Tag Archives: August

Premier League Rewind: 19th-21st August 2017

Results: Swansea City 0-4 Manchester United, AFC Bournemouth 0-2 Watford, Burnley 0-1 West Bromwich Albion, Leicester City 2-0 Brighton & Hove Albion, Liverpool FC 1-0 Crystal Palace, Southampton 3-2 West Ham United, Stoke City 1-0 Arsenal, Huddersfield Town 1-0 Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur 1-2 Chelsea, Manchester City 1-1 Everton

The second weekend of the 2017-2018 Premier League season saw Manchester United steal an early march on all of their prospective title rivals. By the conclusion of the second round of fixtures, the Red Devils were one of only three teams to hold a 100% record.

Having thrashed West Ham United 4-0 on the opening weekend, Jose Mourinho’s side repeated the scoreline on their first away trip of the season which was in South Wales against Swansea City. The final score might have flattered them slightly but it came about through a devastating spell of three goals in the final 10 minutes. New striker Romelu Lukaku made it three goals in two matches and delightful finishes by Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial added to the glee of the supporters. Two games, two wins, two clean sheets, six points and eight goals scored. It was the perfect start for Mourinho in his second season in the Old Trafford dugout.

The other two sides still with a perfect record were slightly more unexpected in the shape of Huddersfield Town and West Bromwich Albion. Huddersfield had made a dream start to their Premier League life. After beating Crystal Palace 3-0 a week earlier, Aaron Mooy’s marvellous long-range effort was enough to defeat Newcastle United in the Terriers’ first home match in the top-flight. Meanwhile, West Bromwich Albion recorded their second successive 1-0 success, this time at Turf Moor away at Burnley. Hal Robson-Kanu made a dramatic contribution off the substitutes’ bench. First, he scored the winning goal after 71 minutes. 12 minutes later, he caught Matthew Lowton with his elbow and was duly sent off by referee Martin Atkinson. Little did the Baggies supporters realise at the time but this would be their last victory in the top-flight until mid-January.

After a shocking home defeat to Burnley, the pressure was already on championship-winning manager Antonio Conte and his shell-shocked Chelsea side when they travelled to Wembley Stadium for the first-ever Premier League match at the home of English football. Tottenham Hotspur were playing at Wembley for the season whilst their normal home was being redeveloped but it wasn’t a good start. They were defeated 2-1 by the champions. The hero was left-back Marcos Alonso, who scored both goals including a majestic free-kick. It looked like Chelsea had rediscovered their mojo.

On the Monday Night Football, Manchester City and Everton played out a stormy encounter at The Etihad Stadium which ended with the points shared and both teams finishing with 10 men. Wayne Rooney became only the second player in Premier League history to reach the milestone of 200 goals when he opened the scoring on a clinical counter-attack 10 minutes before half-time. The Citizens had Kyle Walker sent off on his home debut before half-time but put the pressure on and eventually found a way through with eight minutes left through a Raheem Sterling equaliser. Everton’s Morgan Schneiderlin was also given his marching orders before the end of the match. This draw would turn out to be City’s only dropped points until New Years’ Eve.

Arsenal were once again beaten at their bogey ground. Jese made an instant impact at Stoke City. On-loan from Paris Saint-Germain, the Spaniard scored the only goal of the game as Arsenal lost at Stoke for the fifth time in 10 seasons. Former champions Leicester City scored the fastest goal of the campaign when Shinji Okazaki found the net inside a minute. Harry Maguire headed home on his debut in the second half as the Foxes defeated Brighton & Hove Albion 2-0.

What else happened in August 2017?

  • One of the giants of the UK TV industry, Sir Bruce Forsyth passes away at the age of 89. His career in showbiz spanned an extraordinary 75 years with shows such as The Generation Game, Play Your Cards Right and Strictly Come Dancing.
  • At the age of 96, The Duke of Edinburgh carries out his final official engagement before retiring from public duty.
  • A four-year Renovation begins on Big Ben, meaning the chimes of the famous clock fall silent.
  • Two legends of the athletics track & field era bow out at the World Athletics Championships in London. Usain Bolt and Mo Farah both retire after the championships, with Farah moving into marathon running and Bolt hanging up his spikes for good.
  • 15 people are killed in a terrorist attack in Barcelona; one is a seven-year old, with dual British-Australian nationality.
  • 108 people are killed in the United States as Hurricane Harvey strikes Houston. The total damage of the storm reaches $125 billion.
  • The UN Security Council unanimously approves fresh sanctions on North Korean trade and investment.
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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.

