Memorable Matches: Manchester City 1-3 Chelsea (December 2016)

Goalscorers: Gary Cahill 45 OG, Diego Costa 60, Willian 70, Eden Hazard 90

Teams:

Manchester City: Claudio Bravo, Aleksandar Kolarov, Nicolas Otamendi, John Stones (Kelechi Iheanacho 78), Fernandinho (SENT OFF), Ilkay Gundogan (Yaya Toure 76), Jesus Navas, David Silva, Leroy Sane (Gael Clichy 69), Kevin de Bruyne, Sergio Aguero (SENT OFF)

Chelsea: Thibaut Courtois, Cesar Azpilicueta, Gary Cahill, David Luiz, Marcos Alonso, Victor Moses, N’Golo Kante, Cesc Fabregas, Pedro (Willian 50), Eden Hazard (Michy Batshuayi 90), Diego Costa (Nathaniel Chalobah 85)

Referee: Anthony Taylor, Attendance: 54,457

Chelsea were in an incredible run of form ahead of this trip to The Etihad Stadium in December 2016. Since a 3-0 defeat to Arsenal at the end of September, Antonio Conte’s side had won their last seven Premier League matches and climbed from eighth position in the table to first. This was considered a real test though, against a Manchester City side that were undefeated at home under Pep Guardiola.

Despite winning 2-1 at Burnley last time out, Guardiola was still trying to fine-tune his side. He made six changes as he decided to match up with Conte in terms of using a 3-4-3 formation. It seemed to work in the first half as City looked like the fitter side in the first 45 minutes. Sergio Aguero tested the reflexes of Thibaut Courtois, whilst Fernandinho managed to put the ball into the net but his effort was disallowed as he went a fraction offside. Just before half-time, their dominance was rewarded with a deserved lead. Jesus Navas swung a cross into the box and Gary Cahill sliced his clearance into the back of Courtois’ net.

Guardiola’s side continued to dominate proceedings on the restart. Aguero had an effort cleared off the line by Cahill and then, the big moment occurred on 57 minutes. Ilkay Gundogan escaped down the right-hand side of Chelsea’s backline and crossed the ball into the box with Courtois beaten. Almost inexplicably, Kevin de Bruyne managed to hit the crossbar with the goal gaping at his mercy. 180 seconds later, Chelsea were back on level terms. Cesc Fabregas produced a brilliant arching pass for Diego Costa. Costa controlled it superbly, brushed aside Nicolas Otamendi’s challenge and fired his shot past Claudio Bravo to equalise. It was the turning point as the visitors started to take a firm grip on this enterprising contest.

With 20 minutes left, they took the lead. This time, Costa was the architect, shaking off a lax challenge by Otamendi and playing in Willian. He easily outran emergency centre-back Aleksandar Kolarov and drilled his effort beyond Bravo. He took off his black armband and pointed it into the sky in memory to the Brazilian Chapecoense football team which had seen most of their playing squad killed in a plane crash earlier in the week. As gaps further appeared, Chelsea exposed City again on the counter-attack. The excellent Eden Hazard accelerated past Kolarov and commandingly finished the home side off with their third goal. This was a real statement of intent from the 2015 champions.

The game ended in unsavoury fashion. Aguero’s shocking high challenge on David Luiz left him crumpled in a heap and triggered a mass brawl. In the scuffle, Fabregas slapped Fernandinho, who responded by shoving the Spaniard several times and eventually over the advertising hoardings. Both Aguero and Fernandinho were sent off by Anthony Taylor. It was a bitter way to end a gripping encounter.

It was Chelsea’s eighth win in a row and they’d reach 13 successive victories before Tottenham beat them a month later. They would regain their title whilst City finished a distant third and Guardiola went through a managerial season for the first time without winning any silverware.

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Premier League Files: Jose Fonte

Premier League Career: Southampton (2012-2017), West Ham United (2017)

Jose Fonte’s 11-year stay in English football has recently come to an end after the 34-year-old agreed to leave West Ham United for a stint in the Chinese Super League with Dalian Yifang. Fonte first played on these shores outside of the top-flight for Crystal Palace in 2007 and had a successful time at Southampton, playing a crucial part in their return to the Premier League.

Fonte has also experienced the ultimate highs of international football, helping Portugal to a shock victory at the 2016 European Championships. The Portuguese didn’t concede a single goal as soon as Fonte came into the starting XI following the group stages of the showpiece tournament in France.

In his youth days, Fonte spent the bulk of his education at Portuguese giants Sporting Lisbon. However, he only managed to reach their ‘B’ team as a senior player, so moved down the levels in his home country by joining Felgueiras in the second division.

After a brief spell with Vitoria Setubal, Benfica snapped Fonte up in the 2006 January transfer window but never played him. Instead, they shipped him out on-loan to Portuguese rivals Pacos Ferreira and Estrela Amadora before joining Crystal Palace in 2007.

His move to the Londoners was initially another loan spell but the Eagles were quick to make this a permanent deal and Fonte even filled in as a makeshift forward when required at Selhurst Park. In total, he made 82 Football League appearances for them, scoring six times before leaving in January 2010 for Southampton.

At this stage, the Saints had been in decline and were playing in League One. He made his debut in a 1-1 draw with Millwall but would have to wait for his first goal until August 2010 when he struck in a commanding 4-0 success over Bristol Rovers. Six further goals followed and Fonte was inspirational towards Southampton’s promotion to the Championship. Rightly, he was voted into the League One Team of the Year and achieved 64% of the vote to be crowned as the club’s Player of the Year too.

Fonte’s momentum continued in 2011-2012, missing just four league matches as Southampton achieved back-to-back promotions. All of a sudden, they were back in the top-flight after an eight-year absence. On the day when their promotion was confirmed, Fonte was among the goalscorers in the 4-0 win over Coventry City as St. Mary’s was engulfed in a pitch invasion full of celebrating supporters.

He made his Premier League debut on the opening weekend of the 2012-2013 campaign as Southampton were narrowly beaten 3-2 by champions Manchester City. His only two goals of the campaign were enough to earn them their first Premier League draw since May 2005 – achieved in a 2-2 result with Fulham. The second goal came in the 90th minute. Fonte also skippered the side occasionally for Nigel Adkins but a knee injury meant he lost his automatic place initially in the side when Mauricio Pochettino arrived.

He regained his regular starting berth in 2013-2014, scoring the club’s first home goal of the season to rescue a draw with Sunderland. In January 2014, he was attacked by his teammate Dani Osvaldo during a fight at the club’s Stapelwood training ground. Osvaldo was suspended by the club and loaned out to Juventus following the incident.

After interest from Aston Villa in the close-season, Fonte signed a three-year contract extension in August 2014 and was named as the new captain of the club by Pochettino’s successor, Ronald Koeman. On signing the new deal, he said: “What made us sign was first that we signed a very good manager and second that the fans have been very good with me. They love me and I have a very good relationship with them.”

