Tag Archives: 2001

Premier League Rewind: 5th-8th May 2001

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

With three games to go and the title already wrapped up by Manchester United, attention in May 2001 was largely focused on the bottom of the table. Bradford City were already condemned to relegation but the fight for survival was on between Derby County, Manchester City and Coventry City.

All three sides had testing fixtures away from home and with no margin for error, the side able to pull off a victory was more likely to survive. Derby had the most challenging match with a trip to the champions at Old Trafford. Jim Smith’s side had struggled all season and had only won one of their last seven encounters. The Rams though had pulled off an unexpected victory away at Manchester United in April 1997, so they had experience of producing the unexpected and they did so again here, with a shock 1-0 victory. Malcolm Christie scored the only goal of the game in the 34th minute to inflict only a second home defeat on Sir Alex Ferguson’s side all season. This win piled the pressure on Coventry City.

It meant the Sky Blues had to realistically win at Villa Park against Midlands rivals Aston Villa. They were in a very strong position when two spectacular goals from Mustapha Hadji had them 2-0 ahead. However, it was a position Gordon Strachan’s side weren’t used to in the 2000-2001 season. They’d recorded just eight league victories all campaign and it showed. Darius Vassell and Juan Pablo Angel pulled Villa level and with four minutes to go, Paul Merson delivered the final blow with a superb curling effort. The Villans won 3-2 and that result, combined with Derby’s win meant Coventry’s 34-year stay in England’s top-flight was officially over. They haven’t been back since.

Two nights later, a similar fate befell Manchester City. Shaun Goater gave their supporters hope by opening the scoring away to high-flying Ipswich Town in the 74th minute. Matt Holland equalised four minutes later though and Martijn Reuser’s diving header five minutes from full-time sealed a 2-1 win for Ipswich to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for the following season’s UEFA Champions League. For Joe Royle and Manchester City, it was the end of the road and relegation back to the First Division.

Ipswich were in a three-horse race for the final UEFA Champions League qualifying position and it was advantage Liverpool FC in this particular battle. The Reds were preparing for the FA Cup final with Arsenal but warmed up by claiming four points from two home fixtures. Michael Owen was in sensational form, scoring yet another hat-trick against Newcastle United in a 3-0 success. Three days later, he grabbed another two goals in an absorbing 2-2 draw with Chelsea, as Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink matched Owen’s accomplishment. The Dutchman’s two goals on Merseyside saw him take a giant step closer to winning the Golden Boot.

Elsewhere, Arsenal secured the runners-up position by defeating in-form Leeds United 2-1. Freddie Ljungberg and Sylvain Wiltord scored the goals in what turned out to be a damaging defeat for Leeds’ prospects of matching their third place finish from the previous campaign. Leicester’s wretched run of seven consecutive losses was ended by a 4-2 home victory against Tottenham Hotspur with goals from Gary Rowett, Dean Sturridge, Steve Guppy and a Robbie Savage penalty whilst Middlesbrough’s safety was secured by other results. They drew 1-1 at Valley Parade with bottom-placed Bradford City.

What else happened in May 2001?

  • Campaigning for the UK General Election is dominated by a scuffle between Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott and a protestor in Rhyl after an egg is thrown at him.
  • Silvio Berlusconi becomes Italian Prime Minister for the second time after winning the election in Italy.
  • The government decides to start relaxing its tough sanctions put in place to tackle the foot and mouth crisis two months on.
  • Liverpool FC complete a unique ‘Treble’ of cup victories, defeating Arsenal 2-1 in the FA Cup final in Cardiff, before prevailing 5-4 against Spanish side Alaves in the UEFA Cup final in Dortmund.
  • At 16, Temba Tsheri becomes the youngest person to summit Mount Everest.
  • With the song ‘Everybody,’ Estonia win the 2001 Eurovision Song Contest.

 

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Seasonal Stories: Bolton Wanderers (2001-2002)

Target achieved

Bolton Wanderers were tipped by many as favourites to make an instant return to the First Division ahead of the 2001-2002 Premier League campaign. Without a great deal of money to spend following promotion, Sam Allardyce had to rely on the bulk of his promotion-winning squad and they did him proud. Top of the table in August and a memorable win at Old Trafford over the reigning champions were among the early highlights.

