All posts by Simon Wright

Hello, I am Simon, 29 and currently work as a Picture Researcher & Product Editor for Topps Europe Ltd. In my spare time, I run the Premier League at 25 Website. I graduated from the University of Northampton in 2012 with a 2:1 degree in BA Hons Journalism.

Shock Results: Crystal Palace 2-1 Chelsea (October 2017)

Goalscorers: Cesar Azpilicueta 11 OG, Tiemoue Bakayoko 18, Wilfried Zaha 45

Teams:

Crystal Palace: Julian Speroni, Scott Dann, Mamadou Sakho, Patrick van Aanholt, Joel Ward, Yohan Cabaye (Jairo Riedwald 86), Luka Milivojevic, James McArthur (Timothy Fosu-Mensah 85), Jeff Schlupp (Jason Puncheon 75), Andros Townsend, Wilfried Zaha

Chelsea: Thibaut Courtois, Cesar Azpilicueta, Marcos Alonso, Gary Cahill, David Luiz, Victor Moses (Davide Zappacosta 39), Tiemoue Bakayoko, Cesc Fabregas, Eden Hazard, Willian (Charly Musonda 65), Michy Batshuayi (Pedro 57)

Referee: Andre Marriner, Attendance: 25,480

Crystal Palace looked in dire straits at the start of October 2017. Seven games into their campaign and the Eagles had made the worst start ever in Premier League history. Seven defeats, no points earned and not even a goal scored. Their situation seemed hopeless already. Frank de Boer had been sacked just four games into his reign, replaced by Roy Hodgson. Hodgson had a reputation to repair himself. He had been out of work since England’s humiliating exit in the 2016 European Championships at the hands of Iceland. The chance to revive Palace’s fortunes and put himself back on the managerial map was too good to turn down.

After the October international break, Selhurst Park was packed to welcome the visit of league champions Chelsea. Antonio Conte’s side had recovered well from a shock opening day loss at home to Burnley and were boasting a 100% away record following fine victories away at Tottenham Hotspur, Leicester City and Stoke City. The Blues were widely anticipated to keep that record going.

After 641 goalless minutes at the start of the season, Crystal Palace finally registered a goal to take a surprising early lead. Andros Townsend picked out Yohan Cabaye who showed great persistence in the penalty area, causing havoc which Chelsea’s defenders couldn’t deal with. David Luiz panicked and the ball eventually came off his teammate Cesar Azpilicueta and rebounded into the back of the net. It set the tone for an uncomfortable afternoon for the reigning champions.

Conte’s side were missing the energy of N’Golo Kante, who had been injured playing for France during the international break and it showed. However, his replacement did provide the equaliser. Tiemoue Bakayoko escaped his markers to guide home a corner from his central midfield partner, Cesc Fabregas. However, Chelsea’s front three of Michy Batshuayi, Willian and Eden Hazard failed to seriously test Julian Speroni on a regular basis.

It was another Palace returnee who would ultimately score the winner. Wilfried Zaha had been out of action since the opening day of the season but he returned with perfect timing. On the stroke of half-time, he escaped Azpilicueta’s challenge and slotted the ball beyond Thibaut Courtois.

Despite enjoying 60% of possession and piling the pressure on in the second half, Conte’s side couldn’t find a way through. He experienced back-to-back defeats for only the second time as a Premier League manager. Palace were finally off the mark for both goals and points. Their season finally had lift-off, thanks to the management guile of Hodgson and the skill of Zaha, who proved to be their integral matchwinner throughout the 2017-2018 season.

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Premier League Rewind: 19th-21st August 2017

Results: Swansea City 0-4 Manchester United, AFC Bournemouth 0-2 Watford, Burnley 0-1 West Bromwich Albion, Leicester City 2-0 Brighton & Hove Albion, Liverpool FC 1-0 Crystal Palace, Southampton 3-2 West Ham United, Stoke City 1-0 Arsenal, Huddersfield Town 1-0 Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur 1-2 Chelsea, Manchester City 1-1 Everton

The second weekend of the 2017-2018 Premier League season saw Manchester United steal an early march on all of their prospective title rivals. By the conclusion of the second round of fixtures, the Red Devils were one of only three teams to hold a 100% record.

Having thrashed West Ham United 4-0 on the opening weekend, Jose Mourinho’s side repeated the scoreline on their first away trip of the season which was in South Wales against Swansea City. The final score might have flattered them slightly but it came about through a devastating spell of three goals in the final 10 minutes. New striker Romelu Lukaku made it three goals in two matches and delightful finishes by Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial added to the glee of the supporters. Two games, two wins, two clean sheets, six points and eight goals scored. It was the perfect start for Mourinho in his second season in the Old Trafford dugout.

The other two sides still with a perfect record were slightly more unexpected in the shape of Huddersfield Town and West Bromwich Albion. Huddersfield had made a dream start to their Premier League life. After beating Crystal Palace 3-0 a week earlier, Aaron Mooy’s marvellous long-range effort was enough to defeat Newcastle United in the Terriers’ first home match in the top-flight. Meanwhile, West Bromwich Albion recorded their second successive 1-0 success, this time at Turf Moor away at Burnley. Hal Robson-Kanu made a dramatic contribution off the substitutes’ bench. First, he scored the winning goal after 71 minutes. 12 minutes later, he caught Matthew Lowton with his elbow and was duly sent off by referee Martin Atkinson. Little did the Baggies supporters realise at the time but this would be their last victory in the top-flight until mid-January.

