Category Archives: Shock Results

Shock Results: Arsenal 2-3 West Bromwich Albion (September 2010)

Goalscorers: Peter Odemwingie 50, Gonzalo Jara 52, Jerome Thomas 73, Samir Nasri 75, 90

Teams:

Arsenal: Manuel Almunia, Gael Clichy, Laurent Koscielny (Carlos Vela 66), Sebastien Squillaci, Bacary Sagna, Emmanuel Eboue (Jack Wilshere 56), Abou Diaby (Tomas Rosicky 56), Alex Song, Samir Nasri, Andrey Arshavin, Marouane Chamakh

West Bromwich Albion: Scott Carson, Pablo Ibanez, Gonzalo Jara, Jonas Olsson, Nicky Shorey, Youssouf Mulumbu, Paul Scharner (Steven Reid 71), Chris Brunt, James Morrison (Graham Dorrans 78), Jerome Thomas (Somen Tchoyi 83), Peter Odemwingie

Referee: Michael Oliver, Attendance: 60,025

West Bromwich Albion arrived at The Emirates Stadium in September 2010 on a real high. They had just beaten their local rivals Birmingham City in the Premier League and dumped big-spending Manchester City out of the League Cup in midweek. Nevertheless, their chances of overcoming Arsenal were seen as quite low. 19 top-flight matches had passed since they’d won away from The Hawthorns.

Arsenal were missing the injured Cesc Fabregas, Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott but started strongly and it took some desperate clearances to stop West Brom falling behind very early on. Russian playmaker Andrey Arshavin hit the post and the main forward, Marouane Chamakh, headed narrowly wide from a Bacary Sagna cross. However, Roberto Di Matteo’s side had taken some lessons from Sunderland having frustrated the Gunners a week earlier. Their high pressing style and ability to close down space meant Arsenal’s most influential players weren’t able to get the time and space they normally would to dictate the tempo of the match. Nine minutes before half-time, Albion had a golden opportunity to take the lead.

Goalkeeper Manuel Almunia charged off his goal-line and chopped down the Nigerian forward Peter Odemwingie. It was a poorly-timed challenge and Michael Oliver correctly awarded a spot-kick. Up stepped the captain of the club, Chris Brunt. However, his penalty was weak, not fully in the corner and Almunia guessed right to redeem himself for giving away the opportunity in the first place.

It was 0-0 at half-time but the visitors, who might have felt they’d squandered their best chance, would get a catalogue of charitable moments in the second half which was clearly unexpected. Five minutes into the second half, former Arsenal player Jerome Thomas escaped Sagna on the by-line and pulled the ball back for Odemwingie to finish smartly. It was his third goal in just five matches for the club.

Two minutes later, it was 2-0. Brunt’s back heel underneath Gael Clichy’s legs played Gonzalo Jara through. The full-back tried his luck and it somehow beat Almunia who made a feeble attempt to save the shot at his near post. The game was as good as over after 73 minutes. Brunt pounced on some hesitant goalkeeping from Almunia, squared the ball across the box and Thomas finished into an empty net.

Samir Nasri did pull two goals back late on but the damage had been done and West Bromwich Albion held on for a deserved victory. This was the highlight of Di Matteo’s West Brom reign. He was sacked in February 2011 after a run of 13 defeats in 18 games but under the guidance of Roy Hodgson, the club survived comfortably in 11th position.

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Shock Results: Chelsea 0-1 AFC Bournemouth (December 2015)

Goalscorers: Glenn Murray 82

Teams:

Chelsea: Thibaut Courtois, Abdul Baba Rahman (Bertrand Traore 83), Gary Cahill, Branislav Ivanovic, Kurt Zouma, Nemanja Matic, Cesc Fabregas (Loic Remy 83), Oscar (Diego Costa 45), Willian, Eden Hazard, Pedro

AFC Bournemouth: Artur Boruc, Steve Cook, Charlie Daniels, Simon Francis, Adam Smith, Harry Arter, Dan Gosling, Andrew Surman, Matt Ritchie, Junior Stanislas, Josh King (Glenn Murray 80)

Referee: Mike Jones, Attendance: 41,631

Having cruised to the title in 2014-2015, Chelsea were making a real mess of their title defence. They had already suffered seven defeats and went into this game sitting in a lowly 14th place in the table, having amassed just 15 points from their first 14 matches.

Jose Mourinho’s side had at least tightened up defensively ahead of the visit of newly-promoted AFC Bournemouth. They’d gone 306 minutes without conceding in all competitions. Bournemouth had shown great resilience in coming from behind twice to take a point off Everton in their last match. However, Eddie Howe’s side were in the drop zone and without a league win since September.

Mourinho had controversially left Diego Costa out of his starting line-up for the trip to Tottenham Hotspur a week earlier and he kept the Spaniard on the bench for this one too, electing to play the out-of-form Eden Hazard in a ‘false no.9’ position. However, the home side offered very little in the first half and Costa was therefore summoned from the bench at the interval.

