Category Archives: Premier League Rewind

Premier League Rewind: 18th-19th August 2001

Results: Charlton Athletic 1-2 Everton, Derby County 2-1 Blackburn Rovers, Leeds United 2-0 Southampton, Leicester City 0-5 Bolton Wanderers, Liverpool FC 2-1 West Ham United, Middlesbrough 0-4 Arsenal, Sunderland 1-0 Ipswich Town, Tottenham Hotspur 0-0 Aston Villa, Chelsea 1-1 Newcastle United, Manchester United 3-2 Fulham

The opening weekend of the 2001-2002 Premier League season saw 28 goals in its first weekend with a new title sponsor. Barclaycard had taken over sponsorship rights over the summer from Carling.

Fulham were welcomed into the Premier League family and they had a daunting first fixture too against reigning Premier League champions Manchester United. Sir Alex Ferguson was looking to achieve four titles in a row in what at the time we thought was going to be his final campaign in the dugout at Old Trafford.

They were pushed all the way by the newcomers, with Louis Saha making an immediate impression. The Frenchman scored twice as Fulham led twice but their best efforts were cancelled out by United’s new £19 million striker. Ruud van Nistelrooy helped himself to a debut double and the home side came away with all three points in a nervy 3-2 victory.

Unlike Fulham, Blackburn Rovers and Bolton Wanderers did boast previous Premier League experience. They both returned to the top-flight on this weekend, with mixed fortunes. Blackburn lost 2-1 at Derby County, as Fabrizio Ravanelli scored a trademark free-kick on his return to English football.

On the other hand, Bolton had a day to savour at Filbert Street, crushing Leicester City 5-0. The outstanding Per Frandsen scored two free-kicks and Kevin Nolan also scored twice as the pressure cranked up on Leicester boss Peter Taylor.

There was a bad-tempered match on Teeside as Arsenal travelled to Middlesbrough. Steve McClaren’s first game as a Premier League boss ended in a 4-0 home defeat as Arsenal began their extraordinary run of scoring in every single league match in the season. Both Ugo Ehiogu and Ray Parlour were sent off with two late goals by Dennis Bergkamp making the scoreline look more flattering than how the actual game developed.

Liverpool FC had Michael Owen to thank once again. Owen continued where he left off from the previous season in his dream year which saw him finish as the European Footballer of the Year. He scored twice as the Reds defeated West Ham United 2-1 at Anfield. Lastly, Chelsea and Newcastle United shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge. This match was more notable as it was the first game in the UK that was made available via a pay-per-view subscription model. Premiership Plus would be around on the Sky platform for the next five seasons.

What else happened in August 2001?

  • Former royal butler Paul Burrell is charged with theft of items that belonged to Diana, Princess of Wales. The prosecution collapses three months later.
  • A plane crash in the Bahamas claims the life of American R&B performer Aaliyah and eight members of her record company. She was just 22-years-old.
  • Law goes into effect in Germany legalizing same-sex registered partnerships.
  • Whitney Houston signs the largest contract in music history with Arista Records, a six-album deal worth over $100 million.
  • Michael Schumacher wins the FIA Formula One World Championship with victory in the Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest. It is the German’s fourth world title.
  • The BBC introduces a fourth weekly episode of EastEnders, to be broadcast at 8pm every Friday night.
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Premier League Rewind: 25th-27th October 2014

Results: West Ham United 2-1 Manchester City, Liverpool FC 0-0 Hull City, Southampton 1-0 Stoke City, Sunderland 0-2 Arsenal, West Bromwich Albion 2-2 Crystal Palace, Swansea City 2-0 Leicester City, Burnley 1-3 Everton, Tottenham Hotspur 1-2 Newcastle United, Manchester United 1-1 Chelsea, Queens Park Rangers 2-0 Aston Villa

Nine games into the 2014-2015 season and Chelsea were in pole position to regain the Premier League title from Manchester City. The Blues were still undefeated in the campaign and looking tough to catch for the chasing pack.

On the 25th-27th October weekend, Jose Mourinho took his team to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United. It was a first meeting between Mourinho and Louis van Gaal since the 2010 UEFA Champions League final. There was plenty of mutual respect between the managers in the build-up to this clash but it looked like Mourinho would have the final say. Didier Drogba headed the visitors infront and it looked like the league leaders would hold onto a 1-0 lead at full-time. However, with moments remaining, Manchester United won a free-kick which led to the late dismissal of Branislav Ivanovic. From the resultant set-piece, Robin van Persie thrashed home an equaliser to ensure Chelsea dropped points for only the second time this season.

Their lead over the Red Devils was still a healthy 10 points. Worse still for Van Gaal, his team had won just three from nine matches so far and were languishing in eighth spot in the table. Chelsea’s nearest pursuers were Southampton. They regained second position after Sadio Mane’s goal was enough to beat Stoke City 1-0.

They replaced Manchester City in the top two after the reigning champions fell to a 2-1 defeat away at West Ham United. It was their second league loss of the season. The decisive goal ultimately came from Diafra Sakho, who scored in his sixth successive Premier League match for the club. Despite a wonderful strike from David Silva, City left Upton Park empty-handed and West Ham climbed into the top four much to the delight of Russell Brand. The Hammers’ fan interrupted a post-match interview to congratulate manager Sam Allardyce.

After their 8-0 mauling a week earlier to Southampton, Sunderland’s woes continued. At home to Arsenal, Vito Mannone made two terrible mistakes, allowing Alexis Sanchez to score twice and allow the visitors to leave with all three points in a 2-0 victory. In fact, just six points covered West Ham in fourth position to Aston Villa in 15th. Villa’s fifth successive defeat came on Monday Night Football, losing 2-0 to Queens Park Rangers. Charlie Austin scored a double which was enough to lift QPR off the foot of the Premier League table. Aston Villa had now failed to score in over 500 minutes of Premier League football. Another team struggling were Leicester City. They were now without a win in four games after losing 2-0 to Swansea City.

QPR were replaced at the bottom of the table by Burnley, who lost 3-1 at home to Everton. Veteran forward Samuel Eto’o scored twice for Everton who moved into the top half with back-to-back victories. Sunderland dropped into the bottom three at the expense of their Tyne & Wear rivals, Newcastle United. Having not won any of their first seven games, the Magpies were about to embark on a five-match winning sequence. The second of these came at White Hart Lane, defeating Tottenham Hotspur 2-1.