After a shocking home defeat to Burnley, the pressure was already on championship-winning manager Antonio Conte and his shell-shocked Chelsea side when they travelled to Wembley Stadium for the first-ever Premier League match at the home of English football. Tottenham Hotspur were playing at Wembley for the season whilst their normal home was being redeveloped but it wasn’t a good start. They were defeated 2-1 by the champions. The hero was left-back Marcos Alonso, who scored both goals including a majestic free-kick. It looked like Chelsea had rediscovered their mojo.

On the Monday Night Football, Manchester City and Everton played out a stormy encounter at The Etihad Stadium which ended with the points shared and both teams finishing with 10 men. Wayne Rooney became only the second player in Premier League history to reach the milestone of 200 goals when he opened the scoring on a clinical counter-attack 10 minutes before half-time. The Citizens had Kyle Walker sent off on his home debut before half-time but put the pressure on and eventually found a way through with eight minutes left through a Raheem Sterling equaliser. Everton’s Morgan Schneiderlin was also given his marching orders before the end of the match. This draw would turn out to be City’s only dropped points until New Years’ Eve.

Arsenal were once again beaten at their bogey ground. Jese made an instant impact at Stoke City. On-loan from Paris Saint-Germain, the Spaniard scored the only goal of the game as Arsenal lost at Stoke for the fifth time in 10 seasons. Former champions Leicester City scored the fastest goal of the campaign when Shinji Okazaki found the net inside a minute. Harry Maguire headed home on his debut in the second half as the Foxes defeated Brighton & Hove Albion 2-0.

What else happened in August 2017?

  • One of the giants of the UK TV industry, Sir Bruce Forsyth passes away at the age of 89. His career in showbiz spanned an extraordinary 75 years with shows such as The Generation Game, Play Your Cards Right and Strictly Come Dancing.
  • At the age of 96, The Duke of Edinburgh carries out his final official engagement before retiring from public duty.
  • A four-year Renovation begins on Big Ben, meaning the chimes of the famous clock fall silent.
  • Two legends of the athletics track & field era bow out at the World Athletics Championships in London. Usain Bolt and Mo Farah both retire after the championships, with Farah moving into marathon running and Bolt hanging up his spikes for good.
  • 15 people are killed in a terrorist attack in Barcelona; one is a seven-year old, with dual British-Australian nationality.
  • 108 people are killed in the United States as Hurricane Harvey strikes Houston. The total damage of the storm reaches $125 billion.
  • The UN Security Council unanimously approves fresh sanctions on North Korean trade and investment.

Great Goals: Sofiane Boufal – SOUTHAMPTON vs. West Bromwich Albion (October 2017)

In his two seasons with Southampton, Sofiane Boufal has only shown flashes of the promise he demonstrated whilst playing in France. The Moroccan though did produce this exceptional piece of solo brilliance in a fairly sterile game against West Bromwich Albion.

The game on the south coast looked like it was petering out towards a pretty ordinary 0-0 draw when Boufal took centre stage in the 85th minute. The tricky winger, who had only arrived into the contest as a substitute four minutes earlier, he twisted past Allan Nyom in his own half before using his speed to leave Jake Livermore trailing in his wake. As Boufal continued his surge towards goal, he bamboozled past Craig Dawson. Desperate to keep up having been the first man beaten, Nyom ran into Dawson and both hit the turf. Gareth McAuley was the next defender who backed off and was beaten and lastly, goalkeeper Ben Foster couldn’t stop his neatly-placed effort into the bottom corner.

It was a goal fitting to win a tight match between two sides who would ultimately spend the majority of the campaign at the wrong end of the table. It didn’t sparkle Boufal’s season into life though. He was left out of Morocco’s squad for the 2018 World Cup finals and was recently excluded from the Saints’ pre-season tour of China by new manager Mark Hughes. His future at the club looks bleak.

However, this tremendous solo goal was voted by fans as the Carling Goal of the Season for the 2017-2018 campaign.

Iconic Moments: Rooney reaches 200 (August 2017)

In the summer of 2017, Wayne Rooney ended his 13-year association with Manchester United, where he’d won five Premier League titles and become the club’s all-time leading goalscorer. He returned to his boyhood home, Everton. It was a signing that got fans excited at Goodison Park.

After making the dream return by scoring on his second home debut with a flying header to beat Stoke City on the opening weekend, Rooney had another milestone he was closing in on when he made his first visit back to Manchester.

Everton’s first away match of the season was at The Etihad Stadium and Rooney achieved a Premier League landmark in the 35th minute. From a sweeping counter-attack, Rooney made a late surging run into the box to meet Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s pass and sweep the ball into the back of the net. It was his 200th Premier League goal, becoming only the second player to achieve the feat after Alan Shearer.

Rooney’s goalscoring tally ended at 208 before waving goodbye to the Premier League in the summer of 2018. He will finish his playing career in the MLS, playing for DC United. He will go down as one of the Premier League’s greatest-ever players.

