Category Archives: Shock Results

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

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

Teams:

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

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

Referee: Andre Marriner, Attendance: 25,480

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Goalscorers: Tommy Mooney 14

Teams:

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

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

Referee: Alan Wilkie, Attendance: 44,174

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Goalscorers: Manuel Lanzini 65

Teams:

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

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

Referee: Anthony Taylor, Attendance: 56,992

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shock Results: AFC Bournemouth 2-1 Manchester United (December 2015)

Goalscorers: Junior Stanislas 2, Marouane Fellaini 24, Josh King 54

Teams:

AFC Bournemouth: Artur Boruc, Steve Cook, Charlie Daniels, Simon Francis, Adam Smith, Harry Arter (Eunan O’Kane 86), Andrew Surman, Dan Gosling, Matt Ritchie, Junior Stanislas, Josh King (Glenn Murray 65)

Manchester United: David de Gea, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, Daley Blind, Paddy McNair (Phil Jones 90), Guillermo Varela, Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellaini (Nick Powell 74), Jesse Lingard (Andreas Pereira 31), Juan Mata, Anthony Martial, Memphis Depay

Referee: Anthony Taylor, Attendance: 11,334

Confidence was seeping through the AFC Bournemouth squad ahead of this fixture in December 2015. Eddie Howe’s side had shown tremendous resilience to rescue a 3-3 home draw with Everton a fortnight earlier before pushing Jose Mourinho closer to the exit door at Chelsea with a surprise win at Stamford Bridge.

They still weren’t fancied to get a result against a wounded Manchester United. They were bound to exact some kind of reaction to their dismal exit from the group stages of the UEFA Champions League in midweek to Bundesliga side VfL Wolfsburg. Louis van Gaal was hamstrung by injuries to several of his key players, including Chris Smalling, Antonio Valencia and Wayne Rooney.

Bournemouth were keen to make a fast start and with a bit of help from the windy conditions on the south coast, they took the lead inside two minutes. Junior Stanislas took a corner which curled directly into the back of the net. It was his third goal in two matches and all the Bournemouth players immediately ran towards midfielder Harry Arter, who was playing just days after his partner lost their child at birth. All of Bournemouth’s players wore black armbands as a mark of respect and this showed their terrific team unity for a teammate’s personal grief.

Question marks for the opening goal would be aimed at David de Gea. The usually reliable Spaniard had completely misjudged Stanislas’ corner and whilst Anthony Martial’s lack of intent in helping out at the far post didn’t help, De Gea didn’t need anyone to tell him he shouldn’t have been beaten directly from a corner.

Manchester United equalised in the 24th minute. Belgian midfielder Marouane Fellaini scored a scruffy goal from close-range. To show the lack of finishing edge from Van Gaal’s side, it was just their sixth Premier League goal in their last seven outings. The out-of-form Martial squandered two great opportunities to hand the Red Devils the lead and his wastefulness would cost his team dear in the second half. From another set-piece, Bournemouth regained their lead. Matt Ritchie played a corner across the box and no defender took responsibility to mark Josh King. His half-volley had an awkward look to it but it nestled in the bottom corner and the Cherries were back infront.

This time, there was no response. Fellaini looked despondent when he was replaced for youngster Nick Powell in the 74th minute and the scoreline could have been even greater if the hero of Stamford Bridge, Glenn Murray, taken two late opportunities of his own.

This result compounded a miserable week for everyone connected with Manchester United and Van Gaal was about to face serious questions about his job. For Howe, the sky was the limit and these unexpected back-to-back successes spearheaded the Cherries clear of the bottom three. They would finish 16th in their debut Premier League campaign.

Shock Results: Everton 2-0 Liverpool FC (November 1994)

Goalscorers: Duncan Ferguson 57, Paul Rideout 89

Teams:

Everton: Neville Southall, Gary Ablett, Andy Hinchcliffe, Matt Jackson (Paul Rideout 45), David Unsworth, Dave Watson, Barry Horne, John Ebbrell, Joe Parkinson, Daniel Amokachi (Anders Limpar 77), Duncan Ferguson

Liverpool FC: David James, Phil Babb, Stig Inge Bjornebye (Jamie Redknapp 63), Rob Jones, Neil Ruddock, John Scales, Jan Molby, John Barnes, Steve McManaman, Robbie Fowler, Ian Rush

Referee: Dermot Gallagher, Attendance: 39,866

In November 1994, Everton were in big trouble. They were bottom of the Premier League with just one victory to their name from 16 outings. Mike Walker had been sacked in early November and replaced by former goalscoring legend Joe Royle. He had a major task on his hands.