What else happened in October 2014?

  • UKIP receives its first MP when Douglas Carswell, who defected to the party from the Conservatives, wins the by-election in Clacton.
  • The SNP confirms Nicola Sturgeon will succeed Alex Salmond as leader of the party after she was the only candidate in a leadership ballot.
  • Johann Lamont resigns as leader of the Scottish Labour Party with immediate effect.
  • Nancy Birtwhistle wins the fifth series of “The Great British Bake Off.”
  • Racing driver Jules Bianchi is left with life-threatening injuries after spinning off and hitting a recovery truck during the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka. He will succumb to those injuries in July 2015.
  • EastEnders confirms omnibus editions of the soap from April 2015 will be stopped because of declining viewing figures.
  • IF Elfsborg manager and former Sheffield Wednesday player Klas Ingesson dies at the age of just 46 from the effects of multiple myeloma.

Premier League Rewind: 14th-16th September 2013

Results: Manchester United 2-0 Crystal Palace, Aston Villa 1-2 Newcastle United, Fulham 1-1 West Bromwich Albion, Hull City 1-1 Cardiff City, Stoke City 0-0 Manchester City, Sunderland 1-3 Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Norwich City, Everton 1-0 Chelsea, Southampton 0-0 West Ham United, Swansea City 2-2 Liverpool FC

The 2013-2014 Premier League campaign was a year where plenty of change was happening at the top clubs. This was the first season since 1986 that Manchester United were experiencing a campaign without Sir Alex Ferguson as their manager. Manchester City also had a new boss with Manuel Pellegrini in charge and Jose Mourinho was back at Chelsea for his second spell.

The leaders going into this weekend were Liverpool FC. Brendan Rodgers’ side had won their first three matches by a scoreline of 1-0. They would remain top at the end of the weekend but forfeited their 100% record in the process. The Reds travelled to Swansea City on a night in the Sky studios when Jamie Carragher revealed in a tactical discussion about full-backs that “no-one wants to grow up to be a Gary Neville” right infront of his fellow pundit!

In the match itself, Jonjo Shelvey had an eventful night. Playing in his first game against the Merseysiders since leaving them for the Welsh club in the summer, Shelvey put Swansea ahead inside the opening two minutes, before making two careless mistakes to allow Liverpool FC to take the lead, through Daniel Sturridge and new on-loan arrival, Victor Moses. The midfielder made amends with a neat header to tee-up Michu for the equaliser in the second half. The match finished 2-2.

After losing on the opening day to Aston Villa, Arsenal fans had lost patience with Arsene Wenger, urging him to spend some money in the transfer window on new players. On deadline day, he broke their club-record fee to sign Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid. He made his debut at The Stadium of Light against Sunderland and immediately set-up the opening goal of the game for Olivier Giroud. Arsenal won 3-1 to go just a point behind Liverpool. Sunderland had boss Paolo di Canio sent to the stands as they tumbled to a third defeat in four games.

Manchester United bounced back from their recent loss at Anfield. David Moyes’ side won 2-0 in the lunchtime kick-off against newly-promoted Crystal Palace. Robin van Persie’s penalty and a Wayne Rooney free-kick helped United to three points but it was a match overshadowed by accusations that were made about diving from winger Ashley Young. Even Moyes had to warn his midfielder on his future conduct afterwards.

Chelsea suffered their first defeat in the second Mourinho reign, going down 1-0 to Everton at Goodison Park. Steven Naismith’s header in first half injury-time was enough to give Roberto Martinez his first win since being appointed Everton boss in the summer. It was a frustrating afternoon also for Manchester City as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium.

Elsewhere, Gareth McAuley’s injury-time equaliser earned West Bromwich Albion a late point in a 1-1 draw with Fulham at Craven Cottage. It was West Brom’s first goal of the 2013-2014 season. Also, Newcastle United recorded an excellent 2-1 away win at Aston Villa.

What else happened in September 2013?

  • The Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya is attacked by Islamic militants. At least 62 people are killed and 170 others injured.
  • The IOC awards the 2020 Summer Olympics to the Japanese capital, Tokyo.
  • Following a trial in Manchester, Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell, who plays Kevin Webster in the ITV soap, is cleared of child sex allegations.
  • The Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, Nigel Evans resigns after being charged with sexual offences.
  • Prime Minister David Cameron rejects an invitation for a head-to-head TV debate on Scottish independence with Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond.
  • The UK’s largest public library is opened in Birmingham.
  • The founder of Dolby Laboratories, Ray Dolby, dies from leukaemia at the age of 80.

Premier League Rewind: 7th-8th February 2009

Results: Manchester City 1-0 Middlesbrough, Blackburn Rovers 0-2 Aston Villa, Chelsea 0-0 Hull City, Everton 3-0 Bolton Wanderers, Sunderland 2-0 Stoke City, West Bromwich Albion 2-3 Newcastle United, Wigan Athletic 0-0 Fulham, Portsmouth 2-3 Liverpool FC, Tottenham Hotspur 0-0 Arsenal, West Ham United 0-1 Manchester United

Going into this February weekend in the 2008-2009 season, only five points covered the top four teams. Manchester United held a two-point lead over Liverpool FC and crucially had a game in hand too. Despite having lost two of their last four matches, Chelsea were still in contention and Aston Villa’s best run for several seasons meant they couldn’t be fully discounted from the title picture.

The weekend’s matches began at The Etihad Stadium and there was more misery for Gareth Southgate and his Middlesbrough side. They were beaten 1-0 by mid-table Manchester City with Craig Bellamy scoring his second goal for his new club since joining from West Ham United. Middlesbrough had only scored one goal now in their last six matches and their Premier League status looked in severe jeopardy.

In the 3pm kick-offs, most attention was focused on Chelsea who looked to close the gap on the top two. However, they suffered a damaging blow to their title hopes after an unconvincing display at home to Hull City which saw the teams play out a goalless draw. At the full-time whistle, boos from the home crowd were notable and banners were hurled out by frustrated fans, calling for manager Luiz Felipe Scolari to be sacked. Two days later, the supporters got their wish as Roman Abramovich parted company with the Brazilian former World Cup winning manager. Chelsea were now looking for their third manager since Jose Mourinho’s abrupt departure 17 months earlier.