The Clubs: Brighton & Hove Albion

All-Time Premier League Record

Played Won Drew Lost Scored Conceded Goal Difference Points No of Seasons
38 9 13 16 34 54 -20 40 1

 

Most Premier League Appearances

Player Appearances Total
Lewis Dunk 38
Pascal Gross 38
Mathew Ryan 38
Shane Duffy 37
Solly March 36
Dale Stephens 36
Glenn Murray 35
Davy Propper 35
Anthony Knockaert 33
Jose Izquierdo 32

 

Most Premier League Goals

Player Goals Total
Glenn Murray 12
Pascal Gross 7
Jose Izquierdo 5
Anthony Knockaert 3
Tomer Hemed 2
Lewis Dunk 1
Jurgen Locadia 1
Solly March 1
Leonardo Ulloa 1

 

Biggest Premier League Victories

Match Date Season
Brighton & Hove Albion 4-1 Swansea City 24th February 2018 2017-2018
West Ham United 0-3 Brighton & Hove Albion 20th October 2017 2017-2018
Brighton & Hove Albion 3-1 West Bromwich Albion 9th September 2017 2017-2018
Brighton & Hove Albion 3-1 West Ham United 3rd February 2018 2017-2018
Brighton & Hove Albion 2-1 Arsenal 4th March 2018 2017-2018

 

Worst Premier League Defeats

Match Date Season
Brighton & Hove Albion 1-5 Liverpool FC 2nd December 2017 2017-2018
Brighton & Hove Albion 0-4 Chelsea 20th January 2018 2017-2018
Liverpool FC 4-0 Brighton & Hove Albion 13th May 2018 2017-2018
Manchester City 3-1 Brighton & Hove Albion 9th May 2018 2017-2018
Brighton & Hove Albion 0-2 Manchester City 12th August 2017 2017-2018

 

Managers

Manager No of Seasons managed Left the Club
Chris Hughton 4  

 

Highest Home Attendances

Match Date Attendance Figure Season
Brighton & Hove Albion 1-5 Liverpool FC 2nd December 2017 30,631 2017-2018
Brighton & Hove Albion 0-2 Leicester City 31st March 2018 30,629 2017-2018
Brighton & Hove Albion 2-1 Arsenal 4th March 2018 30,620 2017-2018
Brighton & Hove Albion 1-0 Manchester United 4th May 2018 30,611 2017-2018
Brighton & Hove Albion 0-4 Chelsea 20th January 2018 30,600 2017-2018

 

Intro

Brighton & Hove Albion made a successful debut in the Premier League. Chris Hughton’s side secured their survival on the penultimate weekend of the season but in truth, they were relatively comfortable all campaign. The Seagulls produced some fine performances on home soil and aided by the goals of Glenn Murray and creativity from Pascal Gross, they can look forward to a second successive season in the top-flight.

 

2017-2018

Having been promoted to the Premier League as Championship runners-up, Brighton & Hove Albion couldn’t have asked for a tougher start as title favourites Manchester City were their opening opponents. Chris Hughton’s side performed admirably but eventually lost 2-0 at home to the would-be champions at The Amex Stadium. August saw just one point gained and no goals scored.

However, Brighton started going in the right direction in September. Summer signing Pascal Gross scored the club’s first Premier League goal in their 3-1 victory at home to West Bromwich Albion which was also Brighton’s first victory in their Premier League life. Forward Tomer Hemed also scored in the win over the Baggies and a fortnight later, it was Hemed’s diving header that ensured back-to-back home victories as Newcastle United were defeated 1-0.

Home form was excellent all season for the men from the south coast. Just Manchester City, Liverpool FC, Chelsea and Leicester City left with all three points and there were some notable scalps along the way. Lewis Dunk’s only goal of the season started Hughton’s side on their way to a famous 2-1 victory over struggling Arsenal in March; Brighton’s first victory over the Gunners since 1982. Gross, who was voted the club’s Player of the Season, then made major contributions in two other impressive results. His spot-kick earned a hard-fought 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur in April and a month later, it was the ex-Ingolstadt player who produced the winning goal against Manchester United that ultimately secured Brighton’s safety.

Hughton’s deals in the transfer market were impressive too. Gross had been signed for a bargain amount and other astute deals included the signings of Davy Propper from PSV Eindhoven, Jose Izquierdo from Club Brugge and the January arrival of Jurgen Locadia, also from PSV. The highlight away from home was a stunning 3-0 triumph at The London Stadium over West Ham United in October. Glenn Murray scored twice and he was the top goalscorer with 12 goals in an excellent campaign for him personally.

Brighton finished the season in 15th place and have already started to put the foundations in-place for a second campaign in the Premier League.

Back after World Cup break!

“Football’s coming home?”

Well, it didn’t quite but the 2018 World Cup finals was the best tournament in my living memory. There were some great goals, memorable matches, moments we’ll never forget and, England even won a penalty shootout!

Congratulations to Gareth Southgate and his Three Lions squad who managed to reconnect the nation with international football. A semi-final appearance was a huge milestone for a team that had such low expectations going to the finals in Russia. Congratulations also to France on winning their second World Cup title. The French were organised, calm and when needed, absolutely clinical on the counter-attack. In Kylian Mbappe, the world has a new star to take the crown Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have shared between themselves for the past decade. It was a tournament full on wonderful memories.

I took the opportunity to enjoy the competition which meant ‘Premier League at 25’ took a hiatus but now I’m back in the run-up to the new season. The 2018-2019 campaign will be season 27 of the most envied league on the planet and don’t worry football fans, it is just 26 days until the first game of the new season as Manchester United host Leicester City at Old Trafford on Friday Night Football, live on Sky Sports.

Before kick-off, I will be sharing my moments from the 2017-2018 campaign which saw Manchester City demonstrate a season of record-breaking proportions. There will be a look at some of the best goals, the shock results, the iconic moments and a season review which will be online in August.

Once the season has resumed, I will be returning to go through the archives and there’s plenty of content to be created and ready to be uploaded too. With the ‘Seasonal Records’ and ‘Referees in the Middle’ series reaching its conclusion, these will be replaced during the season by a couple of new categories.

The Global Tale – A global trip through Premier League countries, charting their milestones and the best players through the archive. All corners of the globe will be covered here, from the likes of Spain, Germany and France to Venezuela, South Africa, New Zealand and China.

