Iconic Moments: Le Tissier’s only penalty failure (March 1993)

There are few players who can boast as good a Premier League record from the penalty spot than Southampton’s lynchpin for many years, Matt Le Tissier.

In fact, he took 48 penalties in his whole career and scored 47 of them. A 98% penalty success ratio during his playing days means he is considered as one of the greatest masters from 12-yards.

However, he did have one failure from the spot and it came in the very first Premier League season. Playing for Southampton at home to Nottingham Forest, he had a first half penalty saved by Forest goalkeeper Mark Crossley, who once saved a penalty from Gary Lineker in an FA Cup final.

 

Le Tissier did score past Crossley later in the match with a long-range effort but the visitors left The Dell with all three points, winning 2-1. It is the only mark on almost near-perfection from Matt Le Tissier in his battles with the penalty spot.

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

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

Teams:

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

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

Referee: Mike Reed, Attendance: 16,229

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

Teams:

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

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

Referee: Gerald Ashby, Attendance: 18,002

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

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

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

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

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

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

Iconic Moments: Rafa’s rant (January 2009)

Liverpool FC last won the English league championship in 1990, before the Premier League came into existence. They narrowly missed out on the major prize with Brendan Rodgers in 2014, whilst Gerard Houllier took them close in 2002. On both occasions, the Reds had to settle for the runners-up position.

The same scenario occurred in 2009. Liverpool went into the calendar year with a useful four-point lead over reigning champions Manchester United. Manager Rafa Benitez seemed to have things under control. That was until his pre-match press conference ahead of a trip to newly-promoted Stoke City.

When asked a question about Sir Alex Ferguson complaining about Manchester United’s fixture schedule as they had a game in-hand due to their World Club Championship commitments, Benitez decided to turn the pressure up in an amazing and almost inexplicable rant – aimed at the referees’ respect campaign and TV fixture scheduling, insisting Ferguson doesn’t get punished for anything.

Part of his five-minute rage was: “All managers need to know is that only Mr Ferguson can talk about the fixtures, can talk about referees and nothing happens. We need to know that I am talking about facts, not my impression. There are things that everyone can see every single week.”

It had a negative effect. Liverpool could only draw at Stoke the next evening, whilst Manchester United beat Chelsea 3-0 24 hours later. Within a week, the Red Devils had gone to the top of the table and would eventually win their third successive Premier League title.

This was a press conference that backfired badly on Benitez. In truth, he had fallen victim to the manager who was the master at cranking up the pressure, Sir Alex Ferguson.

Premier League Files: DJ Campbell

Premier League Career: Birmingham City (2005-2006), Blackpool (2010-2011), Queens Park Rangers (2011-2012)

Forward DJ Campbell played for three Premier League teams, experienced the heartache of relegation twice and actually experienced his most prolific scoring days in the non-league. Campbell did impress though in Blackpool’s one-season dalliance in the Premier League, scoring 13 goals in the 2010-2011 campaign.

Born in Hammersmith, Campbell started his career as a trainee at Aston Villa but failed to impress enough to get a professional deal. He went down into the non-league and came to prominence with a devastating spell at Yeading. He scored 83 times in 109 appearances in all competitions and managed to showcase his skills in a televised FA Cup tie with Newcastle United in 2005.

Brentford manager Martin Allen took a gamble on him in the summer of 2005, paying Yeading £5,000 and nine goals in 23 appearances was good returns for a player who was making a major jump upto League One level.

After scoring twice for the Bees to dump Premier League strugglers Sunderland out of the FA Cup in January 2006, DJ was sold to Birmingham City just three days after this fantastic moment for him personally. The Blues paid £500,000 for his services but he failed to score in the 11 appearances he made as Birmingham dropped out of the Premier League.

Campbell scored nine times in the 2006-2007 season as he helped Birmingham back to the top-flight at the first attempt but he was moved on by Steve Bruce that summer and spent the next three years with moves to Leicester City and loan periods at Derby County and Blackpool. It seemed like he’d finally found a settled home at the latter and Blackpool paid a club-record £1.25m to sign him permanently on transfer deadline day in August 2010.