Their slip-up allowed Aston Villa to capitalise. They won 2-0 away at Blackburn Rovers, courtesy of goals from James Milner and Gabriel Agbonlahor. This meant they had achieved a club record of seven away victories on the trot and moved Martin O’Neill’s side into third place. They were now genuine contenders for a UEFA Champions League spot at the end of the season.

Blackburn remained in the drop zone, where they were joined by Middlesbrough and West Bromwich Albion. Albion lost 3-2 at home to Newcastle United but Newcastle’s victory was without their manager. Joe Kinnear had been taken to hospital before kick-off and health problems meant he would have to vacate his position. Assistant manager Chris Hughton would take caretaker charge. Peter Lovenkrands scored his first goal for the club in this five-goal contest.

With Manchester United not playing until the Sunday, Liverpool FC had the chance to go top of the table for a few hours at least. They did it the hard way away to Portsmouth but got the job done. Fernando Torres came off the bench to score a last-minute winner as Rafa Benitez’s side won 3-2, despite trailing twice in the game at Fratton Park. The result left Pompey just four points clear of trouble and they decided to wield the axe on Tony Adams as manager, only a few hours before Scolari’s departure from Chelsea was confirmed.

So, could Manchester United respond? A question was asked and once again, it was responded in style. Ryan Giggs scored his first goal of the season and it was a fine individual effort too to breakdown West Ham United’s resolve at Upton Park. United won 1-0, as they continued their winning run. They hadn’t dropped a single point since returning from FIFA World Club Championship duty in mid-December.

Elsewhere, the North London derby ended in a goalless draw. For Arsenal, it started a worrying run of four successive 0-0 draws which almost cost them a top-four finish.

What else happened in February 2009?

  • ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ wins 15 awards combined at the BAFTAs and Oscars, including Best Director for Danny Boyle and Best Film.
  • Duffy is the big winner at the BRIT Awards, scooping three gongs, including the MasterCard Album of the Year for ‘Rockferry.’
  • UK unemployment reaches 1.97 million.
  • Many parts of the UK experienced heavy snowfall at the start of the month, causing plenty of travel disruption and the closure of many schools for the best part of a week.
  • Prime Minister Gordon Brown suspends PMQs at the end of February for the first time since 1994, following the tragic death of David Cameron’s six-year old son, Ivan.
  • Boxing champion Joe Calzaghe retired after 46 fights. He remained undefeated throughout a 15-year career.
  • ITV was forced to apologise after millions of TV viewers missed Dan Gosling’s extra-time winner in the FA Cup fourth-round replay between Everton and Liverpool FC. The gaffe saw an advert for Tic-Tac mints shown instead!

Premier League Files: David James

Premier League Career: Liverpool FC (1992-1999), Aston Villa (1999-2001), West Ham United (2001-2003), Manchester City (2004-2006), Portsmouth (2006-2010)

Currently a regular pundit on BT Sport’s coverage, David James played in a mammoth 572 Premier League matches, which places him fourth on the current all-time list. He held the Premier League record for most clean sheets between April 2007 and December 2015 with 170 before being surpassed by Petr Cech.

Awarded an MBE in the Queen’s 2012 Birthday Honours’ List for services to football and charity work, James was capped 53 times by England during a 13-year period and was first-choice goalkeeper at the 2004 European Championships and the World Cup of 2010.

Born in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, James grew up supporting Luton Town but would begin his professional career at the Hatters’ local rivals, Watford. He made his league debut in August 1990 and would go onto play 89 times for the Hertfordshire-based club.

He joined Liverpool FC for a fee of £1.25 million in July 1992 and was the first goalkeeper to be beaten by a goal live on Sky Sports when Teddy Sheringham fired a cracking drive past him in Nottingham Forest’s 1-0 victory on the opening weekend of the Premier League. He struggled to settle into his new surroundings and shipped 20 goals in his first 11 appearances before being dropped for LFC fans’ favourite and veteran Bruce Grobbelaar.

James would only feature sporadically then until February 1994 when Grobbelaar sustained an injury in an away defeat to Leeds United. He was back in the team and when Grobbelaar left that summer to join Southampton on a free transfer, became the first-choice goalkeeper at Anfield unchallenged for the next four seasons. He still was unconvincing at times. In 1997, he made a catalogue of costly goalkeeping errors that derailed Liverpool’s title challenge. James was at fault for conceding goals against Nottingham Forest, Coventry City and Manchester United, costing the Reds’ at least eight points which could have been enough for them to win their first title since 1990.

He put down his spate of errors to overindulgence in playing computer games that in turn affected his concentration. This earned him the nickname ‘Calamity James.’

After 277 games for Liverpool FC, he was sold to Aston Villa for £1.8 million in June 1999 and kept a clean sheet in his first Premier League match for Villa; a 1-0 away win at Newcastle United. The highlight of his career in the Midlands was a couple of penalty saves in the FA Cup semi-final shootout victory over Bolton Wanderers. He would make 85 appearances for the club but with Peter Schmeichel arriving on a free transfer for the 2001-2002 campaign, David moved onto pastures new with West Ham United in a £3.5 million deal.

His Hammers’ debut was to be seriously delayed though by a knee injury sustained whilst keeping goal for England during an international friendly against the Netherlands at White Hart Lane. He wouldn’t play for his new club until November 2001. On his return, West Ham immediately tightened up at the back and finished an excellent seventh. This was pretty good considering they’d been beaten heavily in the season’s early weeks by Everton and Blackburn Rovers. A sting in the tail came in 2002-2003. James was part of the West Ham squad that proved no team is too good to go down. Despite having the likes of Joe Cole, Michael Carrick, Paolo di Canio, Jermain Defoe and James in their ranks, West Ham were relegated on the final day of the season. They became the first team to go down in a 38-game season despite having achieved the usual magical 40-point mark which is often considered enough to survive.

He stayed loyal to West Ham and remained with them in the First Division but when David Seaman announced his retirement from playing in January 2004, Manchester City came calling. It was a no-brainer for David, who was serving as England’s no.1 goalkeeper at the time. Manchester City were in a relegation battle and only won four matches after his arrival but James played a crucial part in earning draws against relegated duo Leicester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers. Defeats in these games could have led to a completely different outcome for Kevin Keegan’s expensively-assembled side.