Seasonal Stories – Whether it was a battle against relegation, a title-winning campaign or a challenge that didn’t quite end up with the target set, I will be looking back at some clubs and a specific season they enjoyed in the Premier League. This will range from Arsenal’s Invincibles of 2003-2004 and Manchester United’s treble-winning campaign of 1998-1999 to Norwich City’s dramatic 1994-1995 collapse and Leicester City’s escape against the odds from relegation in 2014-2015.

The Analysis – To ensure this isn’t just all about the past, I will be producing a weekly round-up of all of the action from the 2018-2019 Premier League season, producing some analysis on some of the weekend’s major talking points and stories away from the field of play. The first piece will debut on Tuesday 7th August with a Season Preview.

So, I look forward to you following and enjoying my content on ‘Premier League at 25,’ charting the past glories and present stories over the course of the next nine months.

Enjoy!

Regards

Simon Wright

 

 

Memorable Matches: Oldham Athletic 2-3 Norwich City (November 1992)

Goalscorers: Mark Robins 14, 27, 90, Graeme Sharp 25, Ian Marshall 43

Teams:

Oldham Athletic: Jon Hallworth, Gunnar Halle, Richard Jobson, Neil Pointon, Steve Redmond, Paul Bernard, Nick Henry, Mike Milligan, Ian Marshall, Ian Olney (Neil Adams 58), Graeme Sharp

Norwich City: Bryan Gunn, Ian Butterworth, Mark Bowen, Ian Culverhouse, John Polston, Daryl Sutch, Ian Crook, David Phillips, Ruel Fox, Darren Beckford (Chris Sutton 88), Mark Robins

Referee: Robbie Hart, Attendance: 11,081

Oldham Athletic and Norwich City were two of the more unfashionable clubs in the Premier League’s very first season. However, both teams were a real credit to the league’s early inception, producing outstanding stories throughout the 1992-1993 campaign.

The sides met in early November 1992 and there was plenty of attention on Mike Walker’s Canaries. Results earlier in the weekend had taken Arsenal to the top of the Premier League table but Norwich knew victory at Boundary Park would take them back to the summit. Oldham though must have fancied their chances. Despite the visitors’ excellent attacking record, their defence was brittle and they’d conceded 11 goals on two recent painful away trips to Ewood Park and Anfield. The one certainly was a 0-0 scoreline was a very unlikely result here.

It was Norwich who struck first in an opening 45 minutes that saw the pendulum swing back and forwards. Ian Culverhouse produced a lovely ball after 14 minutes and summer arrival, Mark Robins was left completely unmarked in the penalty area to open the scoring. It was Robins first goal in seven matches and with the Canaries first serious attack, they were infront.

Norwich’s lead lasted just 11 minutes. Nick Henry delivered a ball into the box from the left-hand side. It was flicked on and Graeme Sharp reacted instantly, providing a predatory finish beyond Bryan Gunn to bring Oldham level. However, their parity didn’t last long. Two minutes later, Norwich were back infront.

Oldham’s high offside trap was brutally exposed by the pacey winger Ruel Fox. He produced the perfect first-time pass and with goalkeeper Jon Hallworth caught in no-man’s land and the defenders scrambling to get back, Robins had all the time in the world to convert his second goal of the evening. Two minutes before half-time, Oldham levelled the scores again. Auxiliary forward Ian Marshall was first to another flick-on and bravely beat an onrushing Gunn to the loose ball. There was a collision between the pair but Marshall got enough on his looping shot to find the back of the net.

The second half was a cagier affair and it looked like the points were going to be shared. Robins though would have the last laugh. In stoppage-time, he created some space for himself in the penalty area and his low shot found the bottom corner of Hallworth’s net to seal victory for Norwich and take them back to the top of the Premier League table. Discarded by Manchester United and Alex Ferguson, the forward was proving his valuable worth to the Norwich cause. He scored the club’s first Premier League hat-trick and only the second in the history of the league after Eric Cantona’s treble for Leeds United against Tottenham Hotspur back in August.

Norwich stayed top of the table for Christmas but their defensive issues would see them fade away slightly in the second half of the season. Nevertheless, the East Anglian side were a tremendous third in the final standings. Oldham scored plenty of goals throughout the campaign and won their final three matches to avoid the drop on the final day of the season.

 

 

Seasonal Records: 2011-2012

For all the statistical fans out there, here are some of the season’s records from the 2010-2011 Premier League campaign. This was the most dramatic finale to any Premier League season as in its 20th campaign; Manchester City snatched the title away in stoppage-time from Manchester United in the most unbelievable fashion.

FINAL TABLE

Position Team P W D L F A GD PTS
1 Manchester City 38 28 5 5 93 29 +64 89
2 Manchester United 38 28 5 5 89 33 +56 89
3 Arsenal 38 21 7 10 74 49 +25 70
4 Tottenham Hotspur 38 20 9 9 66 41 +25 69
5 Newcastle United 38 19 8 11 56 51 +5 65
6 Chelsea 38 18 10 10 65 46 +19 64
7 Everton 38 15 11 12 50 40 +10 56
8 Liverpool FC 38 14 10 14 47 40 +7 52
9 Fulham 38 14 10 14 48 51 -3 52
10 West Bromwich Albion 38 13 8 17 45 52 -7 47
11 Swansea City 38 12 11 15 44 51 -7 47
12 Norwich City 38 12 11 15 52 66 -14 47
13 Sunderland 38 11 12 15 45 46 -1 45
14 Stoke City 38 11 12 15 36 53 -17 45
15 Wigan Athletic 38 11 10 17 42 62 -20 43
16 Aston Villa 38 7 17 14 37 53 -16 38
17 Queens Park Rangers 38 10 7 21 43 66 -23 37
18 Bolton Wanderers 38 10 6 22 46 77 -31 36
19 Blackburn Rovers 38 8 7 23 48 78 -30 31
20 Wolverhampton Wanderers 38 5 10 23 40 82 -42 25

