Shock Results: Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 West Bromwich Albion (November 2017)

Goalscorers: Salomon Rondon 4, Harry Kane 74

Teams:

Tottenham Hotspur: Hugo Lloris, Ben Davies, Kieran Trippier, Davinson Sanchez, Jan Vertonghen (Fernando Llorente 60), Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen, Harry Winks (Mousa Dembele 61), Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son

West Bromwich Albion: Ben Foster, Kieran Gibbs, Jonny Evans, Ahmed Hegazi, Allan Nyom, Gareth Barry (Claudio Yacob 79), Jake Livermore, Sam Field (James McClean 67), Matt Phillips, Jay Rodriguez (Hal Robson-Kanu 67), Salomon Rondon

Referee: Mike Jones, Attendance: 65,905

11 games without a win in the Premier League, West Bromwich Albion took the bold step to part ways with survival specialist Tony Pulis. Pulis departed with the club just hovering outside the relegation zone. In caretaker charge ahead of a trip to Wembley Stadium was Gary Megson, who was taking charge of his first Premier League match since being sacked as Bolton manager in December 2009.

West Brom were visiting a Tottenham side that were flying in the UEFA Champions League but had won just one of their last three league matches and had been thoroughly outplayed and beaten in the North London Derby a week earlier.

Megson didn’t tinker much from Pulis’ last team selection, only dropping Grzegorz Krychowiak and Gareth McAuley from the side that lost 4-0 to Chelsea a week earlier. Sam Field and Allan Nyom came into the starting XI. However, it was a former Tottenham player who made a big early contribution for the visitors.

Just four minutes had been played when ex-Tottenham midfielder Jake Livermore won possession in the middle of the park and played through Salomon Rondon. Rondon showed greater strength than Davinson Sanchez, nudging him off a bit too easily and then, he showed great calmness to roll the ball beyond Hugo Lloris. West Brom had a shock lead after just four minutes.

Apart from a 4-1 thrashing of Liverpool FC, Tottenham’s league performances at Wembley had been scratchy. Chelsea had won there, Swansea City and Burnley leaving with draws and West Brom’s defensive effort ensured this would be another frustrating afternoon on their temporary home soil for Mauricio Pochettino. The Londoners enjoyed 73% of possession but they failed to create much in the way of clear-cut opportunities.

Kieran Trippier was causing danger down the right flank but his balls into the box were not finding Harry Kane. West Brom skipper Jonny Evans and his centre-back partner, Ahmed Hegazi were enjoying a great day, keeping Kane and Heung-Min Son relatively quiet. In the second half, Pochettino was forced to change tactic. He took off Jan Vertonghen and Harry Winks, throwing on Mousa Dembele and an extra forward too in the form of Fernando Llorente.

Despite their constant pressure throughout, it looked like Tottenham might not find a way through until the 74th minute. Dele Alli produced the best ball of the match and Kane finally managed to escape the attentions of Evans to scoop a shot underneath Ben Foster’s legs. It was his 47th goal for club and country in 2017.

Despite having just six touches in the opposition box all game, West Brom held on for an unlikely but gritty point. However, although they beat Spurs at The Hawthorns in May, they would be relegated. Tottenham finished in the top three for a third successive season.

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Premier League Rewind: 14th-16th January 2012

Results: Aston Villa 1-1 Everton, Blackburn Rovers 3-1 Fulham, Chelsea 1-0 Sunderland, Liverpool FC 0-0 Stoke City, Manchester United 3-0 Bolton Wanderers, Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers, West Bromwich Albion 1-2 Norwich City, Newcastle United 1-0 Queens Park Rangers, Swansea City 3-2 Arsenal, Wigan Athletic 0-1 Manchester City

Three teams seemed to be in the fight for the title race in the 2011-2012 Premier League season. The two Manchester clubs were covered by just three points after 20 matches, whilst Tottenham Hotspur had been on an incredible run of form, losing just once since late August to sit just three points shy of top spot.

The first signs though that the pace was going to catch up on Harry Redknapp and Spurs were evident on this January weekend when they dropped points at home to struggling Wolverhampton Wanderers. Steven Fletcher put the visitors infront after 22 minutes and despite having 28 shots on-goal and 68% possession, the hosts could only muster one goal through Luka Modric early in the second half. It was a missed opportunity for Tottenham.

Manchester United went to the top of the table for 48 hours after a convincing 3-0 success over Bolton Wanderers. It was a wonderful return to the first-team for Paul Scholes. Scholes retired from professional football in May 2011 but decided to reverse his decision in time for the FA Cup third round weekend. On his Premier League return against the Trotters, Scholes opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time. Second half goals from Danny Welbeck and Michael Carrick sealed the victory.

However, Manchester City responded on Monday evening with a hard-fought 1-0 victory away to Wigan Athletic. Edin Dzeko’s 22nd minute goal was the difference as Roberto Mancini’s side regained their three-point advantage at the top of the table.

Chelsea consolidated their position in the top four after a narrow 1-0 win over Sunderland. With new signing Gary Cahill watching on in the stands, Frank Lampard’s goal beat the Black Cats, who lost for just the second time since Martin O’Neill had succeeded Steve Bruce as manager in early December. The Blues were now four points clear of Arsenal who went down 3-2 to Swansea City. The Swans were enjoying a fantastic season under the guidance of Brendan Rodgers. This win lifted them into 10th position with Danny Graham scoring the winner. It meant Arsenal had lost back-to-back league games to start the 2012 calendar year.

Mark Hughes was back in the managerial dugout having succeeded Neil Warnock at Queens Park Rangers. It would be a losing start though for the Welshman as QPR lost 1-0 to Newcastle United, who moved into the top six and level on points with Arsenal. Leon Best scored the only goal of the game for the Magpies who were the surprise package of the season. QPR had lost six of their last seven matches and were now in the relegation zone.

