Tag Archives: Hat-Trick

Iconic Moments: Fowler destroys the Arsenal back four (August 1994)

Robbie Fowler was already making a name for himself before Arsenal travelled to Anfield in August 1994. It was the first league match to be played at the famous ground since the famous standing terrace; The Spion Kop had been torn down due to the safety regulations demanded by The Taylor Report. The new all-seater Kop stand was still taking shape but the first seats were ready for this showpiece encounter. However, it was the other end of the ground where all the action took place.

In the 26th minute, Fowler powered the home side into the lead after the ball bounced off his strike partner Ian Rush invitingly into his path. Less than three minutes later, he’d doubled his tally for the afternoon. Steve McManaman made a 60-yard run and found Fowler who had made a run to the right-hand side, before drilling a shot beyond an unsighted David Seaman and into the back of the net.

Just part the half-hour, John Barnes clipped a ball over the top of the famous Arsenal back four and Fowler was away, leaving Tony Adams behind. Seaman blocked his first effort but Fowler was instinctive to this and got to the loose ball before the England goalkeeper and Martin Keown to complete his hat-trick from the most improbable of angles. He had just destroyed the Arsenal back four in four minutes and 33 seconds.

It was a Premier League record for the fastest hat-trick that stood for over 20 years and still remains one of the most remarkable moments in the league’s history. This was the day when 19-year-old Robbie Fowler became one of the hottest properties, not just in English but in world football.


Iconic Moments: Mane breaks Fowler’s hat-trick record (May 2015)

On the final Saturday of the 2014-2015 season, Sadio Mane achieved a little piece of Premier League history. The Senegalese midfielder broke Robbie Fowler’s long-standing record by scoring the fastest hat-trick in the competition’s history, timed at two minutes and 56 seconds against Aston Villa.

Mane was playing for Southampton at the time and he opened the scoring for the Saints after 12 minutes, pouncing first from a rebound after his initial effort was saved by Villa goalkeeper, Shay Given. Moments later, a terrible backpass attempt from Alan Hutton allowed Shane Long in on-goal. Given successfully challenged him but Mane was quickest to the loose ball and scored his second goal. Then after 15 minutes, he completed his hat-trick with a beautiful curling effort after being picked out by Long.

Southampton won the match 6-1 and Fowler’s 21-year record had been shattered by Mane, who would join Liverpool FC from the south coast side in the summer of 2016.

Memorable Matches: Chelsea 3-5 Arsenal (October 2011)

Goalscorers: Frank Lampard 14, Robin van Persie 36, 85, 90, John Terry 45, Andre Santos 49, Theo Walcott 55, Juan Mata 80


Chelsea: Petr Cech, Branislav Ivanovic, Jose Bosingwa, Ashley Cole, John Terry, John Obi Mikel (Raul Meireles 76), Ramires (Romelu Lukaku 72), Frank Lampard, Juan Mata, Daniel Sturridge (Florent Malouda 62), Fernando Torres

Arsenal: Wojciech Szczesny, Per Mertesacker, Andre Santos, Laurent Koscielny, Johan Djourou (Carl Jenkinson 76), Mikel Arteta, Alex Song, Aaron Ramsey, Theo Walcott (Tomas Rosicky 79), Gervinho (Thomas Vermaelen 88), Robin van Persie

Referee: Andre Marriner, Attendance: 41,801

Chelsea and Arsenal have played out some brilliant encounters during the Premier League era and this meeting at Stamford Bridge in October 2011 must definitely rank among the best. It was a crazy match where attacking instincts were rewarded and defensive frailties for both teams were exposed.

Andre Villas-Boas’ side were coming off the back of a damaging 1-0 defeat a week earlier to Queens Park Rangers which saw Jose Bosingwa and Didier Drogba sent off, whilst John Terry had been accused of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand. Despite the off-field distractions, it was the Blues who struck first on 14 minutes. From Juan Mata’s great cross, Frank Lampard made one of his trademark runs into the box and he placed a header past Wojciech Szczesny.