In his first game as a permanent Blackpool player, he scored the second goal in a sensational 2-0 away win at St James’ Park against Newcastle United. He then went on to score matchwinning strikes away at Stoke City and Sunderland and a winner to send Liverpool FC crashing to a second league defeat of the season against the Tangerines. At this stage, Blackpool were punching well above their weight in mid-table. Unfortunately, they slid down the table and ended up going down. Campbell didn’t help their cause with a red card for violent conduct in a 4-0 defeat at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

He moved to Queens Park Rangers in August 2011, joining the club he’d supported as a boy. Injuries restricted him to just 11 appearances, scoring once in an away win at Wolves. That was his final Premier League season. Campbell was loaned to Ipswich Town for the 2012-2013 campaign and went on to have spells with Blackburn Rovers, Millwall and Maidenhead United in the Conference South.

The latter part of DJ’s career was overshadowed by a spot-fixing scandal which saw him arrested in December 2013 along with five other men by the National Crime Agency. He was released without charge in August 2014 but it seriously damaged his relationship and love with the game of football.

Seasonal Records: 2010-2011

For all the statistical fans out there, here are some of the season’s records from the 2010-2011 Premier League campaign. Manchester United made history by becoming the most successful club in English top-flight history, achieving their 19th championship.

FINAL TABLE

Position Team P W D L F A GD PTS
1 Manchester United 38 23 11 4 78 37 +41 80
2 Chelsea 38 21 8 9 69 33 +36 71
3 Manchester City 38 21 8 9 60 33 +27 71
4 Arsenal 38 19 11 8 72 43 +29 68
5 Tottenham Hotspur 38 16 14 8 55 46 +9 62
6 Liverpool FC 38 17 7 14 59 44 +15 58
7 Everton 38 13 15 10 51 45 +6 54
8 Fulham 38 11 16 11 49 43 +6 49
9 Aston Villa 38 12 12 14 48 59 -11 48
10 Sunderland 38 12 11 15 45 56 -11 47
11 West Bromwich Albion 38 12 11 15 56 71 -15 47
12 Newcastle United 38 11 13 14 56 57 -1 46
13 Stoke City 38 13 7 18 46 48 -2 46
14 Bolton Wanderers 38 12 10 16 52 56 -4 46
15 Blackburn Rovers 38 11 10 17 46 59 -13 43
16 Wigan Athletic 38 9 15 14 40 61 -21 42
17 Wolverhampton Wanderers 38 11 7 20 46 66 -20 40
18 Birmingham City 38 8 15 15 37 58 -21 39
19 Blackpool 38 10 9 19 55 78 -23 39
20 West Ham United 38 7 12 19 43 70 -27 33

 

THE BASIC STATS

Goals Scored 1063
European qualifiers Manchester United (UEFA Champions League)

Chelsea (UEFA Champions League)

Manchester City (UEFA Champions League)

Arsenal (UEFA Champions League)

Tottenham Hotspur (UEFA Europa League)

Fulham (UEFA Europa League)

Stoke City (UEFA Europa League)

Birmingham City (UEFA Europa League)

Longest winning run 5 games (Chelsea)
Longest unbeaten run 24 games (Manchester United)
Longest winless run 10 games (Blackburn Rovers)
Longest losing run 5 games (West Bromwich Albion, Bolton Wanderers, Blackpool & West Ham United)
Highest attendance 75,486 (Manchester United vs. Bolton Wanderers)
Lowest attendance 14,042 (Wigan Athletic vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers)

 

AWARDS

PFA Players’ Player of the Year Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur)
PFA Young Player of the Year Jack Wilshere (Arsenal)
Football Writers’ Award Scott Parker (West Ham United)
PFA Team of the Year Edwin van der Sar, Ashley Cole, Bacary Sagna, Vincent Kompany, Nemanja Vidic, Jack Wilshere, Nani, Samir Nasri, Gareth Bale, Dimitar Berbatov, Carlos Tevez
Manager of the Year Sir Alex Ferguson (Manchester United)
Premier League Goal of the Season Wayne Rooney (MANCHESTER UNITED vs. Manchester City)

 