On the final day of the 2004-2005 season, Manchester City played Middlesbrough with a race between the sides to finish in seventh spot and secure a place in Europe for the following season. Stuart Pearce had taken over from Keegan in March of that season and he tried an unusual tactic, by removing David James from goal and making him an outfield attacker! Nicky Weaver came on in-goal to replace outfield player Claudio Reyna. The presence of a goalkeeper in home kit clearly had Middlesbrough rattled. In injury-time, a cross came in aimed at James. Franck Queudrue handled the ball and a penalty was given. Unfortunately for City, Mark Schwarzer saved Robbie Fowler’s spot-kick to ensure Middlesbrough drew 1-1 and grabbed that coveted European spot.

Later that summer, he separated from his wife of four children, Tanya. A year later, he decided he needed to leave Manchester City for personal reasons and moved to Portsmouth in a £1.2 million deal. James kept clean sheets in his first five appearances for Portsmouth and was named the club’s Player of the Season. In April 2007, he made Premier League history by keeping his 142nd clean sheet in a goalless draw away at Aston Villa. This meant he overtook the record held by David Seaman. In January 2008, he became only the third player in Premier League history to reach the landmark of 500 appearances in the 2-0 defeat to Manchester United. He won the FA Cup that season which was his second major honour, 13 years after his League Cup success with Liverpool FC.

In February 2009, James made his 536th Premier League appearance against one of his former sides, Manchester City. This broke Gary Speed’s all-time record. This has since been surpassed by Frank Lampard, Ryan Giggs and Gareth Barry. He left Portsmouth after their relegation from the top-flight in 2010, bowing out as skipper in the FA Cup final defeat to Chelsea. Although he expressed an interest in replacing the West Ham-bound Avram Grant, he eventually moved to Bristol City, meaning his Premier League career was over.

He had a spell at AFC Bournemouth and would retire from playing in 2013 after spending one season playing in Icelandic football with IBV Vestmannaeyjar who were being managed by his former Portsmouth teammate, Hermann Hreidarsson. Since then, David has done some part-time coaching with Luton Town and was player-manager with Kerala Blasters FC in the Indian Super League. However, his long-term future looks to be in punditry with BT Sport.

David James definitely had his critics throughout his career. He was a keeper who never seemed to do dull. His longevity within the game shows how he was trusted by many different managers from Evans and Gregory to Keegan and Redknapp. That means he must take credit for the career he enjoyed, even if it did lack a major league title.

Premier League Rewind: 23rd-25th April 2011

Results: Manchester United 1-0 Everton, Aston Villa 1-1 Stoke City, Blackpool 1-1 Newcastle United, Liverpool FC 5-0 Birmingham City, Sunderland 4-2 Wigan Athletic, Tottenham Hotspur 2-2 West Bromwich Albion, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-1 Fulham, Chelsea 3-0 West Ham United, Bolton Wanderers 2-1 Arsenal, Blackburn Rovers 0-1 Manchester City

The 2010-2011 Premier League season had been one of the most unpredictable campaigns for many years. With five games left to go, nothing was settled. Manchester United were six points clear but not totally comfortable yet in terms of the title picture with an ever-improving Chelsea bearing down on them. Meanwhile at the bottom, just six points covered Fulham, Stoke City, Sunderland, Birmingham City, Blackburn Rovers, Wigan Athletic, Blackpool, West Ham United and Wolverhampton Wanderers. It really was too close to call.

Manchester United opened up proceedings on 23rd April with a brief opportunity to extend their lead at the top of the table to nine points. They played Everton in the Saturday lunchtime kick-off and were pushed all the way by a stubborn David Moyes. They were eventually broken down by Javier Hernandez in the last 10 minutes. 1-0 was the final scoreline and another giant leap towards a record-breaking 19th title had taken place. United had dropped just two points at home all season and that was a proud statistic that would hold up in their remaining two matches.

On a wet and torrential evening in west London, Chelsea knew they needed to win against bottom-placed West Ham United to keep the pressure up on Manchester United. As they still had to travel to Old Trafford to play the Red Devils, hope still existed for Carlo Ancelotti’s side and they made no mistake here, dispatching the Hammers 3-0. The most exciting moment of the match was Fernando Torres scoring his first goal for the club after 734 minutes. Torres had struggled to match the form he’d demonstrated at Liverpool FC and it was clear this goal was a massive weight off his shoulders.

If Chelsea still had title hopes, they had completely diminished for Arsenal. They had won only one of their past six matches and another defeat; 2-1 to Bolton Wanderers dashed any faint hopes they had of catching the leaders. Arsene Wenger’s side had shown major fragilities after their last-gasp League Cup final loss to Birmingham City in February. There was a poignant moment here too. Bolton’s stoppage-time winner was scored by midfielder Tamir Cohen, who removed his shirt and dedicated the goal to his father Avi, who had been killed in a traffic accident in December 2010.

Manchester City strengthened their grip on fourth place and the final UEFA Champions League qualifying spot after a Monday night 1-0 victory away at Blackburn Rovers. January signing Edin Dzeko scored his first goal for the club. They extended their lead on closest challengers Tottenham Hotspur to four points after Spurs dropped points at home to West Bromwich Albion. Simon Cox scored the pick of the goals in a 2-2 draw at White Hart Lane.

At the wrong end of the table, the big winners were Sunderland. After four successive defeats, a 4-2 victory over Wigan Athletic eased their concerns and moved them seven points clear of danger with four games left to play. That result plunged Wigan back into the bottom three with Blackpool climbing out after a 1-1 draw with Newcastle United. Birmingham’s 5-0 defeat at Anfield to Liverpool FC left them very vulnerable with Maxi Rodriguez scoring his first of two hat-tricks in 16 days.

What else happened in April 2011?

  • Prince William and Kate Middleton marry at Westminster Abbey. An estimated two billion people watch the wedding.
  • The 20-1 shot Ballabriggs wins the Grand National, trained by Donald McCain, son of former National trainer, Ginger McCain.
  • Channel 5 confirms it has bought the rights to TV show Big Brother and will screen it from August 2011.
  • Actor Brian Regan, best known as playing Terry Sullivan in Brookside from 1982-1997, is charged with the murder of a city bouncer in Merseyside.
  • The Daily Sport and Sunday Sport tabloid newspapers cease publication and enter administration.

