Shearer's hat trick shatters Leicester

 

A GAME sponsored by Viz, a storyline straight from Billy the Fish. Three goals to one down with 13 minutes to go, Alan Shearer scored a hat trick for a Newcastle team that not only appeared dead and buried in this match but also in the race for the championship.

It was the Keegan era revisited in terms of both the atmosphere and the Newcastle display, and Kenny Dalglish said after: "I now have a better understanding of why Kevin went a bit grey.

An admirably composed Martin O'Neill said: "It's the most painful defeat of my managerial career. But I'm going to grieve tonight, and then I'm going to take some heart from the performance."

Leicester deserve sympathy and praise in equal measure, and yet in truth they were overwhelmed possession wise and by shots on goal.

It started off in the second minute when Robbie Elliott converted a Keith Gillespie cross that first Faustino Asprilla and Les Ferdinand had bites at.

For 25 minutes, Newcastle's football was better than for some time, but though Ferdinand and Shearer (twice) had good chances to extend the lead, Leicester somehow managed to go into half time only one down.

Ten minutes after the break, Matt Elliott sent a long, looping header beyond Hislop. The cross had come from Parker who, in turn, had been given the ball by Lennon, and these two then took control of the game.

Lennon took a long throw that Elliott and Darren Heskey helped on to Steve Claridge who rammed it underneath Hislop.

In the 68th minute, with Newcastle committed to attack and the defence disintegrating fast, Heskey only had to beat David Batty in a charge to a pass from Claridge before drilling a concrete finish through Hislop.

Shearer's first goal was a quickly taken free from just outside the box that nearly broke the roof of the net.

The noise was now growing with each Newcastle surge and when, with seven minutes remaining, Ferdinand found Shearer, the Gallowgate End breathed expectantly. They were not disappointed, as Shearer whacked the equaliser into the far corner.

Then came the injury time winner which, in true Viz style, capped an unfeasibly large comeback.