HAT-TRICK HEROES

Player Teams Score Date
Didier Drogba Chelsea vs. West Bromwich Albion 6-0 14th August 2010
Theo Walcott Arsenal vs. Blackpool 6-0 21st August 2010
Andy Carroll Newcastle United vs. Aston Villa 6-0 22nd August 2010
Dimitar Berbatov Manchester United vs. Liverpool FC 3-2 19th September 2010
Kevin Nolan Newcastle United vs. Sunderland 5-1 31st October 2010
Dimitar Berbatov (5) Manchester United vs. Blackburn Rovers 7-1 27th November 2010
Mario Balotelli Manchester City vs. Aston Villa 4-0 28th December 2010
Leon Best Newcastle United vs. West Ham United 5-0 5th January 2011
Dimitar Berbatov Manchester United vs. Birmingham City 5-0 22nd January 2011
Robin van Persie Arsenal vs. Wigan Athletic 3-0 22nd January 2011
Carlos Tevez Manchester City vs. West Bromwich Albion 3-0 5th February 2011
Louis Saha (4) Everton vs. Blackpool 5-3 5th February 2011
Dirk Kuyt Liverpool FC vs. Manchester United 3-1 6th March 2011
Wayne Rooney West Ham United vs. Manchester United 4-2 2nd April 2011
Maxi Rodriguez Liverpool FC vs. Birmingham City 5-0 23rd April 2011
Maxi Rodriguez Fulham vs. Liverpool FC 5-2 9th May 2011
Somen Tchoyi Newcastle United vs. West Bromwich Albion 3-3 22nd May 2011

 

TOP SCORERS

Position Player Teams No of Goals
1= Dimitar Berbatov Manchester United 20
1= Carlos Tevez Manchester City 20
3 Robin van Persie Arsenal 18
4 Darren Bent Sunderland & Aston Villa 17
5 Peter Odemwingie West Bromwich Albion 15
6= Javier Hernandez Manchester United 13
6= Florent Malouda Chelsea 13
6= Rafael van der Vaart Tottenham Hotspur 13
6= Dirk Kuyt Liverpool FC 13
6= Andy Carroll Newcastle United & Liverpool FC 13
6= DJ Campbell Blackpool 13
12= Clint Dempsey Fulham 12
12= Kevin Nolan Newcastle United 12
12= Charlie Adam Blackpool 12
15= Wayne Rooney Manchester United 11
15= Didier Drogba Chelsea 11
17= Frank Lampard Chelsea 10
17= Samir Nasri Arsenal 10
17= Roman Pavlyuchenko Tottenham Hotspur 10
17= Salomon Kalou Chelsea 10
17= Fernando Torres Liverpool FC & Chelsea 10
17= Asamoah Gyan Sunderland 10
17= Johan Elmander Bolton Wanderers 10
17= Maxi Rodriguez Liverpool FC 10
17= Steven Fletcher Wolverhampton Wanderers 10

BIGGEST VICTORIES

Manchester United 7-1 Blackburn Rovers 27th November 2010
Chelsea 6-0 West Bromwich Albion 14th August 2010
Wigan Athletic 0-6 Chelsea 21st August 2010
Arsenal 6-0 Blackpool 21st August 2010
Newcastle United 6-0 Aston Villa 22nd August 2010
Manchester United 5-0 Birmingham City 22nd January 2011
Manchester City 5-0 Sunderland 3rd April 2011
Liverpool FC 5-0 Birmingham City 23rd April 2011
Newcastle United 5-0 West Ham United 5th January 2011
Newcastle United 5-1 Sunderland 31st October 2010

 

HIGHEST SCORING GAMES

No of Goals Teams Date
8 Manchester United 7-1 Blackburn Rovers 27th November 2010
8 Newcastle United 4-4 Arsenal 5th February 2011
8 Everton 5-3 Blackpool 5th February 2011
7 Fulham 2-5 Liverpool FC 9th May 2011
7 Manchester City 4-3 Wolverhampton Wanderers 15th January 2011
7 Wigan Athletic 4-3 Blackburn Rovers 5th February 2011
7 Blackpool 4-3 Bolton Wanderers 14th May 2011
6 Chelsea 6-0 West Bromwich Albion 14th August 2010
6 Wigan Athletic 0-6 Chelsea 21st August 2010
6 Arsenal 6-0 Blackpool 21st August 2010
6 Newcastle United 6-0 Aston Villa 22nd August 2010
6 Newcastle United 5-1 Sunderland 31st October 2010
6 Bolton Wanderers 5-1 Newcastle United 20th November 2010
6 West Ham United 2-4 Manchester United 2nd April 2011
6 Sunderland 2-4 Chelsea 1st February 2011
6 Aston Villa 2-4 Arsenal 27th November 2010
6 Tottenham Hotspur 4-2 Blackburn Rovers 13th November 2010
6 Sunderland 4-2 Wigan Athletic 23rd April 2011
6 Bolton Wanderers 4-2 Tottenham Hotspur 6th November 2010
6 Manchester United 4-2 Blackpool 22nd May 2011