 

THE BASIC STATS

Goals Scored 1066
European qualifiers Manchester City (UEFA Champions League)

Manchester United (UEFA Champions League)

Arsenal (UEFA Champions League)

Chelsea (UEFA Champions League)

Tottenham Hotspur (UEFA Europa League)

Newcastle United (UEFA Europa League)

Liverpool FC (UEFA Europa League)

Longest winning run 8 games (Manchester United)
Longest unbeaten run 14 games (Manchester City)
Longest winless run 12 games (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
Longest losing run 8 games (Wigan Athletic)
Highest attendance 75,627 (Manchester United vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers)
Lowest attendance 15,195 (Queens Park Rangers vs. Bolton Wanderers)

 

AWARDS

PFA Players’ Player of the Year Robin van Persie (Arsenal)
PFA Young Player of the Year Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur)
Football Writers’ Award Robin van Persie (Arsenal)
PFA Team of the Year Joe Hart, Leighton Baines, Kyle Walker, Fabricio Coloccini, Vincent Kompany, Scott Parker, Yaya Toure, David Silva, Gareth Bale, Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie
Manager of the Year Alan Pardew (Newcastle United)
Premier League Goal of the Season Papiss Cisse (Chelsea vs. NEWCASTLE UNITED)

 

HAT-TRICK HEROES

Player Teams Score Date
Edin Dzeko (4) Tottenham Hotspur vs. Manchester City 1-5 28th August 2011
Wayne Rooney Manchester United vs. Arsenal 8-2 28th August 2011
Sergio Aguero Manchester City vs. Wigan Athletic 3-0 10th September 2011
Wayne Rooney Bolton Wanderers vs. Manchester United 0-5 10th September 2011
Demba Ba Newcastle United vs. Blackburn Rovers 3-1 24th September 2011
Frank Lampard Bolton Wanderers vs. Chelsea 1-5 2nd October 2011
Andy Johnson Fulham vs. Queens Park Rangers 6-0 2nd October 2011
Robin van Persie Chelsea vs. Arsenal 3-5 29th October 2011
Demba Ba Stoke City vs. Newcastle United 1-3 31st October 2011
Yakubu (4) Blackburn Rovers vs. Swansea City 4-2 3rd December 2011
Dimitar Berbatov Manchester United vs. Wigan Athletic 5-0 26th December 2011
Clint Dempsey Fulham vs. Newcastle United 5-2 21st January 2012
Robin van Persie Arsenal vs. Blackburn Rovers 7-1 4th February 2012
Peter Odemwingie Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. West Bromwich Albion 1-5 12th February 2012
Pavel Pogrebnyak Fulham vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers 5-0 4th March 2012
Steven Gerrard Liverpool FC vs. Everton 3-0 13th March 2012
Carlos Tevez Norwich City vs. Manchester City 1-6 14th April 2012
Luis Suarez Norwich City vs. Liverpool FC 0-3 28th April 2012
Fernando Torres Chelsea vs. Queens Park Rangers 6-1 29th April 2012

 

TOP SCORERS

Position Player Teams No of Goals
1 Robin van Persie Arsenal 30
2 Wayne Rooney Manchester United 27
3 Sergio Aguero Manchester City 23
4= Emmanuel Adebayor Tottenham Hotspur 17
4= Clint Dempsey Fulham 17
4= Yakubu Blackburn Rovers 17
7 Demba Ba Newcastle United 16
8 Grant Holt Norwich City 15
9 Edin Dzeko Manchester City 14
10= Mario Balotelli Manchester City 13
10= Papiss Cisse Newcastle United 13
12= Danny Graham Swansea City 12
12= Steven Fletcher Wolverhampton Wanderers 12
14= Frank Lampard Chelsea 11
14= Jermain Defoe Tottenham Hotspur 11
14= Luis Suarez Liverpool FC 11
14= Rafael van der Vaart Tottenham Hotspur 11
14= Daniel Sturridge Chelsea 11
19= Javier Hernandez Manchester United 10
19= Gareth Bale Tottenham Hotspur 10
19= Peter Odemwingie West Bromwich Albion 10
19= Peter Crouch Stoke City 10
19= Danny Welbeck Manchester United 9
19= Nikica Jelavic Everton 9
19= Steve Morison Norwich City 9

 

BIGGEST VICTORIES

Manchester United 8-2 Arsenal 28th August 2011
Arsenal 7-1 Blackburn Rovers 4th February 2012
Fulham 6-0 Queens Park Rangers 2nd October 2011
Manchester United 1-6 Manchester City 23rd October 2011
Norwich City 1-6 Manchester City 14th April 2012
Chelsea 6-1 Queens Park Rangers 29th April 2012
Fulham 0-5 Manchester United 21st December 2011
Manchester United 5-0 Wigan Athletic 26th December 2011
Bolton Wanderers 0-5 Manchester United 10th September 2011
Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-5 Manchester United 18th March 2012

 