A winter wobble gave way to a successful spring and a 16th-place finish which meant the Trotters avoided relegation for the first time in their Premier League existence.

Three wins from three

Having won promotion to the Premier League after defeating Preston North End in the play-off final in late May, Sam Allardyce was about to face a big challenge as a top-flight manager and with little summer investment. Bolton spent a meagre £650,000 in pre-season and that was on one player, Henrik Pedersen from Danish outfit Silkeborg.

Allardyce had to rely on the majority of his promotion-winning squad but they made a fabulous start on the opening day at Filbert Street, handing down a 5-0 thrashing to Leicester City. Kevin Nolan scored twice on his Premier League debut and Per Frandsen struck two fantastic free-kicks in a scoreline that left everyone surprised by the way Bolton had trounced a team who had comfortably finished in mid-table in the previous campaign.

Michael Ricketts had also scored in that victory and he made a brilliant individual start to his maiden season in the top-flight. Ricketts got the only goal of the game in Bolton’s first home match of the season against Middlesbrough three days later, then opened the scoring against Liverpool FC in a shock 2-1 victory over the side that held five trophies to their name at this stage of the season. A record crowd at The Reebok Stadium saw Sander Westerveld allow a weak Dean Holdsworth shot to defeat him in stoppage-time and ensure Bolton ended August top of the Premier League table.

Surprising the elite

September was a winless month but Bolton still remained in fourth place and picked up more vital points on their travels. The Premier League elite were struggling against ‘Big Sam’ and his battling squad. Liverpool FC had lost to them and after the first international break of the season, Leeds United couldn’t break Bolton down at Elland Road, drawing 0-0.

Later in the month, Ricketts came off the bench to snatch an equaliser in a 1-1 draw at Highbury with Arsenal. He later admitted he had been dropped by the manager for a poor performance in the previous match but seemed happy to play the rotational role. He would strike a more significant blow a month later on the reigning champions.

When Bolton travelled to Old Trafford to play Manchester United in mid-October, they had slipped to eighth in the table and were winless in six matches. They fell behind to Juan Sebastian Veron’s free-kick and needed a splendid double-save from Jussi Jaaskelainen to stop the Red Devils increasing their advantage. Then, Nolan scored a brilliant equaliser before Ricketts raced clear of Wes Brown in the last five minutes and silenced the home support with a stunning winning goal. Bolton had just stunned Manchester United and left with all three points. They were mixing it in decent company in the upper echelons of the Premier League table.

21st OCTOBER 2001 TABLE

POS TABLE P W D L F A GD PTS
1 Leeds United 9 5 4 0 12 3 +9 19
2 Arsenal 9 5 3 1 21 8 +13 18
3 Aston Villa 9 5 3 1 14 6 +8 18
4 Manchester United 9 5 2 2 26 16 +10 17
5 Liverpool FC 8 5 1 2 15 9 +6 16
6 BOLTON WANDERERS 10 4 3 3 12 11 +1 15

Momentum lost

The fine start Bolton made to the season seemed to have silenced the critics who had believed they had little hope of staying up at the start of the campaign. However, winter would leave a real freeze over The Reebok.

After the win at Old Trafford, Allardyce’s side lost all sense of momentum, only winning one of their next 15 matches which was a 2-1 success infront of the Sky Sports Super Sunday cameras away at struggling Ipswich Town in mid-November.

Bolton plummeted down the table and were beginning to concede goals at an alarming rate too. Chelsea beat them 5-1 at Stamford Bridge despite Nolan giving them a third-minute lead. Days later, Robbie Fowler scored his first Leeds United hat-trick as David O’Leary’s side cruised to a 3-0 victory on Boxing Day.

When they lost an end-to-end contest in early February on Tyneside to Newcastle United 3-2, the club had dropped into the bottom three for the first time in the season. Maybe the doubters were about to be proven right.

Allardyce knew he needed to add some proven experience to his squad and swooped into the European market to bring in defender Bruno N’Gotty from Marseille, tough-tackling midfielder Stig Tøfting from Hamburger SV and experienced forwards Youri Djorkaeff and Fredi Bobic. The latter pair would have a huge influence on Bolton’s fortunes in the spring months.