Bournemouth could have been ahead before half-time, as Josh King was denied on no fewer than three occasions by the returning Thibaut Courtois, who was back in the team after three months out through injury. Costa’s impact was almost immediate on his arrival. First, he narrowly missed making contact on a vicious cross from Branislav Ivanovic. Next, the temperamental Spaniard had an effort blocked by visiting goalkeeper Artur Boruc. Then, he claimed for a penalty when his cross was blocked by the recovering Simon Francis with his arm. As it wasn’t a natural movement, his protests fell on deaf ears and Mike Jones waved play on.

Bournemouth looked comfortable throughout, driven on by Harry Arter, who was immense in central midfield. He managed to take control of the game, neutralising any dangerous threat that might have been posed by Cesc Fabregas. Sensing there might be an opportunity to take more than a point back to the south coast; Howe threw on his summer signing Glenn Murray with 10 minutes left to play. 99 seconds later, he had made the decisive impact.

Junior Stanislas produced a wonderful corner which Courtois flapped at, under pressure from Dan Gosling. Steve Cook stabbed the ball back across the face of the goal and Murray beat his teammate Charlie Daniels to the crucial contact, heading the ball into the back of the net and sending the away supporters into ecstasy. There were doubts about whether Murray was offside when he connected with Cook’s pass but the goal counted.

Bournemouth comfortably saw out the final 10 minutes to record one of the greatest results in the club’s history. They finished 16th whilst Chelsea recovered from this defeat to scrape into the top 10. However, it would be without Jose Mourinho. He was sacked less than a fortnight after this shock defeat – Chelsea’s first at home to a newly-promoted side since Charlton Athletic won in April 2001.

Shock Results: Burnley 1-0 Manchester United (August 2009)

Goalscorers: Robbie Blake 19

Teams:

Burnley: Brian Jensen, Graham Alexander (Joey Gudjonsson 73), Andre Bikey, Clarke Carlisle, Tyrone Mears, Stephen Jordan, Grant McCann, Wade Elliott, Robbie Blake, Steven Fletcher (Steven Thompson 81), Martin Paterson (Chris Eagles 73)

Manchester United: Ben Foster, Wes Brown (Gary Neville 71), Jonny Evans, Patrice Evra, John O’Shea, Anderson (Antonio Valencia 59), Michael Carrick, Ji-Sung Park, Ryan Giggs, Michael Owen (Dimitar Berbatov 63), Wayne Rooney

Referee: Alan Wiley, Attendance: 20,872

After an absence of 33 years, top-flight football returned to Turf Moor and Burnley’s first-ever Premier League match at the ground was the one the fans had been waiting for all summer, as reigning champions Manchester United arrived in Lancashire.

Despite an opening day 2-0 loss to Stoke City, the home support of nearly 21,000 were keen not to miss this piece of history for their club. However, they surely were heading to the ground more in hope than expectation. Manchester United didn’t lose many early-season matches and could call on the likes of Wayne Rooney, Michael Owen and Ryan Giggs among their attacking options.

Owen was a summer arrival at Old Trafford on a free transfer from relegated Newcastle United and he should have marked his first competitive start for his new club with a goal inside two minutes. Patrice Evra produced a perfect delivery to the near post but the England forward couldn’t make any decisive contact and the chance was gone. Burnley went toe-to-toe with their more illustrious opponents and created their own openings. Steven Fletcher had two half-chances but couldn’t find the target, whilst Ben Foster, deputising for the injured Edwin van der Sar in the Manchester United goal, had to smother Martin Paterson when he attempted to round the goalkeeper.

In the 19th minute, Burnley took a shock lead. Ex-Manchester City defender Stephen Jordan produced a floating cross to the back post. Evra only got a partial header to it and the ball dropped perfectly to Robbie Blake. Blake produced a volley of the highest quality that flew past Foster at his near post. Although most goalkeepers would be criticised for being beaten at their near post, Foster couldn’t be blamed for this. It was a sublime strike from Blake and it left home supporters dreaming of the unlikely result coming true.

Owen missed another clear opportunity infront of the England boss Fabio Capello, heading wide from Wes Brown’s cross. Moments later, Sir Alex Ferguson’s side had a wonderful chance to equalise. Owen played through Evra, who was hauled down by the Burnley goalscorer Blake. Despite Owen and Rooney being on the pitch, it was Michael Carrick who was the surprise choice of penalty-taker. His spot-kick wasn’t firmly in the left-hand corner and Brian Jensen guessed right to save the penalty and become just as big as a hero as Blake on the night.

Into the second half and Blake nearly doubled his tally. He sent a curling free-kick wide of the post. Jensen’s fine evening continued with super saves to deny Ji-Sung Park and Giggs. The Clarets held on during four minutes of injury-time to record a famous victory, their first at Turf Moor against the Red Devils since September 1968. Their 2009-2010 season did end in relegation and manager Owen Coyle left in January for the Bolton Wanderers job but the supporters will always remember the night they beat Manchester United fair and square.

