1993-1994: Double delight for Red Devils
|Champions||Manchester United||Biggest Win||Newcastle United 7-1 Swindon Town|
|Runners-Up||Blackburn Rovers||Highest Scoring Game||Norwich City 4-5 Southampton|
|Third Place||Newcastle United||Top Goalscorer||Andy Cole (34)|
|Relegated||Sheffield United, Oldham Athletic, Swindon Town||Goals Scored||1195|
After waiting 26 years for their eighth English League title, Manchester United made it back-to-back triumphs in 1993-1994. In fact, it was double delight for the Red Devils as they won both the FA Cup and the newly-titled FA Carling Premiership. It wasn’t in doubt for most of the campaign.
Alex Ferguson strengthened his squad with the arrival of the Republic of Ireland midfielder Roy Keane from relegated Nottingham Forest. His win-at-all-costs attitude certainly played a part in the club’s excellent start to the season, as they won five of their first six matches. Despite a 1-0 blip away to Chelsea in mid-September, the Red Devils amassed a lead as big as 13 points by the turn of the New Year.
Leeds United, Arsenal and Norwich City launched challenges at the lead during the campaign but the only sustained threat came from Kenny Dalglish and his Blackburn Rovers team. With Alan Shearer fully fit again and banging in 31 league goals, Blackburn produced an excellent run of form in the early part of 1994 that kept Manchester United honest. Then, United had a little stumble in March. Another defeat to Chelsea, coupled with draws away to Swindon Town and Arsenal allowed Blackburn to get within striking distance.
The challengers met the champions in early April and two goals from Shearer saw Blackburn chalk up an impressive 2-0 victory at Ewood Park. However, they fell away in the closing weeks, losing away to Southampton and dropping points at home to QPR. Ultimately, a 2-1 loss on May Day Bank Holiday to Coventry City meant for the second successive season, Manchester United won the league without kicking a ball. Eric Cantona was crowned the PFA Players’ Player of the Year.
Newcastle United were welcomed in the Premier League family in 1993-1994 and Kevin Keegan’s side were soon christened as ‘The Entertainers.’ Andy Cole scored 34 goals to take the Golden Boot and the PFA Young Player of the Year award. The Magpies finished a superb third, ahead of Arsenal, who had the best defence in the league, leaking just 28 goals all term.
Liverpool FC fans waved goodbye to the Spion Kop as it was demolished for an all-seater stand in the summer of 1994. Jeremy Goss scored the last goal infront of the famous stand for Norwich City. The Reds’ finished a lowly eighth and Graeme Souness departed as manager in January.
At the bottom, there was final day heartache for Sheffield United. They lost late on to Chelsea and results elsewhere sent the Blades down. Southampton and Ipswich collected away draws, whilst Everton’s unexpected comeback from two-goals down to defeat Wimbledon 3-2 meant they stayed up by the skin of their teeth. The Premier League also waved goodbye to Oldham Athletic and Swindon Town, whose single season sojourn saw them concede a still Premier League record of 100 goals in the campaign.
Manchester United had laid the foundations down for their dominance of the English game in the 1990s.