Fredi and Youri do the business

Bolton did record a 1-0 victory over West Ham United in mid-February but the genuine turning point came in late March when the Trotters travelled to The Valley to play Charlton Athletic. Djorkaeff scored his first goals for the club as Bolton recorded a 2-1 victory to climb out of the drop zone and it started a run of three victories in four games.

On Easter Saturday, Bobic broke his duck at home to Aston Villa and Nolan rediscovered his goalscoring form to send Villa to a 3-2 defeat. A week later, Bobic was in sensational form at home to Ipswich. In a game that was a genuine relegation six-pointer, he scored a first half hat-trick and Djorkaeff chipped in with another strike as Allardyce’s side enjoyed a memorable first half. Ipswich were 4-0 down at the interval and their season never truly recovered. The final scoreline was 4-1 and it was a result that virtually secured Bolton’s place in the Premier League for another season.

The magical 40-point mark was achieved a week later with a 1-1 home draw against Tottenham Hotspur and although they lost their final three matches against a trio of London sides in Fulham, Arsenal and West Ham United, Bolton had achieved survival for the first time in their Premier League life – finishing four points above danger. It was a job well done from a team considered the favourite for the drop at the start of the season.

FINAL 2001-2002 TABLE – THE BOTTOM SIX

POS TABLE P W D L F A GD PTS
15 Everton 38 11 10 17 45 57 -12 43
16 BOLTON WANDERERS 38 9 13 16 44 62 -18 40
17 Sunderland 38 10 10 18 29 51 -22 40
18 Ipswich Town 38 9 9 20 41 64 -23 36
19 Derby County 38 8 6 24 33 63 -30 30
20 Leicester City 38 5 13 20 30 64 -34 28

Premier League Rewind: 3rd-4th November 2001

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

The top seven in the 2001-2002 Premier League season were covered by just four points going into the 11th set of fixtures. The slightly surprising early pacesetters were Aston Villa. John Gregory’s side had won four of their last five fixtures to top the table by a single point.

However, their leadership of the table would only be temporary and by the end of the weekend, we’d have new leaders in the form of the league’s only unbeaten club. Villa had the chance to put some distance between them and the chasing pack as they played on Saturday afternoon at St James’ Park against Newcastle United. However, they were no match for Sir Bobby Robson’s free-flowing side, losing 3-0. Craig Bellamy continued his burgeoning reputation with two goals and Alan Shearer rolled back the years with a spectacular volley which completely beat Peter Schmeichel. After four successive seasons loitering in mid-table, Newcastle were in the chasing pack and just three points off top spot.

So, Leeds United had the opportunity to take command of the title race. They welcomed Tottenham Hotspur to Elland Road. Spurs had managed to string three successive victories together before this fixture and sat in seventh and on the coattails of the established elite. They led here too through Gus Poyet’s beautiful curling shot. However, Leeds responded with an Ian Harte equaliser before Harry Kewell wrapped the match up for David O’Leary’s young chargers nine minutes from full-time. It finished 2-1 and Leeds were heading for the summit. They were unbeaten and looked like a serious title player at this stage of the season.

On the same Sunday afternoon, England’s biggest rivals went head-to-head at Anfield and it was Liverpool FC who prevailed. They beat Manchester United 3-1 to record a fourth consecutive victory against the Red Devils. Michael Owen had recently returned from a hamstring injury and showed no signs of weakness here with two goals. There was also a blockbuster free-kick from John Arne Riise which ranks among this game’s greatest-ever goals.

Arsenal could have taken advantage of United’s third defeat of the season but they experienced a clumsy afternoon of their own against Charlton Athletic, especially in the defensive department. Richard Wright inexplicably punched the ball into his own net and Claus Jensen chipped him from distance on a painful afternoon for the man considered to be the heir to David Seaman’s possession of the goalkeeper jersey for both club and country. Charlton’s 4-2 victory was one for clinical fans over stylish gameplay. Home form was the weakness for Arsenal so far, with just one victory at Highbury from five outings.

Much-maligned striker Ade Akinbiyi chose the fixture with Sunderland to finally grab his first goal of the season. He needed two swipes at his shot but it went into the net and Leicester had their first home victory of the campaign as they beat the Black Cats 1-0 infront of the Sky Sports cameras. That meant not only did the Foxes climb off the foot of the table but they were now out of the bottom three. Replacing them at the bottom were Derby County who were thrashed 5-1 by Middlesbrough at The Riverside Stadium.

