Results: Aston Villa 0-1 Blackburn Rovers, Leeds United 0-1 Sheffield Wednesday, Leicester City 2-2 Everton, Liverpool FC 2-0 Newcastle United, Manchester United 9-0 Ipswich Town, Norwich City 1-1 Manchester City, Nottingham Forest 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur, Southampton 0-0 Coventry City, Wimbledon 1-3 Queens Park Rangers, Arsenal 0-1 West Ham United, Chelsea 0-0 Crystal Palace
After the bright starts from Newcastle United and Nottingham Forest had faded, the 1994-1995 Premier League title battle had turned into a two-way tussle between Manchester United and Blackburn Rovers. The reigning champions were three points behind the Lancastrians and still smarting going into this weekend of action after a 1-0 defeat in the previous round of fixtures away to Everton.
The Red Devils were angry and second-bottom Ipswich Town felt the full force of this anger as they tumbled to a defeat that is still in the Premier League records as the joint biggest-ever defeat suffered by any team in Premier League history. Andy Cole became the first-ever player to score five goals in a Premier League match whilst Mark Hughes (2), Roy Keane and Paul Ince also got themselves on the scoresheet. The final scoreline was Manchester United 9-0 Ipswich Town. The gulfing class between the two sides had been brutally demonstrated.
It wiped out Blackburn’s goal difference advantage but Kenny Dalglish wasn’t worried as long as his side continued winning. Rovers’ third win in their last four outings came at Villa Park. Colin Hendry’s early header was enough to defeat Aston Villa 1-0 to keep Blackburn three points clear at the top of the table.
Newcastle were still in third place but slipped to their second defeat of the calendar year away at Anfield. Manager Kevin Keegan, his assistant Terry McDermott and key player Peter Beardsley were all returning to Anfield but all finished on the losing side. Liverpool won 2-0 courtesy of second half goals from Robbie Fowler and Ian Rush. Newcastle still had a three-point advantage over the Reds in the table but Liverpool had two games in-hand.
Nottingham Forest’s winless sequence stretched to four games after drawing 2-2 with Tottenham Hotspur which saw all four goals come in the last 11 minutes. Teddy Sheringham had given Spurs the lead in the 79th minute before Forest struck a quick-fire double through Lars Bohinen and Jason Lee, with Ian Woan claiming two assists. However, this was a completely different Tottenham side from the one Forest had beaten 4-1 earlier in the campaign at White Hart Lane. Colin Calderwood equalised in the 87th minute to ensure a share of the spoils at The City Ground.
With 10 games left to play, the battle to avoid the relegation places was getting intense with four clubs going down in what was the final season of the 22-team division. Ipswich and Leicester were already looking doomed but only nine points covered 12 teams from Arsenal in ninth to Crystal Palace in 20th. The form sides were Coventry City and Queens Park Rangers. The Sky Blues extended their unbeaten run to four games with a goalless draw away at Southampton and Queens Park Rangers were on a similar run after a 3-1 triumph in a London Derby at Selhurst Park against Wimbledon. Les Ferdinand scored twice.
Crystal Palace and West Ham United ended the weekend in the bottom four but swapped positions in the table. The Hammers recorded back-to-back victories on trips to Highbury as Don Hutchinson’s 20th minute strike beat Arsenal 1-0 whilst Palace’s poor run continued at Stamford Bridge. The 0-0 draw at Chelsea made it just two wins in 14 matches.
What else happened in March 1995?
- Following the collapse of Barings Bank, Nick Leeson is arrested in Singapore for his role in the bank’s demise.
- Norman Thagard becomes the first American astronaut to ride into space aboard a Russian launch vehicle. This was the first sign that the Space Race between the US and Russia was now over.
- Eric Cantona is sentenced to two weeks in prison at Croydon Crown Court following his kung-fu kick at a Crystal Palace supporter two months earlier. He appeals against the sentence which is successful and sees his penalty reduced to a 120-hour community service order.
- The Queen makes the first royal visit to South Africa in nearly fifty years and the first since Apartheid ended.
- Josef Oleksy becomes Poland’s new Prime Minister following the resignation of Waldemar Pawlak.
- Julio Maria Sanguinetti starts his second term as President of Uruguay.
- After five years on air, Channel 4 broadcasts the final edition of music programme, The Word.