Category Archives: Memorable Matches

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

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


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.




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


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.

Memorable Matches: Sheffield Wednesday 4-3 Coventry City (December 1995)

Goalscorers: Dion Dublin 18, 37, 55, Guy Whittingham 25, David Hirst 39, Marc Degryse 60, Mark Bright 73


Sheffield Wednesday: Kevin Pressman, Peter Atherton, Steve Nicol, Ian Nolan, Des Walker, Lee Briscoe, Marc Degryse, Chris Waddle (Graham Hyde 85), Mark Bright, David Hirst, Guy Whittingham

Coventry City: Steve Ogrizovic, Marcus Hall, Ally Pickering, David Rennie (Gordon Strachan 74), Richard Shaw, Paul Williams, Kevin Richardson, Paul Telfer, John Salako, Dion Dublin, Peter Ndlovu

Referee: Mike Reed, Attendance: 16,229

Both Sheffield Wednesday and Coventry City were struggling in the Premier League table when the sides clashed at Hillsborough on a Monday Night Football in December 1995. The Sky Blues had won just one game all season, whilst David Pleat’s Owls were in the bottom six and looking to find some consistency. Both sides produced thrilling attacking displays which meant the neutral was in for an early December treat.

Coventry took the lead on 18 minutes. Their top goalscorer, Dion Dublin headed home from a corner which looked to have been cleared off the goal-line. However, referee Mike Reed correctly spotted the whole of the ball had crossed the line before it was hooked clear. The visitors’ lead lasted just seven minutes. Lee Briscoe got the better of Ally Pickering on the right-hand side and his cross into the box eventually fell to the feet of Guy Whittingham. Whittingham made no mistake to score his fourth goal in his last three matches against the Midlands club. Whittingham was enjoying this match and so too was Dublin. Eight minutes before the interval, he scored his second of the evening to put Ron Atkinson’s side back infront. Kevin Pressman failed to hold onto John Salako’s ambitious attempt and his spill gave Dublin the simplest of finishes.

Wednesday’s response was even quicker than their first equaliser. Mark Bright ghosted into plenty of space and his shot was saved brilliantly by Steve Ogrizovic. Unfortunately for the Coventry shot-stopper, it fell straight to David Hirst to restore parity. It was his sixth goal of the season as he was on the comeback trail from his most recent injury setback which had been a neck problem.

2-2 at the break, more goals were promised in the second half and sure enough, the entertainment continued on this wet Yorkshire evening. Coventry’s Achilles heel was dealing with crosses and it nearly led to embarrassment for defender Richard Shaw. A Hirst header back across the face of goal was diverted onto his own crossbar by Shaw. Maybe it was a sign that Coventry were going to win and Dublin was in peak form. From Kevin Richardson’s corner, Dublin flicked the ball into the net on 55 minutes to complete his hat-trick. However, Coventry’s defensive ineptitude would ensure the skipper’s goalscoring contribution would be on a losing cause.

Yet again, Atkinson’s side were caught out by a cross. Bright pulled off the back of Shaw from Hirst’s cross and Belgian international Marc Degryse followed up after another save from the unfortunate Ogrizovic. Hirst then went on to hit the post as the Owls definitely finished as the stronger side. The winner came 17 minutes from full-time. Ian Nolan escaped the attentions of Salako and drilled in a cross to the near post that was stabbed home by the excellent Bright. This was the start of Sheffield Wednesday’s most productive month of 1995-1996. They scored 14 goals in four matches and both clubs would avoid relegation but only in the closing weeks of the campaign.