He made his 250th appearance for the club in a 3-1 home win over Burnley in October 2016 but wouldn’t make many more starts. His swansong for the club came on New Years’ Day 2017 and with the ominous threat of departing on a free transfer in the summer; Southampton sold him to West Ham United for approximately £8 million.

His spell with the Irons was less successful, conceding a penalty on his home debut against Manchester City. He also received criticism from West Ham co-owner David Sullivan, who told The Guardian: “The manager (Slaven Bilic) said he wanted Fonte from Southampton and Snodgrass from Hull. My kids begged me not to sign them.”

A foot injury sustained in late October against Crystal Palace put him on the sidelines for three months and in February 2018, David Moyes confirmed an agreement had been reached for Fonte to leave after just 24 appearances for the club to try and salvage his dream of representing Portugal at this summer’s World Cup finals.

The Clubs: Newcastle United

All data correct upto 26th February 2018

All-Time Premier League Record

Played Won Drew Lost Scored Conceded Goal Difference Points No of Seasons
872 329 225 318 1195 1178 +17 1212 23

 

Most Premier League Appearances

Player Appearances Total
Shay Given 354
Alan Shearer 303
Shola Ameobi 294
Rob Lee 267
Nolberto Solano 230
Gary Speed 213
Fabricio Coloccini 211
Aaron Hughes 205
Steven Taylor 194
Kieron Dyer 190

 

Most Premier League Goals

Player Goals Total
Alan Shearer 148
Peter Beardsley 47
Andy Cole 43
Shola Ameobi 43
Les Ferdinand 41
Papiss Cisse 37
Nolberto Solano 37
Rob Lee 34
Demba Ba 29
Gary Speed 29

 

Biggest Premier League Victories

Match Date Season
Newcastle United 8-0 Sheffield Wednesday 19th September 1999 1999-2000
Newcastle United 7-1 Swindon Town 12th March 1994 1993-1994
Newcastle United 7-1 Tottenham Hotspur 28th December 1996 1996-1997
Newcastle United 6-0 Aston Villa 22nd August 2010 2010-2011
Newcastle United 6-1 Wimbledon 21st October 1995 1995-1996
Newcastle United 5-0 Manchester United 20th October 1996 1996-1997
Newcastle United 5-0 Nottingham Forest 11th May 1997 1996-1997
Newcastle United 5-0 Southampton 16th January 2000 1999-2000
Newcastle United 5-0 West Ham United 5th January 2011 2010-2011
Newcastle United 6-2 Everton 29th March 2002 2001-2002

 

Worst Premier League Defeats

Match Date Season
Manchester United 6-0 Newcastle United 12th January 2008 2007-2008
Newcastle United 0-6 Liverpool FC 27th April 2013 2012-2013
Manchester City 6-1 Newcastle United 3rd October 2015 2015-2016
Arsenal 5-0 Newcastle United 9th December 2000 2000-2001
Chelsea 5-0 Newcastle United 9th November 2003 2003-2004
Tottenham Hotspur 5-0 Newcastle United 11th February 2012 2011-2012
Manchester City 5-0 Newcastle United 21st February 2015 2014-2015
Arsenal 7-3 Newcastle United 29th December 2012 2012-2013
Newcastle United 2-6 Manchester United 12th April 2003 2002-2003
Manchester United 5-1 Newcastle United 29th August 1999 1999-2000

 

Managers

Manager No of Seasons managed Left the Club
Kevin Keegan 4 8th January 1997
Kenny Dalglish 3 27th August 1998
Ruud Gullit 2 28th August 1999
Sir Bobby Robson 6 30th August 2004
Graeme Souness 2 2nd February 2006
Glenn Roeder 2 6th May 2007
Sam Allardyce 1 9th January 2008
Kevin Keegan 2 4th September 2008
Joe Kinnear 1 1st April 2009
Alan Shearer 1 24th May 2009
Chris Hughton 1 6th December 2010
Alan Pardew 5 30th December 2014
John Carver 1 9th June 2015
Steve McClaren 1 11th March 2016
Rafa Benitez 2  

 

Highest Home Attendances

Match Date Attendance Figure Season
Newcastle United 0-2 Manchester City 6th May 2012 52,389 2011-2012
Newcastle United 1-1 Sunderland 4th March 2012 52,388 2011-2012
Newcastle United 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur 18th August 2012 52,385 2012-2013
Newcastle United 2-0 Liverpool FC 1st April 2012 52,363 2011-2012
Newcastle United 0-3 Sunderland 14th April 2013 52,355 2012-2013
Newcastle United 0-1 Arsenal 19th May 2013 52,354 2012-2013
Newcastle United 0-6 Liverpool FC 27th April 2013 52,351 2012-2013
Newcastle United 0-2 Manchester United 28th August 2005 52,327 2005-2006
Newcastle United 1-1 Chelsea 15th May 2005 52,326 2004-2005
Newcastle United 1-0 Liverpool FC 5th March 2005 52,323 2004-2005

 

Intro

Newcastle United were once christened “The Entertainers” as their gung-ho approach to attacking football almost landed them a Premier League title under Kevin Keegan in 1996. The Magpies have often lurched from one crisis to another and although there have been some impressive campaigns under the guidance of Sir Bobby Robson and Alan Pardew, they’ve lurched more often than not with relegation and fell through the trapdoor in both 2009 and 2016. Former Champions League winning manager Rafa Benitez is hoping to avoid a similar situation in 2018.

 

1993-1994

Kevin Keegan brought Newcastle United into the Premier League in 1993 and they immediately became the team to watch. The Magpies finished a fantastic third in the table and scored more goals than any other side in the season. Andy Cole finished as the winner of the Golden Boot with 34 goals, whilst Peter Beardsley returned to Tyneside and also chipped in with 20+ goals. Among the highlights in terms of results was a 3-0 home win over Liverpool FC where Cole scored a first half hat-trick and a 7-1 drubbing in March 1994 of hapless Swindon Town.

 

1994-1995

Newcastle made a red-hot start to the 1994-1995 campaign, winning their first six league matches and staying undefeated for the first 11 games. A 2-0 defeat at Old Trafford to Manchester United saw the beginning of their challenge to derail. Top spot was surrendered following defeat to Wimbledon a month later and Keegan’s side faded to sixth and missed out on European qualification. Cole was sold controversially to Manchester United for a British transfer record in January 1995 but the money would be reinvested that summer. Rob Lee was one of the stars of the team with his early season form winning him international recognition from England.

 

1995-1996

In the summer of 1995, Keegan spent the Cole money on Les Ferdinand. His £6 million arrival was one of several signings during the season. David Ginola and Warren Barton were among the other pre-season captures whilst David Batty and Faustino Asprilla joined the group during the season. The Toon Army made another searing start and lost just three times between August and mid-February. A 2-1 win over Bolton Wanderers in mid-January saw Newcastle establish a fantastic position. They were 12 points clear and odds-on to win the Premier League title.