Lampard nearly grabbed an assist soon afterwards when his tremendous ball picked out Daniel Sturridge. Unfortunately for Lampard, Sturridge horribly sliced his effort wide of the post. Arsenal had already missed a couple of great opportunities but finally took one of their chances nine minutes before the interval. Aaron Ramsey’s defence-splitting pass opened up the hosts’ backline and Gervinho squared the ball for his skipper, Robin van Persie to tap home.

Sturridge had a goal disallowed for offside before Chelsea regained their lead before half-time. Arsenal’s weakness all season had been defending from set-pieces and they conceded yet again from this situation. Lampard’s corner was bundled into the back of the net by Terry who escaped some suspect marking from the Gunners. After his testing week, it was a nice way for him to end it in a positive manner.

The fast-paced nature of this match continued after the break as Arsenal turned the game around in the opening 10 minutes of the second half. First, left-back Andre Santos scored before the brilliant Theo Walcott escaped the attentions of Lampard and Branislav Ivanovic and recovering from a slight stumble, he drilled a shot inside Petr Cech’s defences at his near post.

In-between this, Arsenal goalkeeper Szczesny charged out of his goal and hacked down Ashley Cole. The covering defenders meant referee Andre Marriner opted to take the yellow card option after advice from his assistants. A grandstand finish was set-up when Mata levelled the scores at 3-3 with 10 minutes to go with a brilliant strike from distance although Arsene Wenger was furious, feeling Santos had been fouled in the build-up by substitute Romelu Lukaku.

Then, the crucial moment came with five minutes left. Terry slipped, allowing Van Persie to race clear. The Dutchman rounded Cech and put the ball into a gaping goal to score his second of the afternoon. In the 89th minute, he completed a marvellous hat-trick, flashing a shot past Cech after being played in by Mikel Arteta.

This was Arsenal’s first away victory of the season and a memorable victory for the Gunners. Van Persie took his tally to 28 goals in 27 Premier League games in 2011 and he finished as the league’s top goalscorer in what proved to be his last season in an Arsenal jersey.

Iconic Moments: Ravanelli’s first day treble (August 1996)

Middlesbrough pulled off one of the biggest transfer surprises of the summer of 1996, as they managed to entice Fabrizio Ravanelli to The Riverside Stadium. Ravanelli had won the UEFA Champions League months earlier with Juventus, scoring in the final against Ajax. However, he was deemed surplus to requirements in Turin. Nevertheless, with some other European clubs sniffing around his services, it was a real coup for Bryan Robson to attract him to Teeside.

On the opening day of the 1996-1997 season, Middlesbrough hosted Liverpool FC and Ravanelli produced one of the most stunning debuts seen in the history of the Premier League. He scored a sensational hat-trick as Boro came from behind on three separate occasions to draw 3-3.

He quickly became a fans’ favourite and nicknamed ‘The White Feather,’ he scored 16 Premier League goals. However, despite the club reaching two domestic cup finals, they were relegated following a three-point deduction for failing to fulfil a scheduled fixture away at Blackburn Rovers in December 1996.

He joined Marseille following Boro’s relegation but left their supporters with some great memories, none more so than that first day treble.

Memorable Matches: Bradford City 4-4 Derby County (April 2000)

Goalscorers: Rory Delap 1, Branko Strupar 6, Dean Windass 11, 18, 44, Peter Beagrie 27 PEN, Craig Burley 36 PEN, 52 PEN


Bradford City: Matt Clarke, John Dreyer, Gunnar Halle, Wayne Jacobs (Isaiah Rankin 77), Andy O’Brien, David Wetherall, Ashley Westwood (Dean Saunders 71), Stuart McCall, Peter Beagrie, Robbie Blake, Dean Windass

Derby County: Mart Poom, Horacio Carbonari, Tony Dorigo, Jacob Laursen, Steve Elliott, Craig Burley, Rory Delap (SENT OFF), Seth Johnson, Darryl Powell, Malcolm Christie, Branko Strupar (Georgi Kinkladze 65)

Referee: Alan Wilkie, Attendance: 18,276

Neither Bradford, nor Derby were safe from the threat of relegation in the closing weeks of the 1999-2000 Premier League season. It was the Bantams who were under more genuine risk when the sides met and shared an eight-goal thriller on Good Friday 2000.

