Results: Aston Villa 1-1 Crystal Palace, Blackburn Rovers 4-0 Coventry City, Leeds United 2-3 Chelsea, Manchester City 4-0 Everton, Newcastle United 5-1 Southampton, Norwich City 1-0 West Ham United, Nottingham Forest 1-0 Leicester City, Queens Park Rangers 1-2 Ipswich Town, Tottenham Hotspur 0-1 Manchester United, Wimbledon 0-1 Sheffield Wednesday, Liverpool FC 3-0 Arsenal
Going into the third set of fixtures in the 1994-1995 Premier League, 20 teams had played two games each and just two sides had 100% records. They were Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur. The Magpies had already scored seven goals in their opening two victories over Leicester City and Coventry City. They were about to add five more to that tally in a 5-1 destruction of Southampton.
The rout against the Saints was set-up by three goals in a 10-minute period. Defender Steve Watson, who was playing in a wide midfield position, benefited from a more attacking approach by scoring the first two goals of the afternoon. Andy Cole added another brace to his growing collection as Kevin Keegan’s side consolidated top spot in the early season table.
Tottenham’s maximum start to the season disappeared as they were beaten 1-0 by champions Manchester United at White Hart Lane. United skipper Steve Bruce scored the only goal, heading home after Ian Walker came for a Ryan Giggs corner and got nowhere near it. Bruce then blotted his copybook by giving away a penalty for body checking Ilie Dumitrescu. However, Teddy Sheringham couldn’t convert the spot-kick. He was denied by Peter Schmeichel. It was a second failure from the penalty spot for Sheringham in four days.
With work still being done to the new Kop all-seater stand, Liverpool FC hadn’t played in the first midweek round of the season but the new era at the ground began on Super Sunday with Arsenal the visitors to Anfield. It would produce one of the most groundbreaking historical records that would stand for over two decades. Young forward Robbie Fowler was already making a name for himself. On this day, he scored the fastest hat-trick in Premier League history – a record that would last for 21 years. The 19-year-old found the net three times in just four minutes and 33 seconds. It was a record that would stand until Sadio Mane managed a quicker treble for Southampton against Aston Villa in May 2015. Liverpool won the game 3-0 and a star was well and truly born.
That meant Liverpool had won two games from two and so too had Chelsea, who produced the comeback of the round. They went 2-0 down to Leeds United inside 18 minutes, courtesy of goals from South African Phil Masinga and Leeds’ own young talent in Noel Whelan. The fightback was inspired by Dennis Wise, who scored from the penalty spot before half-time. Then, his free-kick in the 61st minute was saved by John Lukic but only into the path of John Spencer to equalise. Spencer scored the winner with two minutes left with his shot from outside the area squirming underneath Lukic’s body to complete a great turnaround from the Londoners.
After three sets of games, eight clubs were still awaiting their first victory of the campaign. Among them were Aston Villa, who were pegged back at home in the closing stages for the second successive match. Newly-promoted Crystal Palace earned a 1-1 draw thanks to Gareth Southgate’s 87th minute equaliser. Coventry City were another side without a victory and they took a second consecutive 4-0 beating on their travels. This time, it was Blackburn Rovers dishing out a thrashing, with their new striker, Chris Sutton scoring a hat-trick. Coventry had Mick Quinn sent off.
There were worrying signs too for Mike Walker at Everton whose side caved in dramatically in the second half at Maine Road. Uwe Rosler and Paul Walsh both scored twice as Manchester City eased to a 4-0 victory and Walker would only win one match in the league before being dismissed in early November by the Toffees hierarchy.
What else happened in August 1994?
- The IRA announces a “complete cessation of military operations.”
- The 1994 Sunday Trading Act comes into force, permitting retailers to start trading in six-hour slots on Sundays.
- Britpop band Oasis releases their debut album Definitely Maybe; and it becomes the fastest selling debut album in the United Kingdom.
- Sky Sports launch their second television channel, as Sky Sports 2 is born.
- Norwich Central Library is destroyed by a huge fire, with most of the city’s historical records lost in the blaze.
- The last traces of Eastern Europe’s Soviet occupation disappear as the Russian army vacates Estonia and Latvia.