Then, they collapsed and opened the door for Manchester United. Defeats to West Ham United, Arsenal and Blackburn Rovers along with losing the 4-3 classic at Anfield saw them slip behind their rivals from Old Trafford. Although they dug out three successive 1-0 victories in April, Keegan’s side finished gallant runners-up; four points shy of the Red Devils. It did feel like a golden opportunity missed.

 

1996-1997

Keegan cheered the fans up after the near-miss of the previous campaign as he persuaded Alan Shearer to return home. The local Geordie joined from Blackburn Rovers for £15 million in a world-record transfer fee. In October 1996, Newcastle dished out the perfect revenge on Manchester United, dismantling Alex Ferguson’s side 5-0 on Tyneside with Philippe Albert’s delicate chip of Peter Schmeichel one of the finest moments of the season.

However, the fans would be left devastated as Keegan suddenly resigned in early January. He was replaced by Kenny Dalglish and they finished second for the second successive season, edging out Arsenal and Liverpool FC on goal difference to claim a place in the group stages of next season’s UEFA Champions League.

 

1997-1998

After the joys of the previous two seasons, Newcastle dropped to 13th in 1997-1998 and only guaranteed their Premier League survival with a win over Chelsea on the penultimate weekend of the season. Pre-season preparations were severely damaged by a serious knee injury for Shearer in a tournament on Merseyside. That kept him out of action until mid-January and with Ferdinand sold to Tottenham Hotspur, the goals dried up. There was also some issues off-the-pitch. Directors Freddy Shepherd and Douglas Hall were forced to resign after being caught in a tabloid sting which saw them mock Shearer and make fun of the club’s own supporters.

 

1998-1999

Kenny Dalglish lasted just two games into the 1998-1999 campaign. He resigned and was replaced by Ruud Gullit. The Dutchman was given a rude awakening as Liverpool FC thrashed Newcastle 4-1 in his first match in the dugout. Three straight wins did follow which got Newcastle upto fifth but that was the peak as the league season tailed off again. Even the arrival of Duncan Ferguson from Everton in November couldn’t set pulses racing. Newcastle finished 13th for the second successive season and lost the FA Cup final to Manchester United at Wembley Stadium.

 

1999-2000

Newcastle were plunged into crisis in the early weeks of the season. The first shock of was the sending off of skipper Shearer in the opening day loss at home to Aston Villa. Back-to-back away defeats to Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton followed and then, Gullit controversially left Shearer on the bench for the Tyne & Wear Derby against Sunderland. The Black Cats won 2-1 and Gullit quit 48 hours later, having lost the power struggle against the captain. Sir Bobby Robson took over, stabilised the club and ensured comfortable survival. Newcastle finished 11th and recorded their biggest-ever Premier League victory too – beating Sheffield Wednesday 8-0 with Shearer scoring five goals.

 

2000-2001

Robson’s first full season as Newcastle manager turned out to be an unremarkable time as the club finished 11th again – 10 points shy of the European qualification positions. Shearer missed a huge portion of the season with injury and the £7 million spent on youngster Carl Cort from Wimbledon was poor business. A 3-1 win away at Leeds in January did take Newcastle sixth in the table but ultimately, a seven-game winless run that followed meant it was another season of mid-table mediocrity for the Geordie faithful.

 

2001-2002

Newcastle made a quantum leap forward in 2001-2002 and the signings of Craig Bellamy and Laurent Robert added plenty of pace and flair to their attack. Shearer scored 23 goals in the Premier League, only narrowly missing out on the Golden Boot to Arsenal’s Thierry Henry. A 3-1 victory at Highbury over Arsenal in December ended a four-year drought without a victory in the capital and an exciting 4-3 success at Leeds ensured Newcastle topped the table at Christmas. They stayed in the title race until back-to-back losses to Arsenal and Liverpool FC in March. However, a 2-2 draw at Blackburn in April with both goals from Shearer ensured UEFA Champions League football for only the second time in the club’s history.

 

2002-2003

Although they finished with fewer points than in 2001-2002, Newcastle actually improved position in the table to finish a fantastic third, only behind Manchester United and Arsenal in the final rankings. Robson’s side made a slow start, losing three of their first five matches and conceding five goals in away defeats to both Blackburn Rovers and Manchester United.

Newcastle starting putting results together though in the autumn months and emerged as a potential outsider for the title come springtime. The £8 million arrival of Jonathan Woodgate from Leeds United helped bolster the defensive numbers but consecutive defeats in April to Everton and a 6-2 beating at home by Manchester United finished off those lingering title dreams. Nevertheless, Newcastle brushed off challenges from Chelsea and Liverpool FC to secure a deserved top-three finish.

 

2003-2004

Newcastle’s season never really psychologically recovered from a surprise exit in the UEFA Champions League qualifying rounds to Partizan Belgrade, losing a penalty shootout at St. James’ Park. They played poorly away from home all season, collecting a staggering 12 draws on their travels and winning just twice at Middlesbrough and Fulham.

It took until early October for a first Premier League win to be recorded at home to Southampton and it was the Saints who finished off their aspirations of nicking fourth spot from Liverpool FC, as Newcastle drew 3-3 at St. Mary’s in the season’s final week. Many fans were disgruntled by the backwards step made by the club especially as no money was spent all season. Lee Bowyer was the only arrival and that was on a free transfer from relegated West Ham United.

 

2004-2005

Sir Bobby Robson’s five-year tenure at the club was ended four games into the season. Just two points were gained and two days after a 4-2 defeat to Aston Villa where he’d left Alan Shearer on the bench saw him asked to clear his desk by chairman Freddy Shepherd.

Graeme Souness resigned as Blackburn Rovers manager to fill the vacancy on Tyneside and a 10-match unbeaten run in all competitions suggested better times might follow but Newcastle lacked any consistency to launch a European challenge via the league. Key player Craig Bellamy was loaned out to Celtic in January after falling out with Souness and worse was to follow.

In April, teammates Kieron Dyer and Lee Bowyer started fighting each other during a 3-0 home defeat to Aston Villa. Both were sent off and banned, with Bowyer fined six weeks’ wages and from that moment on, any momentum was lost. Newcastle quickly exited the latter stages of the FA Cup and UEFA Cup and finished a dreary 14th in the league table – their worst finish to this date.

 

2005-2006

To try and solve their goalscoring woes, Souness and Shearer managed to persuade Michael Owen to join Newcastle from Real Madrid for a club-record fee of £17 million that still stands today. Unfortunately, Owen sustained a broken metatarsal in a New Years’ Eve defeat to Tottenham Hotspur that ruled him out for the second half of the season.

Shearer retired at the end of the campaign, scoring in his final appearance during a Tyne & Wear Derby victory over Sunderland. Two months earlier, he became Newcastle’s highest all-time goalscorer in their history, surpassing the great Jackie Millburn’s total of 200 goals against Portsmouth.