 

YOUNGEST PLAYERS USED

Player Teams Age at the time Date
Josh McEachran Manchester City 1-0 Chelsea 17 years, 6 months, 27 days 25th September 2010
Jack Robinson Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool FC 17 years, 7 months, 16 days 17th April 2011
Louis Laing Sunderland 1-3 Wolverhampton Wanderers 18 years, 2 months, 8 days 14th May 2011
Abdul Razak Manchester City 3-0 West Bromwich Albion 18 years, 2 months, 25 days 5th February 2011
Jon Flanagan Liverpool FC 3-0 Manchester City 18 years, 3 months, 10 days 11th April 2011
George Thorne Newcastle United 3-3 West Bromwich Albion 18 years, 4 months, 18 days 22nd May 2011
Phil Jones Blackburn Rovers 1-0 Everton 18 years, 5 months, 24 days 14th August 2010
Jack Wilshere Liverpool FC 1-1 Arsenal 18 years, 7 months, 14 days 15th August 2010
Jonjo Shelvey Liverpool FC 2-1 Blackburn Rovers 18 years, 7 months, 27 days 24th October 2010
Chris Wood Liverpool FC 1-0 West Bromwich Albion 18 years, 8 months, 22 days 29th August 2010

 

OLDEST PLAYERS USED

Player Teams Age at the time Date
Jens Lehmann Blackpool 1-3 Arsenal 41 years, 5 months 10th April 2011
Edwin van der Sar Manchester United 4-2 Blackpool 40 years, 6 months, 23 days 22nd May 2011
Brad Friedel Aston Villa 1-0 Liverpool FC 40 years, 4 days 22nd May 2011
Mike Pollitt Bolton Wanderers 1-1 Wigan Athletic 38 years, 10 months, 7 days 5th January 2011
Mark Schwarzer Fulham 2-2 Arsenal 38 years, 7 months, 16 days 22nd May 2011
Marcus Hahnemann Blackpool 2-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 38 years, 5 months, 5 days 20th November 2010
Kevin Phillips Birmingham City 0-2 Fulham 37 years, 9 months, 20 days 15th May 2011
Carlo Cudicini Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Birmingham City 37 years, 8 months, 16 days 22nd May 2011
Robert Pires West Bromwich Albion 2-1 Aston Villa 37 years, 6 months, 1 day 30th April 2011
Ryan Giggs Blackburn Rovers 1-1 Manchester United 37 years, 5 months, 15 days 14th May 2011

 

CLEAN SHEETS

Position Player Teams No of Clean Sheets
1 Joe Hart Manchester City 18
2 Petr Cech Chelsea 15
3= Edwin van der Sar Manchester United 14
3= Pepe Reina Liverpool FC 14
5 Mark Schwarzer Fulham 11
6= Tim Howard Everton 9
6= Ben Foster Birmingham City 9
8= Simon Mignolet Sunderland 8
8= Asmir Begovic Stoke City 8
8= Paul Robinson Blackburn Rovers 8

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.

Iconic Moments: Fernando’s horrendous miss (September 2011)

Fernando Torres cost Chelsea £50 million on transfer deadline day in January 2011 when he elected to join the Blues from Premier League rivals Liverpool FC. It is fair to say that Chelsea supporters rarely saw the best of the Torres that haunted defenders throughout the world from his Liverpool days.

The lowest point of his Chelsea career came in September 2011 at Old Trafford against Manchester United. Having scored his first goal of the season early in the second half, the Spaniard got the perfect opportunity to double his tally with seven minutes left to play.

Played through by Ramires, Torres beat the offside trap and rounded goalkeeper David de Gea. The goal was gaping infront of him. Somehow, he managed to slice his shot wide into a delighted Stretford End. Cue a serious amount of laughter from United supporters and Liverpool fans who had never quite forgiven Torres for his transfer.

