Premier League Rewind: 5th-8th May 2001

Results: Arsenal 2-1 Leeds United, Aston Villa 3-2 Coventry City, Bradford City 1-1 Middlesbrough, Chelsea 2-1 Everton, Leicester City 4-2 Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool FC 3-0 Newcastle United, Manchester United 0-1 Derby County, Sunderland 3-2 Charlton Athletic, West Ham United 3-0 Southampton, Ipswich Town 2-1 Manchester City, Liverpool FC 2-2 Chelsea

With three games to go and the title already wrapped up by Manchester United, attention in May 2001 was largely focused on the bottom of the table. Bradford City were already condemned to relegation but the fight for survival was on between Derby County, Manchester City and Coventry City.

All three sides had testing fixtures away from home and with no margin for error, the side able to pull off a victory was more likely to survive. Derby had the most challenging match with a trip to the champions at Old Trafford. Jim Smith’s side had struggled all season and had only won one of their last seven encounters. The Rams though had pulled off an unexpected victory away at Manchester United in April 1997, so they had experience of producing the unexpected and they did so again here, with a shock 1-0 victory. Malcolm Christie scored the only goal of the game in the 34th minute to inflict only a second home defeat on Sir Alex Ferguson’s side all season. This win piled the pressure on Coventry City.

It meant the Sky Blues had to realistically win at Villa Park against Midlands rivals Aston Villa. They were in a very strong position when two spectacular goals from Mustapha Hadji had them 2-0 ahead. However, it was a position Gordon Strachan’s side weren’t used to in the 2000-2001 season. They’d recorded just eight league victories all campaign and it showed. Darius Vassell and Juan Pablo Angel pulled Villa level and with four minutes to go, Paul Merson delivered the final blow with a superb curling effort. The Villans won 3-2 and that result, combined with Derby’s win meant Coventry’s 34-year stay in England’s top-flight was officially over. They haven’t been back since.

Two nights later, a similar fate befell Manchester City. Shaun Goater gave their supporters hope by opening the scoring away to high-flying Ipswich Town in the 74th minute. Matt Holland equalised four minutes later though and Martijn Reuser’s diving header five minutes from full-time sealed a 2-1 win for Ipswich to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for the following season’s UEFA Champions League. For Joe Royle and Manchester City, it was the end of the road and relegation back to the First Division.

Ipswich were in a three-horse race for the final UEFA Champions League qualifying position and it was advantage Liverpool FC in this particular battle. The Reds were preparing for the FA Cup final with Arsenal but warmed up by claiming four points from two home fixtures. Michael Owen was in sensational form, scoring yet another hat-trick against Newcastle United in a 3-0 success. Three days later, he grabbed another two goals in an absorbing 2-2 draw with Chelsea, as Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink matched Owen’s accomplishment. The Dutchman’s two goals on Merseyside saw him take a giant step closer to winning the Golden Boot.

Elsewhere, Arsenal secured the runners-up position by defeating in-form Leeds United 2-1. Freddie Ljungberg and Sylvain Wiltord scored the goals in what turned out to be a damaging defeat for Leeds’ prospects of matching their third place finish from the previous campaign. Leicester’s wretched run of seven consecutive losses was ended by a 4-2 home victory against Tottenham Hotspur with goals from Gary Rowett, Dean Sturridge, Steve Guppy and a Robbie Savage penalty whilst Middlesbrough’s safety was secured by other results. They drew 1-1 at Valley Parade with bottom-placed Bradford City.

What else happened in May 2001?

  • Campaigning for the UK General Election is dominated by a scuffle between Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott and a protestor in Rhyl after an egg is thrown at him.
  • Silvio Berlusconi becomes Italian Prime Minister for the second time after winning the election in Italy.
  • The government decides to start relaxing its tough sanctions put in place to tackle the foot and mouth crisis two months on.
  • Liverpool FC complete a unique ‘Treble’ of cup victories, defeating Arsenal 2-1 in the FA Cup final in Cardiff, before prevailing 5-4 against Spanish side Alaves in the UEFA Cup final in Dortmund.
  • At 16, Temba Tsheri becomes the youngest person to summit Mount Everest.
  • With the song ‘Everybody,’ Estonia win the 2001 Eurovision Song Contest.

 

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Iconic Moments: Everton survive by the skin of their teeth (May 1998)

After 44 years of unbroken top-flight existence, Everton’s status was in severe jeopardy going into the final day of the 1997-1998 Premier League season. For the second time in five years, they went into a final round of fixtures in the bottom three and needing a better result than their relegation rivals to avoid the drop to the First Division. They had achieved it in 1994 against Wimbledon with Sheffield United the unfortunate side to experience the heartache of relegation.

In 1998, they were in a head-to-head battle with Bolton Wanderers. Everton were a point behind and had a more favourable fixture at home to Coventry City, whilst Bolton were travelling to Stamford Bridge to take on Chelsea. Things went Everton’s way in their match when Gareth Farrelly’s terrific early strike put them 1-0 ahead. Bolton fell behind to a goal from Gianluca Vialli in west London but there were to be exciting final twists.

Everton’s Nick Barmby saw a penalty saved by Magnus Hedman and when Dion Dublin equalised for Coventry with an arching header three minutes from time, Bolton knew the situation. A leveller at Chelsea would keep them up and even the Chelsea supporters were urging the Trotters to equalise. This was after Everton had suggested earlier in the week that Chelsea wouldn’t be motivated to win as they had a Cup Winners’ Cup final on the horizon days later against VfB Stuttgart.

In stoppage-time, the home supporters began booing their own players but in a counter-attack, Jody Morris finished off the contest and Bolton’s chances. Fans cheered Morris’ goal but less enthusiastically as any other Chelsea goal scored at Stamford Bridge all season. Chelsea’s 2-0 win meant a point would be enough for Everton and they held on for their draw by the skin of their teeth to achieve another manic final day escape from relegation, this time courtesy of only goal difference.