They replaced Blackburn Rovers who still had the momentum from the fantastic New Years’ Eve victory at Manchester United. Despite having top goalscorer Yakubu sent off after just 23 minutes, Blackburn still had enough to defeat Fulham 3-1. However, just three points covered the bottom five in the table, so it was too close to call at this stage in the fight to survive.

What else happened in January 2012?

  • There are 32 confirmed deaths when passenger cruise ship Costa Concordia sinks off the coast of Italy.
  • Two men are found guilty of the murder of London teenager Stephen Lawrence, who was murdered in April 1993. They are jailed for life.
  • Former CEO of the Royal Bank of Scotland, Fred Goodwin loses his knighthood as a result of the near collapse of RBS four years earlier.
  • The Scottish Government announces that it plans to hold the referendum on Scottish independence in the autumn of 2014.
  • Legendary EastEnders character Pat Butcher, played by Pam St Clement, makes her final appearance in the BBC soap opera. Her character dies in a cancer storyline.
  • The FBI shutdown the Hong Kong-based file-sharing website, Megaupload.
  • Nick Hewer takes over as presenter of Channel 4 teatime show, Countdown.

Memorable Matches: Chelsea 4-2 Watford (October 2017)

Goalscorers: Pedro 12, Abdoulaye Doucoure 45, Roberto Pereyra 49, Michy Batshuayi 71, 90, Cesar Azpilicueta 87

Teams:

Chelsea: Thibaut Courtois, Cesar Azpilicueta, Marcos Alonso (Willian 68), Gary Cahill, David Luiz, Antonio Rudiger, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Cesc Fabregas, Eden Hazard, Pedro (Davide Zappacosta 86), Alvaro Morata (Michy Batshuayi 61)

Watford: Heurelho Gomes, Miguel Britos, Christian Kabasele, Adrian Mariappa (Andre Gray 90), Kiko Femenia, Jose Holebas, Tom Cleverley, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Roberto Pereyra (Andre Carrillo 65), Richarlison, Troy Deeney (Ben Watson 80)

Referee: Jon Moss, Attendance: 41,467

By mid-October 2017, defending champions Chelsea were already off the pace being set by league leaders Manchester City. Antonio Conte’s men were nine points adrift and went into this match against Watford below their opponents in the table. Marco Silva’s side had just beaten Arsenal a week earlier and arrived at Stamford Bridge in confident mood. They were unbeaten on their travels, with 10 points collected from four away games. If it hadn’t been for a couple of vital substitutions and wasteful finishing, they could well have added to their total in an end-to-end contest.

Having lost their last two league matches to Manchester City and Crystal Palace, the pressure was on Chelsea to revive their fortunes and they made a brilliant start. Pedro opened the scoring after just 12 minutes, bending in a magnificent strike from 25-yards out that struck the post on its way past the helpless Heurelho Gomes. However, the defensive backline which had been so strong in their title-winning season was being opened up much easier in this campaign.

Right on the stroke of half-time, Watford equalised. Abdoulaye Doucoure smashed a shot into the back of the net after David Luiz failed to get enough distance on his clearing header from a long throw-in. It kept Doucoure’s impressive record up of 100% accuracy from shots on-target. His four shots on-target had registered four goals so far in the season for the impressive midfielder.

Another of Watford’s early season stars had been the Brazilian, Richarlison. However, he was guilty of two costly misses in the early moments of the second half. First, he inexplicably missed an open goal from six-yards out after Kiko Femenia had provided the perfect delivery into the box. Richarlison did make amends just over a minute later, when he picked out an unmarked Roberto Pereyra who guided the ball past Thibaut Courtois to give the Hertfordshire-based side a richly deserved lead. However, they should have put the game beyond the home side and again, it was Richarlison who missed another golden chance. He headed wide unmarked after a fine ball from Miguel Britos.

Conte sensed the momentum was with Watford, so threw on Michy Batshuayi and it was a substitution that paid off. With 19 minutes left, Watford’s centre-backs left him completely unmarked to place a looping header into the net from Eden Hazard’s delivery on the right-hand side. Silva then elected to take off his skipper Troy Deeney with 10 minutes remaining and brought on another central midfielder in Ben Watson in an attempt to shut down Chelsea’s threat. This gamble backfired.

With three minutes left, Cesar Azpilicueta arrived unmarked at the back post to nod a header past Gomes. With almost the last kick of the game, Britos was caught in possession by Tiemoue Bakayoko. His interception found Batshuayi who held off the attentions of Christian Kabasele and scored again to close down the match. Chelsea had shown the resilience of champions but Watford did get their revenge, recording a brilliant 4-1 home victory over the Blues in February 2018.

Premier League Rewind: 2nd-3rd February 2002

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

The 2001-2002 Premier League title battle was becoming a very intense fight between many of the top-flight’s superpowers. Despite a lackadaisical start to the season by their high standards, Manchester United were now top of the table and chasing a fourth successive title victory.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s side won their 10th match in their last 11 outings with a comfortable 4-1 home victory over an out-of-form Sunderland side at Old Trafford. All four goals were scored in the first half by the hosts with Ruud van Nistelrooy adding another two to his growing collection. There was also a rare goal for Phil Neville. Sunderland were now without a win in six games and slipped to 15th in the table, just three points clear of the relegation zone.

Arsenal were the Red Devils’ closest challengers going into the weekend but they ended it back in fourth position after being held at Highbury to a 1-1 draw by Southampton. On the weekend where the club revealed their new club crest to be used from the 2002-2003 season onwards, Sylvain Wiltord put the Gunners ahead five minutes before half-time. Jo Tessem’s equaliser would turn out to be the final dropped points of Arsenal’s season.