Memorable Matches: Wimbledon 3-3 Newcastle United (December 1995)

Goalscorer: Les Ferdinand 8, 29, Dean Holdsworth 19, 65, Efan Ekoku 21, Keith Gillespie 35


Wimbledon: Paul Heald, Kenny Cunningham, Alan Kimble, Andy Pearce (Alan Reeves 46), Chris Perry, Robbie Earle, Oyvind Leonhardsen, Jon Goodman, Efan Ekoku (Marcus Gayle 46), Mick Harford, Dean Holdsworth

Newcastle United: Shaka Hislop, Warren Barton, John Beresford, Steve Howey, Darren Peacock, Lee Clark, Rob Lee, Keith Gillespie, David Ginola, Peter Beardsley, Les Ferdinand

Referee: Gerald Ashby, Attendance: 18,002

Newcastle United had made a flying start to the 1995-1996 Premier League campaign. Kevin Keegan’s side had only failed to win twice when they travelled to Selhurst Park in early December to play Wimbledon. Their record at Selhurst Park against the Dons was dismal, having lost six of their previous seven visits there. This would be another difficult afternoon against Joe Kinnear’s side that needed points themselves. Wimbledon came into this match in the bottom three in the table.

It was the league leaders who broke the deadlock inside eight minutes. Mick Harford lost possession and Newcastle made a sweeping break forward. Former Wimbledon player Warren Barton produced a super ball for Les Ferdinand to score his 16th Premier League goal of the season. It was his fourth of the current campaign against Wimbledon, having grabbed a hat-trick on Tyneside back in October.

However, if Newcastle thought it was going to be a routine afternoon from that point onwards, they would be seriously mistaken. Wimbledon often raised their game for matches against the more prestigious clubs in the division and they demonstrated this with two quick-fire goals to lead 2-1 by the 21st minute. First, Dean Holdsworth levelled the game, finding some space in the box to curl the ball beyond Shaka Hislop after being picked out by Jon Goodman. Then, Hislop made a mess of a looping ball into the box from Alan Kimble. Goodman lobbed the ball back across the box and ex-Newcastle player Harford’s shot was diverted into the net by Efan Ekoku.

Within half an hour, Newcastle were back on level terms in a free-flowing match where attacks were definitely doing better than defences. Ferdinand scored his second. David Ginola dropped a ball into the near post and Ferdinand evaded his marker in the penalty area to make it 2-2. It was only early December and in all competitions, Ferdinand already had 20 goals to his name – firmly justifying the £6 million price tag Newcastle had paid Queens Park Rangers in the summer for his services.

By half-time, Keegan’s Magpies’ were leading for the second time. Ferdinand turned goal provider. He had the beating of Chris Perry on the left-hand side, before cutting the ball back into the danger area. Keith Gillespie went for the ball with Kenny Cunningham and the ball came off one of them and trickled into the net. Replays later showed that Gillespie had got the faintest of touches and so could be credited with the goal. Injuries to Andy Pearce and Ekoku at half-time forced Kinnear into two half-time substitutions but Wimbledon showed great character to level the match again with 25 minutes remaining. Kimble did brilliantly to shake off Gillespie, before delivering a brilliant cross. 36-year-old Harford won the header in the air against John Beresford and Holdsworth was there to score his second of the contest, despite Hislop getting a strong hand to his header.

The final outcome was a fair result in an enthralling contest. Newcastle had trouble in the capital all season, failing to win in London and that was one of the reasons why they surrendered a 12-point lead in January to finish runners-up to Manchester United.

Memorable Matches: Charlton Athletic 2-2 Crystal Palace (May 2005)

Goalscorers: Bryan Hughes 30, Dougie Freedman 58, Andy Johnson 70 PEN, Jonathan Fortune 82


Charlton Athletic: Dean Kiely, Talal El Karkouri, Jonathan Fortune, Radostin Kishishev, Paul Konchesky, Luke Young, Matt Holland (Lloyd Sam 67), Bryan Hughes, Danny Murphy (Dennis Rommedahl 76), Shaun Bartlett (Jerome Thomas 79), Jonatan Johansson

Crystal Palace: Gabor Kiraly, Danny Butterfield (Dougie Freedman 55), Danny Granville, Fitz Hall, Mikele Leigertwood, Tony Popovic, Tom Soares (Aki Riihilahti 86), Michael Hughes, Ben Watson (Darren Powell 89), Wayne Routledge, Andy Johnson

Referee: Mark Clattenburg, Attendance: 26,870

It was the final day of the 2004-2005 season and ‘Survival Sunday.’ None of the bottom four clubs were safe. By the end of the day, only one team from Norwich City, Crystal Palace, Southampton and West Bromwich Albion would be celebrating another season in the Premier League with the other three sides having to face up to the agony of relegation.