By contrast, Liverpool FC went into the 151st Merseyside Derby in peak form. Roy Evans’ side had lost just three times all season and were sitting comfortably inside the top five. They also had enjoyed the better of this fixture in recent times, winning 20 of the previous 42 encounters with the Toffees.

As is usually the case with this fixture, there was a frenetic approach to it from both sides. Liverpool dominated possession throughout the first half but had little to show for this territory. Neville Southall was experiencing a quiet evening as Everton looked to build on recent clean sheets achieved in Walker’s final games as the club’s manager against West Ham United and Norwich City.

At half-time, Matt Jackson was forced off by injury. Rather than make a like-for-like change, Royle sensed the opportunity was there for the blue half of Merseyside to take the game by the scruff of the neck. Paul Rideout was sent on to join the power of Daniel Amokachi and Duncan Ferguson upfront for the second half.

There was an immediate response to the positive change from the manager. Amokachi’s deflected shot needed saving from James but from the resultant corner just before the hour mark, Everton took the lead. Andy Hinchcliffe delivered an in-swinging corner into the danger area. Goalkeeper James came into the crowd but never looked like taking control of the situation. He was beaten to the ball by Ferguson whose towering header found the back of the net for his first Everton goal since joining on-loan from Scottish powerhouses Rangers.

Although Liverpool had a more pressurized spell after the goal, forwards Robbie Fowler and Ian Rush got short change out of Dave Watson and David Unsworth all evening. Rideout hit the post before the visitors were sunk by more aerial prowess from Ferguson in the 89th minute. Hinchcliffe floated in another deep delivery. Again, Ferguson got the better of James in the air and via a deflection, the ball fell perfectly for Rideout to slot the ball into the empty net and seal a wonderful victory on opening night for Royle.

The win took Everton off the bottom of the table and they wouldn’t return there either. They rallied to finish 15th despite not being officially safe until five days before the season concluded. The silver lining to the season was victory over Manchester United in the FA Cup final with Rideout scoring the winner. Liverpool’s form tailed off slightly after this defeat but they still finished fourth in the final standings and also claimed silverware, beating Bolton Wanderers 2-1 to win the League Cup.

Shock Results: Newcastle United 5-1 Tottenham Hotspur (May 2016)

Goalscorers: Georginio Wijnaldum 19, 73 PEN, Aleksandar Mitrovic 39, Erik Lamela 60, Rolando Aarons 84, Daryl Janmaat 86

Teams:

Newcastle United: Karl Darlow, Paul Dummett, Daryl Janmaat, Chancel Mbemba, Steven Taylor, Jack Colback, Cheick Tiote (Jonjo Shelvey 62), Moussa Sissoko (Jamie Sterry 84), Andros Townsend, Georginio Wijnaldum (Rolando Aarons 76), Aleksandar Mitrovic (SENT OFF)

Tottenham Hotspur: Hugo Lloris, Toby Alderweireld, Ben Davies, Jan Vertonghen, Kyle Walker (Nacer Chadli 71), Eric Dier, Ryan Mason (Tom Carroll 45), Christian Eriksen, Erik Lamela, Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son (Josh Onomah 45)

Referee: Anthony Taylor, Attendance: 52,183

There was meant to be a sense of gloom around St James’ Park on the final day of the 2015-2016 season. Midweek results meant Newcastle United had already been relegated before this fixture against Tottenham Hotspur. Tottenham had enjoyed their best-ever Premier League season and could secure the runners-up spot with a positive result on Tyneside. In the end, this turned into one of the most surprising scorelines of recent times.

Despite their impending demise from the top-flight, Newcastle were unbeaten in five matches and the fans showed their support towards Rafa Benitez, who was in-charge but mulling over whether he wanted to stay and be the man to guide them in the Championship. His side made a good start and after 19 minutes, took the lead. Aleksandar Mitrovic assisted Georginio Wijnaldum who scored his first goal in 16 Premier League matches. Tottenham simply didn’t look up for the fight. Golden Boot winner Harry Kane was left chasing shadows all afternoon.