Great Goals: Kevin Nolan – BOLTON WANDERERS vs. Portsmouth (September 2005)

Kevin Nolan’s best season at Bolton Wanderers was arguably in the 2005-2006 season. He scored a flurry of great goals which saw him linked with a possible England call-up from Sven-Goran Eriksson; a cap he was destined never to receive.

Nolan showed off his acrobatic range with this overhead kick against Portsmouth in September 2005. It was a game low on quality and chances but Nolan did produce a worthy moment to settle the match between the two sides.

After 24 minutes, Henrik Pedersen looped a ball into the penalty area which was kept alive by his strike partner, Kevin Davies. Davies’ header reached Nolan but it was behind him so the midfielder improvised with an awesome overhead kick that left Portsmouth goalkeeper Jamie Ashdown motionless.

Bolton’s 1-0 victory took them to third place in the table and this was part of Nolan’s qualities in his game, especially during this purple patch of form during his spell at The Reebok Stadium.

Shock Results: Manchester United 1-2 Nottingham Forest (December 1994)

Goalscorers: Stan Collymore 35, Stuart Pearce 62, Eric Cantona 68

Teams:

Manchester United: Gary Walsh, Steve Bruce, Denis Irwin, Gary Pallister, Roy Keane, Paul Ince, Ryan Giggs (Nicky Butt 74), Andrei Kanchelskis (Gary Neville 87), Brian McClair, Eric Cantona, Mark Hughes

Nottingham Forest: Mark Crossley, Steve Chettle, Des Lyttle, Stuart Pearce, Alf-Inge Haaland, Scot Gemmill, David Phillips, Steve Stone, Ian Woan, Stan Collymore, Bryan Roy (Lars Bohinen 84)

Referee: Keith Burge, Attendance: 43,744

Manchester United had gone eight whole months without conceding a home Premier League goal at Old Trafford. Despite being distracted slightly by their European commitments, the reigning champions were still just a point behind league leaders Blackburn Rovers before kicking-off at home to Nottingham Forest.

Having made a brilliant start on their top-flight return, Forest’s form had levelled out, with just one win in seven league matches and a recent exit in the League Cup at home to First Division Millwall. Frank Clark’s side were not expected to stop the United juggernaut. The Red Devils had only dropped two points since beating Blackburn 4-2 back in October.

In the first 20 minutes, it was the home side that looked more likely to score. Mark Hughes was desperately unlucky not to open the scoring; with his volley smashing the crossbar with Mark Crossley well-beaten and Andrei Kanchelskis’s fizzling free-kick only just cleared the bar moments later. However, Forest were causing some problems from set-pieces and Stan Collymore had the ball in the net but the goal was disallowed for him impeding his marker at a corner.

Collymore was a Manchester United transfer target and had scored in the 1-1 draw between the sides back in August at The City Ground. 10 minutes before half-time, he found the back of the net again against the team who had turned Premier League clean sheets at Old Trafford into an art. Found by Bryan Roy, Collymore cut inside Denis Irwin and before Gary Pallister could make a sliding challenge, the striker unleased a powerful shot into the top corner of Gary Walsh’s goal. United’s defence had been breached after 1,135 minutes since Graeme Sharp had scored in April 1994 for Oldham Athletic.

Collymore missed another glorious opportunity early in the second half but Forest found their second goal just past the hour mark. From a short corner routine, Steve Chettle’s flick-on was only partially cleared into the path of the captain, Stuart Pearce. His shot took a deflection off one of the charging defenders and left Walsh completely stranded. The visitors had a two-goal buffer to defend.

The home side’s frustration started to boil over. Referee Keith Burge gave out yellow cards to Ryan Giggs, Roy and Des Lyttle after a couple of ugly skirmishes. Both Giggs and Roy were lucky to avoid further sanction. On 68 minutes, Manchester United found a way through. From a Giggs corner, Eric Cantona flicked the ball into the net on the near post despite the efforts of Steve Stone on the goal-line.

Stone did clear a late effort off the line from Paul Ince and despite waves of intense pressure, Nottingham Forest held on for their fourth victory in their last 12 visits to Old Trafford. It would turn out to be Manchester United’s only home loss of the domestic season and a costly one. They missed out on a third successive title in May by just a single point.

Memorable Matches: Everton 2-3 Aston Villa (December 2008)

Goalscorers: Steve Sidwell 1, Joleon Lescott 30, 90 + 3, Ashley Young 54, 90 +4

Teams:

Everton: Tim Howard, Phil Jagielka, Joleon Lescott, Joseph Yobo, Phil Neville (Andy van der Meyde 85), Mikel Arteta, Tim Cahill, Marouane Fellaini, Leon Osman, Steven Pienaar, Victor Anichebe (Leighton Baines 87)

Aston Villa: Brad Friedel, Carlos Cuellar, Curtis Davies, Martin Laursen, Luke Young, Gary Barry, James Milner, Stiliyan Petrov, Steve Sidwell, Ashley Young, Gabby Agbonlahor

Referee: Martin Atkinson, Attendance: 31,922

In the 2008-2009 season, Everton and Aston Villa were considered as the most likely challengers to the traditional top four teams at the time of Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool FC. The pair met each other in December 2008 at Goodison Park and produced an afternoon of terrific entertainment and a gripping conclusion.

With only one home win all season upto this point, Everton were desperate to improve that statistic but they made the worst possible start, falling behind with the first shot on goal. James Milner teed up Steve Sidwell who crashed his shot past Tim Howard inside 34 seconds. It was the fastest goal of the 2008-2009 Premier League season so far and Sidwell’s third for the club.