Shock Results: Arsenal 1-2 Hull City (September 2008)

Goalscorers: Paul McShane 51 OG, Geovanni 62, Daniel Cousin 66

Teams:

Arsenal: Manuel Alumina, Gael Clichy, William Gallas, Kolo Toure, Bacary Sagna, Denilson, Cesc Fabregas, Emmanuel Eboue (Nicklas Bendtner 69), Theo Walcott (Carlos Vela 77), Emmanuel Adebayor, Robin van Persie

Hull City: Boaz Myhill, Andy Dawson, Paul McShane, Michael Turner, Kamil Zayatte, George Boateng (Richard Garcia 76), Ian Ashbee, Geovanni (Bryan Hughes 72), Marlon King, Daniel Cousin (Bernard Mendy 80)

Referee: Alan Wiley, Attendance: 60,037

Although they had made a promising start to their debut Premier League campaign in 2008-2009, few gave Hull City much hope of turning over Arsenal at The Emirates Stadium. Phil Brown’s side had won twice already but a third victory on their first trip in successive weekends to north London was seen as a long shot. However, the Tigers would tear up the formbook, producing a stunning performance and a wonderful victory.

Brown made two changes to the side that had drawn 2-2 with Everton six days earlier, recalling the maverick attacking midfielder Geovanni and experience at the heart of the midfield in George Boateng. Both selections turned out to be inspired decisions.

They had to stay in the game against an Arsenal side which on their day could overpower any team in the Premier League. In the first 30 minutes, it looked like the game was going to go to the planned formbook. Emmanuel Adebayor had the ball in the back of the net but the Togolese striker was denied after referee Alan Wiley adjudged he had fouled Paul McShane when climbing to meet a Cesc Fabregas cross.

Despite their possession dominance, goalscoring chances were at a premium for the home side, kept out by a well-drilled offside trap and some last-ditch defending from Hull defenders. They deserved to be level at half-time. However, five minutes into the second half, the Gunners did take the lead. Theo Walcott’s cross was diverted into the path of Cesc Fabregas. He struck the ball into the net but it was eventually credited as an own goal off the luckless McShane who fought valiantly but couldn’t prevent the ball crossing the goal-line. Surely, this was the end of the Hull resistance?

Not so. In fact, Arsenal’s lead lasted just 11 minutes. Geovanni was given plenty of space on the edge of the penalty area and elected to go for goal. His right-foot shot flew into the top corner of the net. Manuel Almunia in the Arsenal goal had no chance of keeping it out. Brown did a dancing jig as he celebrated one of the most spectacular goals of the season and now, his side had a genuine chance of leaving with at least a point.

The away supporters began to dream further when Andy Dawson’s corner was met by a towering header from Daniel Cousin just four minutes later. Incredibly, Hull were ahead and now had something mighty to protect. Arsene Wenger threw on Nicklas Bendtner and Carlos Vela to try and revive his team but it was to no avail. The closest they came was a William Gallas header that hit the crossbar.

This was Hull’s night and a crucial win too. They would stay up by just a single point come the end of the season. Arsenal finished fourth but it was a fourth successive season without a trophy for them.

Shock Results: Sunderland 1-0 Manchester City (November 2013)

Goalscorer: Phil Bardsley 21

Teams:

Sunderland: Vito Mannone, Wes Brown, John O’Shea, Phil Bardsley, Ondrej Celustka, Jack Colback, Ki Sung-Yueng, Sebastian Larsson, Emanuele Giaccherini (Craig Gardner 72), Adam Johnson (Fabio Borini 87), Steven Fletcher (Jozy Altidore 77)

Manchester City: Costel Pantilimon, Martin Demichelis, Joleon Lescott, Aleksandar Kolarov, Micah Richards (Pablo Zabaleta 71), Javi Garcia (Jesus Navas 45), James Milner, Samir Nasri, Yaya Toure, Sergio Aguero, Alvaro Negredo (Edin Dzeko 71)

Referee: Mike Dean, Attendance: 40,137

Most of the Premier League superpowers have a bogey ground that they always feared visiting. If you ask Arsenal supporters, it is usually the Britannia/bet365 Stadium at Stoke. Manchester United fans will remember some nightmare days at The Dell whilst Liverpool FC never seemed to do well away at The Riverside Stadium.

For Manchester City, it was definitely The Stadium of Light. They’d lost their last three visits to Wearside and all by a scoreline of 1-0. Nevertheless, the Black Cats had won just once all season by the time Manuel Pellegrini’s side visited in November 2013. Gus Poyet had just taken over and already presided over a heavy defeat to Swansea City and a loss to Hull City that saw his team reduced to nine men last time out. City were scoring for fun at The Etihad Stadium but finding their travels a bit trickier. They’d already been beaten at Cardiff, Aston Villa and Chelsea before this game.

Poyet gave a first Premier League start to Wes Brown in 22 months. The former Manchester United defender had been beset by injuries and also been virtually ignored by former manager Paolo di Canio. Brown immediately slotted into the centre-back role and kept the formidable duo of Alvaro Negredo and Sergio Aguero restricted to very speculative efforts from distance.