HIGHEST SCORING GAMES

No of Goals Teams Date
10 Manchester United 8-2 Arsenal 28th August 2011
8 Arsenal 7-1 Blackburn Rovers 4th February 2012
8 Chelsea 3-5 Arsenal 29th October 2011
8 Manchester United 4-4 Everton 22nd April 2012
8 Swansea City 4-4 Wolverhampton Wanderers 28th April 2012
7 Manchester United 1-6 Manchester City 23rd October 2011
7 Norwich City 1-6 Manchester City 14th April 2012
7 Chelsea 6-1 Queens Park Rangers 29th April 2012
7 Arsenal 5-2 Tottenham Hotspur 26th February 2012
7 Fulham 5-2 Newcastle United 21st January 2012
7 Blackburn Rovers 4-3 Arsenal 17th September 2011
6 Fulham 6-0 Queens Park Rangers 2nd October 2011
6 Tottenham Hotspur 1-5 Manchester City 28th August 2011
6 Manchester City 5-1 Norwich City 3rd December 2011
6 Bolton Wanderers 1-5 Chelsea 2nd October 2011
6 Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-5 West Bromwich Albion 12th February 2012
6 Aston Villa 2-4 Chelsea 31st March 2012
6 Norwich City 4-2 Newcastle United 10th December 2011
6 Blackburn Rovers 4-2 Swansea City 3rd December 2011
6 Manchester City 3-3 Sunderland 31st March 2012

 

YOUNGEST PLAYERS USED

Player Teams Age at the time Date
Raheem Sterling Liverpool FC 1-2 Wigan Athletic 17 years, 3 months, 16 days 24th March 2012
Adam Henley Wigan Athletic 3-3 Blackburn Rovers 17 years, 5 months, 5 days 19th November 2011
Ross Barkley Everton 0-1 Queens Park Rangers 17 years, 8 months 15 days 20th August 2011
Bruno Andrade Wigan Athletic 2-0 Queens Park Rangers 17 years, 10 months, 25 days 27th August 2011
Anthony Forde Chelsea 3-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers 18 years, 10 days 26th November 2011
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain Manchester United 8-2 Arsenal 18 years, 13 days 28th August 2011
Kerim Frei Swansea City 2-0 Fulham 18 years, 21 days 10th December 2011
Romelu Lukaku Chelsea 3-1 Norwich City 18 years, 3 months, 14 days 27th August 2011
Josh Vela Bolton Wanderers 1-1 Swansea City 18 years, 4 months, 7 days 21st April 2012
Connor Wickham Sunderland 0-1 Newcastle United 18 years, 4 months, 20 days 20th August 2011

 

OLDEST PLAYERS USED

Player Teams Age at the time Date
Brad Friedel Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Fulham 40 years, 11 months, 25 days 13th May 2012
Mark Schwarzer Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Fulham 39 years, 7 months, 7 days 13th May 2012
Ryan Giggs Sunderland 0-1 Manchester United 38 years, 5 months, 14 days 13th May 2012
Radek Cerny Arsenal 1-0 Queens Park Rangers 37 years, 10 months, 13 days 31st December 2011
Paul Scholes Sunderland 0-1 Manchester United 37 years, 5 months, 27 days 13th May 2012
Jussi Jaaskelainen Bolton Wanderers 1-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 36 years, 8 months, 12 days 31st December 2011
Jody Craddock Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-1 Sunderland 36 years, 4 months, 9 days 4th December 2011
Michel Salgado Sunderland 2-1 Blackburn Rovers 36 years, 1 month, 19 days 11th December 2011
Shay Given Norwich City 2-0 Aston Villa 36 years, 23 days 13th May 2012
Thomas Sorensen Stoke City 2-2 Bolton Wanderers 35 years, 11 months, 1 day 13th May 2012

 

CLEAN SHEETS

Position Player Teams No of Clean Sheets
1 Joe Hart Manchester City 17
2 Tim Krul Newcastle United 15
3= Brad Friedel Tottenham Hotspur 14
3= Michel Vorm Swansea City 14
5 David de Gea Manchester United 13
5= Wojciech Szczesny Arsenal 13
7= Tim Howard Everton 12
7= Pepe Reina Liverpool FC 12
9 Simon Mignolet Sunderland 11
10 Petr Cech Chelsea 10

Shock Results: Liverpool FC 0-1 Watford (August 1999)

Goalscorers: Tommy Mooney 14

Teams:

Liverpool FC: Sander Westerveld, Jamie Carragher, Vegard Heggem (Rigobert Song 81), Sami Hyypia, Dominic Matteo, Steven Gerrard (David Thompson 57), Jamie Redknapp, Vladimir Smicer (Karl-Heinz Riedle 62), Patrik Berger, Titi Camara, Robbie Fowler

Watford: Chris Day, Des Lyttle, Robert Page, Steve Palmer, Paul Robinson, Mark Williams, Peter Kennedy, Micah Hyde, Richard Johnson (Clint Easton 52), Tommy Mooney, Michel Ngonge (Dominic Foley 69)

Referee: Alan Wilkie, Attendance: 44,174

Watford were in their debut Premier League season and Graham Taylor’s side were given little chance of surviving by many punters in pre-season. The Hornets arrived at Anfield in August 1999 for their third match at this level without a point recorded so far. However, they stunned Merseyside with a fabulous performance and a remarkable victory which was one of the high points of their campaign.

Watford had lost their first two matches to Wimbledon and Sunderland. In both games, they’d competed well but lacked the cutting instinct to hurt their opponents. However, they made the better start with their players handling the occasion of playing at Anfield very well. Richard Johnson was the first to come close inside the first 10 minutes, with his shot stinging the palms of Liverpool’s new goalkeeper recruit, Sander Westerveld.