Premier League Rewind: 23rd-24th October 2004

Results: Norwich City 2-3 Everton, Aston Villa 2-0 Fulham, Chelsea 4-0 Blackburn Rovers, Crystal Palace 3-0 West Bromwich Albion, Tottenham Hotspur 1-2 Bolton Wanderers, Liverpool FC 2-0 Charlton Athletic, Southampton 0-0 Birmingham City, Middlesbrough 1-1 Portsmouth, Newcastle United 4-3 Manchester City, Manchester United 2-0 Arsenal

Arsenal went into the weekend of the 23rd-24th October 2004 having reached an extraordinary 49 Premier League matches unbeaten. To achieve the amazing 50-game mark, they would have to avoid defeat at Old Trafford. Beat Manchester United and it would knock Sir Alex Ferguson’s side out of the title race by the end of October. United had won just three of their first nine matches in 2004-2005 and defeat here would leave them 11 points off the pace. They couldn’t afford to let that happen.

Like the previous season’s game at the Theatre of Dreams, it was a tetchy, steamy affair with some unpleasant tackles. Ruud van Nistelrooy would later be banned for violent conduct but the game was decided in the last 15 minutes. Wayne Rooney went down under very minimal contact, if any from Sol Campbell. Mike Riley pointed to the penalty spot and after his miss in the same fixture last season, van Nistelrooy saw off those demons to convert the spot-kick. With Arsenal pushing forward in the dying embers, they were caught out on the counter-attack. Alan Smith squared the ball for Rooney to finish the match off. Manchester United won 2-0 and Arsenal’s historic run was over.

The scuffles continued in the tunnel afterwards. Both sets of teams squared up to each other as did both managers with Ferguson being hit by a slice of pizza from an Arsenal player in an episode later dubbed as “Pizzagate” by the tabloids. The identity was not revealed until 2017, when Cesc Fabregas confessed to being the pizza thrower on the Sky One panel show ‘A League of Their Own.’

Earlier that day, Newcastle United and Manchester City played out a barnstorming second half which saw seven goals shared between the sides. Craig Bellamy, reportedly at war with Newcastle manager Graeme Souness over his substitution at Charlton a week earlier, scored the winning goal.

Arsenal’s defeat allowed Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea to close the gap at the top of the table to two points. They thrashed Blackburn Rovers 4-0 at Stamford Bridge. Eidur Gudjohnsen scored a hat-trick in Chelsea’s biggest win of the season to-date. It was a second successive 4-0 defeat for Blackburn and plenty to ponder for their manager; the former Wales boss Mark Hughes.

Everton continued their fine start to the campaign and remained in the top three with a 3-2 win in the opening game of the weekend away at Norwich City. Duncan Ferguson scored the winning goal after the Canaries showed their character to recover from a 2-0 deficit. Fellow strugglers Crystal Palace and West Bromwich Albion met at Selhurst Park where two goals from Andy Johnson steered Palace to a welcome 3-0 victory and signalled the end of Gary Megson’s tenure at The Hawthorns.

Elsewhere, Bolton Wanderers remained in the top four after winning 2-1 away at White Hart Lane over Tottenham Hotspur and John Arne Riise scored his first Premier League goal in 20 months as Liverpool FC made it four successive Anfield victories in beating Charlton Athletic 2-0.

What else happened in October 2004?

  • Militants in Iraq behead British hostage Ken Bigley. He had been kidnapped on the 16th September.
  • Tony Blair confirms his intention to resign as Prime Minister during his next term should Labour win the next General Election.
  • One of BBC Radio 1’s original DJ’s, John Peel dies in Peru aged 65 after suffering a sudden heart attack.
  • The first European Constitution is established after senior European figures sign the Treaty and Final Act in Rome.
  • A team of explorers reach the bottom of Krubera Cave in Georgia which is the world’s deepest cave.
  • 30 people, mainly Israeli tourists are killed when two suicide bombs explode in the Red Sea resort of Taba, Egypt.

Premier League Rewind: 5th-8th May 2012

Results: Arsenal 3-3 Norwich City, Aston Villa 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur, Bolton Wanderers 2-2 West Bromwich Albion, Fulham 2-1 Sunderland, Newcastle United 0-2 Manchester City, Queens Park Rangers 1-0 Stoke City, Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-0 Everton, Manchester United 2-0 Swansea City, Blackburn Rovers 0-1 Wigan Athletic, Liverpool FC 4-1 Chelsea

The penultimate weekend of the 2011-2012 campaign saw some important matches at both ends of the table. Having been eight points clear of their Manchester rivals after seeing off Queens Park Rangers a month earlier at Old Trafford, Manchester United had blown that advantage. Manchester City’s 1-0 victory in the derby a week earlier meant they were now top of the table on goal difference.

All Roberto Mancini’s side needed to do now was to keep winning. Two more wins and they would become Premier League champions. However, the Italian insisted that United were still the favourites. That was because Manchester City had a tricky away fixture at Newcastle, who were still right in the race to finish in the top four.

With 20 minutes left, Mancini’s prophecy looked like it was coming true. The game needed a special moment at 0-0 and it received it through Yaya Toure. The Ivorian managed to bend a shot in from distance that defeated Tim Krul and set the Citizens’ on their way. As Newcastle pushed players forward in an attempt to grab an equaliser, City broke again in the 89th minute and Toure sealed the victory. Their 2-0 win put them firmly in the driving seat going into the final weekend.

At a subdued Old Trafford, Manchester United needed lots of goals and three points at home to Swansea City. They got the win through first half efforts by Paul Scholes and Ashley Young. However, a 2-0 scoreline was not what they were hoping for. Trailing by eight goals in the table, Sir Alex Ferguson’s side now needed to win on the final day away at Sunderland and hope Manchester City tripped up at home to Queens Park Rangers. Of course, we didn’t know at the time of the extraordinary drama that would follow a week later.