Newcastle United’s impressive campaign continued. Sir Bobby Robson’s side did trail twice at home to Bolton Wanderers but came back to win 3-2 with the winning goal coming from Craig Bellamy. After their bright start which had seen a maximum haul of points back in August, Bolton were now in the bottom three.

It wasn’t a happy reunion for Robbie Fowler in his first meeting with Liverpool FC since his £11 million transfer to Leeds United in November 2001. Liverpool were in devastating form at Elland Road, crushing the home side 4-0 with Emile Heskey scoring twice. Liverpool overtook Arsenal to move into third place with three successive victories for stand-in manager Phil Thompson. Having been top on New Years’ Day, Leeds were now down to sixth and nine points off the pace. Their title challenge looked as good as over.

Having resigned from his position as Aston Villa manager, John Gregory returned to his former club Derby County and made a winning start. Lee Morris scored a very scrappy goal to ensure the Rams edged out Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 at Pride Park. After four successive defeats, the victory kept Derby just about in touch with the pack above them in the scrap to survive.

Going in the wrong direction were Blackburn Rovers. After a positive start to their Premier League return, Graeme Souness’ side were going through a trough in terms of their league results. Their fifth reverse in six games came at Upton Park, losing 2-0 to West Ham United. This left Blackburn only above the relegation zone on goal difference  and it was a far cry from the corresponding fixture earlier in the season when the former Premier League champions had thrashed the Hammers 7-1.

Meanwhile, Ipswich Town were going in the right direction. The 2000-2001 surprise packages recorded their seventh victory in eight games with a 2-1 success away to Everton. Ipswich had climbed to 12th and were just three points off eighth place as they were recovering brilliantly from their horrific start to the campaign. Sadly for George Burley, a heavy defeat to Liverpool FC in their very next game would start a worrying drop down the table towards eventual relegation from the top-flight.

What else happened in February 2002?

  • There is sad news from Buckingham Palace as the Queen’s sister; Princess Margaret dies after suffering a stroke. She was 71.
  • The Winter Olympics take place in Salt Lake City and Great Britain win a gold medal thanks to the women’s curling team.
  • Actor John Thaw, best-known for playing lead roles in Inspector Morse and Kavanagh QC, dies just seven weeks after his 60th birthday. 
  • Saturday nights get a new hit as the first series of Pop Idol concludes on ITV. Over 8.7 million votes are casted as Will Young beats Gareth Gates to win the competition.
  • The trial of the former president of Yugoslavia, Slobodan Milosevic begins in The Hague.
  • More than 2,000 jobs disappear when Ford ends 90 years of British car production after the last Fiesta model is completed in Dagenham.

Great Goals: Ashley Barnes – West Bromwich Albion vs. BURNLEY (March 2018)

Ashley Barnes enjoyed the season of his life in 2017-2018. His performances for Burnley were not only integral to their fabulous seventh-place finish in the table but they also saw him close in on winning an international cap for the first time from Austria.

He stunned The Hawthorns with an acrobatic effort in Burnley’s 2-1 victory in March 2018. It was his fourth goal in four matches and it came after 22 minutes. Barnes leapt highest to meet a cross into the box from Aaron Lennon. It was just behind him but he improvised marvellously, with a bicycle kick that zipped into the back of Ben Foster’s net.

Burnley’s victory spelt the end for Alan Pardew as West Bromwich Albion manager and their third consecutive victory was another stepping stone in a season that would eventually end with Sean Dyche’s side qualifying for the UEFA Europa League.

Premier League Files: Ryan Bertrand

Premier League Career: Chelsea (2011-2013), Aston Villa (2014), Southampton (2014-PRESENT)

Ryan Bertrand had to deal with the personal blow of missing out on Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia. It was a shattering blow for the left-back who was once again; one of the shining lights in what was a difficult 2017-2018 domestic campaign for Southampton.

Bertrand began his youth career with Gillingham before signing for Chelsea in July 2005. However, he wouldn’t make his first-team debut for six years and became a regular exponent of the club’s policy to send young players out on-loan. He had time on-loan at AFC Bournemouth, Oldham Athletic, Norwich City, Reading and Nottingham Forest.

In April 2011, Carlo Ancelotti handed Bertrand his first-team debut when he replaced Ashley Cole during Chelsea’s 3-1 victory over Birmingham City. Bertrand impressed in this cameo role and also claimed an assist for Florent Malouda to head home one of Chelsea’s three goals. That summer, he signed a four-year contract extension and remained at Chelsea as Patrick van Aanholt became the left-back who would go out on-loan.

Chances were few and far between during Andre Villas-Boas’ reign with just one substitute appearance in the Premier League but he made more of an impression when AVB was sacked in March 2012 and replaced by Roberto Di Matteo. He was named Man of the Match in his first Premier League start a month later when Chelsea edged past survival specialists Wigan Athletic 2-1. A month later, Bertrand was a shock starter in the 2012 UEFA Champions League final. Playing on the left side of midfield, he became the first player in the Champions League era to make his European debut in the final. He played for 70 minutes before being replaced by Malouda, having sustained a knock. Chelsea won their first European Cup against Bayern Munich on penalties and Bertrand had made a serious impression. Later that summer, he featured for Great Britain at the 2012 London Olympics in the men’s football competition.

Although Chelsea lost the 2012 FA Community Shield to Manchester City at Villa Park, Bertrand scored his first professional goal for the club in stoppage-time. He made 19 Premier League appearances, still as an understudy to Cole but getting more opportunities under both Di Matteo and Rafa Benitez. In total, Ryan made 40 appearances in all competitions as 2012-2013 was his breakthrough season on the English game. However, the season did end in disappointment as he missed out on the place in the squad for the Blues’ UEFA Europa League final triumph over Benfica.