Iain Dowie’s Crystal Palace side travelled to The Valley to take on a Charlton Athletic side that hadn’t won in the Premier League since mid-March. Despite winning just once on their travels all season at Birmingham City, Dowie must have been confident that a victory would be enough for the Eagles to avoid relegation for the first time in their Premier League history.

Given the circumstances, they made a very nervous start and were punished by their more experienced opponents after 30 minutes. Played in by Radostin Kishishev, Bryan Hughes made a run from his wide position, shrugged off the attentions of Danny Butterfield and used the post to guide the ball into the back of the net. It was the home side’s first notable attack of the match and it had led to the opening goal. At half-time, Palace were going down. Defeat would condemn them to the drop, no matter what was happening elsewhere.

Having started with just one lone forward in Andy Johnson, Dowie knew he needed to take a risk now. 10 minutes into the second half, he withdrew Butterfield and threw on a second forward in Dougie Freedman. The change had the desired early impact. With only his second touch of the match, Freedman exposed a missing Charlton backline and bought Palace level, calmly lifting the ball over Dean Kiely. Incredibly, it was his first Premier League goal of the season and what a time to get it.

Results elsewhere were generally going for the south Londoners too. The dream was over for Norwich, who would lose 6-0 at Fulham whilst Southampton’s 2-1 home defeat to Manchester United saw their top-flight run come to a shattering end. Maybe unknown at the time to the players but it was now a straight fight between West Bromwich Albion and Crystal Palace.

West Brom were leading Portsmouth 2-0 but another goal for Dowie and his troops would put them in pole position to survive. They got their opportunity with 20 minutes to go. A long goal-kick from Gabor Kiraly found Freedman. As he attempted to cut inside Jonathan Fortune, the defender stopped him with his hand. Mark Clattenburg awarded a penalty. In such a tense scenario, Johnson stepped up and sent Kiely the wrong way to put the visitors 2-1 ahead. It was his 21st goal of the season.

However, heartache would follow. A rash challenge from Mikele Leigertwood gave Charlton a free-kick in the 82nd minute. It was delivered into the back post by Jerome Thomas and Fortune made up for his earlier error by powering the Addicks level. The draw meant Crystal Palace were relegated and West Brom survived. It had been a nail-biting and ultimately, heartbreaking afternoon for the Eagles.

Memorable Matches: Manchester United 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur (May 1999)

Goalscorers: Les Ferdinand 24, David Beckham 42, Andy Cole 47


Manchester United: Peter Schmeichel, Denis Irwin, Gary Neville, Ronny Johnsen, David May, Roy Keane, Paul Scholes (Nicky Butt 69), David Beckham, Ryan Giggs (Phil Neville 79), Teddy Sheringham (Andy Cole 45), Dwight Yorke

Tottenham Hotspur: Ian Walker, Stephen Carr, Justin Edinburgh, Sol Campbell, John Scales (Luke Young 70), Steffen Freund, Tim Sherwood, Darren Anderton, David Ginola (Jose Dominguez 9), (Andy Sinton 76) Steffen Iversen, Les Ferdinand

Referee: Graham Poll, Attendance: 55,189

On the final day of the 1998-1999 season, Manchester United needed to win to secure the championship. They started the day one point clear of reigning champions Arsenal and faced the Gunners bitter rivals in Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford. Tottenham had only won once in their last 17 league meetings against Manchester United and the Red Devils were unbeaten in 30 matches in all competitions since losing at home to Middlesbrough before Christmas. Many before kick-off thought victory would be a forgone conclusion but it turned into a nervy afternoon for the home faithful.

Alex Ferguson’s first big decision came before kick-off as he elected to start with Teddy Sheringham ahead of Andy Cole. Immediately from the outset, the home side seeked to take control and nearly took the lead in fluky circumstances. Ian Walker’s attempted clearance was charged down by Dwight Yorke and the ball spun onto the post, back into Walker’s grasp.