David Moyes’ side responded well to the early setback despite missing star strikers Louis Saha and Yakubu because of injury. Tim Cahill got in behind Carlos Cuellar but his shot was palmed away by Brad Friedel before the American goalkeeper made a more straightforward stop to deny Marouane Fellaini.

Everton were doing all the pressing and equalised deservedly on 30 minutes. After Cuellar had impeded Cahill, Mikel Arteta’s cute free-kick was flicked on by Leon Osman and lifelong Villa fan Joleon Lescott escaped the attentions of Martin Laursen to poke the ball beyond Friedel. It was a nice way for Lescott to celebrate his 350th career appearance.

Into the second half and Everton were still bossing proceedings. Fellaini’s height was causing Villa major problems, especially at set-pieces. From numerous corners, he was winning headers all afternoon. One of them hit the crossbar when unmarked. It looked like a bad miss but replays showed Friedel had produced a late intervention, sticking his hand up to tip his effort onto the bar. It was unconventional but effective and moments later, the visitors had regained their lead. Phil Jagielka had a nightmare moment with a dreadful backpass that allowed Ashley Young in for a simple finish.

Three minutes of stoppage-time were signalled and it looked like the Toffees had rescued a point when Jagielka and Cahill won headers and Lescott had gone forward again to produce an acrobatic effort that beat Friedel to level the scores. Martin O’Neill’s side were crestfallen but had one final chance. Gabriel Agbonlahor played Young through who seared past Lescott and coolly slotted his shot into the bottom corner to win the match for Aston Villa with the last kick of the game.

It had been a great game and the Villans had shown great determination to snatch all three points despite being dominated all day in the aerial battle. Ultimately, Everton finished above them in the table but neither was quite able to break the stranglehold on the top four by the end of the season.

Seasonal Stories: Portsmouth (2003-2004)

Lucky 13

In 2003-2004, Portsmouth made their Premier League debut after storming to the First Division title in the previous season. Former West Ham United manager Harry Redknapp was the man behind the revival at Fratton Park, ably supported by ex-Derby County boss Jim Smith.

Portsmouth made an incredible start, staying unbeaten in their first five matches and topping the table briefly in mid-August. A catalogue of injuries in mid-season threatened to derail the campaign but a South Coast Derby victory over Southampton in March was the catalyst for a brilliant run towards the end of the season. Pompey finished in a creditable 13th and ahead of some bigger established sides too.

Squad: Shaka Hislop, Pavel Srnicek (Left in February 2004), Harald Wapenaar, Linvoy Primus, Boris Zivkovic (Left in January 2004), Dejan Stefanovic, Hayden Foxe, Arjan de Zeeuw, Sebastien Schemmel, Richard Duffy, John Curtis, Petri Pasanen, Kevin Harper, Tim Sherwood, Nigel Quashie, Amdy Faye, Matt Taylor, Carl Robinson, Steve Stone, Richard Hughes, Gary O’Neil, Alexey Smertin, Patrik Berger, Eyal Berkovic, Vincent Pericard, Svetoslav Todorov, Deon Burton, Ivica Mornar, Lomana Lualua, Teddy Sheringham, Yakubu, Jason Roberts (Left in January 2004)

Early experience pays off

In pre-season, Portsmouth ensured that they would have some useful experience amongst their ranks. First to arrive was former Czech international Patrik Berger, whose contract had expired at Liverpool FC. Berger was also joined by Teddy Sheringham who was in a similar predicament after his second stint at Tottenham Hotspur had come to an end. Neither cost any money and Redknapp wasted no time in getting both added by the end of June.

Further experience arrived from abroad. Boris Zivkovic was another free capture transfer from the Bundesliga. He’d helped Bayer 04 Leverkusen reach the UEFA Champions League final in 2002. Also arriving before the big kick-off was Amdy Faye for an estimated £1.5 million from Auxerre and ex-Sheffield Wednesday defender Dejan Stefanovic from Vitesse Arnhem for £1.85 million. Portsmouth had done some smart business in the summer transfer window.

However, one of their talismanic figures from the previous season wouldn’t be sticking around. Despite captaining the side to their First Division title success, Paul Merson left in July, returning to the second-tier with Walsall. The main reason was to move closer to his family who were based in the Midlands. When paying tribute to his departing captain, Redknapp admitted: “He doesn’t feel he can play in the Premier now and I think he knows himself better than anybody. He said he played in the Premier League two years ago and found it difficult, so he certainly didn’t think it was going to be easier now.”

Portsmouth made a brilliant start to their maiden Premier League campaign and only their second top-flight experience in the last 45 years. They kicked off the campaign with a Saturday lunchtime kick-off at home to Aston Villa. Sheringham opened the scoring before half-time and Berger finished off a flowing team move to double the lead just after the hour mark. Gareth Barry did score a late consolation from the penalty spot but was sent off before full-time and Pompey had their first win on opening day.

The form continued in their next home match, where Sheringham truly rolled back the years. The veteran forward scored a second half hat-trick against Bolton Wanderers and the first treble of the 2003-2004 season. The 4-0 victory took Portsmouth briefly to the top of the table for 24 hours. Three away draws made it an excellent opening and one of those points gained was at Highbury. Sheringham again scoring to keep his rich vein of form going and Arsenal’s equaliser in the 1-1 draw was through a disputed penalty where Robert Pires went down under the challenge of Arjan de Zeeuw even though it looked like the Frenchman had tripped himself up. Thierry Henry converted the spot-kick and Redknapp was not amused. Nevertheless, it was a very encouraging start.