Mitrovic was putting in an all-action display. The Serbian, who had scored in the win at White Hart Lane in December 2015, doubled Newcastle’s lead six minutes before half-time. In doing so, he scored the 1000th goal of the 2015-2016 Premier League campaign. Not even Sunderland fans paying for a plane to fly over the ground during the match, saying ‘Auf Wiedersehen Prem Tyne to Go’ could dampen the spirits of the home supporters.

Mauricio Pochettino’s men did flicker into life early in the second half and Erik Lamela managed to reduce the deficit, finding the back of the net on the hour mark through Karl Darlow’s defences at his near post. Moments later, Newcastle were down to 10 men. Mitrovic was shown his second red card of the season for a dangerous lunge on Spurs full-back, Kyle Walker.

That should have prompted a proper fightback from the visitors. Instead, they folded in alarming fashion. Moussa Sissoko drove the hosts forward from midfield. The Frenchman was upended in the penalty box by Jan Vertonghen after 73 minutes. Wijnaldum coolly dispatched the penalty to take his league tally for the season to 11 goals – all coming on home soil. Tottenham heads completely dropped after conceding this goal and the gloss on the scoreline was added by late efforts from substitute Rolando Aarons and right-back Daryl Janmaat as Newcastle said farewell to the Premier League for at least a season in fitting fashion.

Defeat here for Pochettino’s side, coupled with an Arsenal win over Aston Villa meant the Gunners finished above Tottenham for the 21st successive Premier League season. Benitez signed a three-year contract to stay on at Newcastle in the summer of 2016 and would guide them back to the Premier League for the 2017-2018 season.

Shock Results: Arsenal 0-3 Middlesbrough (April 2001)

Goalscorers: Edu 34 OG, Silvinho 38 OG, Hamilton Ricard 58

Teams:

Arsenal: David Seaman, Tony Adams, Lee Dixon, Martin Keown, Silvinho, Edu (Sylvain Wiltord 46), Patrick Vieira, Freddie Ljungberg (Ray Parlour 75), Robert Pires, Kanu, Thierry Henry

Middlesbrough: Mark Schwarzer, Ugo Ehiogu, Jason Gavin, Dean Gordon, Steve Vickers, Paul Okon, Paul Ince, Christian Karembeu, Alen Boksic (Robbie Mustoe 89), Hamilton Ricard (Phil Stamp 79), Dean Windass

Referee: Paul Durkin, Attendance: 37,879

Arsenal went into this match in April 2001 knowing they were in the position of needing to win to stop Manchester United being crowned Premier League champions. Arsene Wenger’s side had little hope of catching the dominant Red Devils but a victory over struggling Middlesbrough would delay the inevitable for another week at least.

Boro turned up at Highbury firmly in a relegation battle. They were scrapping with Coventry City, Derby County and Manchester City, trying to protect their top-flight status. This was predicted to be nothing more than a routine victory for the home side but with a bit of luck and help, the visitors were about to upset the formbook in spectacular fashion.

In the televised lunchtime kick-off, Manchester United had defeated Coventry 4-2 so Arsenal needed to respond. Naturally, they made the faster start and could have been ahead inside the opening 10 minutes. Thierry Henry’s through ball split the Teesiders defensive line but Mark Schwarzer managed to thwart Kanu’s effort. Henry then sent a curling effort from distance just fractionally over the crossbar as Wenger’s side looked to stamp their authority. However, they were about to experience a nightmare four-minute spell that left any mathematical hopes they had of the championship in tatters.

In the 34th minute, Dean Windass made the most of a timid clearance from Arsenal captain Tony Adams. The forward tried his luck with what seemed like an ambitious drive from distance. Fortune favoured the ex-Bradford man as his shot came off the heel of Gunners defensive midfielder Edu and completely deceived David Seaman to give Middlesbrough the lead.

Everyone inside Highbury got the inkling this would be Middlesbrough’s day with their second goal which incredibly was another own goal. This time, it was fellow Brazilian Silvinho who was the culprit. Dean Gordon made one of his trademark runs from left-back. His cross into the box should have been cleared comfortably by Silvinho. However, he made a complete hash of a simple clearance and diverted the ball beyond Seaman’s sprawling dive. His face spoke volumes afterwards. Arsenal needed a miracle to stop the title being settled quicker than expected.