Spurs suffered another blow when the Player of the Year, David Ginola disappeared from the contest after just nine minutes because of injury. The visitors hadn’t showed any attacking instincts in the opening 20 minutes. So, it was a big surprise when they took the lead. From Walker’s goal-kick, Steffen Iversen flicked a header on and Les Ferdinand beat Ronny Johnsen to the loose ball. Ferdinand’s effort managed to beat a scrambling Peter Schmeichel in his farewell Old Trafford appearance before he moved to Sporting Lisbon on a free transfer.

The Manchester United fans had a sense it might not be their day. Walker made two great saves to deny Paul Scholes in quick succession. Seconds later, David Beckham put a header over the crossbar from point-blank range. His frustration was clear. He knew he should have scored. Persistence was the key to this performance and three minutes before half-time, the league leaders finally managed to find a way through Walker and Tottenham’s defences.

Scholes tackled Tim Sherwood who felt he had been fouled. Referee Graham Poll disagreed and Scholes continued his run, picking out Beckham. This time, the England international made no mistake with his finish, launching his strike into the top corner for his ninth goal of the season. As things stood, Ferguson’s Red Devils would regain the Premier League title from Arsenal who were drawing 0-0 at the same time with Aston Villa.

At half-time, Cole was introduced for Sheringham and two minutes into the second half, the substitution had the inspired impact. Gary Neville found Cole with an incisive ball. Staying onside, the forward’s control was devastating and he lobbed the ball over the advancing Walker. It felt like redemption for him after missing all the guilt-edge opportunities on the final day in 1995 at Upton Park when Manchester United lost the title to Blackburn Rovers.

Tottenham had given it a good go and Arsenal got their goal to beat Villa but it was all in vain. For the fifth time in seven seasons, Manchester United were Premier League champions and the first part of the historic ‘Treble’ was signed, sealed and delivered.

Memorable Matches: Southampton 3-2 Charlton Athletic (December 2003)

Goalscorers: Michael Svensson 14, Brett Ormerod 45, 85, Scott Parker 46, 65


Southampton: Antti Niemi, Jason Dodd, Claus Lundekvam, Danny Higginbotham, Michael Svensson, Rory Delap, David Prutton, Paul Telfer, James Beattie, Brett Ormerod, Marian Pahars (Kevin Phillips 77)

Charlton Athletic: Dean Kiely, Jonathan Fortune, Hermann Hreidarsson, Radostin Kishishev, Chris Perry, Matt Holland, Scott Parker, Graham Stuart, Claus Jensen, Paolo Di Canio (Carlton Cole 76), Jason Euell

Referee: Peter Walton, Attendance: 30,513

Southampton and Charlton Athletic were two of the early season surprises in the 2003-2004 campaign. Both clubs were among the chasing pack fighting for European qualification alongside Fulham and regular challengers, Newcastle United and Liverpool FC. The Saints and the Addicks were about to produce a thrilling Sunday afternoon of entertainment on the south coast.

Before the game, Southampton paid their respects to club president Ted Bates, who passed away on 28th November 2003, aged 85. He was a former player, manager and director and had earned the title of Mr. Southampton.

Despite being winless in their last four matches, Southampton made the sharper start and took the lead after 14 minutes. Centre-back Michael Svensson managed to make enough contact on Rory Delap’s goal-bound shot and it crept over the goal-line, despite the best efforts of Jason Euell to clear. It was Southampton’s first Premier League goal in 371 minutes. Delap nearly made it 2-0 shortly afterwards, firing a low shot which forced Dean Kiely to make a good save at full stretch.

David Prutton and Saints’ top goalscorer, James Beattie also managed to sting the palms of Kiely before the home side got a deserved second goal right on the stroke of half-time. Beattie did brilliantly to square the ball for strike partner Brett Ormerod to turn home and ensured Southampton had a lead going into the interval which their dominance showed.

The game would be turned by some individual brilliance from rising talent Scott Parker. Infront of England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson, Parker immediately cut Southampton’s lead in half within a minute of the restart. The midfielder’s beautifully placed shot left Antti Niemi without a chance of saving. Graham Stuart then hit the crossbar as the visitors enjoyed their most prominent attacking spell of the game. With 25 minutes left, the comeback had been completed. Parker found some space and curled in another special effort. This time, it was a 25-yard strike which saw Niemi completely stranded.