With Wolverhampton Wanderers already relegated two weeks earlier, the battle was on to avoid the drop between Bolton Wanderers, Blackburn Rovers, Queens Park Rangers, Wigan Athletic and Aston Villa. Villa’s 1-1 draw at home to Champions League-chasing Tottenham Hotspur meant barring any mathematical nightmares, they were safe. At Loftus Road, Queens Park Rangers picked up a priceless victory at home to Stoke City. Djibril Cisse’s goal in the final minute of normal time steered Mark Hughes’ side to an important 1-0 victory. Their destiny was now in their own hands.

Bolton Wanderers situation looked bleak after throwing away a two-goal lead at home to West Bromwich Albion. In his first match since being appointed as the future England manager, Roy Hodgson’s side recovered from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 and ensure Bolton had to win on the final day away at Stoke to stand any chance of survival.

Survival was beyond Blackburn Rovers. On Monday Night Football, they had to beat Wigan Athletic to take their fight to the final day whilst a draw would be enough for Wigan. With less than five minutes to go, Antolin Alcaraz’s header on a rain-soaked evening saw Wigan get the goal to earn their safety. Bottom in mid-March, Roberto Martinez’s side had beaten Liverpool FC, Manchester United, Arsenal and Newcastle United in the run-in to complete another escape act. For Blackburn, the 1-0 defeat left Steve Kean devastated. They were relegated after 10 years back in the top-flight and it ended a tumultuous season at Ewood Park with fan protests against the manager and the club’s Indian owners becoming a regular theme. The match saw an appearance of the Blackburn chicken!

In the final game of this round, Liverpool FC made amends for their FA Cup final defeat 72 hours later, crushing Chelsea 4-1 at Anfield. Jonjo Shelvey scored his first Premier League goal as Liverpool finished their home season in style in what would turn out to be Kenny Dalglish’s penultimate match in charge.

What else happened in May 2012?

  • Boris Johnson is re-elected as Mayor of London with 51.5% of the vote.
  • A torch relay ahead of the 2012 London Olympics will start after the flame arrives in Cornwall on a flight from its traditional home of Athens, Greece.
  • During a visit to the BBC Scotland headquarters in Glasgow, Prince Charles presents the lunchtime weather forecast!
  • Sweden wins the Eurovision Song Contest in Baku, Azerbaijan. The United Kingdom entry comes 25th with just 12 points, six places below ‘Jedward’ who do the Irish entry.
  • British and American hairstylist Vidal Sassoon dies in California, aged 84.
  • Pastor Maldonado from Venezuela wins the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona. It is the first Formula One victory for Williams in eight years. The celebrations are marred by a horrible fire that breaks out in their garage an hour after the race. Fortunately, no-one is seriously hurt.
  • The Tokyo Skytree, the tallest self-supporting tower in the world at 634 metres high is opened to the public.

Premier League Rewind: 26th-28th September 2003

Results: Arsenal 3-2 Newcastle United, Birmingham City 2-0 Portsmouth, Bolton Wanderers 1-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers, Chelsea 1-0 Aston Villa, Leicester City 1-4 Manchester United, Southampton 0-1 Middlesbrough, Charlton Athletic 3-2 Liverpool FC, Blackburn Rovers 0-2 Fulham, Everton 4-0 Leeds United, Manchester City 0-0 Tottenham Hotspur

The week leading up to the action on 26th-28th September 2003 had been dominated by the spectacular fallout from ‘The Battle of Old Trafford.’ Following the unsavoury scenes after the 0-0 draw between Manchester United and Arsenal, eight players were charged by the Football Association and Arsenal were seen by many experts and neutrals as the public enemies for picking on Ruud van Nistelrooy.

It was time for the Gunners’ to get people drooling over their football again rather than the fighting bulldog spirit they’d shown in Manchester. They kicked off the weekend with an entertaining Friday night encounter at home to Newcastle United. The teams shared five goals and only a clumsy Jermaine Jenas handball allowed a Thierry Henry penalty to end up separating the sides. Henry scored twice in the 3-2 victory. It was game seven of Arsenal’s historic ‘The Invincibles’ season. Newcastle were yet to win in the campaign.

They were one of two sides still awaiting that winning feeling by the time September ended. The other were the Premier League rookies Wolverhampton Wanderers. However, they had a contender for the Goal of the Weekend. Alex Rae’s stunning volley gave them the lead away to Bolton Wanderers. Unfortunately for all Wolves fans, their first top-flight victory in 20 years would have to wait. Kevin Davies scored a late equaliser with five minutes left to ensure the match ended 1-1.

Van Nistelrooy showed no after-effects from being the centre of attention during the Old Trafford fracas a week earlier. The Dutchman did his talking by scoring goals and he chalked up another hat-trick in Manchester United’s routine 4-1 victory away to Leicester City. Sir Alex Ferguson’s defending champions had lost only once all campaign but were sitting in third spot only in the table. That was because Chelsea’s unbeaten start continued. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink scored the only goal of a narrow 1-0 success at home to Aston Villa. However, the Blues’ were fortunate to win this match. Villa striker Juan Pablo Angel spurned a couple of fantastic opportunities to deny the visitors’ the chance of a point.

The other side that were currently unbeaten in the Premier League were Birmingham City. Steve Bruce’s side were tough to breakdown and had enough on the counter-attack to hurt teams. Portsmouth were the latest victims – losing 2-0 in the Midlands. Birmingham boasted the best defensive record, conceding just twice and keeping five clean sheets  in their opening six matches.

Van Nistelrooy might have been a regular when it came to scoring hat-tricks but there were two other players who scored trebles that weekend and they certainly rank among the Premier League’s most surprising hat-trick heroes. Defender Steve Watson made the most of Leeds United’s fragile defence to score a treble in Everton’s 4-0 victory over the penniless Yorkshire side. Leeds were abject throughout and conceded 10 goals in three September matches, without scoring. It was a painful return to Goodison Park for Peter Reid.

On the same Sunday afternoon, Kevin Lisbie enjoyed the day of his life as Charlton Athletic welcomed Liverpool FC to The Valley. Lisbie scored an incredible hat-trick including a wonderful solo effort as Charlton won 3-2. It was their second successive home victory over Liverpool, who were now sitting in the unfamiliar positon of eighth spot. The one crumb of comfort for Liverpool fans was the form of Michael Owen. After a slow start to the season, Owen had now scored six goals in four matches. He struck a penalty in this defeat.

