Tag Archives: Celebration

Iconic Moments: “Why Always Me?” (October 2011)

It was October 2011 and the two Manchester clubs were already stamping their mark on the 2011-2012 Premier League season. Neither team had lost so far in domestic competition. Manchester City arrived at Old Trafford two points clear at the top of the table. Fulham had been the only side to take points off Roberto Mancini’s side in the current campaign.

Manchester United had made a rampant start too and were 100% at Old Trafford, with Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Chelsea all brushed aside with relative ease. This though would be a different story.

Manchester City’s maverick forward Mario Balotelli had made tabloid headlines hours’ earlier after setting off fireworks in his bathroom at his Manchester home. Fire crews were called out to deal with a substantial fire and although the Italian escaped unhurt, there was extensive fire and smoke damage to his luxury property.

So, he had some talking to do on the football pitch. Mancini elected to start with him alongside Sergio Aguero in-attack despite this latest escapade. It was an inspired decision. Midway through the first half, Balotelli opened the scoring from the edge of the penalty area, with his low shot beating David de Gea.

He then coolly lifted his shirt over his neck and revealed a t-shirt underneath, simply saying “Why Always Me?” It was a moment of calmness personified from a man who was never far away from the headlines. It is one of those memorable celebrations that remain in the minds with most football supporters.

Balotelli had a wonderful day. He added a second goal and was fouled by Jonny Evans that led to the dismissal of the United defender. Manchester City went on to humiliate their rivals 6-1 in their own backyard on a day when Balotelli had us all smiling…unless you were a Manchester United supporter.


Memorable Matches: Manchester City 4-2 Arsenal (September 2009)

Goalscorers: Micah Richards 20, Robin van Persie 62, Craig Bellamy 74, Emmanuel Adebayor 80, Shaun Wright-Phillips 84, Tomas Rosicky 88


Manchester City: Shay Given, Wayne Bridge, Joleon Lescott, Kolo Toure, Micah Richards, Gareth Barry, Stephen Ireland (Martin Petrov 73), Nigel de Jong, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Emmanuel Adebayor, Craig Bellamy

Arsenal: Manuel Almunia, Gael Clichy, William Gallas, Bacary Sagna (Emmanuel Eboue 77), Thomas Vermaelen, Abou Diaby, Alex Song (Eduardo 77), Denilson (Tomas Rosicky 52), Cesc Fabregas, Niklas Bendtner, Robin van Persie

Referee: Mark Clattenburg, Attendance: 47,339

Big-spending Manchester City had made a 100% start to the 2009-2010 season, winning matches against Blackburn Rovers, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Portsmouth. This was their first genuine test though against an established member of the ‘big 4’ as Arsenal visited Eastlands in September 2009.

Arsenal had been beaten in Manchester just before the international break by United at Old Trafford and their goalscorer that day, Andrey Arshavin was out of this match with a groin injury. City had two former Arsenal players in their line-up in Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Adebayor. For the latter, it turned out to be a very dramatic afternoon against his former employers.

After William Gallas spurned a great early opportunity, City took the lead after 20 minutes. Gareth Barry guided in a free-kick which was met by a terrific leap from Micah Richards. His header came off the post and went into the net via an unfortunate deflection off Arsenal goalkeeper Manuel Almunia.

After a high-tempo first half, the frenetic pace continued in the second half. Arsenal stepped up their levels in the opening 15 minutes with Shay Given having to be at his best to deny a long-range effort by Thomas Vermaelen. Eventually, the pressure told in the 62nd minute. Robin van Persie escaped the attentions of Joleon Lescott on his home debut and placed a low shot away from Given’s reach. It levelled the scores deservedly and was the first goal Manchester City had conceded all season.

Arsenal should have built on this momentum but they would be breached worryingly three times in 10 minutes to put the game comprehensively out of reach. First, Richards did brilliantly to work his way past Alex Song. He squared the ball back for Craig Bellamy to lash the ball past Almunia and put Mark Hughes’ side back in the lead against the run of play. Moments earlier, Adebayor had been involved in an ugly confrontation with Van Persie which had seen the City striker stamp on the head of his former teammate. This was not spotted by Mark Clattenburg but the Togolese forward was later charged by the FA and banned for two matches for this act of violent conduct.

Adebayor had been jeered all afternoon by travelling supporters but he would have the last laugh. 10 minutes from time, Clattenburg played a brilliant advantage after Gael Clichy had fouled Shaun Wright-Phillips. Wright-Phillips played on, delivered the perfect cross and Adebayor got a free header which flew into the net. He then set off on a dash to the other end of the field to celebrate, deliberately at the Arsenal supporters who responded by throwing objects onto the pitch. He was booked and apologised afterwards as the emotions got the better of him.

There was still time for Wright-Phillips to make it 4-1, finishing off a free-flowing counter-attack which had been started by Bellamy. Tomas Rosicky did grab a late consolation on his comeback from injury but it was all in vain.