City made a slow start and could have conceded early on. Steven Fletcher headed wide after being picked out in the middle by Sebastian Larsson and in the 21st minute, they were punished for their tardiness.

Brown played a long ball forward which was met by full-back Phil Bardsley. Bardsley then kept his composure in an unfamiliar position to beat Costel Pantilimon, still in the team instead of the recently dropped Joe Hart. The Citizens’ were unhappy with referee Mike Dean, feeling James Milner had been fouled in the build-up by the goalscorer but their appeals fell on deaf ears.

Pellegrini’s side woke from their slumber and began to dominate possession, ending with figures of 63%. Despite that, chances were still arriving at a premium and that was down to some great defending from Sunderland’s backline. Half-time substitute Jesus Navas caused more problems in the second half. He had two goal-bound efforts blocked in quick succession before Vito Mannone made a couple of decent saves to deny Aguero and Edin Dzeko.

Despite extensive pressure in the closing stages, the Black Cats held on for a wonderful victory and a fourth successive 1-0 triumph over City.

Pellegrini’s side ended the day six points off top spot and down in eighth place in the table but would lose just two more matches in the Premier League season to win their second title in three years. Sunderland climbed off the bottom of the table with this victory and would avoid relegation narrowly once again – helped by unlikely victories like this one.

Shock Results: Tottenham Hotspur 0-3 West Ham United (October 2013)

Goalscorer: Winston Reid 66, Ricardo Vaz Te 72, Ravel Morrison 79

Teams:

Tottenham Hotspur: Hugo Lloris, Kyle Walker, Kyle Naughton (Lewis Holtby 81), Michael Dawson, Jan Vertonghen, Mousa Dembele, Paulinho, Andros Townsend, Christian Eriksen (Roberto Soldado 74), Gylfi Sigurdsson (Erik Lamela 63), Jermain Defoe

West Ham United: Jussi Jaaskelainen, Guy Demel, Razvan Rat, James Tomkins, Winston Reid, Mohamed Diame (James Collins 80), Mark Noble (Joey O’Brien 90), Ravel Morrison, Kevin Nolan, Stewart Downing, Ricardo Vaz Te (Carlton Cole 86)

Referee: Lee Probert, Attendance: 35,977

A win for Tottenham Hotspur in this match with London rivals West Ham United in October 2013 would have taken them joint-top of the table with Arsenal and Liverpool FC. West Ham began in the bottom three but a win would see them rise into 13th position in the table. As Andre Villas-Boas’ side had the joint-tightest defence in the Premier League going into this match, Spurs were expected to come out on top.

Sam Allardyce decided to name no recognised forward in his starting XI, with Ricardo Vaz Te and Ravel Morrison playing in the false no.9 positions. In a first half of precious few chances, it was West Ham who created the best moment. They won a free-kick in a dangerous position and rather than shoot, Mark Noble elected to chip the ball over the wall. Clearly a training ground routine, it nearly worked. Kevin Nolan’s shot went just wide from a tight angle.

Tottenham enjoyed 61% possession in the match but created precious little which was a sign of how their season was progressing. They were tight at the back but had only scored six goals in their first six league matches of the season – still struggling with the aftermath of the Gareth Bale transfer to Real Madrid.

Villas-Boas elected to start with Jermain Defoe over summer signing Roberto Soldado and Defoe did cause some problems at the start of the second half. He was twice denied by Hammers’ goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen. As the game entered its last 25 minutes, the outcome of the match was firmly in the balance.

It was at this moment when West Ham took the lead. Winston Reid met Stewart Downing’s corner but his effort was inadvertently blocked on the goal-line by Nolan. Fortunately for the east Londoners, the ball bounced back to Reid and he made no mistake on the rebound, striking past Hugo Lloris. He joined Oliver Giroud and John Terry in being only the third player to score in the league this season past Lloris.

Vaz Te would add his name to that list just six minutes later. Found by Noble, his shot was saved by Lloris but he followed up quickly and the ball went into the net off his knee. If there was fortune about West Ham’s first two goals, there was nothing lucky about their third. Morrison, who had been dangerous all afternoon, collected a flick-on from Mohamed Diame and ran with the ball. He beat both Tottenham central defenders, Michael Dawson and Jan Vertonghen before convincingly beating Lloris and finishing the match off as a contest.

It was the Hammers’ first win at White Hart Lane since 1999 and their first away victory in nine attempts. West Ham would win three encounters in the season with Tottenham but finished in the bottom half of the table. Spurs’ form dipped alarmingly after this loss and AVB was axed as manager in December 2013. Tim Sherwood took over and guided the club to a sixth-place finish at the end of the campaign.