TABLE ON 15th September 2003

POS TABLE P W D L F A GD PTS
1 Arsenal 5 4 1 0 11 3 +8 13
2 Manchester United 5 4 0 1 9 2 +7 12
3 Manchester City 5 3 1 1 12 6 +6 10
4 Chelsea 4 3 1 0 10 6 +4 10
5 PORTSMOUTH 5 2 3 0 8 3 +5 9
6 Southampton 5 2 3 0 5 2 +3 9

Slipping down the table

Portsmouth’s first defeat in their Premier League history came a week later when they were beaten 2-1 by Blackburn Rovers on home soil. At Fratton Park, they were formidable and not many sides enjoyed great success on the south coast throughout the season. In fact, they lost only five home matches all season and out of the teams that struggled all campaign, only Leicester City and Everton left with all three points.

Home form saw a couple of major scalps along the way. Liverpool FC visited Fratton Park in mid-October and left with a 1-0 defeat against their name. Against his former club, Berger scored the only goal of the game after four minutes. Three weeks later, Leeds United were destroyed 6-1 in a result that saw Peter Reid lose his job as Leeds boss. The win still remains Portsmouth’s biggest margin of victory in their Premier League history. Gary O’Neil scored twice on the day and he was one of the most consistent performers in the squad all season.

It was a different story away from home with a familiar tale of no points and no goals to show for their efforts. Redknapp and his team endured pointless and goalless trips to Birmingham City, Newcastle United, Manchester United and Chelsea.

When Southampton cruised to a 3-0 victory in the first South Coast Derby match of the season just before Christmas, Portsmouth had dropped into the bottom three after a run of one win in eight games. The early season optimism had somewhat got sour. With a growing injury list, fresh faces were added to the ranks in the January transfer window.

Still no away joy

Boxing Day did bring some light relief. A second half double from Berger helped Pompey to a 2-0 home victory against an out-of-form Tottenham Hotspur side. The opening of the January window gave the experienced Portsmouth manager the opportunity to refresh and reenergise his side.

Creative midfielder Eyal Berkovic was the first addition, coming in after he’d fallen out of favour with Kevin Keegan at Manchester City. Berkovic was one of six additions in a busy window. Also arriving were Lomana Lualua on-loan from Newcastle United, defender John Curtis on a free transfer from Leicester City and Croatian international forward Ivica Mornar for £400,000 from Anderlecht.

Exiting the club was Zivkovic. The Croatian had featured 18 times in the Premier League but a public spat with Redknapp led to the defender being released. A return ticket to the Bundesliga awaited him, as he joined VfB Stuttgart who were still competing in the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds.

However, there was still no away joy. Portsmouth put in one of their best away displays of the campaign at White Hart Lane in early February against Tottenham. They equalised three times on the afternoon with new signings Berkovic, Lualua and Mornar all finding the back of the net. However, Gus Poyet’s 89th minute strike gave Spurs a fortunate 4-3 victory. By 20th March, Portsmouth were in desperate trouble. Just one win in 2004 in the Premier League left them in the bottom three with 10 games to play and two points adrift of safety. Victory was paramount in their next fixture against bitter rivals Southampton.

South Coast Derby revenge

On an afternoon in mixed conditions with sunshine and hailstorms, Portsmouth simply had to win the second South Coast Derby of the season. It was only Paul Sturrock’s second match as Southampton manager and he ended up on the losing side. Steve Stone’s cross found Yakubu and the Nigerian settled a scrappy contest in the 68th minute in Pompey’s favour. The 1-0 win was the lift-off needed for a fantastic end to the season.

A week later, the away hoodoo was finally broken. Yakubu, who would finish as the club’s top scorer in the league with 16 goals, struck the decisive goal in the 82nd minute for a 2-1 win on the road at Blackburn Rovers. It was a massive victory for the travelling faithful and took Portsmouth out of the bottom three for the first time since mid-January. They wouldn’t fall into it again for the remainder of the season.

In fact, Portsmouth lost only one of their last 10 fixtures and that was on the penultimate weekend away at already relegated Leicester City. Survival had already been clinched a week earlier by a 1-1 home draw with Fulham, whilst other results condemned the Foxes and Wolverhampton Wanderers. One of the season’s main highlights was a home victory over outgoing champions Manchester United. Stone scored his only goal of the season in the 1-0 win. Out of the division’s final top 10 – only Chelsea and Charlton Athletic claimed all three points on their visits to Fratton Park.

Portsmouth and in particular, Yakubu finished the season in the grand manner at home to Middlesbrough. The forward scored four goals and Sheringham concluded his one-season stay with an 80th minute goal in the 5-1 win over Boro. Portsmouth finished in 13th and ahead of four clubs on much bigger budgets in Tottenham Hotspur, Blackburn Rovers, Manchester City and Everton.

It had been a very successful debut season in the Premier League for Portsmouth and a reminder of how good a manager Harry Redknapp was.

FINAL 2003-2004 TABLE – 11th to 16th  

POS TABLE P W D L F A GD PTS
11 Middlesbrough 38 13 9 16 44 52 -8 48
12 Southampton 38 12 11 15 44 45 -1 47
13 PORTSMOUTH 38 12 9 17 47 54 -7 45
14 Tottenham Hotspur 38 13 6 19 47 57 -10 45
15 Blackburn Rovers 38 12 8 18 51 59 -8 44
16 Manchester City 38 9 14 15 55 54 +1 41

Premier League Files: Claus Jensen

Premier League Career: Charlton Athletic (2000-2004), Fulham (2004-2007)

Claus Jensen spent over a decade playing in England and had seven seasons playing in the Premier League solely in the capital. The midfielder, who had a strong eye for goal played for four seasons at Charlton Athletic, playing a big role in their best-ever Premier League finish of seventh in 2003-2004. He also spent three years playing for Fulham.

On the international stage, Jensen won 47 caps for Denmark, scoring eight goals. He played for the Danes at the 2002 World Cup finals and the European Championships in 2004, reaching the quarter-finals in the latter.