City won the battle but Arsenal had the last laugh. They’d finish in the top four, whilst their opponents missed out, finishing fifth and Hughes was sacked midway through the season to be replaced by Roberto Mancini.

Premier League Files: Peter Beagrie

Premier League Career: Everton (1992-1994, 1997-1998), Manchester City (1994-1996), Bradford City (1999-2001)

Peter Beagrie spent 23 years in professional football, playing for no fewer than 10 teams. In the Premier League, he featured for Everton, Manchester City and Bradford City. Beagrie is also well-known for bringing acrobatics into his game with the somersault goal celebration that he’d show off whenever he scored.

Raised in Middlesbrough, he began his career as an apprentice at Boro in 1983 but left acrimoniously following their liquidation in 1986. Arriving at Sheffield United for a tribunal fee of just £35,000, he was voted Player of the Year by the club’s fans in his debut year. He scored 11 times for the Blades’ but was sold in the summer of 1988 by Dave Bassett, who felt Beagrie’s inconsistency was going to be a problem going forwards. His next port of call was Stoke City. He was given high praise by his then teammate Chris Kamara, who stated: “He is the best winger in the country – even better than John Barnes.”

He was Stoke’s top goalscorer in 1988-1989 but was sold to Everton in November 1989 for £750,000 as Stoke elected to cash in after making a rotten start to the season. Beagrie remained with Everton into the transformation of the Premier League and he even scored the first goal of the 1993-1994 season, netting after 10 minutes of the Toffees’ 2-0 victory over Southampton. Mike Walker didn’t rate him though when he succeeded Howard Kendall and decided to sell him to Manchester City on transfer deadline day in March 1994. He was sold for £1.1 million to allow Walker to fund a move for Swedish winger Anders Limpar, who was leaving Arsenal in an aim to get minutes under his belt before the World Cup finals in the United States. Everton fans were not impressed as Beagrie was one of their favourite players.

He made an early impression on City and Brian Horton and put in an incredible performance against Tottenham Hotspur in October 1994, setting up two goals and giving Tottenham’s full-backs the runaround in a 5-2 victory. Unfortunately, he couldn’t replicate his form on a regular basis and only played five times in their relegation season of 1995-1996 when Alan Ball had succeeded Horton as City manager. After a brief loan spell back at Everton in 1998, Beagrie’s final Premier League stint came with Bradford City. He scored seven times in their debut Premier League season as the Bantams’ avoided relegation on the final day of the 1999-2000 season. He left after their relegation a season later and would drop down three divisions to join Scunthorpe United. He played 172 times for Scunthorpe between 2001 and 2006 and eventually ended his lengthy playing career with a brief nine-game spell at Grimsby Town.

By then, Beagrie was another ex-footballer who was trying his hand at media work, especially for Sky Sports, making regular appearances on Soccer AM and the channel’s Football League coverage. In August 2017, Sky sacked him after Beagrie was found guilty of assaulting his girlfriend during a drunken incident.

He was a journeyman for the bulk of his career but Peter Beagrie often produced the spectacular, especially after he scored with his entertaining celebrations.

Iconic Moments: Temuri’s Mad Celebration (January 1998)

Nowadays, Georgian Temuri Ketsbaia is a manager who has guided Anorthosis to two Cypriot titles and also had spells in charge of AEK Athens and APOEL Nicosia. In his playing days, he is remembered for one thing and one thing only – that mad celebration after scoring for Newcastle United in a Premier League match in January 1998.

Ketsbaia arrived at Newcastle United in the summer of 1997. Already an established international footballer for his country, he ran down his contract with AEK to earn his move to Tyneside. The early signs were good. He scored the goal against Croatia Zagreb in the qualifiers to earn Newcastle their maiden adventure into the UEFA Champions League group stages for the 1997-1998 campaign.

Considered as a cult hero by many of the club’s supporters, Ketsbaia’s early career didn’t quite take off. So he decided rather than requesting a transfer or arguing with the manager Kenny Dalglish, he would become memorable for something completely unique. Newcastle were playing Bolton Wanderers at St James’ Park and the score was level at 1-1.

In the last minute, the ball bobbled around in the Bolton penalty area after a knockdown from the returning Alan Shearer. The defenders couldn’t clear the danger and Ketsbaia ran onto the rebound and smashed the ball home to win the match for Newcastle. Afterwards, he ripped his shirt off and started kicking the living daylights out of an advertising hoarding! Teammate Alessandro Pistone tried to restrain him but there was no stopping Ketsbaia. He would not stop in getting his point across. The main reason for this was his sheer frustration at not being selected regularly in the team.

Ketsbaia spent three seasons at the club and when he was manager of Georgia, revealed his fondness for British football. He added: “I had a fantastic time. My time in British football was my best time as a football player. The atmosphere, the pitches, everything is at a high level – that’s the reason that everybody wants to go and play in England. I have many good things to remember, not only kicking the boards!”