Souness had gone well before the season’s end. He was sacked in early February after a dreary 3-0 defeat to Manchester City. Academy director Glenn Roeder took charge on a caretaker basis and guided the club from 15th on his arrival to a 7th-place finish that won him a two-year contract as manager.

 

2006-2007

Damien Duff and Obafemi Martins were the main summer arrivals in the first campaign since 1996 to start without Alan Shearer among the playing squad. Scott Parker succeeded him as captain but the momentum that Newcastle had attained at the end of the previous campaign did not transfer into this season. A large injury crisis, constant speculation about the future ownership of the club and a lack of results saw Newcastle finish a tame 13th in the table. Roeder resigned a week before the season’s end and Sam Allardyce was appointed as his successor.

 

2007-2008

Businessman Mike Ashley became the club’s new owner after buying Sir John Hall’s 41.6% share for £55 million. His arrival came a week after Allardyce’s appointment as manager and it soon became clear that he would not be able to stamp his authority on the place. Being the only side to lose all season to Derby County didn’t help.

A poor November saw the club slide into the bottom half of the table and the natives were getting restless again. Allardyce’s contract was terminated by mutual consent in early January and Ashley made the surprising move of bringing Kevin Keegan back for a second spell as manager. It took him nine games to taste victory in the Premier League but he did guide the Magpies away from danger to 12th. Worse would follow though for the long-suffering supporters.

 

2008-2009

A major falling out between Keegan and the board in early September started a chain reaction for Newcastle’s most chaotic season to-date. He resigned, stating the failure to have complete control over player transfers as the reason for his second departure from the club.

Joe Kinnear was not a popular choice and his reign only lasted until early February when health problems meant he had to stand down. Popular players like Shay Given and Charles N’Zogbia were sold and sensing relegation as a real possibility, Ashley asked club legend Alan Shearer to vacate his place on the BBC Match of the Day sofa to take charge of the club in an interim capacity for the last eight games of the season.

He only won once (against Middlesbrough) and a Damien Duff own goal on the final day of the season at Villa Park consigned them to relegation, ending their 16-year stay in the top-flight.

As Sky commentator Martin Tyler said on the final day: “From undermining Kevin Keegan to overtaxing Alan Shearer, it has been disastrous.”

 

2010-2011

Under the guidance of Chris Hughton, Newcastle returned to the top-flight at the first attempt and achieved some impressive early season results. Aston Villa were thumped 6-0, Sunderland well-beaten 5-1 and an Andy Carroll header beat Arsenal at The Emirates Stadium. Hughton though was never the preferred appointment of Ashley and he was sacked following a 3-1 defeat in early December to West Bromwich Albion.

Former Southampton and Charlton manager Alan Pardew was his replacement and again, not an appointment the fans wanted. He started well with a 3-1 win over Liverpool FC but the sale of fans’ favourite Carroll on transfer deadline day for £35 million to the Merseysiders once again stretched the relationship between fans and board to breaking point.

A sensational comeback to draw 4-4 with Arsenal did sooth the pain of no replacement being brought in to replace Carroll and Newcastle finished 12th in the final standings, although it could have been ninth but for throwing away a 3-0 lead on the final day against West Bromwich Albion to draw 3-3.

 

2011-2012

Pardew inspired a wonderful 2011-2012 season from his team which still had them as an outsider to qualify for the UEFA Champions League on the final day.

After going through their first 11 Premier League games unbeaten, Newcastle then failed to win in six consecutive games in November and December, mainly due to a spate of injuries among key defenders. The team recorded a resounding 3–0 home win over champions Manchester United in January and also produced excellent victories away to Chelsea and at home to Liverpool FC.

Demba Ba arrived on a free transfer and scored two hat-tricks in the first half of the campaign. In January, Senegalese forward Papiss Cisse joined from Bundesliga side Sport-Club Freiburg and made a sensational start, scoring 13 goals in just 14 appearances. Defeats in their final two games saw Newcastle finish in fifth place but qualify for the UEFA Europa League. Pardew’s achievement was noted as he won the LMA Manager of the Year award.

 

2012-2013

Following a great campaign in 2011-2012, it was back to struggles in 2012-2013. Newcastle lost 19 of their 38 matches and experienced their worst Premier League home defeat too, losing 6-0 to Liverpool FC in April.

Ba was sold to Chelsea in the January transfer window and Newcastle finished just five points above the bottom three in 16th position. The only highlight was a run to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Europa League.

 

2013-2014

In the off-season, Newcastle confirmed the return of Joe Kinnear to the club as Director of Football, much to the chagrin of the supporters. The only arrival in the summer was the loan signing of Loic Remy from relegated Queens Park Rangers. A 4-0 defeat on opening weekend to Manchester City was a bad start but Newcastle finish 2013 in the mix for the European positions. This is thanks to the goals of Remy, the outstanding form of Yohan Cabaye and excellent victories over Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and a first win at Old Trafford since February 1972.

Cabaye was sold to Paris Saint-Germain for £19 million in the January transfer window and Pardew attracted bad headlines when he head-butted Hull’s David Meyler during a touchline confrontation in March at the KC Stadium. He received a seven-match ban for his actions and Newcastle’s season faded badly in the closing weeks as they limp to the end in 10th place, having lost seven of their last eight matches.

 

2014-2015

Newcastle started the season without a win from their opening eight Premier League games and Pardew was faced with growing pressure from frustrated fans, who start a website SackPardew.com to try and get the board to act on the poor results. He turned the corner with a run of six successive victories that took them from 20th to 5th in the table but in late December, he left the club to fill the vacancy at Crystal Palace.

Long-serving assistant John Carver got his chance in the spotlight but his managerial reign did not go well. He presided over some of Newcastle’s worst-ever league form, including a run of eight consecutive defeats. A win over West Ham on the final day of the season ultimately secured Newcastle’s survival at the expense of Hull City.

 

2015-2016

Steve McClaren was appointed as manager in pre-season but the 2015-2016 campaign was another disappointing one for Newcastle supporters. They didn’t win a match until mid-October, when summer arrival Georginio Wijnaldum scores four goals in a 6-2 victory over Norwich. Back-to-back victories against Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur in December suggest a potential revival but McClaren’s lack of enthusiasm and results speaks for itself. A shattering 3-1 home loss to AFC Bournemouth in March saw his tenure end five days later.

Rafa Benitez was appointed as his successor but he arrived too late to save the club. Despite staying unbeaten in their last six games and a 5-1 victory over Tottenham on the last day, Newcastle are relegated but Benitez does eventually decide to stay on as manager, surprising many experts by signing a three-year contract.