Shock Results: Crystal Palace 3-0 Arsenal (April 2017)

Goalscorers: Andros Townsend 17, Yohan Cabaye 63, Luka Milivojevic 68 PEN

Teams:

Crystal Palace: Wayne Hennessey, Jeff Schlupp, Martin Kelly, Mamadou Sakho, Joel Ward, Yohan Cabaye (James McArthur 74), Luka Milivojevic (Mathieu Flamini 82), Jason Puncheon, Andros Townsend, Wilfried Zaha (Damien Delaney 88), Christian Benteke

Arsenal: Emiliano Martinez, Nacho Monreal, Gabriel, Shkodran Mustafi, Hector Bellerin, Mohamed Elneny (Aaron Ramsey 59), Granit Xhaka, Mesut Ozil, Theo Walcott (Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 69), Danny Welbeck (Olivier Giroud 60), Alexis Sanchez

Referee: Michael Oliver, Attendance: 25,648

Crystal Palace arrived into this match in good form, despite their tricky position in the Premier League. The Eagles’ had won three matches in a row for only the second time in the campaign and had beaten league leaders Chelsea at Stamford Bridge nine days earlier.

By contrast, Arsenal were in a rut and had surrendered meekly in defeat on their last away trip to West Bromwich Albion before the international break. However, their Premier League record against Palace was superb. Sam Allardyce’s side hadn’t beaten the Gunners’ in the top-flight since October 1994. Even with a vocal Selhurst Park on their side under the floodlights on a Monday night, the home side went into the match as underdogs. By the full-time whistle, they had taken advantage of a lifeless Arsenal performance and increased their chances of staying up.

Although Arsenal dominated possession, they created little and deservedly fell behind after 17 minutes. Wilfried Zaha crossed from the right-hand side and ex-Tottenham midfielder Andros Townsend was in the right place to drill the ball past Arsenal’s third-choice goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, only playing because of injuries to Petr Cech and David Ospina.

Wayne Hennessey had made 11 saves in the previous game against Chelsea. He didn’t have much to do in this game and only had stops to make to deny Alexis Sanchez and Mohamed Elneny. If the Arsenal supporters were expecting a strong reaction to being behind at the interval, they got a nasty shock in the second half.

Arsene Wenger’s team didn’t even get a shot on target after the restart. They were toothless, clueless and useless. The fans showed their frustration, with more ‘Wenger Out’ banners unfurled and chants of ‘You’re not fit enough to wear the shirt’ aimed at the players.

With their usually strong opposition in freefall, Palace made the most of this opportunity and the game was basically put beyond doubt when Yohan Cabaye doubled the lead in the 63rd minute.

Cabaye, a former Arsenal transfer target, deliciously clipped Zaha’s pass into the net to score his first goal at Selhurst Park since December 2015. Five minutes later, Martinez made a rash judgement, racing out of goal and tripping Townsend in the penalty area. There was no decision for Michael Oliver to make. Luka Milivojevic made no mistake from the spot to score his first goal for the club since signing from Olympiacos in January.

It was Arsenal’s fourth successive away defeat and it would cost them, as they missed out on a top-four finish in the Premier League by two points. Crystal Palace would survive but Allardyce stepped down at the end of the season and it is now Roy Hodgson who has to try to keep them out of danger.

Shock Results: Chelsea 0-1 Queens Park Rangers (January 2013)

Goalscorer: Shaun Wright-Phillips 78

Teams:

Chelsea: Petr Cech, Gary Cahill, Branislav Ivanovic, Cesar Azpilicueta, Ryan Bertrand, Frank Lampard (Ramires 79), David Luiz, Marko Marin (Eden Hazard 60), Victor Moses (Juan Mata 75), Oscar, Fernando Torres

Queens Park Rangers: Julio Cesar, Clint Hill, Ryan Nelsen, Fabio, Nedum Onuoha, Shaun Derry, Stephane Mbia, Esteban Granero (Ji-Sung Park 90), Junior Hoilett (Shaun Wright-Phillips 15), Adel Taarabt (Kieron Dyer 90), Jamie Mackie

Referee: Lee Mason, Attendance: 41,634

Queens Park Rangers arrived at Stamford Bridge in January 2013 desperate for a victory. Harry Redknapp’s side had only won one game in the Premier League all campaign and were propping up the division. No-one gave them much hope against a Chelsea side that had won its last four league matches and put eight goals past Aston Villa in their last match in west London.

The visitors’ were given a boost when Chelsea interim manager Rafa Benitez made five changes to the side that beat Everton a few days earlier. The likes of Juan Mata and Eden Hazard were rotated to the bench and in came Marko Marin and Ryan Bertrand. Marin was making his first Premier League start of the season but a fourth minute booking set the tone for his poor evening. Benitez realised his mistake in resting Hazard and brought him on with half an hour left to play. However, Chelsea still struggled to create chances against a visiting backline that was defending very well.

Without Hazard and Mata, Chelsea lacked the creative spark, meaning Fernando Torres was relying on scraps. With the visitors’ more than happy to sit back and soak up the pressure, it meant the first 45 minutes was a tame and fairly mundane affair. With the home crowd starting to pile the pressure on the reigning European champions, Chelsea began to take control in the second half. First, Branislav Ivanovic sent a header over the crossbar from Marin’s cross – his only valuable contribution to the evening’s entertainment.