Jose Mourinho’s preference to use more experienced players meant Bertrand became a casualty of his ideologies when he turned up for his second spell as Chelsea manager in the summer of 2013. After just a solitary Premier League appearance in the first half of the campaign, Bertrand moved on-loan to Aston Villa for the second half of the 2013-2014 season. He made 16 appearances and had his confidence once again re-established that had been taken away by Mourinho.

In July 2014, he signed for Southampton on a season-long loan deal, scoring his first goal for the club two months later in a 2-1 victory against Queens Park Rangers. He was in outstanding form all season for the Saints and the loan move became a permanent transfer in February 2015 with Southampton paying Chelsea £10 million. The move went through just one day after the only red card of his Premier League career for a lunging tackle on Modou Barrow during Swansea’s 1-0 victory at St Mary’s. This blemish aside, his performances were so strong, he was voted into the PFA Team of the Year.

He has since made 133 Premier League appearances for Southampton and is one of the first men on the teamsheet. However, he was pipped to a place in the England World Cup squad by Danny Rose and Ashley Young. He has already shown signs of bouncing back from this disappointment by scoring Southampton’s first home goal of the 2018-2019 campaign against Leicester City.

Premier League Rewind: 28th-30th October 2017

Results: Manchester United 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal 2-1 Swansea City, Crystal Palace 2-2 West Ham United, Liverpool FC 3-0 Huddersfield Town, Watford 0-1 Stoke City, West Bromwich Albion 2-3 Manchester City, AFC Bournemouth 0-1 Chelsea, Brighton & Hove Albion 1-1 Southampton, Leicester City 2-0 Everton, Burnley 1-0 Newcastle United

The showdown clash of the final weekend of October was the meeting between second and third in the Premier League table. Deadlocked on 20 points apiece, only goal difference was separating Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur ahead of their meeting at Old Trafford. Tottenham had recorded four straight wins, scoring 12 goals in the process, whilst Manchester United hadn’t conceded a goal on home soil yet in their first four home matches.

Something had to give and in the end, it was Spurs’ winning run that was halted by a substitute. Anthony Martial had been marginalised for the bulk of the season so far by Jose Mourinho but the Frenchman seemed to have a knack for coming off the bench to score crucial goals. He did it again with nine minutes left, sharpest to react to Romelu Lukaku’s flick-on and managed to defeat his French counterpart Hugo Lloris. Tottenham were missing the injured Harry Kane and fell to a fourth consecutive defeat in the Premier League at The Theatre of Dreams.

The win for Mourinho’s men closed the gap on Manchester City at the top of the table to two points but before the Saturday was over, that advantage had stretched again back to the five-point cushion City enjoyed at the start of the day. Goals from Leroy Sane, Fernandinho and Raheem Sterling helped Pep Guardiola’s side win 3-2 at The Hawthorns against West Bromwich Albion. It was City’s eighth successive Premier League victory and in the process, ensured it was an eighth straight match without a victory for the Baggies.

There was a first-ever managerial meeting at Anfield between old pals Jurgen Klopp and David Wagner. Wagner had been on Klopp’s coaching staff during his title-winning days as a manager with Borussia Dortmund and they also played together in the 1990s for 1. FSV Mainz 05. On this occasion, Klopp’s Liverpool were simply too powerful for Wagner’s Huddersfield side. Despite Mohamed Salah missing a penalty in the first half, Liverpool ran away with the contest in the second half to wind up 3-0 winners. Daniel Sturridge scored his 100th career goal in this match. It was his final league goal for the Reds in the season before a loan move to West Bromwich Albion in the January transfer window.

On a weekend of goalscoring milestones, there was a 50th Arsenal goal for Aaron Ramsey in Arsenal’s comeback victory over Swansea City at The Emirates Stadium. Trailing at half-time to Sam Clucas’ goal, strikes from Sead Kolasinac and Ramsey protected the Gunners’ unbeaten home record in the 2017-2018 season. Watford dropped to eighth after a surprising 1-0 home defeat to Stoke City. Summer signing Darren Fletcher scored his first goal as a Stoke player in the 14th minute to settle the contest. The win took the Potters into 14th place and relieved some of the pressure off Mark Hughes for now at least.

There was no change to the bottom three from the start of the weekend. Crystal Palace remained at the foot of the table but did recover from 2-0 down at half-time to rescue a late draw with West Ham United. Second-bottom AFC Bournemouth lost 1-0 at home to Chelsea whilst first half goals from Jamie Vardy and Demarai Gray for Leicester City piled the misery onto Everton supporters. Leicester’s 2-0 win was an ideal start for their new manager Claude Puel and a chastening experience for the Everton interim boss, David Unsworth.

What else happened in October 2017?

  • The deadliest mass shooting by a lone gunman in American history takes place in Las Vegas. Stephen Paddock opened fire on a crowd in Las Vegas, injuring 851 people and killing 58.
  • Monarch Airlines, the UK’s fifth biggest airline collapses and is placed into administration, costing 3,500 people their jobs.
  • The England Under-17 football team beat Spain 5-2 in the final to win the FIFA Under-17 World Cup.
  • Catalonia declares independence from Spain following a controversial referendum. However, the Catalan Republic is not recognised by the Spanish government or any other sovereign nation.
  • Lewis Hamilton becomes the most successful British driver in Formula One history, as he claimed his fourth world championship with a ninth-place finish in the Mexican Grand Prix.
  • UNESCO suffers a blow as both Israel and the United States announce their decision to withdraw from the organisation.
  • Round £1 coins, first used in 1983, cease to be a legal tender in the UK. They were replaced by a 12-sided version.