 

2017-2018

Under Benitez, the Magpies hit the heights of sixth place after a 1-0 home win over Crystal Palace in October. However, a 1-0 loss to Burnley in their next match starts an alarming run of eight defeats in their next nine matches. Victories away at West Ham and Stoke over the Christmas programme keep Newcastle above the bottom three and Matt Ritchie’s recent winner against Manchester United suggests the manager’s ability to get the maximum out of his squad mean they are more than likely to maintain their top-flight status at the end of the season.

Iconic Moments: A handshake offer snubbed (February 2010)

Before the start of the 2004-2005 Premier League campaign, a new Fair Play initiative began. Rather than teams enter the field of play and head straight to their half of the pitch, both sides line-up together, then all players shake each other’s hands as a sign of respect ahead of the battle ahead over the course of the next 90 minutes.

This proved to be rather unremarkable at the start of a match until February 2010 when Chelsea played host to Manchester City at Stamford Bridge. The centrepiece was the spat that had occurred between former Chelsea teammates, John Terry and Wayne Bridge.

They were close friends when they played together for the Blues between 2004 and 2008. However, recent tabloid revelations had revealed that Terry had been having an affair with Bridge’s girlfriend at the time, Vanessa Perroncel. Realising his name was about to be outed, Terry attempted to take out a superinjuction but failed and the damaging publicity would cost him the England captaincy as Fabio Capello felt he wasn’t the role model that he expected. Bridge later retired from international football as a result, feeling he simply couldn’t play in the same team with the man who had been playing away behind his back.

Now, their domestic clubs were about to clash with one another for the first time since the affair had become public knowledge. Never had a potential handshake garnered so much attention from TV broadcasts, internet forums and newspaper columns. Would the pair shake hands?

They didn’t. Terry put his hand out but Bridge snubbed him in a public show of anger and disgust. Jeered all afternoon by supporters who used to cheer him on, it was Bridge who had the last laugh as Manchester City won 4-2 and Chelsea finished with nine men.

Premier League Files: Neil Redfearn

Premier League Career: Barnsley (1997-1998), Charlton Athletic (1998-1999), Bradford City (1999-2000)

In a playing career that spanned an amazing 24 years, Neil Redfearn made 790 appearances in the Football League which is the fifth highest of all-time. He also got the opportunity to feature in three Premier League campaigns for three different teams and has also experienced a taste of management, albeit not too successfully for either Rotherham United or Leeds United.

Redfearn began his career with Bolton Wanderers in 1982. It would take another 15 years before he managed to reach the limelight of Premier League football. During this time, he would play for Lincoln City, Doncaster Rovers, Crystal Palace, Watford and Oldham Athletic. The main highlight of his first decade playing was helping Oldham reach the top-flight of English football in 1991. However, the signing of Mike Milligan from Everton meant he was deemed surplus to requirements by the Latics management and he would sign for Barnsley that summer.

Seven seasons at Oakwell would follow, during which he became the club’s regular penalty-taker and captain. In 1996-1997, Barnsley surprised pretty much everyone by reaching the Premier League, finishing second behind Bolton Wanderers and earning promotion. Redfearn was the key figure that season, contributing with 17 goals.

His position in Barnsley folklore was secured when after nine minutes of their opening match in the Premier League; he headed home their first goal at this level against West Ham United. West Ham recovered to win the match 2-1 but Redfearn made an impressive impact on the top-flight. Days later, it was his long-range strike from distance that secured the Tykes first-ever victory in the Premier League away at Crystal Palace. Redfearn finished with an impressive 10 goals and only missed one match in the entire campaign. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to keep Barnsley in the division. This made him a wanted man and he would move on from Yorkshire in the summer of 1998.

Newly-promoted Charlton Athletic paid £1 million for Redfearn’s services, as he ended his Barnsley career with 84 goals in 338 matches. He scored three times in 30 games but as his family struggled to settle in London, his stay at The Valley would be restricted to just a single season. He returned to his native Yorkshire and joined another newly-promoted team in Bradford City a year later. He struggled at Valley Parade, scoring just once against Leicester City before going on the move again, this time to Wigan Athletic. He ended his playing career in the non-league in 2008 with Salford City.

Management has been less successful, winning just 16 league matches combined with Leeds and Rotherham. He was out of work from February 2016 until December 2017 when he became manager of Women’s Super League Two side Doncaster Rovers Belles.

Iconic Moments: Rashford’s stunning debut (February 2016)

A four-way title fight was looking likely in February 2016 as surprise packages Leicester City continued to lead the way. Giving chase were north London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, plus pre-season title favourites Manchester City.

Leicester had beaten Norwich City the previous day with a late winner from Leonardo Ulloa. Arsenal had to respond when they went to Old Trafford to take on a young and inexperienced Manchester United. Decimated by injuries to main forwards, Wayne Rooney, Anthony Martial and Memphis Depay, United boss Louis van Gaal was forced to put his trust in the academy. He gave a Premier League debut to Marcus Rashford.

Rashford had only made his first-team bow three days earlier, scoring twice in a UEFA Europa League tie against FC Midtjylland of Denmark. His Premier League debut was simply stunning. He opened the scoring on 29 minutes, steering the ball past Petr Cech after Arsenal defender Gabriel failed to clear a cross. Three minutes later, the centre-backs went missing again as Rashford was given all the time in the world to guide Jesse Lingard’s cross into the net.  In 35 minutes, he’d had just two touches in the opposition box and they had just produced a huge dent in Arsenal’s title aspirations.

Marcus’ brilliant day wasn’t done yet. He set-up the third goal for Ander Herrera in the second half as Van Gaal’s side put in one of their more rousing displays of the season to win 3-2.

A week earlier, only those seriously connected to Manchester United had heard of Marcus Rashford. By the end of February 2016, the whole world knew who he was after an incredible few days in his footballing career.

Referees in the Middle: Howard Webb

Premier League Career: 2003-2014

First Premier League Match: Fulham 0-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers (18 October 2003)

Final Premier League Match: Hull City 0-2 Everton (11 May 2014)

Rotherham United supporter Howard Webb has taken charge of the biggest match an official can ever get – the World Cup final. His experience of the 2010 final in Soccer City between Netherlands and Spain turned into a bit of a nightmare as a bitty and sour encounter brewed into a card festival record for the World Cup final.

However, Webb deserved his opportunity after an excellent tournament before the Johannesburg final and he was the leading official for 11 seasons in the Premier League before deciding to call it a day at the end of the 2013-2014 season.

Refereeing was in Webb’s blood from an early age. His father had been a ref for 35 years, so it was something that was very natural for him. He first took up the whistle in the local leagues in 1989. He was appointed as a Football League assistant referee seven years later, juggling the weekend work with a regular role as a police officer with South Yorkshire police.

In 2000, he made the National List and was promoted to the Select Group of officials three years later. His first match in the top-flight was a fairy uneventful goalless draw in October 2003 between Fulham and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

A month later, he handed out his first red card, again in a 0-0 game between Bolton Wanderers and Southampton. Saints defender Michael Svensson was the unlucky culprit. In 2008-2009, Webb issued his highest proportion of red cards in his Premier League career – sending six players off in 38 games. Among his victims in terms of dismissals in that season were Nemanja Vidic at Anfield and Cristiano Ronaldo at The City of Manchester Stadium.