Next, Torres got his big opportunity but this wasn’t the same Torres that has frightened defences across Europe during his Liverpool FC days. The Spaniard was played in through a deflected David Luiz shot but 10 yards out, could only drill his effort straight at the former Inter Milan shot-stopper Julio Cesar. Chelsea thought they’d taken the lead in the 65th minute when Lampard found the back of the net after fine work from Victor Moses. However, the celebrations were put on hold by the linesman’s flag, who had judged Lampard to be fractionally offside.

QPR had barely threatened all evening but with 12 minutes left, they took a shock lead. After a corner was cleared at the near post, Adel Taarabt laid the ball on for Shaun Wright-Phillips to strike. The ex-Chelsea midfielder caught the ball sweetly and his shot flew into the net from the edge of the penalty area. It was a sweet moment for Wright-Phillips who only arrived into the game as a 15th minute substitute after Junior Hoillett went off injured.

It was QPR’s first top-flight success at Stamford Bridge in 34 years and their first Premier League London derby away win since March 1995 when Wimbledon were beaten 3-1 at Selhurst Park. QPR remained bottom of the table and would only win two more matches as they were duly relegated. Chelsea recovered from this disappointing setback to finish third and win in the UEFA Europa League before Benitez handed the reins over to Jose Mourinho for a second spell as Blues manager.

Shock Results: Manchester United 1-2 Bolton Wanderers (October 2001)

Goalscorers: Juan Sebastian Veron 25, Kevin Nolan 35, Michael Ricketts 84

Teams:

Manchester United: Fabien Barthez, Phil Neville, David May (Gary Neville 78), Wes Brown, Mikael Silvestre, Nicky Butt, Juan Sebastian Veron, Paul Scholes (Ryan Giggs 66), Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Andy Cole, Dwight Yorke (Luke Chadwick 67)

Bolton Wanderers: Jussi Jaaskelainen, Simon Charlton, Gudni Bergsson, Bruno N’Gotty, Mike Whitlow, Bo Hansen (Anthony Barness 82), Paul Warhurst (Jermaine Johnson 54), Kevin Nolan, Per Frandsen, Ricardo Gardner, Michael Ricketts

Referee: Graham Barber, Attendance: 67,559

This was the 100th meeting between Manchester United and Bolton Wanderers. After this surprising victory in October 2001, Sam Allardyce said: “There is no better feeling, apart from watching my children being born – it is my best result as a manager.”

Bolton had made a strong start to their Premier League return and had already beaten Liverpool FC and held Arsenal at Highbury. However, they had just lost 4-0 at home to Newcastle United seven days earlier.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s side weren’t at their free-flowing best and had been beaten in the UEFA Champions League in midweek by Deportivo La Coruna. Nevertheless, they were expected to brush the Trotters’ side aside with relative ease infront of their biggest crowd of the season.

Ferguson did make eight changes following the defeat to the Spanish side in midweek and as expected, they did a lot of the pressing in the opening exchanges with Bolton sitting and containing their more fancied opponents. Allardyce’s tactic was working until the 25th minute.

Juan Sebastian Veron drove a free-kick into the back of the Bolton net from 30 yards out. However, 11 minutes later, the visitors’ silenced the Old Trafford faithful with an equaliser that suggested they were playing with utmost confidence. Bruno N’Gotty floated a long ball towards the back post. It was met by Michael Ricketts, who nodded the ball down into the path of Kevin Nolan. Nolan hit the deftest of volleys and it flew into the back of the net. Fabien Barthez had absolutely no chance.

The Red Devils were sprung into life by this shock equaliser and Jussi Jaaskelainen had to be sharp to make a remarkable double save to deny Paul Scholes and Andy Cole in very quick succession. Jaaskelainen’s acrobatics here would see him earn a nomination for the Premier League Save of the Decade at the 10 Seasons’ Awards. He was beaten by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer shortly afterwards but the Norwegian was denied by an offside flag.

Many would have felt Bolton would try and hold on for a fantastic point but they sensed a real upset and having matched the men from Old Trafford throughout the second half, they seized their opportunity six minutes from the end. Ricketts shook off the attentions of Wes Brown, broke clear and smashed the ball past Barthez to set Allardyce’s side up for only their second win at the Theatre of Dreams in 40 years.

Bolton would stay up in 16th place on their return to the Premier League. Six home defeats for Manchester United during the season would see Ferguson’s side restricted to a third-place finish, nine points adrift of eventual champions Arsenal.