Sky Sports analyst Jamie Redknapp said: “To use a golfing term, it was almost like a yip.”

It remains one of the worst misses we’ve ever seen in the first 25 years of Premier League football.

Premier League Files: Oyvind Leonhardsen

Premier League Career: Wimbledon (1994-1997), Liverpool FC (1997-1999), Tottenham Hotspur (1999-2002), Aston Villa (2002-2003)

Oyvind Leonhardsen played for four different Premier League clubs across a nine-year period. His most productive spell was at his first English top-flight club, sparkling as a creative asset in a Wimbledon side that wasn’t always the most attractive, but quite effective in the mid-1990s.

Leonhardsen started his career in his native Norway, playing for top domestic clubs Molde FK and Rosenborg. He was voted Player’s Player of the Year in Norway for 1994 and for several seasons, was considered as the top midfielder in the division. He won 86 caps for his country, winning cult hero status and playing in two World Cup final tournaments.

Joe Kinnear brought him to the Premier League in time for the 1994-1995 season and he impressed constantly on the left-wing for Wimbledon. Across three campaigns, he scored 13 times. Towards the end of his final season in south-east London, Leonhardsen informed the Dons hierarchy that he wouldn’t be extending his contract which was due to expire in 1998. Rather than lose a talented player for nothing, Wimbledon cashed in on his services and he joined Liverpool FC in May 1997 for £3.5 million.

He was initially a regular in Roy Evans’ starting line-up but he never quite found his best form at Anfield. Sometimes, the expectation to deliver seemed to weigh too much on his shoulders. He netted seven times in 37 league games before switching to Tottenham Hotspur in 1999.

Leonhardsen was a victim of George Graham’s sacking in 2001. He got frozen out of Glenn Hoddle’s first-team plans and went on-trial to Bundesliga club FC Schalke 04 despite having another year to run on his deal at White Hart Lane. Schalke didn’t offer him a permanent deal but like fellow compatriot Ronny Johnsen, Graham Taylor did at Aston Villa. Tottenham allowed him to leave on a free transfer in August 2002 and he moved to the Midlands in a bit to kick-start his career again.

He spent just one campaign at Villa Park before returning to Scandinavia, finishing his playing days in 2007 with Strømsgodset aged 37. Leonhardsen is now working as a youth coach at his former club, Lyn Fotball.

In total, Oyvind scored 30 Premier League goals in his career and impressively, never finished on the losing side whenever he found the back of the net. That is an impressive feat considering the clubs he played for during his Premier League spell weren’t world-beaters.

The Clubs: Blackpool

All-Time Premier League Record

Played Won Drew Lost Scored Conceded Goal Difference Points No of Seasons
38 10 9 19 55 78 -23 39 1

 

Most Premier League Appearances

Player Appearances Total
Ian Evatt 38
Charlie Adam 35
David Vaughan 35
DJ Campbell 31
Stephen Crainey 31
Neal Eardley 31
Gary Taylor-Fletcher 31
Craig Cathcart 30
Luke Varney 30
Matt Phillips 27

 

Most Premier League Goals

Player Goals Total
DJ Campbell 13
Charlie Adam 12
Marlon Harewood 5
Gary Taylor-Fletcher 5
Luke Varney 5
Jason Puncheon 3
Alex Baptiste 2
Matt Phillips 2
David Vaughan 2
Craig Cathcart 1

 

Biggest Premier League Victories

Match Date Season
Wigan Athletic 0-4 Blackpool 14th August 2010 2010-2011
Blackpool 3-1 Tottenham Hotspur 22nd February 2011 2010-2011
Newcastle United 0-2 Blackpool 11th September 2010 2010-2011
Sunderland 0-2 Blackpool 28th December 2010 2010-2011
Blackpool 4-3 Bolton Wanderers 14th May 2011 2010-2011

 

Worst Premier League Defeats

Match Date Season
Arsenal 6-0 Blackpool 21st August 2010 2010-2011
Chelsea 4-0 Blackpool 19th September 2010 2010-2011
Wolverhampton Wanderers 4-0 Blackpool 26th February 2011 2010-2011
Fulham 3-0 Blackpool 3rd April 2011 2010-2011
Everton 5-3 Blackpool 5th February 2011 2010-2011