In the weekend’s other three matches, Middlesbrough claimed a surprising 1-0 victory away at Southampton. This was the Saints’ first defeat of the season. Fulham enjoyed their away trip to Ewood Park, beating Blackburn Rovers 2-0 whilst Super Sunday viewers were treated to a goalless game between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur. Unfortunately for Sky viewers, this was a period where Sunday 4pm matches introduced a lack of goalmouth activity. In five 4pm kick-offs between September 21st and October 26th, just two goals were scored!

There was still only six points between the top eight at the end of September but it was already clear that Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United had the three strongest squads and would be the three sides likely to scrap it out for the 2003-2004 Premier League title.

What else happened in September 2003?

  • Estonia & Latvia join the European Union following a referendum but the people of Sweden reject the chance to take the Euro currency following their own vote.
  • “Dirty Den” returns to EastEnders – 14 years after appearing to have been killed off.
  • The Bull Ring shopping centre in Birmingham is officially opened.
  • Starring Matt Lucas and David Walliams, Little Britain makes its first appearance on UK TV screens.
  • Andy Roddick beats Juan Carlos Ferrero in straight sets to win the men’s singles at the US Open; his sole Grand Slam victory.
  • Europe’s first mission to the moon is launched through SMART-1, a European Space Agency satellite.
  • Labour loses the Brent East seat in a by-election to the Liberal Democrats after 29 years in control.

Premier League Rewind: 29th-30th January 2008

Results: Arsenal 3-0 Newcastle United, Bolton Wanderers 0-0 Fulham, Middlesbrough 1-0 Wigan Athletic, Sunderland 2-0 Birmingham City, Chelsea 1-0 Reading, Derby County 1-1 Manchester City, West Ham United 1-0 Liverpool FC, Everton 0-0 Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United 2-0 Portsmouth

This midweek round of Premier League fixtures during the 2007-2008 season saw a paltry return of just 12 goals in nine matches. Defences most definitely came out on top but that doesn’t mean to say it didn’t provide some exciting moments.

At this stage of the season, it was Arsenal who were top of the table and favourites to regain the Premier League for the first time since 2004. The Gunners’ hosted a Newcastle United side that had just undergone a change in management. Kevin Keegan was back in the dugout, 11 years after abruptly walking out on the club in his first stint. His Newcastle team were nowhere near as good as the one he left behind and they were easily beaten 3-0 at the Emirates Stadium with Emmanuel Adebayor, Mathieu Flamini and Cesc Fabregas all finding the target.

Defending champions Manchester United kept the pressure up on Arsene Wenger’s side the following evening with some more individual brilliance from Cristiano Ronaldo. His two goals in the opening 13 minutes sunk Portsmouth 2-0 at Old Trafford, including a free-kick which is among the best the league has ever seen.

Chelsea kept their title hopes flickering with a narrow 1-0 victory at home to Reading, who after their near-miss with European football the previous season, looked destined for a relegation scrap this time around. Michael Ballack’s goal in the 32nd minute proved to be the difference between the two sides.

The race for the top four was hotting up and Liverpool FC had work to do. Rafa Benitez’s side had a wretched January, failing to win a single match and collecting just three points from four games. That run continued with a late 1-0 defeat at Upton Park to mid-table West Ham United. Mark Noble’s stoppage-time penalty consigned Liverpool FC to only a third league defeat of the season.

Luckily for Liverpool, their rivals for the top four spots didn’t take full advantage. Everton were held to a goalless draw by Tottenham Hotspur at Goodison Park, whilst Manchester City required an equaliser from Daniel Sturridge to rescue a 1-1 draw away at bottom-placed Derby County. The point was a rare high point in Derby’s wretched campaign which saw him muster just one victory all season in the Premier League.

Elsewhere, Sunderland improved their chances of beating the drop as they defeated Birmingham City 2-0 at the Stadium of Light and Middlesbrough’s 1-0 victory over Wigan Athletic moved them into the reaches of mid-table and kept Wigan firmly in danger. Bolton Wanderers and Fulham played out an uneventful 0-0 draw at the Reebok Stadium.

What else happened in January 2008?

  • Due to the Writers Guild of America strike, the Golden Globes awards ceremony is cancelled. A one-hour news conference is held by NBC to reveal the winners.
  • The US election race hots up with Joe Biden, John Edwards and Rudy Giuliani all dropping out of contention.
  • Aged 59, Jeremy Beadle, famous for “Beadle’s About” and “You’ve Been Framed” dies after contracting a bout of pneumonia.
  • ITV’s flagship news programme, News at Ten returns with Sir Trevor McDonald and Julie Etchingham hosting the revived bulletin.
  • Tower Colliery, the UK’s oldest continuously working deep-coal mine closes for the last time.
  • Labour’s Peter Hain resigned as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions over irregular donations.
  • Cyprus and Malta are the latest countries to adopt the Euro as their national currency.

Premier League Rewind: 25th-27th November 1995

Results: Chelsea 0-0 Tottenham Hotspur, Coventry City 3-3 Wimbledon, Everton 2-2 Sheffield Wednesday, Manchester City 1-0 Aston Villa, Middlesbrough 2-1 Liverpool FC, Newcastle United 2-1 Leeds United, Southampton 1-0 Bolton Wanderers, West Ham United 1-0 Queens Park Rangers, Arsenal 0-0 Blackburn Rovers, Nottingham Forest 1-1 Manchester United

Kevin Keegan’s Newcastle United had lost just one game all season and had a 100% record at St James’ Park for the season. Leeds United’s visit on the weekend of 25th-27th November 1995 was the standout fixture of a weekend which produced just 21 goals in 10 matches.

Leeds threatened to take that record when Brian Deane headed Howard Wilkinson’s side into the lead after 31 minutes. Newcastle responded brilliantly in the second half and two goals in two successive minutes from Rob Lee and Peter Beardsley turned the game around. The Magpies’ 2-1 win meant they would end November on top of the table and having extended their advantage over the chasing pack.

Manchester United lost ground on Keegan’s team after drawing 1-1 on the Monday Night Football game at Nottingham Forest. An Eric Cantona penalty ensured they left the City Ground with a point but it would start a worrying run of just two wins in their next nine matches that almost cost them a chance to regain the crown they’d lost the previous season to Blackburn Rovers.