Shock Results: Leicester City 0-5 Bolton Wanderers (August 2001)

Goalscorers: Kevin Nolan 15, 41, Michael Ricketts 33, Per Frandsen 45, 83

Teams:

Leicester City: Tim Flowers, Callum Davidson (Lee Marshall 46), Matt Elliott, Gary Rowett, Frank Sinclair, Robbie Savage, Dennis Wise, Muzzy Izzet, Andy Impey, Ade Akinbiyi (Arnar Gunnlaugsson 46), Dean Sturridge (Junior Lewis 46)

Bolton Wanderers: Jussi Jaaskelainen, Anthony Barness, Gudni Bergsson (Ian Marshall 76), Simon Charlton, Mike Whitlow, Ricardo Gardner (Henrik Pedersen 66), Paul Warhurst (Nicky Southall 71), Per Frandsen, Kevin Nolan, Bo Hansen, Michael Ricketts

Referee: Rob Styles, Attendance: 19,987

Bolton Wanderers were the favourites with many of the bookmakers to be relegated at the start of the 2001-2002 season. Sam Allardyce’s side had been promoted to the Premier League via the play-offs and unlike fellow promotion teams, Fulham and Blackburn Rovers, had barely spent a penny in the summer transfer window.

First up for Bolton was a trip to Leicester City. Leicester had finished the previous campaign in very poor form, slipping from sixth to 13th in the final two months of the season. Yet, no-one could have predicted the start Bolton would make. By half-time, they were an incredible 4-0 up. They went ahead after 15 minutes. Per Frandsen did well to escape the attentions of Muzzy Izzet, before outsprinting Robbie Savage to the by-line. He got his cross into the box and Kevin Nolan produced a looping header that managed to elude Tim Flowers in the Foxes’ goal. It was the start of a remarkable first half for Bolton as they enjoyed their first Premier League game since May 1998.

Although Leicester went close through a Matt Elliott header, it was the away side that were dominating the play and they doubled their lead 12 minutes before half-time. Ricardo Gardner picked out Michael Ricketts, who showed far too much strength for Leicester defender Gary Rowett. As Rowett fell to the floor and turned to the referee in the vain appeals of winning a free-kick, Ricketts continued and scored to send the 2,000 away supporters into sheer ecstasy. Their joy was soon to increase.

Four minutes before half-time and Nolan added his second goal of the afternoon. Frandsen chipped a free-kick into the box. Long-serving defender Gudni Bergsson flicked the ball on and there was Nolan, who had all the time in the world to drill home past shell-shocked goalkeeper Flowers. By now, Leicester supporters were already calling for manager Peter Taylor’s head and Bolton’s demolition job was not complete yet.

In the final minute of stoppage-time at the end of the first half, Frandsen turned from goal provider to goalscorer. His free-kick flew into the bottom corner of Flowers’ net to complete an almost perfect first 45 minutes for the visitors.

Taylor reacted by making three half-time changes but all that did was stem the flow of the match slightly. Bolton were more than happy with the lead they’d already built up. However, there was still time with seven minutes left to add a fifth goal. Frandsen produced another brilliant free-kick which was arguably better than his first effort. The 5-0 scoreline set the course for both teams’ seasons.

Leicester sacked Taylor a month later and were relegated in April 2002. Bolton survived for the first time in their Premier League history, ending the season in a creditable 16th position.

Shock Results: Stoke City 6-1 Liverpool FC (May 2015)

Goalscorers: Mame Biram Diouf 22, 26, Jonathan Walters 30, Charlie Adam 41, Steven N’Zonzi 45, Steven Gerrard 70, Peter Crouch 86

Teams:

Stoke City: Asmir Begovic, Geoff Cameron, Marc Muniesa (Marc Wilson 71), Ryan Shawcross, Erik Pieters, Glenn Whelan, Steven N’Zonzi, Charlie Adam, Jonathan Walters (Peter Odemwingie 67), Mame Biram Diouf, Marko Arnautovic (Peter Crouch 81)

Liverpool FC: Simon Mignolet, Mamadou Sakho, Martin Skrtel, Emre Can (Kolo Toure 45), Alberto Moreno (Jordon Ibe 45), Lucas, Joe Allen (Rickie Lambert 69), Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana, Philippe Coutinho

Referee: Mark Halsey, Attendance: 38,216

The final day of the 2014-2015 season is a day Stoke City fans will never forget and a day that goes down as Liverpool FC’s darkest in Premier League history. It was one of those scorelines where you have to read it again and check it wasn’t a misprint.

It was meant to be a fond farewell for Liverpool FC skipper Steven Gerrard. Gerrard had announced five months earlier that he was going to leave Merseyside and finish his career in the United States with LA Galaxy. His 710th and final appearance for his boyhood club is one he will want to erase from his memory.

Manager Brendan Rodgers was already under pressure after an underwhelming campaign that had seen the Reds slip from a title near-miss in 2013-2014 to a distant fifth place coming into the match. The club were also caught up in a contract wrangling mess with young starlet Raheem Sterling, who had submitted a transfer request earlier in the week. Rodgers wanted to show who was boss. Sterling sat all afternoon on the bench as an unused substitute. He would never play for the club again.