Late on though, Southampton snatched the points. From another set-piece, Charlton struggled to clear their lines and Ormerod hooked home from close-range to ensure all three points would be claimed by Gordon Strachan’s side, taking them into eighth place in the table.

Southampton would spend Christmas in the top four but Strachan left in February to take a break from management and they faded to 12th by the season’s end. Charlton finished a brilliant seventh, their best-ever top-flight finish but did sell star asset Parker in the January transfer window to Chelsea for £10 million.

Memorable Matches: AFC Bournemouth 3-3 Everton (November 2015)

Goalscorers: Ramiro Funes Mori 25, Romelu Lukaku 36, Adam Smith 80, Junior Stanislas 87, 90+8, Ross Barkley 90+6


AFC Bournemouth: Adam Federici (Ryan Allsop 45), Charlie Daniels, Steve Cook (Adam Smith 45), Sylvain Distin, Simon Francis, Dan Gosling, Andrew Surman, Harry Arter (Glenn Murray 76), Matt Ritchie, Junior Stanislas, Josh King

Everton: Tim Howard, Seamus Coleman, Brendan Galloway, Ramiro Funes Mori, John Stones, Gareth Barry, James McCarthy (Tom Cleverley 68), Ross Barkley, Gerard Deulofeu (Aaron Lennon 86), Arouna Kone (Darron Gibson 90), Romelu Lukaku

Referee: Kevin Friend, Attendance: 11,228

This was AFC Bournemouth’s debut season in the Premier League and manager Eddie Howe’s demand to play attractive football meant the supporters were going to be in for plenty of thrills and spills. They played Everton in November 2015 in what turned out to be an astonishing match.

Everton went into the game in great goalscoring form, having scored 11 goals in their last three league encounters and they did a lot of the early pressing. Adam Federici had to deny forwards Arouna Kone and Romelu Lukaku twice before the visitors took the lead on 25 minutes. Argentine defender Ramiro Funes Mori headed home into the roof of the net from a corner. It was 2-0 nine minutes later. Gerard Deulofeu found Lukaku who demonstrated his power to hold off Steve Cook’s advances, before driving in a shot past Federici’s near post. It was his 10th goal of the Premier League season – matching his tally from the previous campaign.

Bournemouth looked in trouble and were forced into two half-time changes, most notably in-goal where Ryan Allsop came on for his Premier League debut after injury forced Federici off. They rallied in the second half with Charlie Daniels testing Tim Howard’s reflexes before Adam Smith set-up a grandstand final 10 minutes.

Everton failed to properly clear a corner and from 25-yards out, the full-back tried his luck and fired a shot into the top corner for only his second-ever goal for Bournemouth. He was given the space and properly punished Everton who were getting lax with the comfortable advantage they held. With three minutes left, it looked like the Cherries had rescued an improbable point. Josh King drove down the right-hand side, exposing youngster Brendan Galloway and he squared the ball back for Junior Stanislas to fire in the equaliser. Bournemouth had shown tremendous spirit but there was still time for more late drama.

Five minutes of stoppage-time were signalled by the fourth official and with what looked like being the last attack of the match, Everton regained their lead. Kone and Seamus Coleman were involved in the build-up and despite a good challenge to deny the Republic of Ireland international from ex-Everton defender Sylvain Distin, Ross Barkley was in the right place and his shot crept past the youngster Alsop’s defences at the near post.

However, there was incredibly more time added on by referee Kevin Friend and in the eighth minute of stoppage-time, Smith found Daniels in space on the left-hand side. The left-back delivered an inch-perfect cross and Stanislas connected perfectly with a flying header which gave Howard no chance. This concluded an extraordinary finish to one of the best matches of the 2015-2016 season.