The reigning champions hadn’t yet won on their travels in the season and had just returned from a painful defeat in Moscow in the Champions League which had seen the infamous clash on the field between Graeme Le Saux and David Batty. Blackburn played out an uneventful 0-0 draw at Arsenal on Super Sunday; moved to a lunchtime kick-off to make way for the Scottish League Cup Final (back in the days when Scottish football was just as important to the TV broadcasters!)

The most enterprising game of the weekend was played out between Coventry City and Wimbledon. Ron Atkinson’s side had won just once all season whilst Wimbledon were hovering just outside the drop zone. The Sky Blues’ ended with nine men as both Paul Williams and Richard Shaw were shown red cards. However, David Rennie scored a rare goal in the 83rd minute to rescue a 3-3 draw, having trailed 3-1 midway through the second half.

Atkinson’s team remained in the drop zone alongside Bolton Wanderers and Queens Park Rangers. The latter sides both lost 1-0 to Southampton and West Ham United respectively. Liverpool FC’s slide into mid-table continued. A 2-1 loss to Middlesbrough meant Roy Evans’ side collected just one point from four league matches and slid out of both the UEFA Cup and League Cup during a nightmare November.

Going in the right direction were Manchester City. Alan Ball had seen his side fail to win a match before November. Yet, 10 points from four games saw them climb out of the drop zone. The latest success came over Aston Villa. Georgi Kinkladze scored the only goal of the game with four minutes remaining.

Tottenham Hotspur ended the month in third spot after drawing 0-0 at Stamford Bridge with Chelsea but by this stage, it already looked like a two-horse race for the title between Newcastle United and Manchester United.

What else happened in November 1995?

  • The Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin is assassinated by a Jewish extremist who opposed peace with the Palestinians.
  • Piers Brosnan stars as James Bond for the first time in “Goldeneye.”
  • Diana, Princess of Wales admits to infidelity in an explosive TV interview for “Panorama” with Martin Bashir.
  • Rosemary West is found guilty at Winchester Crown Court of killing 10 women.
  • “Toy Story” is released as the first feature-length film created completely using computer-generated imagery.
  • The Today newspaper ceases publication, becoming the first long-running national UK newspaper title to close since the Daily Sketch in 1971.
  • The Queen Mother undergoes a hip replacement operation at the age of 95.

Premier League Rewind: 17th-19th December 2016

Results: Crystal Palace 0-1 Chelsea, Middlesbrough 3-0 Swansea City, Stoke City 2-2 Leicester City, Sunderland 1-0 Watford, West Ham United 1-0 Hull City, West Bromwich Albion 0-2 Manchester United, AFC Bournemouth 1-3 Southampton, Manchester City 2-1 Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Burnley, Everton 0-1 Liverpool FC

The final round of Premier League matches before Christmas 2016 saw 23 goals and the first managerial casualty of the season.

In a London derby, Chelsea and Crystal Palace got the weekend underway, with both sides in completely contrasting form. Palace had won just one match since the end of September, whilst Chelsea were chasing a 10th successive league victory. The league leaders were in impressive form and this was one of those matches where they weren’t quite at their fluid best but still did enough to collect all three points. Diego Costa headed home the only goal in the Blues’ 1-0 victory at Selhurst Park. The Spaniard later collected his fifth yellow card of the season, so would miss the Boxing Day encounter with AFC Bournemouth, as would N’Golo Kante. It was the final straw for the Eagles’ hierarchy and five days after this result, Alan Pardew was sacked and replaced by survival specialist, Sam Allardyce.

Chelsea’s closest challengers remained Liverpool FC. Jurgen Klopp’s team protected second spot in the table after they won 1-0 in the Merseyside Derby at Goodison Park, which was the final fixture before Christmas. On a chilly Monday evening, the visitors’ struck late on through Sadio Mane to ensure the red side of Merseyside would hold the bragging rights over the festive period.

24 hours earlier, Manchester City made it back-to-back victories with a 2-1 success over Arsenal, who had now suffered successive defeats in the North West. Arsenal came flying out of the blocks and Theo Walcott put them ahead inside the first 10 minutes. However, Leroy Sane’s first Premier League goal and Raheem Sterling’s effort ensured the three points would stay in Manchester.

Tottenham were quietly going about their business. They beat Burnley 2-1 at White Hart Lane and Manchester United made it three wins in six days, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic the pivotal difference in their 2-0 victory at The Hawthorns over West Bromwich Albion.

At the wrong end of the table and West Ham United collected a second win in four days at the London Stadium but there was plenty of fortune about their 1-0 win over fellow relegation strugglers, Hull City. Hull hit the woodwork three times and the Hammers’ fans were so fed up with their team’s performance, they voted for the post as their Man of the Match on social media! Mark Noble’s penalty saw them take three lucky points.

Sunderland claimed a 1-0 triumph at home to inconsistent Watford. Patrick van Aanholt scored the solitary goal. It would be the Dutchman’s last in Sunderland colours. The full-back would move acrimoniously to Crystal Palace in the January transfer window. It would also turn out to be Sunderland’s last home victory in league football in 364 days, before a recent 1-0 win over Fulham in the SkyBet EFL Championship.

Elsewhere, Middlesbrough recorded their biggest win of the season, beating hapless Swansea City 3-0 and despite losing Jamie Vardy to a red card before half-time, defending champions Leicester City came back from two goals down to rescue a 2-2 draw away to Stoke City. Claudio Ranieri’s side though still hadn’t won away from the King Power Stadium in their title defence season.

What else happened in December 2016?

  • Aged 53, George Michael died on Christmas Day. One of the best-selling music artists of all-time, he had sold more than 115 million records worldwide.
  • Andy Murray wins BBC Sports Personality of the Year for the third time in four years.
  • The remains of Tim Peake’s spacecraft are bought by the UK with the intention of installing it at the Science Museum in London in 2017.
  • After 30 years with ITN, Mark Austin presents his final news bulletin with ITV. He will join Sky News as the main correspondent for the USA.
  • Among the recipients in the New Years’ Honours List are Ken Dodd who is knighted and actress Helen McCrory, who receives an OBE.
  • Gogglebox’s Scarlett Moffatt wins the ITV reality show, I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!”
  • Andrei Karlov, the Russian ambassador to Turkey, is assassinated in Ankara.