Webb was in the middle for two Chelsea cup final victories in the first decade of the new millennium. He took charge of the Blues 2-1 victory over Everton in the 2009 FA Cup final and two years earlier, the 2-1 League Cup final success against London rivals Arsenal. An ugly brawl on the eve of the final whistle saw both managers end up on the pitch trying to calm the melee down which led to red cards for Emmanuel Adebayor, John Obi Mikel and Kolo Toure.

The peak of Webb’s career was 2010. He took charge of the UEFA Champions League final in Madrid when two Diego Milito goals helped Inter Milan beat Bayern Munich 2-0 in the Madrid showpiece. He then went to South Africa as England’s representative at the World Cup finals and was praised for his control of several matches in the group stage.

This won him the ultimate reward – taking charge of the World Cup final in Johannesburg between Spain and the Netherlands. It should have been the dream occasion but it turned into a nightmare. The Dutch’s reckless style of play meant the game simply did not flow at all and despite his best efforts, he couldn’t allow any rhythm into the match. 14 yellow cards were dished out in the 120 minutes with Jonny Heitinga sent off in extra-time for two bookable offences. In Webb’s defence, the only huge mistake he made was not to send Nigel de Jong off for a kung-fu challenge on Xabi Alonso in the first half.

He got plenty of support afterwards. BBC pundit Alan Hansen said: “Webb tried to make the game flow but on this occasion he was left with no choice.”  Keith Hackett agreed, saying: “Anyone who criticises the officials lacks the knowledge and experience of someone who has refereed.”

He also was a representative at the 2008 and 2012 European Championships and the World Cup finals in 2014.

In August 2014, Howard Webb elected to retire from refereeing, three months after taking charge of his final top-flight match which was a 2-0 victory for Everton away at Hull City on the final day of the previous season.

Since then, he has been a video analyst for BT Sport, held a role as director of referees for the Saudi Arabian Football Federation and in March 2017, took a role as Manager of VAR operations for the MLS in the United States.

When you consider who the best referee was in the first 25 years of Premier League football, Howard Webb has to be near the top of the list.

Great Goals: Glen Johnson – Blackburn Rovers vs. CHELSEA (February 2004)

Chelsea travelled to Ewood Park in February 2004 looking to keep tabs on the pace being set by unbeaten Arsenal and reigning champions Manchester United. They looked set to drop points when Paul Gallagher equalised for Blackburn to make the score 2-2 with five minutes left to go. Time was running out when Chelsea won a corner.

It was actually a poor corner from Adrian Mutu but John Terry didn’t give up on it and managed to keep the ball alive. He found Glen Johnson, whose control in the air was too much for Markus Babbel. He then nicked the ball past Garry Flitcroft before lashing a shot into the top corner of the net past Brad Friedel.

Chelsea won 3-2 and this was the best of Johnson’s four goals he managed in a Chelsea shirt.

Premier League Files: Fernandinho

Premier League Career: Manchester City (2013-PRESENT)

One of the important cogs in the Manchester City line-up, Fernandinho has become an almost indispensable figure of Pep Guardiola’s line-up. He already has one Premier League title winners’ medal to his name and barring a freakish set of circumstances, will collect a second English title in 2018.

Fernandinho started his professional career with Brazilian club side Atletico Paranaense in 2002, before moving to Ukraine to play for all-conquering Shakhtar Donetsk. He spent eight seasons in Donetsk, winning six league championships, four domestic cups and the UEFA Cup in 2009. Although he is known as a defensively-minded player, he played further forward with Shakhtar and scored 11 league goals during the 2007-2008 campaign. His performances won him the club’s Player of the Year award. His UEFA Cup victory was the last version under this name before it was rebranded the UEFA Europa League for 2009-2010.

He achieved everything he could in Ukraine and it was time for a new challenge in June 2013. Manchester City paid Shakhtar Donetsk £34 million to make the Brazilian their first signing of the 2013-2014 summer transfer window. It was the first transaction carried out by their new boss, Manuel Pellegrini.

He made his debut on the opening weekend of the season and showed his importance to the team with a man of the match display against Arsenal in December 2013. He completely took command of the midfield battle and scored his first two Citizens goals in an impressive 6-3 victory for City. Another goal followed on New Years’ Day in the 3-2 win at Swansea. In total, he played 33 Premier League matches and won both the title and the League Cup in a wonderful first season on these shores.

After an excellent debut campaign in City colours, Fernandinho struggled to repeat these performances in 2014-2015 as the club made little challenge to Chelsea as they succeeded the Eastlands side as Premier League champions. Fernandinho’s response was to score a belting goal against the Blues in City’s resounding 3-0 success against Chelsea in August 2015. He followed this effort up with another goal in their next home match against Watford. A second League Cup victory on penalties against Liverpool FC soothed the pain of another league season that faded into obscurity as City finished a distant fourth to surprise champions Leicester City.

Pellegrini left at the end of the 2015-2016 campaign and was replaced by Guardiola. Immediately, the Spaniard indicated just how important Fernandinho was to his plans. He said: “If a team has three Fernandinhos, they would be champions. We have one, but he is fast, he is intelligent, he is strong in the air, he can play several positions.”

However, his disciplinary came into question with three red cards in quick succession. First, he was dismissed in the UEFA Champions League away at Borussia Mönchengladbach. Less than two weeks later, he lost his temper in the late scuffle at home to Chelsea. Slapped by Cesc Fabregas, he then proceeded to shove the Spaniard over the advertising hoardings and into the crowd. He had to be ushered down the tunnel by security guards such was his rage. On 2nd January, he saw red again for a reckless challenge at home to Burnley. It prompted Guardiola to defend his player when he was involved in a tense exchange with BBC journalist Damien Johnson.

In 2017-2018, Fernandinho has scored in victories over Stoke City and in both matches against West Bromwich Albion as Manchester City seem set to regain the Premier League title in convincing fashion. His ability to play in full-back positions when required have also made him a popular figure with the City fans. In January 2018, this was underlined when he signed a two-year contract extension. He has also won 40 caps for Brazil and is likely to be the axis behind their attempts to win the World Cup this summer in Russia.

Memorable Matches: Blackburn Rovers 3-2 Liverpool FC (October 1994)

Goalscorers: Robbie Fowler 27, Mark Atkins 52, Chris Sutton 57, 72, John Barnes 59

Teams:

Blackburn Rovers: Tim Flowers, Henning Berg, Tony Gale, Colin Hendry, Graeme Le Saux, Paul Warhurst, Mark Atkins, Stuart Ripley, Jason Wilcox, Alan Shearer, Chris Sutton

Liverpool FC: David James, Phil Babb, Stig Inge Bjornebye (Jamie Redknapp 80), Rob Jones, John Scales, Neil Ruddock, Jan Molby, John Barnes, Steve McManaman, Robbie Fowler, Ian Rush

Referee: Brian Hill, Attendance: 30,263

The name Kenny Dalglish will always be linked with these two clubs. Dalglish had achieved immortality with Liverpool FC, winning a clutch of league championships as a player and a manager. Now, he was aiming to win the title for the highly-ambitious Blackburn Rovers side. Both teams were in great form going into this match at Ewood Park in October 1994.