Memorable Matches: Swansea City 3-4 Norwich City (December 2012)

Goalscorers: Steven Whittaker 16, Sebastien Bassong 40, Grant Holt 44, Michu 51, 90, Jonathan de Guzman 59, Robert Snodgrass 77


Swansea City: Gerhard Tremmel, Chico Flores, Ben Davies, Angel Rangel, Ashley Williams, Ki Sung-Yueng, Jonathan de Guzman, Nathan Dyer, Wayne Routledge, Danny Graham (Itay Shechter 68), Michu

Norwich City: Mark Bunn, Sebastien Bassong, Javier Garrido, Russell Martin, Steven Whittaker (Leon Barnett 90), Jonny Howson, Bradley Johnson, Anthony Pilkington, Robert Snodgrass, Wes Hoolahan, Grant Holt (Steve Morison 82)

Referee: Howard Webb, Attendance: 20,294

Norwich City arrived in Wales on an excellent run which was among the best they were ever experiencing in the Premier League. They were eight matches undefeated and had enjoyed recent home victories over Arsenal and Manchester United. It wasn’t going to be an easy match to call though against Swansea City – who were full of confidence themselves after a famous win at The Emirates Stadium a week earlier.

In 2011-2012, the teams shared nine goals in their two matches so a 0-0 was very unlikely and that was guaranteed as early as the 16th minute. Norwich had started well and Jonny Howson hit the post before they took the lead. The excellent Robert Snodgrass started the move with a lovely back heel. This played through the Scottish full-back Steven Whittaker. The former Rangers defender carried on his run into the box and drove a shot past Gerhard Tremmel. It was his first goal for the club but Tremmel was beaten at his near post and would have to be disappointed to have left the gap for Whittaker to aim at.

Danny Graham was denied by the woodwork soon afterwards but the Canaries took a firm grip on the game going into the dressing rooms for half-time. Grant Holt turned provider with a deep cross and it was met by Sebastien Bassong. The Frenchman punished Tremmel, who once again left too much space at his near post. He was in a rich vein of form and now had three goals in his last four matches. Four minutes after going 2-0 up, Chris Hughton’s side increased their advantage further. Holt escaped some slack marking to meet a Snodgrass free-kick and power a trademark header into the net.

Any hope of a Swansea comeback could have been snuffed out in the opening moments of the second half. Snodgrass picked out Bradley Johnson and on the volley, the midfielder was desperately unlucky to see his effort crash off the crossbar. The Swans benefited from this extremely good fortune to reduce the arrears. Michu was picked out by Ben Davies and struck from close-range in the 51st minute to convert his 11th Premier League goal of the season. Faint hope turned into genuine belief for Michael Laudrup and his men when Jonathan de Guzman scored his second of the season just before the hour mark. Nathan Dyer’s cross was only partially cleared and Dutchman de Guzman scored on the half-volley.

It was an entertaining battle but Swansea simply couldn’t cope with Snodgrass who was in formidable form all afternoon. A cracking free-kick with 13 minutes remaining restored a two-goal cushion and virtually ensured that all three points would be going back to Norfolk. There was just about enough time for the Premier League’s top goalscorer, Michu to grab his second of the afternoon, converting de Guzman’s cross. However, Swansea had given themselves too much to do and came away on the day empty-handed. However, they would finish two places ahead of Norwich in the final standings.

Memorable Matches: Charlton Athletic 4-4 West Ham United (November 2001)

Goalscorers: Paul Kitson 3, 30, 64, Jason Euell 21, 28, Jonatan Johansson 51, 90, Jermain Defoe 84


Charlton Athletic: Dean Kiely, Steve Brown, Mark Fish, Paul Konchesky, Chris Powell, Luke Young (John Robinson 85), Mark Kinsella, Claus Jensen, Scott Parker (Shaun Bartlett 85), Jason Euell, Jonatan Johansson

West Ham United: Shaka Hislop, Christian Dailly, Hayden Foxe, Scott Minto (Joe Cole 63), Tomas Repka, Sebastien Schemmel, Michael Carrick, Don Hutchinson (Steve Lomas 63), Trevor Sinclair, Paolo Di Canio, Paul Kitson (Jermain Defoe 78)

Referee: Alan Wiley, Attendance: 23,198

15 days earlier, Charlton Athletic had stunned Arsenal at Highbury, inflicting a 4-2 defeat on the Gunners. The Addicks were about to score four goals again in a London Derby as they and West Ham United played out a score draw on a Monday night at The Valley in November 2001. This was a match full on entertainment and produced an acrobatic finale.