Despite having loads of possession, the hosts were lacking the clinical cutting edge. Kanu headed wide from close-range and trying to make up for his earlier error, Silvinho bent a free-kick just past Schwarzer’s post. If there was luck around Middlesbrough’s first two goals, there was nothing fortunate about the third. Colombian forward Hamilton Ricard linked up brilliantly with Alen Boksic and Ricard produced the telling finish past Seaman to put the result beyond doubt.

It was a rare Middlesbrough victory at Highbury and produced the platform for them to survive under the temporary guidance of ex-England boss Terry Venables. Arsenal finished runners-up for the third successive season but their trophy famine extended to three years.

Shock Results: Sunderland 2-1 Liverpool FC (December 2002)

Goalscorers: Gavin McCann 36, Milan Baros 67, Michael Proctor 85

Teams:

Sunderland: Jurgen Macho, Phil Babb, Joachim Bjorklund, Michael Gray (Michael Proctor 81), George McCartney, Stephen Wright, Kevin Kilbane, Gavin McCann, Paul Thirlwell, Tore Andre Flo (Marcus Stewart 89), Kevin Phillips

Liverpool FC: Chris Kirkland, Jamie Carragher, Stephane Henchoz, Djimi Traore, Igor Biscan (El-Hadji Diouf 63), Dietmar Hamann (John Arne Riise 46), Steven Gerrard, Danny Murphy, Vladimir Smicer (Salif Diao 72), Milan Baros, Michael Owen

Referee: Mark Halsey, Attendance: 37,118

Having breezed through their first 12 Premier League matches undefeated in the 2002-2003 season, Liverpool FC were in the midst of a very difficult period. Gerard Houllier had seen his side suffer four defeats in their last five league matches. Nevertheless, they were expected to end this tricky patch with a victory against a Sunderland side that had mustered just three league victories all season.

Howard Wilkinson’s team had won just twice infront of their supporters since April but did claim a hard-fought point at Anfield when the sides met a month earlier. They needed to improve on a dreadful performance and result against Manchester City six days earlier, crashing to a 3-0 home defeat. They started well though with Kevin Kilbane coming close to opening the scoring after just 12 minutes, flashing a shot just wide of Chris Kirkland’s goal. Liverpool had played a UEFA Cup tie against Vitesse Arnhem a few nights earlier and certainly looked the leggier of the two teams.

The home side had gone over 500 minutes without a Premier League goal but that drought would end nine minutes before half-time. Ex-Evertonian Gavin McCann got the better of Steven Gerrard and linked up nicely with Tore Andre Flo. The nomadic Norwegian forward poked the ball back into McCann’s path. He calmly dinked his effort over Kirkland to open the scoring.

Liverpool had to improve in the second half and Houllier responded by taking off defensively-minded player Dietmar Hamann for the more attacking instincts of John Arne Riise. However, they were about to be denied constantly by Jurgen Macho. The Austrian pulled off several impressive saves to deny the likes of Milan Baros and Danny Murphy. The visitors completely bossed the start of the second half but on 58 minutes, could have fallen two goals behind.

Kevin Phillips’ header hit Jamie Carragher, whose arm was in a very unnatural position. Mark Halsey believed Carragher had blocked the attempt with his hand and gave a penalty. It was a big decision and a wrong call. Replays showed Carragher had been struck in the face by Phillips’ header. McCann took responsibility for the penalty but looked nervous and his kick was weak. Kirkland leapt off his goal-line to push his effort around the post. Liverpool felt justice had been done and finally found a way through Macho nine minutes later. Carragher threaded a beautiful ball through Sunderland’s backline and this time, Baros made no mistake to slot home a deserved equaliser. Surely, only one side was going to go on and win?

Not so. Wilkinson bought on Sunderland-born midfielder Michael Proctor with nine minutes remaining. Four minutes later, he put himself in the nightmares of many Reds supporters, scoring his first Sunderland goal just weeks after returning from a loan spell at Bradford City. He needed two attempts at it but he found the net to take the Black Cats out of the relegation zone.

This would end up being Sunderland’s last win of the season as they went down with just 19 points. Liverpool would go 11 games without victory in the Premier League and this run would ultimately cost them a top four finish come the end of the season.