Premier League Rewind: 30th August-1st September 1997

Results: Arsenal 0-0 Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa 1-0 Leeds United, Chelsea 4-2 Southampton, Crystal Palace 1-2 Blackburn Rovers, Derby County 1-0 Barnsley, Manchester United 3-0 Coventry City, Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 Leicester City, West Ham United 3-1 Wimbledon, Liverpool FC P-P Newcastle United, Bolton Wanderers 0-0 Everton

The 1997-1998 season saw an action-packed August as the majority of teams played five games in the opening month of the campaign. Nine games took place on the final weekend of the month and 19 goals were scored. The tragic death of Diana, Princess of Wales in the early hours of Sunday, 31st August 1997 led to the postponement of the match at Anfield between Liverpool FC and Newcastle United.

The early season pacesetters were current champions Manchester United and the former winners of the Premier League, Blackburn Rovers. Blackburn had largely been in the doldrums since winning the title in 1995 but looked like a revitalised side under the guidance of the former Inter Milan coach, Roy Hodgson. They were scoring goals for fun too, netting 13 in their first four matches. Their fourth win in five games came at Selhurst Park over newly-promoted Crystal Palace. First half goals from Kevin Gallacher and Chris Sutton spearheaded Blackburn to a 2-1 victory and therefore, top spot at the end of August on goal difference.

Manchester United’s start to the season had been business-like. They’d scored eight times in their first five games and Peter Schmeichel hadn’t conceded a goal yet. Coventry City were the latest side to feel the punch of the Red Devils. Andy Cole, new skipper Roy Keane and Karel Poborsky were on the scoresheet as the home side eased to a 3-0 victory.

Another team who had made a strong side to the season were West Ham United. Harry Redknapp’s side won a London Derby at Upton Park against Wimbledon, winning 3-1. All the goals came in the second half, with West Ham’s three goals arriving in a seven-minute period through John Hartson, Marc Rieper and Eyal Berkovic.

The Hammers moved above Arsenal who were held to a goalless draw at Highbury in the North London Derby by Tottenham Hotspur. It would turn out to be Gerry Francis’ final North London Derby match in-charge of Spurs and he left having lost just one of seven encounters against the enemy from Highbury.

Another goalless came would be a controversial one between Bolton Wanderers and Everton. It was Bolton’s first game at their new state-of-the-art ground, The Reebok Stadium. During the second half, referee Stephen Lodge failed to spot that Gerry Taggart’s header had fallen six inches beyond the goal-line when it was hooked away by Everton defender Terry Phelan. This came at a time when goal-line technology was only a pipe dream. Come the end of the season, the teams would finish level on points with Everton above Bolton on goal difference. They survived, Bolton were relegated. It was a cruel twist come the end of the 1997-1998 campaign.

Aston Villa had made a rotten start to the campaign, losing their first four matches, having only scored twice. Brian Little’s side finally got off the scoreboard with a 1-0 victory against Leeds United. Dwight Yorke scored the only goal to inflict a third defeat in a week on Leeds. Another side who achieved their first victory was fellow Midlands side Derby County, beating Barnsley 1-0. However, they were only playing their third match of the season and their first game at their new home, Pride Park which completed the whole 90 minutes.

What else happened in August 1997?

  • The United Kingdom is left in mourning by the tragic death of Diana, Princess of Wales. She is killed in a car crash in Paris, along with her companion Dodi Al-Fayed when the Mercedes she was travelling in crashes in a tunnel whilst trying to escape some paparazzi photographers.
  • Steve Jobs returns to Apple Computers, whilst Microsoft buys a $150 million share of the financially-troubled giant.
  • Korean Air Flight 801 crashes while attempting to land in the United States territory of Guam, killing hundreds of passengers.
  • Former Grandstand presenter Helen Rollason is diagnosed with cancer and will undergo emergency surgery.
  • The controversial animated sitcom ‘South Park’ debuts on Comedy Central.
  • Britpop band Oasis continue to break music records. Their third album, ‘Be Here Now’, becomes the fastest selling album in UK history.

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.