Blackburn had come within moments of ending Newcastle’s unbeaten start to the season a week earlier whilst a new-look Liverpool had lost just once in the Premier League and that was to reigning champions Manchester United at Old Trafford.

The home side started with great purpose and were doing all the pressing in the first 30 minutes. Rob Jones had to clear a Tony Gale header off his own goal-line. Alan Shearer was denied another goal by the legs of David James and Jason Wilcox blazed a shot over when put through by Chris Sutton. So it was totally against the run-of-play when Roy Evans’ side took the lead.

Red-hot Robbie Fowler was found in space by Steve McManaman. His shot took a deflection off the unfortunate Gale and the ball looped over Tim Flowers and into the net. The goal was very fortunate but it stemmed the tide and towards the end of the first half, it was Liverpool who were looking more dangerous.

Dalglish needed to rally his troops in the dressing rooms. It wasn’t the first time in recent weeks where deflections had gone against Blackburn. They’d lost a fortnight earlier to Norwich City because of a similar kind of goal. So, the response to going 1-0 down at the interval was magnificent. Six minutes into the second half, Shearer found some space in the penalty area and pulled the ball back for Mark Atkins to score from close-range.

Shearer might not have scored but he played such a crucial part in dragging Blackburn ahead. Five minutes after the leveller, he once again produced a wicked delivery into the box. Strike partner Sutton sneaked infront of Phil Babb and although James parried his first effort, Sutton managed to bundle the ball over the line to have the hosts into the lead.

Just before the hour mark and Liverpool were back on level terms. Stig Inge Bjornebye’s cross was perfect for John Barnes to remind everyone of his class. Barnes’ spectacular overhead kick into the bottom corner drew the game level at 2-2. That goal itself deserved something from the game but ultimately, it got nothing. Sutton got the better of Neil Ruddock on 72 minutes and as James advanced off his line, the forward drilled home his 12th goal of the season to put Blackburn ahead. It was a lead they would maintain until the final whistle.

Liverpool got their revenge six weeks later, knocking Blackburn out of the League Cup in the fourth round and the two sides played another important match later on in the season…but more on that later.

Iconic Moments: Gullit drops Shearer (August 1999)

Going into the Tyne & Wear Derby between Newcastle United and Sunderland, Ruud Gullit was a worried man. Newcastle had made a dreadful start to the campaign, conceding 11 goals in their first four matches and only collecting one point in that time too.

It was rumoured that a power struggle was developing at the club between the Dutch manager and his skipper, Alan Shearer. Shearer had been sent off on the opening day during a home defeat to Aston Villa and missed the home game with Wimbledon three days earlier due to suspension.

For a clash as big as this in the north east, it was expected that Shearer would come straight back into the line-up but Gullit decided to throw the dice and make the biggest decision of his managerial career. He left Shearer on the bench and Duncan Ferguson too. If it paid off, it would be an inspired move. If it didn’t, he would surely pay the price.

On an evening where the weather would have been more pleasant for ducks, Newcastle led at half-time but goals after the interval from Niall Quinn and Kevin Phillips helped Sunderland to a 2-1 victory. Both Shearer and Ferguson had arrived on the pitch by that stage but the damage had been done.

Gullit defended his selection afterwards but it was clear he had lost the support of the fans. He had lost the battle and quit 48 hours later. He hasn’t managed in the English game since.

Seasonal Records: 2004-2005

For all the statistical fans out there, here are some of the season’s records from the 2004-2005 Premier League campaign. It was a season to remember for Chelsea as the Blues won their first Premier League title, 50 years on from their last top-flight success, losing just one match all season.

FINAL TABLE

Position Team P W D L F A GD PTS
1 Chelsea 38 29 8 1 72 15 +57 95
2 Arsenal 38 25 8 5 87 36 +51 83
3 Manchester United 38 22 11 5 58 26 +32 77
4 Everton 38 18 7 13 45 46 -1 61
5 Liverpool FC 38 17 7 14 52 41 +11 58
6 Bolton Wanderers 38 16 10 12 49 44 +5 58
7 Middlesbrough 38 14 13 11 53 46 +7 55
8 Manchester City 38 13 13 12 47 39 +8 52
9 Tottenham Hotspur 38 14 10 14 47 41 +6 52
10 Aston Villa 38 12 11 15 45 52 -7 47
11 Charlton Athletic 38 12 10 16 42 58 -16 46
12 Birmingham City 38 11 12 15 40 46 -6 45
13 Fulham 38 12 8 18 52 60 -8 44
14 Newcastle United 38 10 14 14 47 57 -10 44
15 Blackburn Rovers 38 9 15 14 32 43 -11 42
16 Portsmouth 38 10 9 19 43 59 -16 39
17 West Bromwich Albion 38 6 16 16 36 61 -25 34
18 Crystal Palace 38 7 12 19 41 62 -21 33
19 Norwich City 38 7 12 19 42 77 -35 33
20 Southampton 38 6 14 18 45 66 -21 32

 

THE BASIC STATS

Goals Scored 975
European qualifiers Chelsea (UEFA Champions League)

Arsenal (UEFA Champions League)

Manchester United (UEFA Champions League)

Everton (UEFA Champions League)

Liverpool FC (UEFA Champions League)

Bolton Wanderers (UEFA Cup)

Middlesbrough (UEFA Cup)

Newcastle United (UEFA Intertoto Cup)

Longest winning run 8 games (Chelsea)
Longest unbeaten run 29 games (Chelsea)
Longest winless run 15 games (West Bromwich Albion)
Longest losing run 6 games (Bolton Wanderers & Tottenham Hotspur)
Highest attendance 67,989 (Manchester United vs. Portsmouth)
Lowest attendance 16,180 (Fulham vs. West Bromwich Albion)

 

AWARDS

PFA Players’ Player of the Year John Terry (Chelsea)
PFA Young Player of the Year Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)
Football Writers’ Award Frank Lampard (Chelsea)
PFA Team of the Year Petr Cech, Ashley Cole, Rio Ferdinand, Gary Neville, John Terry, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Arjen Robben, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Thierry Henry, Andy Johnson
Manager of the Year Jose Mourinho (Chelsea)
Premier League Goal of the Season Wayne Rooney (MANCHESTER UNITED vs. Newcastle United)

 