Jensen made his breakthrough in Denmark, playing for Næstved BK in November 1995. Næstved BK were relegated at the end of his first season in senior football but he earned himself a move to Lyngby in the summer of 1996, joining Dennis Rommedahl at the club. Rommedahl would play alongside Jensen for Denmark too and would ironically turn out to be his replacement at Charlton in 2004.

After 14 league goals in 62 appearances, Jensen left the Danish club game behind in July 1998, joining Bolton Wanderers who were attempting to rebuild after their Premier League relegation a few months earlier. Bolton paid £1.8 million for his services and Jensen became an immediate regular in their midfield, only missing six league games across two seasons. In that time, Bolton made the play-off final but lost to Watford and therefore, missed out on an immediate return to the top-flight. Claus also reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup before the Trotters lost on penalties to Aston Villa.

In July 2000, he moved down south to Charlton Athletic for £4 million. Charlton were looking for a bit of playmaking quality on their return to the top-flight and he became a very popular figure, featuring in every single game in 2000-2001, scoring five goals as Charlton finished in a very impressive ninth position in the table. His best season at Charlton and in the Premier League was in 2002-2003. Jensen scored six times in 35 appearances, including a couple of impressive goals against Manchester United although both goals came in losing causes against the Red Devils.

One of his last main acts for Charlton was being involved in the most dramatic finish to any Premier League game in the 2003-2004 season. Charlton were at home to Blackburn Rovers and had let a two-goal lead slip which had seen Rovers goalkeeper Brad Friedel scoring the equaliser! Seconds later, Friedel had conceded a late winner thanks to one of Jensen’s trademark long-range specials.

It was slightly surprising to see Charlton sell him to London rivals Fulham for just £1.25 million in July 2004. Claus spent three years in west London but was unable to replicate his form from his Charlton days. Across three seasons, he made just 35 appearances, scoring four goals. When Lawrie Sanchez replaced Chris Coleman as Cottagers manager in April 2007, his long-ball tactical approach didn’t suit Jensen’s game so it wasn’t much of a shock to see Jensen not included in Sanchez’s Fulham plans going forwards. He was released days after the 2006-2007 season concluded and in August 2007, elected to retire from the game due to the niggling injury problems he had suffered with throughout his time at Craven Cottage.

He returned to Denmark after retiring and is now a match analyst and commentator for Danish TV on their Premier League coverage.

The Clubs: Burnley

All-Time Premier League Record

Played Won Drew Lost Scored Conceded Goal Difference Points No of Seasons
190 51 44 95 190 297 -107 197 5

 

Most Premier League Appearances

Player Appearances Total
Ashley Barnes 136
Ben Mee 134
Sam Vokes 102
Jeff Hendrick 98
Tom Heaton 96
Scott Arfield 86
Jack Cork 86
James Tarkowski 85
Johann Berg Gudmundsson 84
Matthew Lowton 83

 

Most Premier League Goals

Player Goals Total
Ashley Barnes 32
Chris Wood 20
Sam Vokes 17
Danny Ings 11
Andre Gray 9
Steven Defour 8
Graham Alexander 7
George Boyd 7
Jeff Hendrick 7
Johann Berg Gudmundsson 6

 

Biggest Premier League Victories

Match Date Season
Burnley 4-0 AFC Bournemouth 22nd September 2018 2018-2019
Hull City 1-4 Burnley 10th April 2010 2009-2010
Burnley 4-1 Sunderland 31st December 2016 2016-2017
West Ham United 0-3 Burnley 10th March 2018 2017-2018
Burnley 4-2 Tottenham Hotspur 9th May 2010 2009-2010
Burnley 3-1 Sunderland 19th September 2009 2009-2010
Brighton & Hove Albion 1-3 Burnley 9th February 2019 2018-2019
AFC Bournemouth 1-3 Burnley 6th April 2019 2018-2019
Burnley 2-0 Hull City 31st October 2009 2009-2010
Burnley 2-0 Liverpool FC 20th August 2016 2016-2017

 

Worst Premier League Defeats

Match Date Season
Burnley 1-6 Manchester City 3rd April 2010 2009-2010
Tottenham Hotspur 5-0 Burnley 26th September 2009 2009-2010
Arsenal 5-0 Burnley 6th May 2018 2017-2018
Manchester City 5-0 Burnley 20th October 2018 2018-2019
Burnley 1-5 Everton 26th December 2018 2018-2019
Liverpool FC 4-0 Burnley 12th September 2009 2009-2010
Burnley 0-4 Liverpool FC 25th April 2010 2009-2010
West Bromwich Albion 4-0 Burnley 28th September 2014 2014-2015
West Bromwich Albion 4-0 Burnley 21st November 2016 2016-2017
Burnley 0-4 Chelsea 28th October 2018 2018-2019

 

Managers

Manager No of Seasons managed Left the Club
Owen Coyle 1 8th January 2010
Brian Laws 1 29th December 2010
Sean Dyche 4  

 

Highest Home Attendances

Match Date Attendance Figure Season
Burnley 0-2 Manchester United 23rd April 2017 21,870 2016-2017
Burnley 0-1 Manchester United 20th January 2018 21,841 2017-2018
Burnley 1-2 Manchester City 26th November 2016 21,794 2016-2017
Burnley 1-1 Bolton Wanderers 26th December 2009 21,761 2009-2010
Burnley 1-2 Liverpool FC 1st January 2018 21,756 2017-2018
Burnley 1-1 Chelsea 12th February 2017 21,744 2016-2017
Burnley 1-3 Liverpool FC 5th December 2018 21,741 2018-2019
Burnley 2-1 Leicester City 14th April 2018 21,727 2017-2018
Burnley 0-1 Arsenal 26th November 2017 21,722 2017-2018
Burnley 0-2 Tottenham Hotspur 1st April 2017 21,684 2016-2017

 

Intro

Fans of Burnley have experienced plenty of high moments in the last decade. Although they do have two Premier League relegations on their CV, the Clarets can look forward to a fourth consecutive season of Premier League football next season under the guidance of Sean Dyche – one of the best English managers at the moment. Burnley made their Premier League debut in 2009 and achieved a sensational finishing position of seventh in 2017-2018 – best of the rest after the current ‘Big 6.’