What else happened in November 2001?

  • The music world mourns the death of former Beatles singer and guitarist George Harrison, who dies in Los Angeles, aged 58 after a battle with lung cancer.
  • The first instalment in the Harry Potter film series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone makes its premier debut in London.
  • 12 British plane-spotters are held by Greek authorities on charges of spying.
  • 260 people are killed when an American Airlines flight crashes in Queens, New York moments are take-off from JFK airport.
  • The national airline of Belgium, Sabena, goes bankrupt.
  • The governing body of the UK Singles Chart, Chart Information Network Ltd. (CIN), changes its name to The Official UK Charts Company.
  • Richard & Judy’s new teatime programme debuts on Channel 4.

 

Iconic Moments: The decline begins for Coventry City (May 2001)

Coventry City had spent 34 consecutive seasons in England’s top-flight. They had provided many with brilliant memories, winning the FA Cup in 1987 and producing many final day escapes, especially in 1997 with a victory at White Hart Lane against Tottenham Hotspur protecting them from relegation.

They weren’t so lucky four years later. The Sky Blues had struggled all season and went into their match at Villa Park needing to win to still hold a realistic hope of staying up. It started well as Mustapha Hadji scored twice before defensive frailties set in. In the closing stages, Paul Merson hit the winning goal for Aston Villa. Their 3-2 win coupled with Derby County’s 1-0 victory at Old Trafford meant Coventry City’s proud stay as a top-flight club was over. They were going down.

The decline was well and truly underway for one of England’s most recognisable clubs. Terrible ownership, a brief ground share at Sixfields with Northampton Town, regular managerial changes and three relegations have followed since that day at Villa Park in May 2001. A fifth round FA Cup run in 2018 has put them back in the conscious minds of some but they are now toiling in the fourth-tier of the English league pyramid system.

This was the moment where a little part of the Premier League disappeared forever.

Premier League Rewind: 18th-19th August 2001

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What else happened in August 2001?

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

Seasonal Records: 2000-2001

For all the statistical fans out there, here are some of the season’s records from the 2000-2001 Premier League campaign, as two sides from the North West shared the major league and cup prizes between themselves.

FINAL TABLE

Position Team P W D L F A GD PTS
1 Manchester United 38 24 8 6 79 31 +48 80
2 Arsenal 38 20 10 8 63 38 +25 70
3 Liverpool FC 38 20 9 9 71 39 +32 69
4 Leeds United 38 20 8 10 64 43 +21 68
5 Ipswich Town 38 20 6 12 57 42 +15 66
6 Chelsea 38 17 10 11 68 45 +23 61
7 Sunderland 38 15 12 11 46 41 +5 57
8 Aston Villa 38 13 15 10 46 43 +3 54
9 Charlton Athletic 38 14 10 14 50 57 -7 52
10 Southampton 38 14 10 14 40 48 -8 52
11 Newcastle United 38 14 9 15 44 50 -6 51
12 Tottenham Hotspur 38 13 10 15 47 54 -7 49
13 Leicester City 38 14 6 18 39 51 -12 48
14 Middlesbrough 38 9 15 14 44 44 0 42
15 West Ham United 38 10 12 16 45 50 -5 42
16 Everton 38 11 9 18 45 59 -14 42
17 Derby County 38 10 12 16 37 59 -22 42
18 Manchester City 38 8 10 20 41 65 -24 34
19 Coventry City 38 8 10 20 36 63 -27 34
20 Bradford City 38 5 11 22 30 70 -40 26

 

THE BASIC STATS

Goals Scored 992
European qualifiers Manchester United (UEFA Champions League), Arsenal (UEFA Champions League), Liverpool FC (UEFA Champions League), Leeds United (UEFA Cup), Ipswich Town (UEFA Cup), Chelsea (UEFA Cup), Aston Villa (UEFA Intertoto Cup), Newcastle United (UEFA Intertoto Cup)
Longest winning run 8 games (Manchester United)
Longest unbeaten run 13 games (Leeds United)
Longest winless run 13 games (Bradford City & Derby County)
Longest losing run 8 games (Leicester City)
Highest attendance 67,637 (Manchester United vs. Coventry City)
Lowest attendance 15,523 (Bradford City vs. Coventry City)