Shock Results: Southampton 3-1 Manchester United (April 1996)

Goalscorers: Ken Monkou 11, Neil Shipperley 23, Matt Le Tissier 43, Ryan Giggs 89

Teams:

Southampton: Dave Beasant, Francis Benali, Simon Charlton, Jason Dodd, Ken Monkou, Barry Venison, Alan Neilson, Jim Magilton, Neil Heaney, Matt Le Tissier, Neil Shipperley

Manchester United: Peter Schmeichel, Steve Bruce, Denis Irwin, Gary Neville, Nicky Butt (Paul Scholes 46), Roy Keane, Lee Sharpe (David May 55), David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Eric Cantona, Andy Cole

Referee: Graham Poll, Attendance: 15,262

Manchester United were undefeated in the Premier League since a New Years’ Day hiding from Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane. Unbeaten in 19 matches in all competitions since, Alex Ferguson’s side were through to the FA Cup final and had usurped Newcastle United as the league leaders in the title race. After a run of four successive victories by a one-goal margin, they were now expected to claim their third title in four seasons.

They travelled to the south coast to take on a Southampton side that were scrapping again to stay in the division. United recalled Roy Keane after suspension with Brian McClair dropping out of the side from the narrow Easter Monday victory over Coventry City. However, they never got started in the first 45 minutes, producing a subdued display which their opponents took full advantage of.

The first goal came after just 11 minutes. Matt Le Tissier curled a free-kick into the box and the big Dutchman; Ken Monkou got a free header. Peter Schmeichel parried his effort back into the path of Monkou, who reacted quickest to the rebound to fire the relegation strugglers ahead against the league leaders.

The Red Devils didn’t look like a side that were favourites to win the title. Le Tissier curved a shot against the post and they were soon 2-0 behind. Ryan Giggs lost possession to Jim Magilton in the 23rd minute. Magilton fed Alan Neilson on the right-hand side and his cross to the near post was tucked away by the club’s top goalscorer, Neil Shipperley. Southampton had a great platform to pull off one of the most surprising victories of the season.

Two minutes before half-time, it was virtually game over. Shipperley floated a deep cross to the back post. Schmeichel came to collect but dropped the ball into the path of Le Tissier, who simply wasn’t going to pass up the gift presented to him. It was Le Tissier’s first goal from open play in the Premier League during the 1995-1996 season and it couldn’t have come at a better time for the Saints’ survival prospects. Southampton were 3-0 ahead going into the changing rooms. Then, Ferguson tried something unique.

Not only did he bring Paul Scholes on for Nicky Butt at the interval, the whole team came out in a completely different away kit, apparently because the players couldn’t see each other in their grey shirts. Ferguson said afterwards: “The players couldn’t pick each other out. They said it was difficult to see their teammates at distance when they lifted their heads.”

It didn’t really change the outcome of the match. Gary Neville set-up Giggs for a consolation two minutes from full-time but that was all the league leaders could muster from an off-colour day at The Dell. They would win their remaining three Premier League matches and the FA Cup final to achieve a second double in three years. Southampton achieved survival on the final day of the season.

Shock Results: Wigan Athletic 0-4 Blackpool (August 2010)

Goalscorers: Gary Taylor-Fletcher 16, Marlon Harewood 38, 43, Alex Baptiste 75

Teams:

Wigan Athletic: Chris Kirkland, Emmerson Boyce (Ronnie Stam 45), Antolin Alcaraz, Maynor Figueroa, Steve Gohouri, Mohamed Diame (Hendry Thomas 45), James McCarthy, Ben Watson, Victor Moses (James McArthur 72), Mauro Boselli, Hugo Rodallega

Blackpool: Matt Gilks, Alex Baptiste, Craig Cathcart, Stephen Crainey, Ian Evatt, Charlie Adam, Elliot Grandin, David Vaughan, Gary Taylor-Fletcher (Jason Euell 76), Marlon Harewood (Chris Basham 60), Brett Ormerod (Ludovic Sylvestre 59)

Referee: Mark Halsey, Attendance: 16,152

The opening day of the 2010-2011 Premier League season is one that supporters of Blackpool will never forget. The Seasiders were playing in their first Premier League match away in Lancashire to Wigan Athletic. Initially having come out as a home match for Blackpool, the clubs had agreed to switch the venue whilst ground redevelopment was being completed at Bloomfield Road.

Blackpool had made seven new signings in the off-season and three of them made their debuts in this match including the experienced Marlon Harewood, who had the guile upfront to cause problems for any Premier League defence. He took advantage of a Wigan side that was missing Charles N’Zogbia through injury and had a backline that looked in complete disarray.