Premier League Rewind: 18th-20th August 2012

Results: Arsenal 0-0 Sunderland, Fulham 5-0 Norwich City, Queens Park Rangers 0-5 Swansea City, Reading 1-1 Stoke City, West Bromwich Albion 3-0 Liverpool FC, West Ham United 1-0 Aston Villa, Newcastle United 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur, Wigan Athletic 0-2 Chelsea, Manchester City 3-2 Southampton, Everton 1-0 Manchester United

After a summer of amazing sport and many golden moments at the London Olympics, the Premier League season of 2012-2013 was ready for kick-off. 27 goals were scored across the 10 matches on a weekend which produced some one-sided matches and a real scare for the reigning champions.

The biggest story of the opening weekend would come in the final match which was a Monday Night Football showdown between Everton and Manchester United. Still feeling sore from the previous season’s last-gasp title defeat to Manchester City, Sir Alex Ferguson had vowed his team would never get beaten on goal difference again. However, they would be trailing their city rivals by three points after this defeat at Goodison.

Marouane Fellaini’s header in the second half gave traditional slow starters Everton a fantastic 1-0 victory. Manchester United had lost their first game of the Premier League season for the first time since 2004. Fellaini was in fantastic form and his goal was richly deserved for a committed and dominant display.

24 hours earlier, the reigning champions began their title defence in slightly unconvincing fashion. They needed a late goal from Samir Nasri to defeat plucky Southampton 3-2. The Saints were back in the top-flight after an absence of seven years and they had enjoyed back-to-back promotions. They showed no fear at The Etihad Stadium and this approach would work well for them throughout the campaign.

Fellow Premier League returnees Reading and West Ham United enjoyed undefeated openings. Reading needed a 90th minute penalty from Adam Le Fondre to rescue a 1-1 draw at home to Stoke City, whilst Kevin Nolan scored the only goal at Upton Park to guide West Ham to a 1-0 win against Aston Villa. This meant it was a losing start for new Villa manager Paul Lambert.

Lambert had left Norwich City in the summer for the job in the Second City and his predecessor, Chris Hughton, experienced a torrid start away at Fulham. Craven Cottage has never been a lucky ground for the Canaries. They experienced relegation here in 2005 from the top-flight after a 6-0 loss. This time, the margin was only slightly worse, going down 5-0. Croat Mladen Petric scored two of the Fulham goals.

It wasn’t a good beginning to the Brendan Rodgers reign either at Liverpool FC. Rodgers witnessed his side lose 3-0 at The Hawthorns to West Bromwich Albion and the margin could have been greater, if Shane Long didn’t have a weak spot-kick saved by Pepe Reina. One of West Brom’s goalscorers was Romelu Lukaku. It was his first-ever Premier League goal and the Belgian, on-loan from Chelsea was about to embark on a hugely successful season in the Midlands. To compound Liverpool’s woes, Daniel Agger was sent off.

However, the result of the weekend came at Loftus Road. Having invested heavily in his playing squad in the summer, Mark Hughes was expecting big things in his first full campaign in the Queens Park Rangers hotseat. So, a 5-0 battering at home by Michael Laudrup’s exciting Swansea City side already saw some alarming signs for the season ahead. Both Michu and Nathan Dyer helped themselves to two goals each and Scott Sinclair struck too. It would be his final goal for Swansea, as he was set to move to Manchester City before the close of the transfer window.

Michu would have an outstanding season at Swansea but Soccer Saturday pundit Paul Merson had a few problems confusing him with fellow Spanish player Chico Flores!

What else happened in August 2012?

  • The London Olympics conclude with Team GB finishing in a fabulous third in the medals table, winning 65 medals in total, 29 of those being gold. This includes six golds on “Super Saturday.”
  • The InterCity West Coast franchise is won by the UK’s largest rail operator, First Group. However, current owner Virgin Trains keeps the franchise after the discovery of irregularities in the franchise letting process.
  • Mark Thompson, who is leaving his post as Director-General of the BBC, is appointed CEO of The New York Times.
  • Singer and variety performer Max Bygraves dies aged 89.
  • Rory McIlroy wins the USPGA Championship at Kiawah Island.
  • Frenchman Romain Grosjean becomes the first driver since 1994 to be banned from a Formula One race after triggering a first-corner pile-up at the Belgian Grand Prix. Four drivers are eliminated in the shunt, including Britain’s Lewis Hamilton and championship leader Fernando Alonso.
  • The Mars Science Laboratory mission’s rover, ‘Curiosity,’ successfully lands on the planet.

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.