The Clubs: Fulham

All-Time Premier League Record

(Upto start of the 2018-2019 season)
Played Won Drew Lost Scored Conceded Goal Difference Points No of Seasons
494 150 136 208 570 697 -127 586 13

 

Most Premier League Appearances

Player Appearances Total
Brede Hangeland 217
Aaron Hughes 196
Clint Dempsey 189
Steed Malbranque 172
Mark Schwarzer 172
Danny Murphy 169
Luis Boa Morte 166
Zat Knight 150
Brian McBride 140
Simon Davies 137

 

Most Premier League Goals

Player Goals Total
Clint Dempsey 50
Steed Malbranque 32
Brian McBride 32
Luis Boa Morte 26
Louis Saha 26
Collins John 20
Bobby Zamora 20
Dimitar Berbatov 19
Danny Murphy 18
Damien Duff 15

 

Biggest Premier League Victories

Match Date Season
Fulham 6-0 Norwich City 15th May 2005 2004-2005
Fulham 6-0 Queens Park Rangers 2nd October 2011 2011-2012
Fulham 6-1 West Bromwich Albion 11th February 2006 2005-2006
Fulham 5-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers 4th March 2012 2011-2012
Fulham 5-0 Norwich City 18th August 2012 2012-2013
Fulham 5-2 Newcastle United 21st January 2012 2011-2012
Fulham 4-1 Bolton Wanderers 17th August 2002 2002-2003
Newcastle United 1-4 Fulham 7th November 2004 2004-2005
Crystal Palace 1-4 Fulham 21st October 2013 2013-2014
Fulham 3-0 Bolton Wanderers 23rd April 2002 2001-2002

 

Worst Premier League Defeats

Match Date Season
Hull City 6-0 Fulham 28th December 2013 2013-2014
Fulham 0-5 Manchester United 21st December 2011 2011-2012
Manchester City 5-0 Fulham 22nd March 2014 2013-2014
Liverpool FC 5-1 Fulham 15th March 2006 2005-2006
Manchester United 5-1 Fulham 20th August 2006 2006-2007
Tottenham Hotspur 5-1 Fulham 26th December 2007 2007-2008
Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 Fulham 15th December 2001 2001-2002
Fulham 0-4 Blackburn Rovers 7th April 2003 2002-2003
Fulham 0-4 Arsenal 4th March 2006 2005-2006
Liverpool FC 4-0 Fulham 9th December 2006 2006-2007

 

Managers

Manager No of Seasons managed Left the Club
Jean Tigana 2 16th April 2003
Chris Coleman 5 10th April 2007
Lawrie Sanchez 2 21st December 2007
Roy Hodgson 3 30th June 2010
Mark Hughes 1 29th June 2011
Martin Jol 3 1st December 2013
Rene Meulensteen 1 13th February 2014
Felix Magath 1 18th September 2014
Slavisa Jokanovic 1

 

Highest Home Attendances

Match Date Attendance Figure Season
Fulham 1-2 Aston Villa 11th February 2004 28,500 2003-2004
Fulham 1-1 West Bromwich Albion 1st February 2012 27,689 2011-2012
Fulham 0-1 Arsenal 26th September 2009 25,700 2009-2010
Fulham 3-1 Liverpool FC 31st October 2009 25,700 2009-2010
Fulham 3-0 Manchester United 19th December 2009 25,700 2009-2010
Fulham 1-1 Aston Villa 6th November 2010 25,700 2010-2011
Fulham 1-4 Manchester City 21st November 2010 25,700 2010-2011
Fulham 0-0 Aston Villa 13th August 2011 25,700 2011-2012
Fulham 0-5 Manchester United 21st December 2011 25,700 2011-2012
Fulham 2-1 Arsenal 2nd January 2012 25,700 2011-2012

 

Intro

Fulham enjoyed 13 seasons in the Premier League between 2001 and 2014. The Cottagers were guided into the big time by the owner of Harrods, Mohammed Al Fayed and he ensured the club remained a stable figure in their first decade at this level, which peaked with a seventh-place finish in 2009 under Roy Hodgson’s stewardship. They slipped out of the top-flight after a messy 2013-2014 campaign which saw three managers fail to guide them out of danger. However, after four seasons away, they returned to the promise land in-time for the 2018-2019 campaign.

 

2001-2002

Fulham’s 104th season in professional football was their first in the Premier League. They were led into this new environment by Jean Tigana, who had guided them to the First Division title in the previous season.

Among the high-profile arrivals was Dutch no.1 goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar from Juventus and owner Mohammed Al Fayed even boasted they could win the title! It was a totally unrealistic ambition but it gave fans the chance to dream. In the end, the Cottagers coped well in their debut season and finished in a solid, if slightly unspectacular 13th place in the final standings. They also reached the FA Cup semi-finals before losing to west London rivals Chelsea.

 

2002-2003

With Craven Cottage requiring redevelopment work to fit Premier League safety requirements, Fulham began this season in a temporary home, ground-sharing for two seasons with Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road.

Four wins in their first eight games including a dramatic comeback from 2-0 down to beat Tottenham Hotspur 3-2 had them flying high in fourth but the league campaign quickly nosedived and contract disagreements between Al Fayed and Tigana led to the Frenchman’s abrupt departure in April 2003. Former skipper of the club, Chris Coleman, took charge on a caretaker basis and steered Fulham to safety and his 10-point haul from five games was enough to give him the job permanently.

Fulham finished 14th, just six points clear of safety but did experience a European campaign for the first time through success in the Intertoto Cup. They reached round three of the UEFA Cup before bowing out to Hertha Berlin.

 

2003-2004

Now the youngest manager in the top-flight, Chris Coleman impressed greatly in his first full season. The Welshman took Fulham into the top half of the table for the first time in their Premier League life, finishing in ninth position.

