WATCH: Relive the most important match in Newcastle and Man United's rivalry

The two clubs meet again tonight with both at lower ebbs than 20 years ago

BY Raf Diallo 16:12 Tuesday 12 January 2016, 16:12 12 Jan 2016

Eric Cantona scores the winner on March 4th 1996 (Picture by: Aubrey Washington / EMPICS Sport)

It's a mark of the status quo at Manchester United currently, that a relegation threatened Newcastle will not feel it is out of the question that they can get the result they need when the two sides meet tonight at St James Park.

With Man United feeling to enthuse their fans with prosaic football and a lack of points on the board, they head to a Newcastle side that are third bottom but one engaging in a bit of January shopping frenzy with the signing of Henri Saivet from Bordeaux and a £12 million deal for Swansea's Jonjo Shelvey.

It's a far cry from 20 years ago when both sides famously vied  for the Premier League title.

Of course we know the end result of the 1995-96 title race, as Man United overturned a hefty points deficit to reel in Kevin Keegan's Entertainers and surpass them.

The two sides had met at Old Trafford in December 1995, where United prevailed 2-0 to prevent Newcastle building a points lead deep into the double figures. But the Magpies recovered and went on a winning run that five wins in succession before momentum was lost and a defeat to West Ham and a draw with Manchester City knocked them off course.

And up next was Manchester United who had also won their past five league games, coming off the back of a 6-0 victory over Bolton Wanderers.

Relive comprehensive highlights of the March battle below:

Newcastle still had a four point lead when they went head-to-head on March 4th but were safe in the knowledge that they had won every home game that season.

Had they won, a seven point gap would have provided a nice buffer heading into the final stretch and knocked Man United's confidence in one fell swoop. Just imagine that Belgian defender Philippe Albert's free-kick had gone just under the crossbar instead of kissing it plum on its wooden lips and you can picture the delirium on Tyneside.

However, as you can relive in the video above, a single goal from Eric Cantona swung momentum truly in Man United's direction as Newcastle unravelled to the point that their manager went on that "I will love it" rant aimed at Alex Ferguson.

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