Bradford manager Paul Jewell will have been horrified by his team’s sluggish start as they conceded two goals inside the opening six minutes of this must-win match. Rory Delap opened the scoring after just 23 seconds. Darryl Powell’s shot was saved by Matt Clarke but the ball fell perfectly for Malcolm Christie, who unselfishly squared the ball to Delap for the midfielder to tap home. It got worse when Branko Strupar drilled a free-kick home from the edge of the penalty area. Bradford had it all to do but Dean Windass enjoyed one of those afternoons where everything he struck ended up in the back of the net.

With the home side’s first genuine attack of the match, Windass superbly controlled the ball on the half-volley and squeezed his shot past Mart Poom’s left-hand post. Amazingly, it was 2-2 just seven minutes later. Windass pounced on a poor clearing header from Steve Elliott and the striker’s confidence was sky-high. He smashed a shot into the back of the net from at least 35-yards out.

Bradford’s transformation was completed when they took the lead for the first time on 27 minutes through controversy. The hosts thought they had scored again from a well-worked free-kick. However, referee Alan Wilkie disallowed the goal and after further consultation from his linesman, gave Bradford a penalty instead. In the process, Delap had been red-carded for a deliberate handball. Although Poom went the right way, Peter Beagrie made no mistake, finding the bottom corner.

The lead lasted just nine minutes. Strupar’s flick-on into the box found Christie who was tripped in the penalty area by Ashley Westwood. Craig Burley’s penalty was spot-on to haul the 10-men back onto level terms. Just before half-time, Bradford scored the seventh goal of a dramatic first 45 minutes. Robbie Blake picked out Windass who completed his maiden Premier League hat-trick. It was the only the second time in Premier League history that seven goals had been scored in the first half.

There was more drama after the restart but just one further goal. John Dreyer handled in the area and referee Wilkie gave his third penalty of the match – all absolutely justified. Burley stuck away his second penalty of the match to make the scoreline 4-4. Then, the Rams received yet another spot-kick chance when Powell was fouled by Blake. This time round, Burley went for power and was denied by Clarke who made a fine save.

The point was better for Derby’s survival prospects and an Easter Monday victory over Southampton virtually confirmed their safety. Bradford rallied from this draw and three victories from their last four matches also meant they would be playing Premier League football in 2000-2001.

Premier League Files: Rob Earnshaw

Premier League Career: West Bromwich Albion (2004-2006), Derby County (2007-2008)

Rob Earnshaw remains the only player to have scored a hat-trick in the Premier League, all three divisions of the Football League, the FA Cup, the League Cup and at international level for Wales. Earnshaw enjoyed goalscoring royalty at Cardiff City and his goals were crucial to West Bromwich Albion avoiding relegation in dramatic fashion in 2004-2005.

Although he played for Wales at international level, Earnshaw was born in Zambia. His mother was a professional footballer and later became a boxer whilst his father worked in the mines. The family moved to Malawi when Rob was five but in 1990, his father contracted typhoid fever and suddenly died. His mother, Rita, decided to move the family to a small Welsh town in the south of the country where her sister lived. Growing up in school, he supported Manchester United and excelled at PE, especially at gymnastics, basketball and football.

Earnshaw joined Cardiff City’s YTS scheme in 1997 and a year later, he turned professional. After making his debut in the first-team at the age of just 16, Earnshaw was loaned out to Scottish side Morton in January 2000 by the Cardiff boss at the time, Frank Burrows. Earnshaw later admitted the experience of going out on-loan made him a better player and showed him he needed to work hard.

From 2000 to 2004, Earnshaw broke several club records as he became a prolific goalscorer for Cardiff. He scored a number of hat-tricks in Division Three, Division Two and Division One and made the Football League PFA Team of the Year in two successive years. His prominence in finding the back of the net meant he received plenty of attention from numerous clubs in the summer of 2004. Interest came from Aston Villa, Charlton Athletic and Scottish giants Celtic. Cardiff owner Sam Hammam even went on to say if he was sold: “They would hang me in the city centre.” However, he was eventually sold to West Bromwich Albion for £3.5 million. In fact, after leaving Cardiff in 2004, Earnshaw’s total transfer fees came to a figure of £12.65 million.