Four minutes later, the visitors were infront. It was a scrappy goal and a very bad one for Liverpool to concede but no-one connected with Watford was complaining. A free-kick by Peter Kennedy was played into the Liverpool penalty area towards Tommy Mooney who didn’t connect properly. However, the chance wasn’t over. Jamie Carragher slipped and two Watford attackers slid in successfully at the same time to rob Dominic Matteo. The ball fell perfectly to Mooney and he simply couldn’t miss from six-yards out. The Kop had been stunned. However, with still 76 minutes left to play, surely Gerard Houllier’s side would find a way back into the match.

There was a swift response from the Reds. Titi Camara’s driving run down the left-hand side created an opportunity for Steven Gerrard. However, the youngster fired over the crossbar. Patrik Berger came closer with his swerving free-kick, ensuring fine reactions from goalkeeper Chris Day.

However in the second half, Liverpool’s attack looked very blunt and in fact, it was the Hornets who looked more likely to add to their total. As torrential rain gave way to bright sunshine, Mooney escaped some slack marking again but was denied by the feet of Westerveld. His block fell straight to Micah Hyde, whose ambitious lob was cleared off his own goal-line by Rigobert Song. Mooney and Mark Williams squandered further opportunities to increase the lead but the one goal was enough for Taylor to claim his first victory at Liverpool FC’s home in his 22nd year as a professional manager.

Liverpool did improve and finished fourth, whilst Watford beat Chelsea a month later but were relegated well before the season’s end. However, the travelling supporters back to Hertfordshire will always remember the club’s first Premier League visit to Merseyside.

Shock Results: West Ham United 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur (May 2017)

Goalscorers: Manuel Lanzini 65

Teams:

West Ham United: Adrian, Sam Byram, James Collins, Jose Fonte, Winston Reid, Aaron Cresswell, Cheikhou Kouyate, Mark Noble, Andre Ayew (Robert Snodgrass 84), Manuel Lanzini (Edimilson Fernandes 90), Jonathan Calleri (Ashley Fletcher 89)

Tottenham Hotspur: Hugo Lloris, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen (Mousa Dembele 67), Ben Davies, Kyle Walker (Kieran Trippier 80), Eric Dier, Victor Wanyama (Vincent Janssen 73), Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen, Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son

Referee: Anthony Taylor, Attendance: 56,992

Unbeaten in the Premier League since losing at Anfield in mid-February, Tottenham Hotspur had put up a valiant fight in the chase for the title for a second successive season. They were four points adrift of Chelsea with four games left to play. They had the opportunity to pile the pressure on Antonio Conte’s side with victory on a Friday Night Football trip to The London Stadium.

West Ham United’s debut season at their new home had been underwhelming to say the least. They had lost to all of the Premier League heavyweights on their own patch but they often seemed to bring their ‘A’ game to a meeting with Spurs. They needed to produce a performance for the supporters who had experienced a frustrating campaign.

West Ham were unbeaten in four matches coming into this encounter but still needed another point to be certain of another season in the top-flight. They created the first major opening of the contest but Manuel Lanzini dragged his effort wide of the post. Tottenham’s first chance came on 20 minutes. Harry Kane’s ambitious effort was spilled by Adrian. Dele Alli followed up but his shot was blocked before Adrian recovered and made a good save with his foot to deny Kane. Christian Eriksen tried his luck from distance right on the stroke of half-time but his left-footed drive whistled wide of the far post. It was 0-0 at half-time and already, this looked like a contest where only one goal might be enough.

It duly came in the 65th minute. Aaron Cresswell hung a cross upto the back post and in a fairly messy goalmouth scramble, the ball eventually fell to the dangerous Lanzini at point-blank range. The Argentine made no mistake, drilling his shot beyond Hugo Lloris and it put West Ham into the lead with virtually their first attack of the second half.

It was the home side that were finishing as the better team. A mistake by the usually reliable Toby Alderweireld gave on-loan forward Jonathan Calleri the chance to finish the contest off but he was denied by Lloris. In stoppage-time, the Hammers had another opportunity which was put wide by substitute Ashley Fletcher when he was played through by Robert Snodgrass.

Tottenham had been rattled by the occasion and when Anthony Taylor blew his whistle to signal the end of the contest, the body language of the players said it all. It was only their fourth league defeat of the campaign but one loss too many.

Chelsea now only had to win their next two matches to seal the title. A week later, the Blues had recorded those victories over Middlesbrough and West Bromwich Albion to regain the crown they’d meekly surrendered in 2016 to Leicester City. For West Ham, this was the highlight of their campaign which eventually saw them finish in 11th position.

Premier League Files: Maik Taylor

Premier League Career: Southampton (1997), Fulham (2002-2003), Birmingham City (2003-2006, 2007-2010)

Goalkeeping has been a part of Maik Taylor’s professional football life. He kept goal for the likes of Fulham and Birmingham City during a career that was underrated but enjoyable. Since 2014, he has been the goalkeeping coach for the Northern Ireland international football team, a country that he served for 88 times as a player between 1999 and 2011.

Born in Hildesheim in Germany to a German mother and English father, Taylor spent his early infancy in Germany but moved to England as a schoolboy and made his Football League breakthrough in June 1995 when he signed for Barnet for a fee of just £700 from Farnborough Town. Southampton and in particular, Graeme Souness were impressed with his displays at Underhill and they made a move for him in 1997, prizing him away from Barnet for £500,000.