The Cottagers enjoyed a fabulous 3-1 victory at Old Trafford in October and a starring performance from Edwin van der Sar kept Arsenal out at Highbury a month later. Coleman had to deal with the blow of losing top goalscorer Louis Saha in the January transfer window to Manchester United but the west Londoners finished just four points shy of fifth-placed Newcastle United and with a positive goal difference.

 

2004-2005

With the likes of Andy Cole, Claus Jensen and Tomasz Radzinski arriving in the summer of 2004 and a return to Craven Cottage on the horizon, hopes were high for Fulham to build on their impressive 2003-2004 season. It didn’t quite materialise like that as Coleman found out how tough life was at the highest level.

Fulham finished eight points and four positions lower than their 2003-2004 tallies but were in no relegation danger throughout and their 6-0 thumping of Norwich City on the final day ultimately relegated the Norfolk side.

 

2005-2006

Fulham’s home form ensured another mid-table finish. They won 13 of their 19 matches at Craven Cottage with champions Chelsea and Liverpool FC among their victims. Unfortunately, they were restricted to a 12th place finish because of a diabolical away record.

Coleman’s team mustered just one away victory all season (2-1 at Manchester City) in April, whilst they were one of only three sides to lose during the season to bottom-placed Sunderland.

 

2006-2007

Despite a 5-1 loss on the opening weekend to Manchester United, Fulham started the season well, taking eight points from their next four matches. That was despite losing their big summer signing, Jimmy Bullard to a horrific knee injury in a 2-1 away win at Newcastle United.

The success on Tyneside was Fulham’s only victory on the road and a ghastly run of one win in 18 Premier League matches saw Chris Coleman sacked in mid-April after a 3-1 home loss to Manchester City. Lawrie Sanchez replaced him, dovetailing his commitments with Northern Ireland and he managed to secure their Premier League status after a 1-0 victory over an under-strength Liverpool FC side in their final home match of the season. Sanchez was given a three-year permanent contract in the summer.

 

2007-2008

2007 was a shocking calendar year for Fulham. Just four league victories across the 12 months and a fortune squandered in the transfer market by Lawrie Sanchez saw them really struggling to avoid relegation. Fulham parted company with Sanchez after a 1-0 home defeat to Newcastle United in mid-December and in came Roy Hodgson for his first managerial appointment in England in nine years.

There wasn’t an instant bounce, despite Bullard returning from his knee injury and scoring in a win over Aston Villa. There were just two wins in Hodgson’s first 13 league matches and when Sunderland won 3-1 at Craven Cottage in early April, Fulham looked doomed. Then, they produced their version of ‘The Great Escape.’

They won four of their last six matches, including a dramatic comeback victory at Manchester City when Diomansy Kamara fired home an injury-time winner. On the final day, Danny Murphy’s header defeated Portsmouth at Fratton Park and ensured Fulham’s safety; ensuring victories for Reading and Birmingham City were made academic. It remains one of the greatest survival stories in Premier League history.

 

2008-2009

Fulham were one of the success stories of the season and qualified for the newly-titled UEFA Europa League by finishing in a stunning seventh-place in the table. Hodgson inspired an improvement of 18 points and 10 places on the previous campaign.

Despite club captain Brian McBride leaving in the summer, the arrivals of Mark Schwarzer and Bobby Zamora made the Cottagers a more exciting and secure side. There were fantastic home victories over Arsenal and Manchester United and their position could have been higher but for their Achilles heel to strike again. Hodgson’s side scored just 11 goals away from home and mustered only three victories from 19 away games.

 

2009-2010

The 2009-2010 season was all about Fulham’s incredible journey in the UEFA Europa League. They produced some outstanding performances on the continent to knock out the likes of Serie A heavyweights Juventus, reigning holders Shakhtar Donetsk and Bundesliga champions VfL Wolfsburg.

After defeating Hamburger SV in the semi-finals, Fulham reached Hamburg’s stadium for the final against Atletico Madrid. They matched the Spanish giants throughout the contest but were agonisingly beaten in extra-time by Diego Forlan as Atletico won 2-1.

It was another solid season in the Premier League with 11 victories on home soil including a 3-0 rout of Manchester United in mid-December. They finished in 12th place but lost manager Roy Hodgson in the summer. The newly-crowned LMA Manager of the Year would take the vacancy at Liverpool FC.

 

2010-2011

Hodgson’s replacement as Fulham manager was the former Blackburn Rovers and Manchester City boss, Mark Hughes. Despite drawing 16 games in the Premier League, it was a successful season for Hughes and Fulham as the club finished eighth, the second-highest position in their Premier League history. It was a good recovery as the Cottagers ended Boxing Day in the bottom three after a 3-1 home defeat to bottom club West Ham United.

Hughes resigned though shortly after the season concluded, citing differences in the club’s direction for his decision.

 

2011-2012

It was Martin Jol who was the new manager for the start of the 2011-2012 campaign and Fulham enjoyed a couple of huge victories, beating west London rivals Queens Park Rangers 6-0 in October and Wolverhampton Wanderers 5-0 in March.

Fulham also managed to record a league double over Liverpool FC and inflicted a 5-2 loss on Newcastle United in January. Jol’s side finished in the top 10 again, coming ninth and with a better points tally than the previous season. They were helped by 16 goals from the outstanding Clint Dempsey, who filled the void vacated by Zamora who moved to QPR in the January transfer window.

 

2012-2013

Fulham’s 12th successive Premier League campaign did see them finish 12th but it flattered to deceive what was a concerning campaign for the hierarchy at Craven Cottage. A 3-0 final day victory at Swansea helped Martin Jol’s side leap up three positions in the final standings. Conceding 60 goals was a real worry but Dimitar Berbatov was a successful signing. The Bulgarian scored 15 times in his first season with the west Londoners after joining from Manchester United.