It took some time for Rob to adjust to the higher level of football. He didn’t score for the club until his seventh appearance which was a brace in a 2-2 draw away at Southampton. However, he regularly found the back of the net once he’d broken his duck for the Baggies. Among the 14 goals he did net in 2004-2005 were vital goals to earn draws for West Brom away at Arsenal and Manchester United. In March 2005, he arrived into the game at The Valley against Charlton Athletic with an hour gone and the scoreline locked at 1-1. Earnshaw completed his feat of scoring a hat-trick in all major professional football levels in 30 minutes and also became the first Albion player to score a treble in the Premier League era.

Despite helping the club retain their Premier League status, manager Bryan Robson often used him as a substitute, much to his chagrin. In December 2005, he submitted two transfer requests which were both rejected but eventually, he left The Hawthorns to seek first-team opportunities elsewhere. Championship club Norwich City signed him on transfer deadline day in January 2006 as a replacement for Dean Ashton, who’d gone to West Ham United. After scoring 19 times in the 2006-2007 campaign for the Canaries, Derby County broke their transfer record to sign him in June 2007 for £3.5 million following their promotion back to the Premier League.

His season at Pride Park was a nightmare, just like the team. He was in-and-out of the side and didn’t score for the club until an FA Cup defeat to Preston North End in January 2008. His sole Premier League goal for the Rams came in a 6-2 defeat to Arsenal and was left out of the squad on the final day of the season as Derby accepted bids from Nottingham Forest and Sheffield United for his services. His Premier League career was over.

It was Forest who won the race to sign Earnshaw that summer and his figures of 35 goals in 98 league appearances between 2008 and 2011 were decent, though nowhere near the figures he enjoyed in his fruitful first spell at Cardiff. He returned to the Bluebirds for a less productive second spell in 2011 before winding down his career with periods at Maccabi Tel-Aviv, Toronto FC, Blackpool, Chicago Fire and Vancouver Whitecaps.

After retirement in 2016, Earnshaw stayed on in Vancouver as a youth coach before being announced as an assistant coach for USL side Fresno FC ahead of their first-ever season. As a player for Wales, he scored 16 goals, winning 59 caps. Currently, he is the seventh-highest all-time goalscorer in Wales’ international history.

Memorable Matches: Norwich City 4-5 Southampton (April 1994)

Goalscorers: Mark Robins 37, Robert Ullathorne 44 OG, Jeremy Goss 48, Chris Sutton 55, 64, Matt Le Tissier 58, 63 PEN, 72, Ken Monkou 90


Norwich City: Bryan Gunn, Ian Culverhouse, Spencer Prior, Gary Megson (Mark Robins 25), Mark Bowen, Robert Ullathorne, Ian Crook, Neil Adams, Darren Eadie (Colin Woodthorpe 67), Jeremy Goss, Chris Sutton

Southampton: Dave Beasant, Francis Benali, Ken Monkou, Simon Charlton, Matt Bound, Jeff Kenna, Paul Allen, Jim Magilton, Neil Maddison, Matt Le Tissier, Iain Dowie

Referee: Keith Cooper, Attendance: 17,150

Seven games without a win and with time running out, Southampton were in the drop zone coming into this match in April 1994 against Norwich City. The Saints badly needed the points, whilst their opponents had struggled since Mike Walker’s January departure to manage Everton. His successor, John Deehan had managed just two wins in his first 16 games in the job.

The first 35 minutes of the contest were scrappy on a boggy pitch surface but both teams had scored by half-time. It was Norwich who claimed the advantage eight minutes before the break. Mark Robins, having arrived from the bench midway through the first half after an early injury to Gary Megson, fired a left-foot shot past Dave Beasant to score his first goal of an injury-hit campaign.

Before then, Southampton had created the better openings and Iain Dowie should have levelled but hit the post with the goal gaping. In the end, they got a helping hand from their opponents. On 44 minutes, Neil Maddison cut inside in the penalty area but his shot was going wide of the goal before it took an unfortunate deflection into his own net off Norwich defender, Robert Ullathorne.

It had been an unremarkable first half but the second 45 minutes was absolutely breathtaking. The goal feast started within three minutes of the restart. Neil Adams’ fine delivery landed on the head of Norwich midfielder Jeremy Goss, who scored his eighth goal of the season. Seven minutes later, Chris Sutton got in on the goalscoring act. He was quickest to pounce on Beasant being unable to hold onto a shot from Robins.

