Tag Archives: Anfield

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.

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Iconic Moments: An ill-fitting Kop farewell (April 1994)

Following the Hillsborough disaster, the Taylor Report recommended that all football grounds should become all-seater stadiums by May 1994. That meant some changes to several top-flight stadiums and one of those came at Liverpool FC.

The Spion Kop was one of the famous terraces in the world. It was mighty when it was full to the rafters with fans swinging, cheering and shouting their heroes towards a string of league championships, especially in the 1970s and 1980s. Even when it was empty, it was a mighty sight to see the stand as it was. However, times were changing and Liverpool had to fall into line with the updated safety recommendations. After 88 years of standing on The Kop, the time had come for it to go.

On 30th April 1994, the club played their final home match of a largely disappointing season at home to Norwich City. Liverpool bought back many of the club’s legends, including Ian Callaghan, Billy Liddell, Joe Fagan and Kenny Dalglish in a celebration as this was the last match to be played here before the bulldozers came in during the summer. It would turn out to be an ill-fitting farewell to such an iconic cathedral of English football.

Jeremy Goss scored a brilliant goal infront of The Spion Kop as Norwich left with all three points. Their 1-0 win was deserved on a day when the players seemed to play the occasion rather than the game. It was a sad end but the memories will always remain and the new Kop – which was built in time for the new 1994-1995 season still holds over 12,000 seated fans today.

Premier League Files: Stephen Ward

Premier League Career: Wolverhampton Wanderers (2009-2012), Burnley (2014-2015, 2016-PRESENT)

Republic of Ireland international Stephen Ward is applying his trade currently in the Premier League with Burnley and he has been part of the Clarets’ side that heads into 2018 looking set to be pushing for the European positions rather than a relegation battle.

The left-back has been outstanding for manager Sean Dyche so far this season and he even scored on the opening weekend of the 2017-2018 campaign as Burnley picked up a surprising and impressive victory away at reigning champions Chelsea.

He began his senior career with Bohemians before moving into the English game with Wolverhampton Wanderers in January 2007. The fee was reported to be a paltry £100,000. Two years later, he was part of the Wolves squad that won promotion to the Premier League as champions of the Championship.

He started at Wolves as a left-sided midfielder but it was the 2008-2009 season when he began to play initially as a makeshift left-back after the regular custodian of the role, George Elokobi, damaged a knee very early on in the season. He would make the position his own over the next four seasons.

Wolves might have always been battling to maintain their Premier League status but Ward often stood out as one of their most consistent performers. In 2010-2011, he was even asked by Mick McCarthy to play as a striker on occasion and it was a role he has no issues in fulfilling. On one occasion, this worked a treat for the club.

Wolves travelled to Anfield for the final game of the Premier League calendar year of 2010. It was a Liverpool FC side that were brittle on confidence with Roy Hodgson looking like a man on borrowed time with every passing defeat the club were suffering. Nevertheless, Wolves were given little hope of winning but they pulled off a deserved and surprising 1-0 victory. It was Ward who came up with the winning goal – his first for the Midlands side in nearly four years. It was a personal triumph for the player too; who had been sent off on his first visit to Liverpool’s ground a year earlier.

Afterwards, McCarthy said: “I’m so pleased for him, if ever the cliché ‘Unsung Hero’ applied to anyone its Wardy. He came here as a centre-forward, went to left-wing, and then played at left-back, he’s played in midfield. Now he’s gone back upfront and got us the winner.”

Tougher times followed at Molineux with back-to-back relegations to League One. Ward joined Brighton & Hove Albion on-loan for the 2013-2014 campaign where he helped the club reach the play-offs. A permanent move was agreed between the clubs but interest from Premier League teams scuppered that deal. He joined newly-promoted Burnley on the eve of the 2014-2015 Premier League season beginning.

Relegation followed but Stephen stuck with the club, helped them win promotion at the first attempt and played a crucial role in helping Burnley keep their Premier League status in 2016-2017. Now, the sky’s the limit for Ward and his rock-solid teammates at the halfway point of this season.

Shock Results: Liverpool FC 0-1 Ipswich Town (January 1995)

Goalscorer: Adam Tanner 30

Teams:

Liverpool FC: David James, Rob Jones, Neil Ruddock, Phil Babb, John Scales, Stig-Inge Bjornebye (Mark Walters 56), Steve McManaman, Michael Thomas, Jamie Redknapp, Ian Rush, Robbie Fowler

Ipswich Town: Craig Forrest, John Wark, Frank Yallop, Gavin Johnson, David Linighan, Geraint Williams, Adam Tanner, Steve Sedgley, Adrian Paz, Stuart Slater, Claus Thomsen

Referee: Rodger Gifford, Attendance: 32,733

Few gave Ipswich Town much chance of defeating an ever-improving Liverpool FC side in the early weeks of 1995. In the table, there was a gulfing class between the two teams.  Roy Evans’ side were in the top three in the table whilst Ipswich sat second-bottom and already looked doomed. With top scorer Chris Kiwomya on his way to Arsenal, Ipswich’s plight looked even more desperate.

Liverpool though had failed to beat fellow strugglers Crystal Palace and West Ham United at home earlier in the campaign which did give the Tractor Boys’ supporters a glimmer of hope as they turned up at Anfield. What they wouldn’t have been thrilled about was that the Reds’ were on a run of five matches without conceding a goal.

As expected, the home side started strongly with Steve McManaman’s weaving runs causing problems for the backline and full-back Rob Jones testing Craig Forrest with a couple of early efforts. So, the home support was left stunned by an opening goal from Ipswich in the 30th minute.

A nice passing move involving Geraint Williams and Steve Sedgley started the move. The skipper found Adam Tanner, who killed the ball with a deft first touch and as three defenders approached him, he produced a beautiful curling effort that left David James without a chance. Tanner had been brought into the side over the Christmas period by the new manager George Burley and struck in just his third appearance for the club.

Liverpool FC had to improve in the second half and it was Jones once again who forced Forrest into serious work. He burst into the box but unfortunately, his shot was hit straight at the Canadian international who beat it away to safety.

Ian Rush and Robbie Fowler had a very quiet afternoon as they were well-marshalled by Frank Yallop and the ex-Liverpool FC defender John Wark. McManaman did get into some dangerous positions but even his final ball wasn’t quite up to its usual standards.

Ipswich didn’t have a lot to celebrate during the season. They would finish bottom of the table and consequently were relegated but this was a special result and one of the shocks of the 1994-1995 season. Liverpool’s first defeat since November’s Merseyside derby at Goodison Park all-but-ended any potential surge into the championship picture.