This was the first meeting in the top division between the sides and The DW Stadium was made silent inside of 16 minutes. Blackpool broke down the right-hand side. Harewood squared the ball for Gary Taylor-Fletcher to finish commandingly. Brett Ormerod, who had scored the play-off winner against Cardiff City a few months earlier missed a couple of earlier opportunities and Taylor-Fletcher had a second goal for the day chalked off for offside by linesman Paul Thompson.

Wigan looked scared. Blackpool were rampant and fully deserved their two-goal lead, achieved by Harewood on 38 minutes. The former West Ham striker tried his luck from distance. Chris Kirkland was beaten for pace but knew he should have saved it. Five minutes later, Harewood doubled his tally as he enjoyed his return to the big stage. Fellow impressive debutant Elliot Grandin had a shot from distance. Kirkland saved but again couldn’t hold onto the ball and Harewood was fastest to the rebound to score his second of the afternoon. Wigan were jeered off at half-time by their own supporters. This was an opening day to forget so far for manager Roberto Martinez.

He made two substitutions at the break with Ronnie Stam and Hendry Thomas replacing Emmerson Boyce and Mohamed Diame. It looked like they had pulled a goal back when defender Steve Gohouri nodded the ball into the net from Ben Watson’s free-kick. However, for the second time in the day, linesman Thompson had his flag up to disallow the goal.

With 15 minutes remaining, Blackpool added further gloss onto the scoreline with a fourth goal. Defender Alex Baptiste tried his luck and his shot which looked more like a cross managed to creep in past Kirkland’s defences at his near post. It was a horrid afternoon for the Wigan shot-stopper and he would lose his place in the team shortly after this display. Blackpool’s first top-flight win in 31 years had them briefly top of the table for a few hours and Holloway’s side were thrilling to watch all season.

Sadly though, there was no happy ending. Defeat on the final day at Old Trafford saw them relegated. The Latics lost 6-0 in their next match to Chelsea but Martinez’s side rallied in the closing weeks and avoided relegation on the same day Blackpool were relegated.

Shock Results: Liverpool FC 0-1 Barnsley (November 1997)

Goalscorer: Ashley Ward 35

Teams:

Liverpool FC: David James, Stig Inge Bjornebye (Danny Murphy 65), Bjorn Tore Kvarme, Dominic Matteo, Jason McAteer, Jamie Redknapp, Patrik Berger, Oyvind Leonhardsen, Steve McManaman, Karl-Heinz Riedle, Michael Owen

Barnsley: Lars Leese, Darren Barnard, Arjan de Zeeuw, Nicky Eaden, Peter Markstedt, Adie Moses, Martin Bullock, Neil Redfearn, Eric Tinkler, Andy Liddell (Matty Appleby 68), Ashley Ward (John Hendrie 86)

Referee: Jeff Winter, Attendance: 41,011

The 1997-1998 Premier League season was Barnsley’s first-ever in the top-flight. Their supporters were ready to enjoy the ride but the Tykes had already taken some hefty beatings by the end of November 1997. They’d lost 5-0 away at Arsenal, 6-0 at home to Chelsea and 7-0 at Old Trafford against Manchester United. Therefore, the Yorkshire side travelled to Anfield low on confidence and fearing the worst.

Liverpool needed just three more goals to reach 400 Premier League strikes at Anfield and manager Roy Evans gave a start to his new young prodigy, Michael Owen. Danny Wilson also made a big call by dropping his first-choice goalkeeper Dave Watson and replacing him with German Lars Leese.

The goals were expected to come for the home side but Barnsley stayed resilient in the first 30 minutes. Patrik Berger tested Leese with a long-range effort before Karl-Heinz Riedle wasted two very good opportunities. The German had scored twice in the UEFA Champions League final for previous club Borussia Dortmund just six months earlier. However, he was finding the going very tough in English football.

Then, the Anfield faithful were stunned when the visitors took an unexpected lead through a goal of comic proportions. Andy Liddell managed to escape David James’ clutches and got to the by-line before squaring the ball back. Berger got to the cutback first but his poor control saw summer signing Ashley Ward poke the ball home into the unguarded net to score one of the easiest goals of his career. By half-time, the Liverpool FC supporters were fed up and booed the team off at the interval. They might have been missing Paul Ince and Robbie Fowler but it had been a very disjointed performance from those who played.