 

Managers

Manager No of Seasons managed Left the Club
Ian Holloway 4 3rd November 2012

 

Highest Home Attendances

Match Date Attendance Figure Season
Blackpool 2-3 Manchester City 17th October 2010 16,116 2010-2011
Blackpool 2-2 Everton 6th November 2010 16,094 2010-2011
Blackpool 2-1 Liverpool FC 12th January 2011 16,089 2010-2011
Blackpool 3-1 Tottenham Hotspur 22nd February 2011 16,069 2010-2011
Blackpool 1-2 Sunderland 22nd January 2011 16,037 2010-2011

 

Intro

Blackpool might have only been part of the Premier League party for a single season but they were a neutral’s favourite. Their all-out attack policy won many fans and saw the Tangerines involved in some of the best matches of the 2010-2011 Premier League season. Ian Holloway’s side were box-office material, enjoying a league double over Liverpool FC along the way. Sadly, form and confidence caught up with the Seasiders in the second half of the season and a 4-2 loss on the final day to Manchester United saw them relegated exactly a year to the day when they were promoted.

 

2010-2011

Blackpool began the 2010-2011 season as bookies favourites to be relegated after their surprising promotion via the play-offs. However, Ian Holloway and his side didn’t read the script on day one. They tore Wigan Athletic apart in a game moved to Wigan’s home ground whilst development work was being completed on Bloomfield Road to meet Premier League standards. Blackpool won 4-0, with debutant Marlon Harewood scoring twice.

There were sensational away victories at Newcastle United, Stoke City and Sunderland as Blackpool fast became away day specialists. In October 2011, they gave Liverpool FC one of their darkest results in their Premier League history, beating the Reds 2-1 at Anfield. DJ Campbell was top scorer with 13 goals, backed up by some heroic performances from Charlie Adam.

Blackpool sat eighth at the turn of the year and completed a league double over Liverpool FC in the early weeks of January 2011. A 3-2 loss to West Bromwich Albion days later though started a dramatic turn in their fortunes. Holloway’s men lost seven of their next nine matches and began to fall down towards the relegation places. When Wigan gained revenge for their opening day defeat in mid-April with a 3-1 away win at Bloomfield Road, Blackpool had dropped into the bottom three for the first time in the season.

A four-game unbeaten run followed and a belting 4-3 victory over Bolton Wanderers in their final home match left Blackpool outside the bottom three going into the final day. A positive result at Old Trafford on the final day and they could still achieve survival. Adam and Gary Taylor-Fletcher scored to have the visitors leading 2-1 early in the second half but defensive frailties caught up with them. They lost 4-2 and that condemned them to relegation regardless of other results. Despite scoring as many goals as fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur, Blackpool’s leaky defence would cost them. They shipped 78 goals and that meant they were heading back to the Championship.

It was short-lived but a season their supporters will never forget.

Iconic Moments: Shearer comes home (July 1996)

In July 1996, Newcastle United were still reeling from having thrown away a glorious opportunity to become champions of England. They held a 12-point lead over Manchester United in January, yet had somehow presided to lose the title to the men from Old Trafford by May. Kevin Keegan wanted to have one final throw at the dice to give the Geordie supporters the silverware they craved.

Alan Shearer was one of the hottest properties in world football. He had finished as top Premier League scorer for the past two seasons and just claimed the Golden Boot honours at the 1996 European Championship for England. It looked certain that he was going to leave Blackburn Rovers after his international heroics but where was he going to go?

Manchester United wanted to sign Shearer after missing out on him in 1992 and entered the race to get his signature. However, United chairman Martin Edwards stated that Blackburn refused to do any business with their former title rivals. However, Blackburn did decide to do business with Newcastle United.

It was Shearer’s boyhood club and his hero growing up was Kevin Keegan. On 30th July 1996, Blackburn received a world-record transfer fee of £15 million from Newcastle for Shearer’s services. He was coming home to Tyneside.

He became Newcastle’s record all-time goalscorer before retiring in 2006 but would never win any silverware for his hometown club. However, this signing was for the fans and Keegan’s last gift to them. He would resign as first-team manager in January 1997.

25 years of the most envied league in the world!