At 3-1 down, Southampton looked in real trouble but the wildcard they had in their armoury was Matt Le Tissier. He had been quiet throughout the afternoon upto the 58th minute when from the edge of the penalty area, his soft shot somehow managed to beat Bryan Gunn, despite the goalkeeper getting a strong hand to the attempt. Five minutes later, it was 3-3. Jeff Kenna’s surging run into the penalty area was ended by Ullathorne’s clumsy tackle. Referee Keith Cooper pointed to the penalty spot and Le Tissier – with his excellent penalty record, never looked like missing from 12-yards.

Only 60 seconds later, the Canaries were back infront. Sutton scored his second, heading past Beasant after beating Ken Monkou in the air from a free-kick. However, Southampton kept going and deservedly levelled at 4-4 when Le Tissier completed his hat-trick. His 100th goal for Southampton was a header that beat Gunn at his near post after a deep cross from the excellent Kenna.

It was the kind of game where a winner always looked likely and it arrived for the Saints in stoppage-time. Le Tissier turned provider with his corner finding Monkou and his downward header found the back of the net to give Southampton a priceless and ultimately, decisive lead in this amazing encounter.

It was a valuable victory for the south coast side, who confirmed their safety on an extraordinary final day. Norwich might have knocked Bayern Munich out of the UEFA Cup but finished in a low-key 12th.

Premier League Files: Salomon Kalou

Premier League Career: Chelsea (2006-2012)

Salomon Kalou is still a major figurehead at his current club, Hertha Berlin. Now 33, the Ivorian won numerous honours during his six-year spell in the Premier League at Chelsea, scoring 36 goals in 156 Premier League matches. This included the Premier League title in 2010 and the UEFA Champions League two years later. On the international stage, Kalou was a big part of the Cote d’Ivoire setup for a decade, amassing 97 international caps and playing for his country at three World Cup finals and the Olympic Games in 2008.

Kalou began his career at his local club in his homeland, Mimosas before making the move into the European game. His brother, Bonaventure Kalou was at Auxerre and tried to encourage Salomon to join him in France. However, Kalou opted to head to the Netherlands instead and joined Feyenoord in 2003. He scored 35 goals in 67 league appearances, forming a useful partnership with Dirk Kuyt and winning the Johan Cruijff Award in 2005 as the league’s most promising young talent.

Chelsea wasted no time in securing his signature at the end of the 2005-2006 season, snapping Kalou up for £9 million. His first season was a steep learning curve as he trained and learned from the experienced pros like his international colleague Didier Drogba and German midfielder Michael Ballack. Kalou’s first league goal for Chelsea came in December 2006 in a 3-2 away win at Wigan Athletic and his big moment of the season was a stoppage-time winner against Watford at the end of March. Chelsea finished runners-up in the Premier League but won both domestic cup competitions and Kalou appeared as a substitute in both finals.

In 2007-2008, he broke a slightly unwanted record of most offsides in a season, being caught going too soon behind the opposition defenders 107 times in 30 games. Kalou scored seven league goals that season and despite scoring his penalty in the UEFA Champions League final shootout, he ended on the losing side against Manchester United.

His participation away at the 2008 Beijing Olympics meant Luiz Felipe Scolari didn’t often select him on his return to Chelsea but Kalou continued to remind people that he was a much underrated player, demonstrated by two goals and one assist in a 5-0 trouncing of Middlesbrough in October. When Scolari left, Guus Hiddink took over as interim manager and Kalou became a genuine regular starter for the first time in his Chelsea career. He won the FA Cup again but was an unused substitute in the final against Everton.

Chelsea ended Manchester United’s recent Premier League domination in 2009-2010 but personally, it was a disappointing campaign for Kalou who despite signing a new three-year contract, had to wait until March 2010 for his first league goals of the season. The first came in an astonishing 7-1 home victory over Aston Villa. A month later, he scored his one and only Premier League hat-trick when Chelsea scored seven again, this time against Stoke City. There was some controversy over his second goal which looked like being a two-footed tackle and left Stoke goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen with a fractured shoulder but the goal stood. His final goal of the season was the third goal in Chelsea’s resounding 8-0 victory on the final day over Wigan Athletic that sealed the Premier League title.