 

2013-2014

With the worst defensive record in the division, it was no surprise to see Fulham relegated on the penultimate weekend of the season. They shipped 85 goals, won just nine games and went through three managers as their 13-year stay in England’s top-flight ended rather meekly.

Martin Jol started the campaign but looked a man under pressure from an early stage and a 3-0 loss to West Ham at the end of November saw him pay the price with his job. Former Manchester United coach, Rene Meulensteen was given the job but he was dismissed in mid-February. He managed just three wins in 13 games, presiding over their worst-ever Premier League defeat too, being beaten 6-0 by Hull City in December.

Former VfL Wolfsburg and Bayern Munich manager Felix Magath came in far too late to save the sinking ship and a 4-1 defeat to Stoke condemned them to relegation in a season of nightmarish dreams for the supporters.

 

2018-2019

After beating Aston Villa in the Championship play-off final at Wembley Stadium, Fulham returned to the Premier League for the start of the 2018-2019 season. Over £100 million was spent in the summer transfer window, with the likes of Alfie Mawson, Andre Schurrle and Jean-Michel Serri among the new recruits.

They started with back-to-back defeats before overcoming Burnley 4-2. Serri’s first strike saw him win the first Goal of the Month vote from Match of the Day viewers for the season. A 2-2 draw away at Brighton ensured Fulham’s first away point of the season. It is early days but the Cottagers look set for an exciting campaign back in the top-flight.

Memorable Matches: Arsenal 4-3 Leicester City (August 2017)

Goalscorers: Alexandre Lacazette 2, Shinji Okazaki 5, Jamie Vardy 29, 56, Danny Welbeck 45, Aaron Ramsey 83, Olivier Giroud 85

Teams:

Arsenal: Petr Cech, Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding (Olivier Giroud 67), Nacho Monreal, Sead Kolasinac, Mohamed Elneny (Aaron Ramsey 67), Granit Xhaka, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mesut Ozil, Alexandre Lacazette, Danny Welbeck (Theo Walcott 75)

Leicester City: Kasper Schmeichel, Christian Fuchs, Harry Maguire, Wes Morgan, Danny Simpson, Matty James (Kelechi Iheanacho 82), Wilfred Ndidi, Marc Albrighton (Demarai Gray 88), Riyad Mahrez, Shinji Okazaki (Daniel Amartey 72), Jamie Vardy

Referee: Mike Dean, Attendance: 59,387

The first match of the 2017-2018 Premier League season was held on a Friday night for the first time in the competition’s history and it was a battle between two of the league’s six previous champions. Three-time winners Arsenal welcomed 2016 champions Leicester City to The Emirates Stadium and it proved to be a blockbuster start to the new campaign.

Just 94 seconds were played before Arsenal went into the lead. Leicester skipper Wes Morgan misjudged the flight of a cross by Mohamed Elneny and Alexandre Lacazette guided his header into the bottom corner of Kasper Schmeichel’s net. Lacazette was the new club-record signing and became just the seventh player to score on his Premier League debut for Arsenal.

The lead didn’t last long though. Just three minutes later, the Foxes were level. Harry Maguire won a header at the back post and with Petr Cech caught in no-man’s land, Shinji Okazaki headed into an unguarded net to bring the visitors level. Leicester were showing signs of the devastating counter-attacking displays that took them to their shock title triumph two seasons earlier and took the lead just on 29 minutes. Marc Albrighton delivered a vicious diagonal ball across the face of the Arsenal goal and Jamie Vardy arrived to dispatch the ball past Cech.

It was a pulsating first half and just before Craig Shakespeare could get his team into the dressing room to praise them for coming from behind after such an early blow, Arsenal pegged them back. Debutant Sead Kolasinac cut the ball back for Danny Welbeck to finish. The action continued into the second half. Vardy grabbed his second of the evening, showing more demand in an aerial challenge with Nacho Monreal to guide Riyad Mahrez’s corner into the net. Whilst the shooting was superb, some of the defending from both teams was dreadful. However, this made the game a classic.

With the fans starting to show their frustration, Arsene Wenger turned to his bench to revive his side’s fortunes, bringing on both Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud. The substitutions had the desired impact. With seven minutes remaining, Ramsey levelled the scores although Leicester were furious that referee Mike Dean missed a clear handball from Mesut Ozil in the build-up to the goal.

Moments later, Giroud rose highest to meet Granit Xhaka’s corner and his header crept across the goal-line. It was enough to win the match for Arsenal and as they had 27 shots on-goal and 70% possession, they just about shaded the contest. However, it was a thrilling start to the season and a tough act to follow for the other 379 matches in the 2017-2018 campaign.

Great Goals: Jamie Vardy – West Bromwich Albion vs. LEICESTER CITY (March 2018)

Jamie Vardy has a happy habit for finding the back of the net on his trips to The Hawthorns. In four Premier League visits to West Bromwich Albion’s ground, Vardy has scored on every single visit there – three of them turning out to be decisive winning goals too.

However, this one was his best against the Baggies in March 2018 and the technique used saw it voted by BBC pundits as the Match of the Day Goal of the Season for the 2017-2018 campaign. West Brom were 1-0 ahead when Vardy rekindled the telepathic understanding he and Riyad Mahrez enjoyed for several seasons.

Mahrez produced a long pass and Vardy made the run behind Craig Dawson. Knowing where the goal was, Vardy watched the dipping ball fall out of the sky and with a first-time shot on the volley, drove the ball beyond Ben Foster. Leicester would go on to win the game 4-1 and drive West Brom closer to relegation.

The pass, the vision, the skill and the shot were all first-class and that is why Vardy is one of the best English strikers of recent times in the Premier League.