 

2009-2010

Having beaten Sheffield United in the Championship play-off final in the previous campaign, Burnley were expected to struggle in their first season at this level. However, they made Turf Moor an early fortress, collecting five wins in their first six home games. Reigning champions Manchester United were beaten in only their second Premier League game with Robbie Blake scoring a stunning winner. Everton and Sunderland were also among their early season victims.

Owen Coyle started the season as manager but in January, he acrimoniously left to take the manager’s job at fellow Lancastrian side Bolton Wanderers. The ex-Sheffield Wednesday boss Brian Laws succeeded him but Burnley’s form nosedived in the second half of the season. Relegation was confirmed in their 36th match of the season after a 4-0 home defeat to Liverpool FC but they did finish above Hull in 18th position after a 4-2 final day victory over Tottenham Hotspur.

 

2014-2015

Four years after their last taste of Premier League action, Burnley were back in the top-flight and Sean Dyche was now at the helm. His astute management of the club’s resources has put Burnley in a much better position, even if this season ended in instant relegation back to the Championship.

The Clarets didn’t enjoy victory until beating Hull City 1-0 in November but the goals of Danny Ings saw them never cut-off from the other struggling sides and the highlight of their campaign was undoubtedly George Boyd’s winner to defeat Manchester City 1-0 in March. Their relegation was confirmed in May despite completing a league double over Hull and Ings left at the end of the season for Liverpool FC.

 

2016-2017

Burnley returned to the Premier League after just a single season away and were stronger for their previous experiences. An early season victory over Liverpool FC suggested they would be harder to beat this time around. Like in their previous campaigns, Burnley’s strong platform for success was based around their home form and they were tough to beat with Crystal Palace, Southampton and AFC Bournemouth among the sides who came away empty-handed from their visits to Lancashire.

It was a different story away from home with just one victory on their travels but that success in late April at Selhurst Park meant the club avoided relegation for the first time, finishing the campaign in a rewarding 16th position.

 

2017-2018

With Joey Barton released after his ban for breaching betting rules and Andre Gray sold to Watford, questions were raised over whether Burnley had a strong enough squad to compete in the Premier League. Those doubts were quashed immediately on the opening weekend as Dyche’s side raced into a 3-0 half-time lead at Stamford Bridge and held on against nine-man Chelsea to beat them 3-2.

In December, the Clarets sat in the dizzy heights of fourth position briefly and a European adventure looked more likely. Not even an 11-game winless run could derail those lofty ambitions and a 2-1 win against Everton in early March began a five-game winning sequence which was good enough to secure seventh place and a place in the qualifying stages of the following season’s UEFA Europa League. Only the ‘Big 6’ finished above Burnley which was a heroic achievement from everyone at the club.

 

2018-2019

Burnley’s European aspirations ended in the play-off round of the UEFA Europa League as they lost to Olympiacos and the early start had a detrimental effect on their form in the Premier League. The tight defence from the previous campaign seemed to evaporate and by Christmas, Burnley had conceded more goals in the whole of the 2018-2019 campaign than what they’d let in the previous season. The low point was a 5-1 demolition on home soil by Everton on Boxing Day.

The return of captain Tom Heaton shortly afterwards and a change in tactical approach after this drubbing by the Toffees paid off. Burnley started to become harder to beat again. A seven-game unbeaten sequence which culminated with a 2-1 triumph over UEFA Champions League finalists Tottenham Hotspur had them going in the right direction. Safety was secured effectively by a 2-2 draw at Chelsea with Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood forming a dangerous partnership in-attack. Burnley ultimately ended the 2018-2019 season in 15th place.

Memorable Matches: Crystal Palace 3-3 Blackburn Rovers (August 1992)

Goalscorers: Mark Bright 37, Stuart Ripley 42, Gareth Southgate 63, Alan Shearer 66, 81, Simon Osborn 90

Teams:

Crystal Palace: Nigel Martyn, Chris Coleman (Simon Osborn 81), John Humphrey, Richard Shaw, Gareth Southgate, Andy Thorn, Eric Young, Eddie McGoldrick, John Salako (Simon Rodger 73), Geoff Thomas, Mark Bright

Blackburn Rovers: Bobby Mimms, Tony Dobson, Colin Hendry, David May, Kevin Moran, Alan Wright (Chris Price 28), Mark Atkins, Tim Sherwood, Stuart Ripley, Mike Newell, Alan Shearer

Referee: Roger Milford, Attendance: 17,086

On the very first day of FA Premier League football, there was plenty of attention on an expensively assembled Blackburn Rovers squad as they made the trip to south London to take on Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. Blackburn were fielding the most expensive player in British football as 22-year old Alan Shearer made his club debut after his summer switch from Southampton. He wouldn’t disappoint and nor would the match itself on day one of the new era.

Played in bright, blazing sunshine, it did take both teams a while to get to grips with the humid conditions and only sporadic half-chances were created in the first 35 minutes. Eight minutes before the interval though, Crystal Palace took the lead. Young full-back Richard Shaw produced a great cross and Mark Bright was in the right place with a downward header to beat Bobby Mimms in the Blackburn goal. It was one of Bright’s final contributions in a Crystal Palace shirt. He would be sold to Sheffield Wednesday a few weeks later.

Newly-promoted Blackburn were level though just five minutes later. Shearer, who had experienced a quiet first half, provided a cross which drifted over the penalty box but was rescued by his new strike partner, Mike Newell. Newell’s cross was spot-on and an unmarked Stuart Ripley scored a rare header on his Rovers debut to level the score at half-time.