 

AWARDS

PFA Players’ Player of the Year Teddy Sheringham (Manchester United)
PFA Young Player of the Year Steven Gerrard (Liverpool FC)
Football Writers’ Award Teddy Sheringham (Manchester United)
PFA Team of the Year Fabien Barthez, Wes Brown, Stephen Carr, Jaap Stam, Sylvinho, Roy Keane, Patrick Vieira, Steven Gerrard, Ryan Giggs, Thierry Henry, Teddy Sheringham
Manager of the Year George Burley (Ipswich Town)
Premier League Goal of the Season Shaun Bartlett (CHARLTON ATHLETIC vs. Leicester City)

 

HAT-TRICK HEROES

Player Teams Score Date
Paulo Wanchope Manchester City vs. Sunderland 4-2 23rd August 2000
Michael Owen Liverpool FC vs. Aston Villa 3-1 6th September 2000
Emile Heskey Derby County vs. Liverpool FC 0-4 15th October 2000
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (4) Chelsea vs. Coventry City 6-1 21st October 2000
Teddy Sheringham Manchester United vs. Southampton 5-0 28th October 2000
Mark Viduka (4) Leeds United vs. Liverpool FC 4-3 4th November 2000
Les Ferdinand Tottenham Hotspur vs. Leicester City 3-0 25th November 2000
Ray Parlour Arsenal vs. Newcastle United 5-0 10th December 2000
Thierry Henry Arsenal vs. Leicester City 6-1 26th December 2000
Kevin Phillips Bradford City vs. Sunderland 1-4 26th December 2000
Dwight Yorke Manchester United vs. Arsenal 6-1 25th February 2001
Sylvain Wiltord Arsenal vs. West Ham United 3-0 3rd March 2001
Marcus Stewart Southampton vs. Ipswich Town 0-3 7th April 2001
Michael Owen Liverpool FC vs. Newcastle United 3-0 5th May 2001

 

TOP SCORERS

Position Player Teams No of Goals
1 Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink Chelsea 23
2 Marcus Stewart Ipswich Town 19
3 Thierry Henry Arsenal 17
4 Mark Viduka Leeds United 17
5 Michael Owen Liverpool FC 16
6 Teddy Sheringham Manchester United 15
7 Emile Heskey Liverpool FC 14
8= Kevin Phillips Sunderland 14
8= Alen Boksic Middlesbrough 12
10= Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Manchester United 11
10= Alan Smith Leeds United 11
10= Jonatan Johansson Charlton Athletic 11
13= James Beattie Southampton 11
13= Freddie Kanoute West Ham United 11
13= Eidur Gudjohnsen Chelsea 10
13= Les Ferdinand Tottenham Hotspur 10
13= Gus Poyet Chelsea 10
13= David Beckham Manchester United 9
13= Lee Bowyer Leeds United 9
20= Gianfranco Zola Chelsea 9
20= Marian Pahars Southampton 9
22= Andy Cole Manchester United 9
22= Sergiy Rebrov Tottenham Hotspur 9
22= Ade Akinbiyi Leicester City 9
22= Paolo di Canio West Ham United 9

BIGGEST VICTORIES

Manchester United 6-0 Bradford City 5th September 2000
Manchester United 6-1 Arsenal 25th February 2001
Arsenal 6-1 Leicester City 26th December 2000
Leeds United 6-1 Bradford City 13th May 2001
Chelsea 6-1 Coventry City 21st October 2000
Manchester United 5-0 Southampton 28th October 2000
Arsenal 5-0 Manchester City 28th October 2000
Arsenal 5-0 Newcastle United 9th December 2000
West Ham United 5-0 Charlton Athletic 26th December 2000
Manchester City 5-0 Everton 9th December 2000

 