HAT-TRICK HEROES

Player Teams Score Date
Yakubu Portsmouth vs. Fulham 4-3 30th August 2004
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink Blackburn Rovers vs. Middlesbrough 0-4 16th October 2004
Eidur Gudjohnsen Chelsea vs. Blackburn Rovers 4-0 23rd October 2004
Milan Baros Liverpool FC vs. Crystal Palace 3-2 13th November 2004
Jermain Defoe Tottenham Hotspur vs. Southampton 5-1 18th December 2004
Thierry Henry Arsenal vs. Portsmouth 3-0 5th March 2005
Rob Earnshaw Charlton Athletic vs. West Bromwich Albion 1-4 19th March 2005
Thierry Henry Arsenal vs. Norwich City 4-1 2nd April 2005

 

TOP SCORERS

Position Player Teams No of Goals
1 Thierry Henry Arsenal 25
2 Andy Johnson Crystal Palace 21
3 Robert Pires Arsenal 14
4= Frank Lampard Chelsea 13
4= Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink Middlesbrough 13
4= Jermain Defoe Tottenham Hotspur 13
4= Yakubu Portsmouth 13
8= Eidur Gudjohnsen Chelsea 12
8= Andy Cole Fulham 12
8= Peter Crouch Southampton 12
11= Wayne Rooney Manchester United 11
11= Tim Cahill Everton 11
11= Shaun Wright-Phillips Manchester City 11
11= Robbie Keane Tottenham Hotspur 11
11= Rob Earnshaw West Bromwich Albion 11
16= Didier Drogba Chelsea 10
16= Freddie Ljungberg Arsenal 10
16= Robbie Fowler Manchester City 10
16= Emile Heskey Birmingham City 10
16= Kevin Phillips Southampton 10
21= Jose Antonio Reyes Arsenal 9
21= Paul Scholes Manchester United 9
21= Milan Baros Liverpool FC 9
21= El-Hadji Diouf Bolton Wanderers 9
21= Paul Dickov Blackburn Rovers 9

BIGGEST VICTORIES

Arsenal 7-0 Everton 11th May 2005
Fulham 6-0 Norwich City 15th May 2005
West Bromwich Albion 0-5 Liverpool FC 26th December 2004
Arsenal 5-1 Crystal Palace 14th February 2005
Tottenham Hotspur 5-1 Aston Villa 1st May 2005
Tottenham Hotspur 5-1 Southampton 18th December 2004
Charlton Athletic 0-4 Chelsea 27th November 2004
Arsenal 4-0 Charlton Athletic 2nd October 2004
Charlton Athletic 0-4 Manchester United 1st May 2005
Everton 4-0 Crystal Palace 10th April 2005

 

HIGHEST SCORING GAMES

No of Goals Teams Date
9 Tottenham Hotspur 4-5 Arsenal 13th November 2004
8 Arsenal 5-3 Middlesbrough 22nd August 2004
8 Norwich City 4-4 Middlesbrough 22nd January 2005
7 Arsenal 7-0 Everton 11th May 2005
7 Manchester United 5-2 Crystal Palace 18th December 2004
7 Tottenham Hotspur 5-2 Everton 1st January 2005
7 Newcastle United 4-3 Manchester City 24th October 2004
7 Portsmouth 4-3 Fulham 30th August 2004
7 Southampton 4-3 Norwich City 30th April 2005
6 Fulham 6-0 Norwich City 15th May 2005
6 Arsenal 5-1 Crystal Palace 14th February 2005
6 Tottenham Hotspur 5-1 Aston Villa 1st May 2005
6 Tottenham Hotspur 5-1 Southampton 18th December 2004
6 Arsenal 2-4 Manchester United 1st February 2005
6 Fulham 2-4 Liverpool FC 16th October 2004
6 Aston Villa 4-2 Newcastle United 28th August 2004
6 Portsmouth 4-2 Charlton Athletic 9th April 2005
6 Blackburn Rovers 3-3 Birmingham City 21st November 2004
6 Southampton 3-3 Fulham 5th January 2005
6 Crystal Palace 3-3 Norwich City 16th April 2005

 

YOUNGEST PLAYERS USED

Player Teams Age at the time Date
James Vaughan Everton 4-0 Crystal Palace 16 years, 8 months, 27 days 10th April 2005
Cesc Fabregas Everton 1-4 Arsenal 17 years, 3 months, 11 days 15th August 2004
Philip Ifil Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Liverpool FC 17 years, 8 months, 27 days 14th August 2004
Anthony Grant Manchester United 1-3 Chelsea 17 years, 11 months, 6 days 10th May 2005
Nedum Onuoha Manchester City 1-1 Norwich City 17 years, 11 months, 20 days 1st November 2004
Matthew Bates Middlesbrough 3-2 Manchester City 17 years, 11 months, 26 days 6th December 2004
Leon Best Southampton 1-2 Newcastle United 18 years 19th September 2004
Ricardo Vaz Te Bolton Wanderers 1-2 Aston Villa 18 years, 1 month, 13 days 13th November 2004
Tom Soares Aston Villa 1-1 Crystal Palace 18 years, 2 months, 15 days 25th September 2004
Martin Cranie Southampton 0-0 Charlton Athletic 18 years, 3 months 26th December 2004

 

OLDEST PLAYERS USED

Player Teams Age at the time Date
Kevin Poole Bolton Wanderers 1-1 West Bromwich Albion 41 years, 5 months, 11 days 1st January 2005
Nigel Martyn Everton 2-0 Newcastle United 38 years, 8 months, 26 days 7th May 2005
Colin Cooper Middlesbrough 4-0 West Bromwich Albion 38 years, 1 month, 26 days 23rd April 2005
Les Ferdinand Bolton Wanderers 0-1 Blackburn Rovers 38 years, 10 days 28th December 2004
Fernando Hierro Bolton Wanderers 3-2 Everton 37 years, 1 month, 22 days 15th May 2005
Craig Short Blackburn Rovers 1-3 Fulham 36 years, 10 months, 12 days 7th May 2005
Youri Djorkaeff Chelsea 4-0 Blackburn Rovers 36 years, 7 months, 14 days 23rd October 2004
Graeme Le Saux Southampton 1-2 Manchester United 36 years, 6 months, 28 days 15th May 2005
Dennis Bergkamp Birmingham City 2-1 Arsenal 36 years, 5 days 15th May 2005
Shaka Hislop Portsmouth 0-1 Blackburn Rovers 35 years, 10 months, 24 days 15th January 2005

 

CLEAN SHEETS

Position Player Teams No of Clean Sheets
1 Petr Cech Chelsea 24
2= Roy Carroll Manchester United 15
2= Brad Friedel Blackburn Rovers 15
4 Nigel Martyn Everton 14
5= Paul Robinson Tottenham Hotspur 12
5= Dean Kiely Charlton Athletic 12
7= Jens Lehmann Arsenal 11
7= David James Manchester City 11
7= Thomas Sorensen Aston Villa 11
10 Gabor Kiraly Crystal Palace 10