After a cagey first 45 minutes, the second half was more open and entertaining. Ripley, a summer arrival for £1.3 million from Middlesbrough, was a menace all afternoon and the winger nearly got his second of the game early in the second half, launching a shot just over the crossbar after one of his trademark runs from out wide. Steve Coppell’s Eagles, who had finished 10th in the last season of the old First Division also had their moments. John Salako produced a fierce drive which Mimms did well to tip over the crossbar. However, the Blackburn goalkeeper was culpable for Palace’s second goal. His weak punch out from a corner was returned in spectacular fashion by 21-year-old Gareth Southgate. His volley from the edge of the penalty area found the back of the net for his first goal in senior football.

Then, Shearer made his first major repayment on the transfer fee Blackburn had forked out for him. From a long punt up the park on 66 minutes, Newell’s flick-on found Shearer and he demonstrated his qualities with a dipping, swerving volley over the top of Nigel Martyn for a spectacular equaliser. Blackburn’s first top-flight match in 26 years was turning into a gripping contest and with nine minutes to go, Kenny Dalglish’s side went infront for the first time with another marvellous goal from Britain’s new record signing. Chasing a hopeful ball from Tony Dobson, Shearer cut inside from the left-hand side and hit another special shot that once again gave Martyn no chance of saving.

However, Crystal Palace kept battling on and in truth deserved a point as they played a major role in how the match unfolded. With virtually the last action in the contest, Eddie McGoldrick won a free-kick and substitutes Simon Rodger and Simon Osborn combined to earn the home side an equaliser. Rodger’s free-kick was guided into the net by Osborn’s late header. Roger Milford blew the full-time whistle virtually straight after the restart of play to highlight how late this goal was.

It was a season of contrasting fortunes for these teams. Blackburn coped well with the expectation and finished fourth but Crystal Palace were relegated on the final day and Coppell resigned shortly after the season concluded.

Premier League Rewind: 19th-20th August 2000

Results: Charlton Athletic 4-0 Manchester City, Chelsea 4-2 West Ham United, Coventry City 1-3 Middlesbrough, Derby County 2-2 Southampton, Leeds United 2-0 Everton, Leicester City 0-0 Aston Villa, Liverpool FC 1-0 Bradford City, Sunderland 1-0 Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 Ipswich Town, Manchester United 2-0 Newcastle United

After France’s success at the 2000 European Championships which made them back-to-back major international winners, football fans only had to wait approximately six weeks before domestic action returned. The 2000-2001 Premier League season began in August sunshine with some great goals, impressive displays and stormy battles.

The stormy battle came at Sunderland where Arsenal came a cropper on the opening day. Niall Quinn scored the only goal of the game. His header – a typical trademark effort from the big striker after 53 minutes helped the Black Cats record an impressive 1-0 victory over the previous season’s runners-up. However, the flashpoint came towards the end of the match as referee Steve Dunn gave Patrick Vieira the latest red card in his English career. An altercation with Darren Williams saw the Frenchman receive his marching orders. Arsene Wenger defended his volatile midfielder, speaking afterwards: “Patrick Vieira has tried to play football today and some other players have not tried, and in the end, he is sent off because he had a bad reaction.”

Many people were tipping Chelsea to be Manchester United’s strongest challengers and the Blues had just beaten United comfortably in the Charity Shield curtain-raiser a week earlier. Chelsea continued the good form on day one with a spectacular 4-2 home victory over West Ham United. After a year in Spain with Atletico Madrid, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink returned to English football and made a goalscoring return but his efforts were overshadowed by a wonderful goal from fellow debutant Mario Stanic, who scored twice on the day. The positive vibes though wouldn’t last long for Chelsea and their manager Gianluca Vialli. He was sacked less than a month later.

After losing on the final day of the previous campaign to Bradford City which meant they missed out on UEFA Champions League football for 2000-2001, Liverpool FC extracted some form of revenge with a nervy 1-0 success against the Bantams at Anfield. Beginning his first full season after his £11 million move in March from Leicester City, Emile Heskey scored the only goal of the game as the Reds began their momentous season in winning fashion.

Reigning champions Manchester United made a business-like start to their title defence. The biggest surprise of their routine 2-0 home win against Newcastle United was the first goal of the Old Trafford season came from centre-back Ronny Johnsen. A more familiar scorer in the shape of Andy Cole got the second as he haunted his old club yet again. Cole had now scored seven goals in his last four appearances against the Magpies.

The top two from the previous season in the First Division met on day one at The Valley and the tone for their respective campaigns was set from the outset. Charlton Athletic brushed aside Manchester City 4-0 thanks to goals from Andy Hunt, John Robinson, Mark Kinsella and Graham Stuart. This was despite missing five first-choice attacking players. The Addicks were set for a campaign safely in mid-table whilst Joe Royle was given plenty to think about after seeing his side pulled apart convincingly in the capital.

Elsewhere, Mark Venus had the honour of scoring the first goal of the season after only nine minutes at White Hart Lane. However, it wasn’t enough for Ipswich to get anything at Tottenham, as they eventually lost 3-1 and Leeds United began their season with a 2-0 triumph over Everton. Both goals came in the first half from Alan Smith.

What else happened in August 2000?

  • The Queen Mother celebrates her 100th birthday.
  • English actor Sir Alec Guinness dies from liver cancer, aged 86.
  • The Democratic party in America nominate the current US vice-president, Al Gore, as their candidate for US president at the November election during their convention in Los Angeles.
  • In one of the largest Russian naval exercises since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian submarine Kursk sinks in the Barents Sea. All 118 men on-board drown.
  • Nintendo announce their plans for their latest games console to take on Sony with the GameCube set to come out by the end of 2002.
  • One of Nickelodeon’s most popular shows makes its debut on their TV channel with Dora the Explorer launching.