There was a slight improvement in the second half and Leese was by far the busier goalkeeper. He denied Owen and summer arrival Oyvind Leonhardsen in the opening moments of the second period. By now, Barnsley were firmly penned back in their own half but they wouldn’t budge. Leese was enjoying his day in-goal and defensive debutant Peter Markstedt looked like a seasoned campaigner as Owen struggled to make the telling impact. Most of Liverpool’s chances fell to Riedle but he wasted more opportunities. First, he shot over after being set-up by Stig Inge Bjornebye before being played through by substitute Danny Murphy, only to fire straight at Leese’s legs. It just wasn’t the home side’s day.

Barnsley’s tremendous goalkeeper and heroic defensive effort meant they had just pulled off one of the shock results of the season. Although they would be relegated at the end of the campaign, their supporters will always look back on this amazing day on their only top-flight visit to Anfield when they silenced The Kop and left with three welcome points.

Shock Results: Chelsea 1-2 Sunderland (April 2014)

Goalscorers: Samuel Eto’o 12, Connor Wickham 18, Fabio Borini 82 PEN

Teams:

Chelsea: Mark Schwarzer, Cesar Azpilicueta, Gary Cahill, Branislav Ivanovic, John Terry, Nemanja Matic, Ramires, Oscar (Demba Ba 59), Mohamed Salah (Andre Schurrle 66), Willian, Samuel Eto’o (Fernando Torres 74)

Sunderland: Vito Mannone, Marcos Alonso, Wes Brown, John O’Shea, Santiago Vergini, Lee Cattermole, Jack Colback, Adam Johnson (Emanuele Giaccherini 66), Sebastian Larsson (Ondrej Celustka 90), Fabio Borini, Connor Wickham (Jozy Altidore 66)

Referee: Mike Dean, Attendance: 41,210

Jose Mourinho was in his second spell as manager of Chelsea and his team were involved in a three-way scrap for the Premier League title with Liverpool FC and Manchester City. The Blues did look title favourites after a February victory at The Etihad Stadium but costly away defeats to Aston Villa and Crystal Palace had made them outsiders for the championship. They were facing a Sunderland side who were favourites for relegation despite a battling 2-2 draw at Eastlands three nights earlier. Gus Poyet’s side were also taking on Mourinho’s impregnable home record as a Premier League boss. He had never lost a home encounter and this was his 78th match.

The Blues top goalscorer, Eden Hazard was injured but Mourinho still had Samuel Eto’o available and the experienced Cameroonian gave his side the perfect start after only 12 minutes. Willian’s corner found Eto’o, who got infront of his marker, Lee Cattermole to guide in his 12th goal of the season. Considering there was so long to go and Sunderland’s recent 5-1 defeat on their last trip to the capital at Tottenham Hotspur, the omens didn’t look good for Poyet and his side.

However, they had found some energy and resolve during the midweek draw with Manchester City and Connor Wickham was finding a goalscoring touch that had deserted him for much of the campaign. After his two goals in Manchester, he added another here to bring the Black Cats level. On-loan full-back Marcos Alonso hit a shot which was too hot to handle for Mark Schwarzer. Wickham reacted quicker than Chelsea captain John Terry to score from close-range.

Chelsea had 31 attempts on-goal but without Hazard, lacked the decisive cutting edge. Vito Mannone was in terrific form, making smart saves to deny Branislav Ivanovic, Nemanja Matic and Willian whilst the introductions in the second half of Andre Schurrle and Demba Ba made little difference. The crucial moment occurred eight minutes from full-time. A slip from Cesar Azpilicueta allowed substitute Jozy Altidore to break down the right-hand side. Azpilicueta tracked him but brought him down.

Referee Mike Dean awarded a penalty and this prompted a furious reaction from the Chelsea dugout. Mourinho had to restrain his assistant coach Rui Faria, who was dismissed to the stands for his protests. On-loan from Liverpool FC, ex-Chelsea forward Fabio Borini calmly slotted away the spot-kick to set Sunderland up for their second victory in four seasons at Stamford Bridge.

Mourinho’s home record was gone and his fairly sarcastic media interviews afterwards suggested he didn’t take defeat well. Sunderland would win their next three matches and ultimately, remain in the Premier League off the back of shock results like this one in west London.