It showed the confidence Souness had in him straightaway that he put Taylor straight into the first-team on his arrival, displacing veteran Dave Beasant in the process. Maik kept a clean sheet on his debut in the 1-0 away victory at Middlesbrough and remained the first-choice keeper for the remainder of the season as Southampton narrowly avoided relegation. When Souness left, Dave Jones replaced him and signed Paul Jones from his former club, Stockport County in the summer of 1997. Jones immediately took the no.1 goalkeeper jersey and Taylor was restricted to warming the bench.

Kevin Keegan knew a talent was there and bought Taylor to Fulham in November 1997 for £800,000. It did mean a drop of two divisions but the guarantee of first-team football. He helped the Cottagers win the Second Division title and remained the first-choice goalkeeper even when Jean Tigana arrived to succeed Keegan in the Fulham hotseat. Taylor’s consistency in the 2000-2001 season helped Fulham win a place in the Premier League as Division One champions. However, when Tigana saw the opportunity to snap up experienced Dutchman Edwin van der Sar from Juventus, he wasn’t going to see that chance slip away. As frustrating as this must have been for Taylor, he simply couldn’t compete with someone with world-class abilities that Van der Sar possessed.

Maik stayed with Fulham and actually played a bulk of their 2002-2003 games when Van der Sar sustained an injury in December 2002 at St James’ Park that would keep him on the sidelines for a few months. However, it was Taylor who would move in the summer of 2003 to Birmingham City. The deal was initially a loan period but his outstanding displays saw Steve Bruce waste no time in triggering a £1.5 million buying fee in March 2004. Taylor’s performances were recognised by his peers and he was in the running to be included as the goalkeeper in the PFA Team of the Year before losing out to Manchester United’s Tim Howard.

Taylor remained the regular first-choice for Bruce at Birmingham for the next four seasons and despite experiencing two painful Premier League relegations, his knowledge of the Football League was vital in Birmingham ensuring they won two instant promotions under the guidance of first Bruce, then Alex McLeish. However, he spent the 2009-2010 campaign  playing second-fiddle again after McLeish signed Joe Hart on-loan for the season from Manchester City. Taylor would only play two league matches that season – both games against City as Hart was ineligible to play against his parent team. They were to be his final top-flight appearances.

He remained a squad member in 2010-2011 but never played as Ben Foster had joined from Manchester United to take the first-choice goalkeeping position and Maik was released following their third Premier League relegation. He had spells with Leeds United and Millwall before hanging up his gloves in May 2013. Two months later, he moved into coaching with Northern Ireland.

Memorable Matches: Portsmouth 4-3 Fulham (August 2004)

Goalscorers: Eyal Berkovic 19, Yakubu 22 PEN, 28, 72, Andy Cole 39, Luis Boa Morte 41, Carlos Bocanegra 75

Teams:

Portsmouth: Shaka Hislop, Arjan de Zeeuw, Linvoy Primus, Dejan Stefanovic, David Unsworth, Nigel Quashie, Eyal Berkovic (Lomana Lualua 79), Steve Stone, Patrik Berger, Yakubu (Matt Taylor 88), Ricardo Fuller

Fulham: Edwin van der Sar, Carlos Bocanegra, Alain Goma, Zat Knight, Moritz Volz, Papa Bouba Diop, Sylvain Legwinski (Brian McBride 77), Claus Jensen, Luis Boa Morte, Andy Cole, Tomasz Radzinski (Collins John 68)

Referee: Barry Knight, Attendance: 19,728

Portsmouth were still awaiting their first victory of the 2004-2005 season as they welcomed Fulham to Fratton Park. Pompey had played a game less than most teams, so their position was slightly false ahead of kick-off whilst Fulham had one victory, one draw and one defeat to their name from their first three games of the season.

A feverish first half on the south coast saw five goals and a stunning opening 30 minutes from the home side. The pace of Yakubu would trouble Fulham’s backline all evening and this created the opening for the first goal, scored by Eyal Berkovic in the 19th minute. Three minutes later, Luis Boa Morte clumsily challenged debutant Ricardo Fuller and a penalty was given by referee Barry Knight. Yakubu made no mistake from 12-yards.

Fulham’s horrific opening spell continued on 28 minutes. Fuller put Yakubu through and with his right-foot shot; he defeated Edwin van der Sar once again. At this stage, it looked like a case of how many Portsmouth might end up with. However, one thing Chris Coleman had installed into his team was resolve and they weren’t going to lie down without a fight.

Six minutes before half-time, Boa Morte floated a tremendous cross from the left-wing over the head of Arjan de Zeeuw. Andy Cole made the most of the chance to beat Shaka Hislop and score his third Fulham goal since arriving in the summer from Blackburn Rovers.

Two minutes later, the Cottagers were right back in the contest. Claus Jensen played Boa Morte through and the Portuguese winger’s dramatic first half was concluded with his name joining those on the scoresheet. His shot managed to sneak through Hislop’s legs.

The end-to-end action continued in the second half. Berkovic nearly got his second of the evening with his goal-bound shot blocked by Moritz Volz whilst Boa Morte shot across the face of goal on 59 minutes having once again got the better of Linvoy Primus.

With 18 minutes left, Yakubu completed his hat-trick, firing home from close-range. Three minutes later, Carlos Bocanegra’s header at the back post saw Fulham get within a goal once again. However, they couldn’t find a way through again and Pompey held on for all three points.

Manager Harry Redknapp could raise a smile at the full-time whistle but by the end of November, he had left Portsmouth after disagreements with the club’s owner, Milan Mandaric. He took over at south coast rivals Southampton but ended the season with his first top-flight relegation. Fulham finished in 13th place.