HIGHEST SCORING GAMES

No of Goals Teams Date
8 Arsenal 5-3 Charlton Athletic 26th August 2000
7 Manchester United 6-1 Arsenal 25th February 2001
7 Arsenal 6-1 Leicester City 26th December 2000
7 Leeds United 6-1 Bradford City 13th May 2001
7 Chelsea 6-1 Coventry City 21st October 2000
7 Leeds United 4-3 Liverpool FC 4th November 2000
7 Leeds United 4-3 Tottenham Hotspur 30th September 2000
6 Manchester United 6-0 Bradford City 5th September 2000
6 Manchester United 4-2 Coventry City 14th April 2001
6 Chelsea 4-2 West Ham United 19th August 2000
6 Chelsea 2-4 Sunderland 17th March 2001
6 Tottenham Hotspur 4-2 Newcastle United 2nd January 2001
6 Leicester City 4-2 Tottenham Hotspur 5th May 2001
6 Manchester City 4-2 Sunderland 23rd August 2000
6 Manchester United 3-3 Chelsea 23rd September 2000
6 Charlton Athletic 3-3 Manchester United 9th December 2000
6 Southampton 3-3 Liverpool FC 26th August 2000
6 Charlton Athletic 3-3 Aston Villa 17th April 2001
6 Bradford City 3-3 Tottenham Hotspur 9th December 2000
6 Derby County 3-3 Middlesbrough 6th September 2000

 

YOUNGEST PLAYERS USED

Player Teams Age at the time Date
Calum Davenport Coventry City 0-0 Bradford City 18 years, 4 months, 17 days 19th May 2001
Jay Bothroyd Coventry City 1-2 Manchester United 18 years, 5 months, 30 days 4th November 2000
Carlos Marinelli Middlesbrough 1-1 Aston Villa 18 years, 6 months, 9 days 23rd September 2000
Nabil Abidallah Ipswich Town 2-0 Everton 18 years, 6 months, 19 days 24th February 2001
Jermain Defoe Middlesbrough 2-1 West Ham United 18 years, 7 months, 12 days 19th May 2001
Thomas Hitzlsperger Aston Villa 0-3 Liverpool FC 18 years, 9 months, 8 days 13th January 2001
Joe Cole Chelsea 4-2 West Ham United 18 years, 9 months, 11 days 19th August 2000
Shaun Wright-Phillips Charlton Athletic 4-0 Manchester City 18 years, 9 months, 25 days 19th August 2000
Brian Kerr Coventry City 0-2 Newcastle United 18 years, 10 months, 25 days 6th September 2000
Adam Murray Everton 2-2 Derby County 18 years, 10 months, 27 days 26th August 2000

 

OLDEST PLAYERS USED

Player Teams Age at the time Date
John Lukic Arsenal 0-0 Derby County 39 years, 11 months 11th November 2000
Stuart Pearce Middlesbrough 2-1 West Ham United 39 years, 25 days 19th May 2001
Richard Gough Everton 2-1 Bradford City 39 years, 23 days 28th April 2001
Raimond van der Gouw Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 Manchester United 38 years, 1 month, 25 days 19th May 2001
Steve Bould Manchester City 4-2 Sunderland 37 years, 9 months, 7 days 23rd August 2000
David Seaman Newcastle United 0-0 Arsenal 37 years, 7 months, 26 days 15th May 2001
Nigel Winterburn Manchester City 1-0 West Ham United 37 years, 4 months, 17 days 28th April 2001
Lee Dixon Newcastle United 0-0 Arsenal 37 years, 1 month, 28 days 15th May 2001
Andy Goram Southampton 2-1 Manchester United 37 years, 1 month 13th May 2001
Tommy Wright Manchester City 0-1 Newcastle United 37 years, 4 days 30th September 2000

 

CLEAN SHEETS

Position Player Teams No of Clean Sheets
1 Fabien Barthez Manchester United 15
2= Sander Westerveld Liverpool FC 14
2= Paul Jones Southampton 14
4 Thomas Sorensen Sunderland 13
5 Richard Wright Ipswich Town 12
6 David Seaman Arsenal 11
7 Mart Poom Derby County 10
8= Nigel Martyn Leeds United 9
8= David James Aston Villa 9
8= Dean Kiely Charlton Athletic 9

Premier League Rewind: 13th-14th April 2001

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

The Easter weekend in April 2001 would ultimately turn out to be the decisive weekend where the destiny of the Premier League title race would be settled. In reality, there wasn’t much of a title race. Manchester United had made sure of that. Six weeks earlier, they’d battered closest rivals Arsenal 6-1 at Old Trafford. It wasn’t if, but when they wrapped up a seventh title in nine seasons.