Iconic Moments: Koeman axed by Everton (October 2017)

After a seventh-place finish in his first season in the hotseat at Goodison Park, expectations were high at Everton for Ronald Koeman to mount a serious challenge for a top-four finish in pre-season. By the end of October, his managerial reputation looked destroyed and his club management career was over – for the time being at least.

Everton were forced to sell star striker Romelu Lukaku in the summer of 2017 after the Belgian marksman turned down a new contract. They cashed in on Lukaku and earned £75 million from Manchester United with Wayne Rooney making an emotional return to his boyhood club as part of the deal. However, it became clear that Rooney was a signing for the fans and not really a player Koeman wanted.

There were other big arrivals for hefty sums of money, including Icelandic international Glyfi Sigurdsson, future England no.1 goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and centre-back Michael Keane from Burnley. However, Lukaku wasn’t replaced and that was a costly decision. Koeman even had to swallow his pride and bring back Oumar Niasse from the doldrums. He did give the Dutchman a priceless victory with two goals off the bench against AFC Bournemouth in September but by then, Koeman was already in big trouble.

Heavy back-to-back defeats to Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United, coupled with a humiliating display in a UEFA Europa League group stage game in Atalanta put Koeman on the backfoot. Another European defeat at home to Lyon which saw an ugly brawl started by Ashley Williams put him on the verge of the sack when Arsenal visited Merseyside on Sunday 22nd October.

Rooney did give Everton the lead but Arsenal’s dominance in the game was so one-sided. Idrissa Gueye was sent off and only a brilliant display from Pickford stopped the scoreline creeping towards double figures. When Alexis Sanchez scored his first Premier League goal of the season to make the scoreline 5-2, the look on Everton chairman Bill Kenwright’s face said it all. Everton finished the evening in the bottom three. Koeman was sacked a day later. He has since become the manager of the Netherlands international team.

The hunt for his successor became messy and eventually, they sacrificed all principles and turned to Sam Allardyce just to steer them away from relegation danger after David Unsworth’s character-building month as interim boss. Allardyce did what was required and guided Everton to comfortable safety with an eighth-place finish but the fans never took to his style of football and he was sacked at the end of the season, replaced by the manager the Everton board always wanted as Koeman’s ultimate successor, Marco Silva.

The 2017-2018 season was a scrappy one for everyone connected with Everton Football Club.

Shock Results: Chelsea 2-3 Burnley (August 2017)

Goalscorers: Sam Vokes 24, 43, Stephen Ward 39, Alvaro Morata 69, David Luiz 88

Teams:

Chelsea: Thibaut Courtois, Cesar Azpilicueta, Marcos Alonso, Gary Cahill (SENT OFF), David Luiz, Antonio Rudiger, N’Golo Kante, Cesc Fabregas (SENT OFF), Jerome Boga (Andreas Christensen 18), (Charly Musonda 90), Willian, Michy Batshuayi (Alvaro Morata 59)

Burnley: Tom Heaton, Ben Mee, Matthew Lowton, James Tarkowski, Stephen Ward, Jack Cork, Steven Defour (Jon Walters 75), Jeff Hendrick, Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Robbie Brady, Sam Vokes

Referee: Craig Pawson, Attendance: 41,616

Reigning champions Chelsea were once again expected to be among the frontrunners for the Premier League title in 2017-2018. On the opening weekend of the season, Antonio Conte’s side faced Burnley, who were starting their fourth Premier League campaign. On their three previous visits to Stamford Bridge, the Clarets had conceded seven goals. So, they were considered major outsiders.

However, the champions imploded in a spectacular first 45 minutes which was to be the story of their season. The first sign of trouble for the hosts came after just 14 minutes when referee Craig Pawson dished out a straight red card to Chelsea skipper Gary Cahill. Cahill, who had taken on the role on a full-time basis following John Terry’s summer departure, made a lunging two-footed tackle on Burnley midfielder Steven Defour. It was classed as dangerous play by Pawson and Cahill could have few complaints. This meant Jerome Boga’s shock debut was over too, sacrificed to make way for defensive centre-back Andreas Christensen.

Nine minutes later, Burnley fully capitalised on the extra man advantage as Sam Vokes fired the visitors ahead with a volley beyond Thibaut Courtois. It would get worse for a stunned home faithful. Six minutes before half-time, Burnley put together a brilliant team move which led to their second goal. It was left-back Stephen Ward who finished the move off, firing an angled drive beyond Courtois’ despairing dive. Incredibly, it was 3-0 just four minutes later. A flying header from Vokes continued his red-hot streak and put Burnley fans into dreamland. The Welshman had now scored seven goals in his last six Premier League matches dating back to the end of the previous season. The scoreline was even more spectacular considering Burnley had won just one away match in the whole of the previous campaign and that had been at the end of April at Crystal Palace.

Conte looked a pale shadow of the energetic character Chelsea fans had seen on the touchline during his debut Premier League season and he urgently needed a reaction from his misfiring players in the second half. The belated arrival of Alvaro Morata in the 59th minute was the galvanising factor in their second half improvement. 10 minutes after his arrival, the Spaniard, who had joined from Real Madrid, had his first goal for his new employers, heading home from close-range.

Any hopes of Chelsea salvaging something from the contest were as good as over when Cesc Fabregas added to Conte’s headaches. Booked needlessly for dissent in the first half, the Spaniard’s clumsy challenge on Jack Cork with nine minutes left to play saw him heading for an early shower and reduced Chelsea to nine men.

David Luiz did pull another goal back just before stoppage-time but it was too little, too late. Burnley held on for a famous victory. Sean Dyche’s side were one of the success stories of the season and will be playing in UEFA Europa League qualifying later this week as a reward for their seventh-place finish. Chelsea’s fifth-place league result was very disappointing and Conte was sacked in July 2018.

25 years of the most envied league in the world!