 

Premier League Files: Eyal Berkovic

Premier League Career: Southampton (1996-1997), West Ham United (1997-1999), Manchester City (2002-2003), Portsmouth (2004-2005)

Having made 78 international appearances for Israel across a 12-year career for his country, Eyal Berkovic is often considered as one of his nation’s greatest-ever players. Berkovic played for four Premier League clubs during his career and was most productive for West Ham United, helping the Hammers to a fifth place finish in 1998-1999. He also won promotion to the top-flight with Blackburn Rovers in 2001.

Eyal started his career at Maccabi Haifa in 1989 and remained at the club for seven years. During that time, Maccabi Haifa were a regular title contender in Israel and won the championship in both 1991 and 1994. His strong influence on their squad was quickly noted by his country who capped him for the first time in 1992. Although Israel failed to qualify for a major tournament during his international years, Eyal went on to win 78 caps before retiring from duty in 2004. He scored nine times.

English football was waiting for him at the start of 1996-1997 when Graeme Souness took him to Southampton on a season-long loan deal. He made 28 appearances for the Saints and scored four times. Berkovic’s best game in a Southampton shirt definitely came in the amazing 6-3 victory over Manchester United. He scored twice and set-up three goals for his teammates, Egil Ostenstad and Matt Le Tissier.

Souness’ summer departure meant Berkovic didn’t complete a permanent transfer to The Dell. Instead, he moved permanently to West Ham United for £1.75 million in the summer of 1997. On his home debut, Berkovic immediately became a big hit by scoring the winning goal in a 2-1 success against Tottenham Hotspur – a club West Ham have always enjoyed beating during the Premier League Years.

Berkovic was the perfect creator for John Hartson, who enjoyed his best-ever Premier League scoring season in 1997-1998, helped by Berkovic often being able to pick out the tall striker with key passes and telling crosses. However, the relationship off-the-pitch wasn’t so sweet between the pair. There was an ugly training ground bust-up early in the 1998-1999 season. After a tasty tackle in a routine training drill by the Israeli, Hartson took exception to it and kicked Berkovic in the face. Captured on camera, it was an awful moment for manager Harry Redknapp to witness. Hartson was banned for three games and fined £20,000 for the incident.

He would move to Wimbledon in January 1999 and before the year was out, Berkovic also moved on. He went to experience Scottish football with Celtic. Signed by John Barnes, Berkovic scored nine league goals in 32 appearances but was unable to achieve the rapport he’d enjoyed with supporters at his previous clubs. It was a difficult time in his career and he was subjected to religious taunts by Hearts supporters during a match between the teams at Tynecastle in December 1999.

Discarded by Martin O’Neill when he became Celtic boss, Berkovic moved back to England, reuniting with Souness at Blackburn Rovers who signed him on-loan. Two goals against Queens Park Rangers and Grimsby Town in his 11 appearances for the club helped Blackburn achieve promotion back to the top-flight, two years after their relegation. However, he stayed in the First Division and was signed permanently in July 2001 by Kevin Keegan for Manchester City, who were coming down in Blackburn’s place.

He scored on his debut in a 3-0 home victory against Watford and played a key role in helping City regain their Premier League status with a record 108 goals and 99 points gathered on their way to the title. He linked up well with Ali Benarbia in a 3-5-2 formation that seemed to suit Keegan’s side very well. That form continued into the 2002-2003 season as Manchester City finished ninth in their last-ever season playing at Maine Road. Berkovic was voted Manchester City’s Player of the Season in the club’s official magazine and was instrumental in their first victory in 13 years over city rivals Manchester United in November 2002, playing some role in two of the three goals the Citizens scored in a 3-1 victory.

Competition for places increased in 2003-2004 with the arrival of Steve McManaman and Claudio Reyna plus the growing emergence of Shaun Wright-Phillips. Berkovic fell out with Keegan and in January 2004, was sold to newly-promoted Portsmouth for £500,000. In his first game for Pompey, he helped them beat of all clubs, Manchester City 4-2 at Fratton Park. A few weeks later, he netted his first goal in a 4-3 loss at Tottenham and was one of the driving forces towards Portsmouth’s survival in their maiden Premier League campaign.

The move to the south coast saw him link up again with his manager at West Ham, Harry Redknapp but he was unable to hold down a starting place in 2004-2005, despite an early season goal in the 4-3 win over Fulham. He left Portsmouth and the Premier League in January 2005, signing for Maccabi Tel-Aviv after a planned return to Maccabi Haifa was rejected. He was unable to win any more silverware and in May 2006, announced his retirement from professional football.

He moved into management straight after retirement but struggled to hold down decent relations with his owners, both at Maccabi Netanya and Hapoel Tel-Aviv. So in May 2015, Berkovic moved into an ownership role himself. He is now chairman of Hapoel Rishon LeZion, a club in the Israeli Second Division.

Great Goals: David Beckham – Wimbledon vs. MANCHESTER UNITED (August 1996)

On the opening day of the 1996-1997 season, David Beckham scored one of the greatest goals the Premier League has ever seen at Selhurst Park against Wimbledon.

Defending champions Manchester United were 2-0 up going into the dying stages of their first match of the season. When Efan Ekoku lost possession in the middle of the field and Brian McClair passed the ball to Beckham, nothing looked to be on for the midfielder. In his vision, he spotted Wimbledon goalkeeper Neil Sullivan had strayed off his goal-line so with nothing to lose and everything to gain, Beckham decided to go for goal.

He measured his shot from inside his own half to perfection. Sullivan scrambled back but didn’t recover in-time as the ball flew over the top of him and into the net. It is a goal that even 23 years on, is still constantly repeated on highlights reels and social media.

It was a phenomenal and magical moment and set its goalscorer on his way to stardom, both on and off-the-field.

Memories from the Premier League archive of the most envied league in the world!