On Easter Saturday, they received their first opportunity to wrap up the championship by kicking off at lunchtime at home to Coventry City. The Sky Blues’ were five points adrift of safety and desperate to start picking up points if they wanted to maintain their excellent top-flight record. They pushed their more illustrious opponents all the way and the score was 2-2 at half-time. Dwight Yorke and John Hartson had exchanged goals. The match was only decided in the last nine minutes. A looping Ryan Giggs header and Paul Scholes curler sealed United’s 4-2 victory. It meant that Arsenal had to win later that afternoon against Middlesbrough to keep the mathematical solutions going.

Arsenal hadn’t conceded in their last four matches and Middlesbrough were still not entirely safe of relegation yet. Many would have had home banker on their betting slips that afternoon but it wouldn’t play to the formbook. Brazilian pair Edu and Silvinho scored two own goals for Middlesbrough in four crazy first half minutes. Hamilton Ricard’s 58th minute strike sealed an unbelievable 3-0 victory at Highbury for Boro. Incredibly, they managed just one shot on target all afternoon. Arsenal’s hopes were mathematically over and Manchester United were champions yet again, ending the weekend 16 points clear with five games left to play.

The race to finish in third position had actually begun 24 hours earlier when Liverpool FC and Leeds United locked horns on Good Friday at Anfield. It was a Good Friday for Leeds who claimed a priceless win to make it four consecutive victories. Rio Ferdinand scored his first goal for the club and Lee Bowyer cashed in on some static defending to double the visitors’ lead before half-time. Liverpool rallied in the second half and Steven Gerrard reduced the deficit before being harshly sent off for two bookable offences. Defeat left Gerard Houllier’s side in sixth spot and six points off third place. They had games in hand but no more errors could be afforded now.

Incredibly, it was newly-promoted Ipswich Town that were holding down third spot and they continued to defy their critics who kept maintaining that they would fade away. Another three points were racked up on their tally against Newcastle United. It was Sir Bobby Robson’s first return to Portman Road as a manager since his memorable stint with the East Anglian side in the early 1980s. However, it ended unhappily for Robson as Nolberto Solano was sent off and Marcus Stewart’s penalty settled a fairly timid match.

Sunderland had been in the shake-up for much of the season but for the second campaign running, their form was starting to elude them just when European football beckoned on Wearside. They made an electric start against Tottenham Hotspur. Goals by Kevin Phillips and Niall Quinn had the home side 2-0 ahead inside of 12 minutes. However, Tottenham had other ideas, particularly central defender Gary Doherty. Playing as an emergency forward, Doherty scored twice in the last 15 minutes as Tottenham stormed back to win 3-2. That meant new manager Glenn Hoddle had chalked up two victories in three matches since succeeding George Graham in the post.

By contrast, whilst Tottenham were finding a bit of consistency, Leicester City were beginning to consistently lose matches. They were fifth after beating Liverpool FC 2-0 in early March but since then lost five straight games and dropped out of the top half. The latest damaging reverse came to relegation candidates Manchester City. Paulo Wanchope scored the pick of the goals in the visitors’ 2-1 win at Filbert Street.

Elsewhere, Gus Poyet took Chelsea into the top five with the winner at home to Southampton and Bradford City just about kept their mathematical prospects of beating the drop alive by defeating Charlton Athletic 2-0. The goals came from Robbie Blake and Benito Carbone. The win was only the fourth achieved all season by the Bantams’ but relegation confirmation would follow just a fortnight later.

What else happened in April 2001?

  • The Netherlands becomes the first country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage.
  • Former Yugoslavia president Slobodan Milosevic is to be tried on charges of war crimes after surrendering to special police forces.
  • The ‘Who Shot Phil?’ storyline reaches its conclusion in EastEnders. Lisa Shaw is revealed as the character that shot Phil in an episode watched by 20 million viewers.
  • Red Marauder wins the 2001 Martell Grand National at Aintree. Only two horses from the 40 starters complete the course.
  • Tiger Woods wins the US Masters at Augusta.
  • Channel 4 teatime quiz show Countdown celebrates its 3000th episode.
  • Mariah Carey signs a blockbuster contract with Virgin Records, worth $80 million for four albums.