However, after a pitiful first 45 minutes, Rodgers probably wanted a hole to open up inside the Britannia Stadium and for him to jump into it. Liverpool caved in spectacularly and became the first side to trail by five goals at half-time in a Premier League game since Burnley went into the dressing room 5-0 down against Manchester City in April 2010.

Mame Biram Diouf opened the scoring on 22 minutes. He was quickest to react after Charlie Adam’s shot had been parried by Simon Mignolet. Four minutes later, he was given lots of space and tried his luck – successfully to put Stoke in a commanding position. Mark Hughes’ side had the game all but wrapped up by the half-hour mark. Lax defending from emergency centre-back Emre Can allowed Jonathan Walters to pounce and score his first goal since a hat-trick against Queens Park Rangers at the end of January. Defeat for Liverpool was turning into annihilation. Adam made it 4-0; cashing in on sloppy play from Lucas to smash the ball past Mignolet from 20-yards out. Just before half-time, Steven N’Zonzi scored his fourth goal of the season with a thumping drive that no goalkeeper would have saved. Stoke supporters were on cloud nine.

Rodgers sent Can and the hapless Alberto Moreno packing at half-time and there was a slender improvement in the second half. Gerrard raced clear in the 70th minute and scored his 186th and final goal for the club but he had little to celebrate. There was still enough time for former Reds striker Peter Crouch to score a trademark header and make it 6-1. It was Crouch’s 47th headed goal in the Premier League, breaking a record previously set by Alan Shearer.

Stoke finished ninth with a record points tally of 54 points. It was the first time Liverpool FC had let six goals in during a league match in 52 years. They dropped to sixth and after a poor start to the following campaign, Rodgers was sacked in early October.

It was a sorry end to Gerrard’s LFC career but a joyous day for everyone connected with Stoke City.

Shock Results: Everton 5-0 Sunderland (December 1999)

Goalscorers: Don Hutchinson 16, 26, Francis Jeffers 41, Mark Pembridge 61, Kevin Campbell 72

Teams:

Everton: Paul Gerrard, Richard Gough, Richard Dunne, David Weir, David Unsworth, Mark Pembridge, John Collins, Don Hutchinson, Nick Barmby (Alex Cleland 74), Kevin Campbell, Francis Jeffers (Joe-Max Moore 74)

Sunderland: Thomas Sorensen, Chris Makin, Paul Butler, Eric Roy (Darren Williams 32), Steve Bould, Michael Gray (Michael Reddy 45), Gavin McCann, Stefan Schwarz, Nicky Summerbee, Kevin Kilbane, Niall Quinn

Referee: Stephen Lodge, Attendance: 40,017

Confidence was high at Everton going into this match with Sunderland in December 1999. Bill Kenwright had just completed his £20 million takeover of the club and manager Walter Smith had just signed an extension to his contract. However, they were considered outsiders for this match against a Sunderland side that were flying high on their return to the top-flight and threatening to gate-crash the European positions.

However, an ankle injury meant their top goalscorer; Kevin Phillips was missing this Boxing Day trip to Merseyside. Peter Reid’s side had a real off-day and it showed as he returned to the club where he’d won two championships as a player in the 1980s. Smith had built Everton into a physical side to play against but also one who could entertain. They’d shared a 4-4 draw earlier in the campaign with early pacesetters, Leeds United.

They took the lead after 16 minutes of this post-Christmas encounter. It saw neat build-up, involving Francis Jeffers, Mark Pembridge and David Unsworth. Don Hutchinson finished the move off with a low drive into the bottom corner of the net. 10 minutes later, the Toffees doubled their advantage. Sunderland goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen was beaten once again by a Hutchinson low shot after the experienced Steve Bould had failed to properly clear Unsworth’s free-kick.

The game was pretty much over as a contest four minutes before the interval. The lively Jeffers raced onto Richard Gough’s pass and showed no nerves in dispatching the ball past a shell-shocked Sorensen. This result was not expected at all, considering that Everton had lost 5-1 at Manchester United three weeks earlier, whilst Sunderland were dismantling Chelsea 4-1 on the same afternoon.

There was a reaction from Reid’s men after the break and Niall Quinn started to win more headers against the Everton defenders. Unfortunately without the goalscoring freedom that Phillips provided, it limited Sunderland’s attacking threat. Kevin Kilbane kept battling on but he was playing out-of-position and just didn’t possess the finishing qualities that Phillips had.

The home side soaked up the initial response from their opponents and added to their score on the hour mark. Sorensen was able to deny Kevin Campbell getting onto the scoresheet but his save only came out to Jeffers. Spotting Pembridge in a better position, the young forward squared the ball for the Welsh international to score a rare goal. It could have been more. Nick Barmby had two efforts cleared off the line and Jeffers was denied a second goal by a tight offside call. Everton still had time to add the icing on a delicious Christmas cake. Campbell lost his marker in the box and finally managed to defeat Sorensen.

Sunderland got their revenge and won the return fixture in March and finished higher in the table too but this was a painful afternoon for Reid and one of the best Walter Smith would experience in his four years in the post at Goodison Park.