Premier League Rewind: 23rd-24th August 2002

Results: Chelsea 2-2 Manchester United, Manchester City 1-0 Newcastle United, Birmingham City 0-1 Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers 1-2 Charlton Athletic, Liverpool FC 3-0 Southampton, Middlesbrough 2-2 Fulham, Sunderland 0-1 Everton, Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Aston Villa, West Ham United 2-2 Arsenal, West Bromwich Albion 1-3 Leeds United

The second weekend of the 2002-2003 season was a strange one in terms of days when matches were played. It might have been a traditional weekend, but by Saturday evening, all 20 teams had featured and there were no Sunday/Monday matches. There were still 26 goals though in the 10 games.

The programme began with a Friday night match between two of the Premier League’s big heavyweights as Chelsea and Manchester United battled it out at Stamford Bridge. The Blues’ made the quicker start and William Gallas headed them ahead inside of three minutes. David Beckham produced a brilliant equaliser in a match where the goals scored were of the highest quality. Bolo Zenden scored a tremendous individual effort of his own on the stroke of half-time to put Chelsea back ahead. The points would ultimately be shared as Ryan Giggs scored in the second half after a thunderous United counter-attack.

Reigning champions Arsenal had an almighty scare away to West Ham United. West Ham were coming off the back of a humbling 4-0 defeat to Newcastle United in their first match of the season but looked on-track to send the Gunners’ tumbling to their first league defeat of 2002. Goals from Joe Cole and Freddie Kanoute had the Hammers’ 2-0 up and it could have been 3-0 – only for David Seaman to save Kanoute’s very weak penalty. Arsenal showed their fighting spirit to recover the deficit and leave with a draw. Thierry Henry and Sylvain Wiltord both scored powerful efforts that nearly burst the Upton Park goal nets.

Another 2-2 game took place at the Riverside Stadium where Middlesbrough threw their game away at home to Fulham. Summer signing Massimo Maccarone scored twice on his home debut to have Steve McClaren’s side cruising to victory. Unbelievably, they gave this away in stoppage-time. Sean Davis and Facundo Sava scored to salvage an unlikely point for the Londoners. This game also got fans to see Sava’s traditional celebration for the first time – ‘The man with the mask!’

It looked like Anfield was about to welcome a new hero in the form of El-Hadji Diouf. Gerard Houllier had spent big money (£11million) to take one of the stars of the World Cup finals that summer to Merseyside. It initially looked like being a sound investment, especially after Diouf scored twice on his home debut in a comfortable 3-0 victory over Southampton. Danny Murphy got the third from the penalty spot. Little did LFC fans know that day that this double act from Diouf would turn out to be his most meaningful contribution in a Liverpool FC shirt.

Kevin Keegan was facing former foes in the Saturday lunchtime kick-off and beating them too. Ex-Newcastle United forward Darren Huckerby scored the only goal as Keegan’s Manchester City beat Newcastle 1-0 at Maine Road. Newcastle would have another excellent season under Sir Bobby Robson’s guidance but a terrible away record early season scuppered their title challenge. The Magpies’ won just once away from home from August to early December.

Premier League newcomers Birmingham City and West Bromwich Albion were finding life tough at this level. Both lost their first home matches on this particular weekend. Birmingham fell 1-0 to Blackburn Rovers with Dwight Yorke scoring the only goal. West Brom were taken apart by a ruthless Leeds United side at The Hawthorns. The Baggies’ lost 3-1, with Lee Bowyer scoring the pick of the visitors’ goals.

Elsewhere, Charlton Athletic came from a goal down to beat Bolton Wanderers 2-1 and there were 1-0 victories for Everton and Tottenham Hotspur over Sunderland and Aston Villa respectively. It said a lot for the competiveness of the Premier League that after two matches, only Liverpool FC and Leeds United could boast 100% records. Neither would play a part in the title outcome come May, so this was another example of early days where the table wasn’t taking any detailed shape.

What else happened in August 2002?

  • The UK is left shocked after the disappearance of 10-year-old Soham schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman.
  • 118 soldiers are killed when a Chechen missile outside of Grozny strikes down a Russian Mi-26 helicopter.
  • Johannesburg in South Africa hosts Earth Summit 2002 with the main aim – discussing sustainable development by the UN.
  • The first series of “I’m a Celebrity… Get Me out of Here!” begins on ITV. Radio DJ Tony Blackburn will end as the winner.
  • The 2002 Commonwealth Games close in Manchester.