Newcastle's 90s legends were out in force for goalkeeper Steve Harper's testimonial, but Sunderland manager Paolo di Canio had the last laugh as AC Milan Glorie emerged victorious.
More than 50,000 at St James's Park saw Alan Shearer, Les Ferdinand, Faustino Asprilla and David Ginola, amongst others, return to grace the Toon turf.
And the Geordies took great delight in seeing former midfielder Joey Barton put the Black Cats boss - who was booed throughout - on his backside in the second half.
The match finished goalless though, which allowed Di Canio - and Alessandro Costacurta - to net in a shootout as the visitors won 2-1 after only Alan Thompson could convert for the Magpies.
Harper's 20-year spell at Newcastle ended in the summer when the 38-year-old goalkeeper departed for Hull.
The home side also boasted Peter Beardsley and Andrew Cole among their considerable number.
Milan, meanwhile, brought Paolo Maldini, Franco Baresi, Mark van Bommel and Gianluigi Lentini to the north-east.
Harper is donating proceeds from the match to several north-east charities, including the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.