With Freddie Kanoute out due to a hamstring injury, West Ham manager Glenn Roeder sprung a surprise in his team selection for the visitors, picking Paul Kitson to start. The forward had been the forgotten man of the Premier League but found his goalscoring touch inside of three minutes. He drilled a low shot from the edge of the area off the post to give the Hammers the perfect start.

Charlton levelled proceedings on 21 minutes and in truth, it was a messy goal. Jason Euell made the most of a deflection to see the ball land in his path. He failed to connect with his first attempt at a shot but Shaka Hislop didn’t claim the ball cleanly and Euell benefited to bundle the ball over the line. Seven minutes later, the Jamaican made it three goals in his last two appearances, again finishing from close-range after West Ham defender Tomas Repka lost possession with Hislop beaten at the near post. Euell had two goals and two minutes later, so did Kitson. He benefited from an excellent combination between Scott Minto and Paolo Di Canio, tucking away his second goal of what was already turning out to be one of the games of the season so far.

It was 2-2 at half-time but parity didn’t last long into the second half. Euell’s strike partner, Jonatan Johansson got on the scoresheet. Scott Parker produced a perfect through ball that spilt the Hammers’ backline and Johansson calmly slotted his third goal of the season beyond Hislop. Roeder responded by bringing on two substitutes and on 64 minutes, they equalised again. Trevor Sinclair cut the ball back at the far post and Kitson completed his hat-trick on his return to The Valley.

Roeder then shuffled his pack again, bringing off his hat-trick hero with 13 minutes remaining and sending Jermain Defoe on. Defoe, who had recently scored his first-ever Premier League goal in West Ham’s last away game at Ipswich, would make the desired impact. Six minutes were left when his right-footed volley was struck too sweetly for Dean Kiely to do anything about it. It looked like the Hammers had pinched all the points.

However in stoppage-time, Johansson came up with a spectacular overhead kick after a flick-on by Mark Fish to level the match at 4-4. It was a fair result given the end-to-end thrills and spills of this remarkable contest.

Memorable Matches: Arsenal 4-0 Everton (May 1998)

Goalscorers: Slaven Bilic 6 OG, Marc Overmars 28, 57, Tony Adams 89


Arsenal: David Seaman, Tony Adams, Martin Keown, Lee Dixon, Nigel Winterburn, Emmanuel Petit (David Platt 44), Patrick Vieira, Ray Parlour, Marc Overmars, Nicolas Anelka (Ian Wright 72), Christopher Wreh (Steve Bould 80)

Everton: Thomas Myhre, Slaven Bilic (John Oster 46), John O’Kane (Gareth Farrelly 46), Craig Short, Carl Tiler, Dave Watson, Michael Ball, Don Hutchinson, Peter Beagrie (Mickael Madar 46), Nick Barmby, Duncan Ferguson

Referee: Gerald Ashby, Attendance: 38,269

At the end of February 1998, most bookmakers stopped taking bets on the title after Manchester United won at Chelsea to establish a 13-point lead on the chasing pack. However, Arsenal had games in hand and had been plugging away at United’s lead. A 1-0 win at Old Trafford in March had really got their fans believing and they were now cantering towards their first Premier League crown.

Arsene Wenger’s side hosted Everton who were desperate for points at the wrong end of the table. Bolton’s victory over Crystal Palace 24 hours earlier had put Howard Kendall’s Toffees into the bottom three. Arsenal knew that a 10th successive Premier League victory would hand them their first top-flight title since 1991. However, they were missing the influential Dennis Bergkamp whose season had been ended by a hamstring injury five nights earlier against Derby County.

It was set to be a party at Highbury and playing in gorgeous sunshine, Everton were simply no more than bystanders to a day of immense celebrations in the capital. Just six minutes had been played when Arsenal went into the lead. From a free-kick on the right-hand side, Slaven Bilic headed the ball into his own net, under pressure from Arsenal skipper Tony Adams. The Gunners were getting closer and closer to the main prize in English football.

