stoke City on Sunday.
Would you be offended if your boss got your name wrong? Maybe. Would you want to leave your job? Maybe not.
Newcastle United manager Joe Kinnear has been taken to hospital for precautionary checks after falling ill before a Premier League match on Saturday.
Shay Given took a step nearer his expected move to Manchester City after his current club Newcastle gave him permission to talk to their Premier League rivals, Sky Sports News reported..
Aston Villa continued their impressive run of recent form, although they were far from their best in defeating midlands rivals West Bromwich Albion 2-1 to move above Manchester United and up to third place in the Premier League table.
Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has abandoned his attempt to sell the Premier League club after failing to find a buyer.
England striker Michael Owen has told Newcastle he will not make a decision on his future until the end of the season.
Emmanuel Adebayor was sent off and skipper Cesc Fabregas suffered a worrying knee problem as Arsenal battled to hold Premier League leaders Liverpool to a 1-1 draw at the Emirates Stadium.
Newcastle manager Joe Kinnear admits that the troubled Premier League side have a battle on their hands to hold on to prize asset Michael Owen.
Newcastle caretaker manager Joe Kinnear has been rewarded for the improved performances of the team with a contract until the end of the current Premier League season.
Obafemi Martins fired Newcastle out of the Premier League drop zone and relegated Tottenham to bottom place as the Magpies claimed their second successive victory 2-0 over Aston Villa.
Newcastle United have named Joe Kinnear as their interim manager until the end of October after former England coach Terry Venables turned down an offer to join them.
Former England national coach Terry Venables has turned down an offer to become caretaker manager at troubled Newcastle United.
Former England manager Terry Venables is reported to be weighing up an offer from crisis club Newcastle to take charge on a temporary basis.
Beleaguered Newcastle owner Mike Ashley announced on Sunday that he was putting the Premier League club up for sale.
The turmoil at Newcastle and West Ham in the past month is a good indication of how far the balance of power has swung among those who actually run English Premier League clubs.
Newcastle United's England international midfielder Joey Barton has been banned for six matches, with another six suspended, by the Football Association, for his training ground assault on former teammate Ousmane Dabo.
Newcastle began their search for a new manager on Friday facing a fan revolt after the resignation of Kevin Keegan following an unhappy second spell at the crisis-torn Premier League club.
Kevin Keegan has resigned as manager of Premier League Newcastle United, the English League Managers Association (LMA) announced on Thursday.
Kevin Keegan's future remained shrouded in mystery on Wednesday with the club still insisting he had not been sacked.
Newcastle issued a statement on Tuesday insisting they have not sacked Kevin Keegan after a day of intense speculation over the manager's future.
Spanish champions Real Madrid have failed in their bid to sign international midfielder Santi Cazorla, who has renewed his contract with Villarreal.
English club Newcastle completed the signing of Argentina defender Fabricio Coloccini from Spain's Deportivo La Coruna on Friday.
Newcastle United are close to signing Argentine defender Fabricio Coloccini after his Spanish side Deportivo La Coruna accepted a bid for his services from the Premier League club.
Chris Mort is to step down as Newcastle United chairman, just a year after replacing Freddy Shepherd at the helm.
Newcastle's goalkeeper Shay Given will undergo surgery on his troublesome groin injury in Germany on Tuesday and may not play again this season.
Michael Owen eased some of the pressure on Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan by salvaging a point in a nervy 1-1 Barclays Premier League relegation battle with Birmingham at St Andrews.
Newcastle United's Republic of Ireland international goalkeeper Shay Given could miss the rest of the season if he needs another operation to clear up his latest groin problem.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney both scored twice as Manchester United hammered Newcastle United 5-1 at St James's Park to move to within three points of English Premier League leaders Arsenal, who drew 2-2 at Birmingham.
Welcome to the Fabio Capello era. England's players got their first taste of the new headmaster's regime leading up to Wednesday's friendly with Switzerland in a situation reminiscent of the opening half of Full Metal Jacket.
John Carew scored a second-half hat-trick as Aston Villa came from a goal down to beat Newcastle United 4-1 at Villa Park and leave Kevin Keegan still searching for a first league victory after his much-heralded return to the Magpies.
Arsenal returned to the top of the English Premier League with a 3-0 home victory on Tuesday night which left Kevin Keegan still seeking his first win since returning to Newcastle as manager for the second time.
Leeds United manager Dennis Wise is joining Kevin Keegan's backroom staff at Newcastle after the Premier League club agreed a compensation package.
The future of Midlesbrough defender Jonathan Woodgate was still in the balance on Saturday night after Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan said that he did not expect to be able to sign the player.
Also in this column: • Carling Cup, Premiership banter • American success in England?
Greatness may not be as random an occurrence as we think. Great players tend to be born in certain parts of the world. And great players tend to evolve thanks to a certain type of coaching.
Kevin Keegan has sensationally returned to Newcastle after being named as the Premier League club's new manager in succession to Sam Allardyce.
While these pages prefer to celebrate talent and success, sometimes incompetence and mismanagement equally deserve their place in the spotlight.
Alan Shearer has said that Newcastle United do not think he is experienced enough to become their next manager and Didier Deschamps has expressed an interest in taking on "an exciting challenge" at St James's Park as speculation continues after the departure of Sam Allardyce.
Manchester United returned to the top of the English Premier League after thrashing crisis club Newcastle 6-0 at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp has opted to stay with the club after rejecting advances from Newcastle to become their new manager in succession to Sam Allardyce.
Like most English Premier League managers, Team Limey has been working off the excesses of Christmas and New Year to battle with a horde of like-minded bargain-hungry individuals perusing the January sales.
Manager Sam Allardyce has parted company with underperforming Newcastle United, the Premier League club announced on Wednesday.
Newcastle and England midfielder Joey Barton will spend the start of the New Year in jail after being refused bail when he appeared in court in Liverpool on Friday on charges of common assault and affray.
Defender Steven Taylor scored a second-half equalizer to help Newcastle hold Premier League leaders Arsenal to a 1-1 draw at St James' Park, a result that lifts the Gunners four points clear at the top of the table.
Newcastle goalkeepers Shay Given and Steve Harper have leapt to the defense of their under-fire manager Sam Allardyce over media claims that he had lost the support of his players.
Steven Gerrard bounced back from the desperate disappointment of England's Euro 2008 exit to inspire his club Liverpool to a 3-0 win at Newcastle, leading from the front with a stunning opening goal.
English Premier League club Newcastle United are to be paid £100,000 ($206,444) per week in compensation for as long as Michael Owen is out of action after being injured playing for England last Friday.
James Milner dashed Sunderland's hopes of a first derby victory on home soil in 27 years as Newcastle hit back to snatch a 1-1 Premier League draw.
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