Everton didn’t even manage an attempt on-goal in the first half and went 2-0 down before the half-hour mark. Peter Beagrie lost possession and Marc Overmars ran at a frightened backline. His shot had too much power for Norwegian goalkeeper Thomas Myhre, who got a decent hand on the effort but saw the ball squirm over the line. Had it not been for a couple more decent saves from Myhre to deny Christopher Wreh and Ray Parlour, the scoreline could have been even worse at half-time for the visitors. The only minor negative for Wenger was an injury to Emmanuel Petit which meant he was withdrawn before half-time, to be replaced by David Platt.

Kendall made a triple substitution at half-time but it simply didn’t make any difference to the match. The championship was heading to Arsenal Football Club and they were going to do it in style. The outstanding Overmars burst past Everton captain Watson on 57 minutes, leaving him in his wake before stroking a shot across Myhre’s bows to make it 3-0. The fitting finale was still to come though. Substitute Steve Bould played a wonderful ball over the top of the defence and his centre-back partner Adams had made a surge forward. Picked out by Bould, he delivered an emphatic finish to produce the perfect ending to a sensational afternoon for the Arsenal faithful.

Everton did avoid relegation on the final day of the season on goal difference but this was Arsenal’s day as Adams hoisted the Premier League trophy aloft around half an hour after the final whistle. Their long summer party could now begin as they became only the third team to win the Premier League.

Memorable Matches: West Ham United 2-4 Watford (September 2016)

Goalscorers: Michail Antonio 5, 33, Odion Ighalo 41, Troy Deeney 45, Etienne Capoue 53, Jose Holebas 63


West Ham United: Adrian, Sam Byram (Gokhan Tore 85), James Collins, Artur Masuaku, Winston Reid, Cheikhou Kouyate, Mark Noble (Jonathan Calleri 69), Michail Antonio, Dimitri Payet, Manuel Lanzini, Simone Zaza (Ashley Fletcher 77)

Watford: Heurelho Gomes, Miguel Britos, Craig Cathcart, Younes Kaboul (Sebastian Prodl 82), Jose Holebas, Daryl Janmaat, Valon Behrami, Etienne Capoue, Roberto Pereyra, Troy Deeney (Stefano Okaka 78), Odion Ighalo (Isaac Success 69)

Referee: Martin Atkinson, Attendance: 56,974

This was West Ham United’s second home match at The London Stadium since moving into the ground from Upton Park at the start of the 2016-2017 season. The following 90 minutes would be an indication of how hard settling into their new surroundings would be.

The Hammers had beaten AFC Bournemouth unconvincingly on their debut in the ground a fortnight earlier but made an excellent start against a Watford side who had mustered just one point from their first three matches in the campaign. Heurelho Gomes was forced into two quick saves to deny Michail Antonio but it was third time lucky for Antonio after only five minutes. He headed home from Dimitri Payet’s corner. Antonio had scored the winner in the Bournemouth match too, so he was fast developing a liking for the new ground.

Watford were rocking. Daryl Janmaat hit his own post on his full Hornets debut and 12 minutes before the interval, they were 2-0 down. Payet and Antonio combined again to cause the damage. A skilful cross from the Frenchman and Antonio headed home from close-range. Watford needed a goal before half-time but they got even more than they could have bargained for. Four minutes before the interval, Odion Ighalo’s deflected effort deceived Adrian to score only his second league goal in his last 18 matches. Then, a complete misunderstanding between James Collins and Adrian allowed Watford their equaliser. Skipper Troy Deeney produced a delightful lob over Adrian to ensure full punishment for defensive incompetence.

The turnaround was complete on 53 minutes. On the chest, Etienne Capoue struck his third of the season, beating Adrian at his near post. The Spanish goalkeeper was having a shambolic afternoon and he was at fault for Watford’s fourth too, allowing a Jose Holebas shot to somehow defeat him when he should have saved his effort.

It was Watford’s first win of the season and the first time they’d ever recovered from a two-goal deficit to win a Premier League match. The sight of fans leaving The London Stadium early in 2016-2017 would become a familiar one for West Ham who completely crumbled in this encounter. They would still finish six places above Watford though in the final table.