2010-2011 was Salomon’s best Premier League goalscoring return with 10 goals even though it ended in disappointment for the team as they failed to retain their title. He was a favourite with the fans at Stamford Bridge, made even more popular by an 89th minute winner against Tottenham Hotspur in April. After becoming just a squad player in Andre Villas-Boas’ unsuccessful tenure, Kalou was one of the players to benefit from Roberto Di Matteo’s appointment as interim manager in March 2012. Having made only four starts in seven months for AVB, Kalou made an important contribution to the run-in, scoring vital goals against Benfica and Leicester City and starting both of the Blues 2012 cup victories in the FA Cup and UEFA Champions League. He also made his 250th appearance for Chelsea in April but he wouldn’t make many more. In July 2012, it was confirmed that his contract wouldn’t be renewed and he would be leaving the club.

FC Schalke 04, Galatasaray and Newcastle United were all linked with Kalou but he ended up joining Lille in France. It took some persuasion for the move to happen from the Lille boss Rudi Garcia and although Kalou did score 30 goals in 56 appearances, he never seemed fully comfortable in French football. In August 2014, he made the switch to the Bundesliga to join Hertha Berlin.

During his time in the German capital, he has scored two hat-tricks, both actually on Friday nights against Hannover 96 in November 2015 and Borussia Mönchengladbach in November 2016. The hat-trick against the latter came at a poignant time in his personal life as Salomon had to deal with the death of his father and aunt in quick succession. In 2015-2016, he became the first player to reach the mark of double-digit goalscoring seasons in the Premier League, Ligue 1 and Bundesliga. Forming a very fruitful partnership with the experienced Vedad Ibisevic, Kalou has finished as Hertha’s top goalscorer in two of the last three seasons, ending with 14 goals in 2015-2016 and 12 strikes in 2017-2018 as the capital club have become a regular contender for the European qualifying positions in recent years.

Kalou won the African Cup of Nations in 2015 for his country and scored 28 times for Cote d’Ivoire. He retired for a second time from international duty after their failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup finals.

The Clubs: Coventry City

All-Time Premier League Record

Played Won Drew Lost Scored Conceded Goal Difference Points No of Seasons
354 99 112 143 387 490 -103 409 9


Most Premier League Appearances

Player Appearances Total
Steve Ogrizovic 191
Paul Telfer 191
Richard Shaw 178
Paul Williams 175
Peter Ndlovu 152
Brian Borrows 145
Dion Dublin 145
Noel Whelan 134
Gary McAllister 119
Gary Breen 115


Most Premier League Goals

Player Goals Total
Dion Dublin 61
Peter Ndlovu 35
Noel Whelan 31
Darren Huckerby 28
Mick Quinn 25
Gary McAllister 20
Mustapha Hadji 12
Robbie Keane 12
John Williams 11
John Aloisi 10


Biggest Premier League Victories

Match Date Season
Coventry City 5-0 Blackburn Rovers 9th December 1995 1995-1996
Coventry City 5-1 Liverpool FC 19th December 1992 1992-1993
Bolton Wanderers 1-5 Coventry City 31st January 1998 1997-1998
Coventry City 4-0 Manchester City 19th February 1994 1993-1994
Coventry City 4-0 Tottenham Hotspur 13th December 1997 1997-1998
Coventry City 4-0 Nottingham Forest 9th January 1999 1998-1999
Coventry City 4-0 Watford 31st October 1999 1999-2000
Coventry City 4-0 Bradford City 18th March 2000 1999-2000
Blackburn Rovers 2-5 Coventry City 26th January 1993 1992-1993
Aston Villa 1-4 Coventry City 27th February 1999 1998-1999


Worst Premier League Defeats

Match Date Season
Chelsea 6-1 Coventry City 21st October 2000 2000-2001
Manchester United 5-0 Coventry City 28th December 1992 1992-1993
West Ham United 5-0 Coventry City 22nd April 2000 1999-2000
Queens Park Rangers 5-1 Coventry City 23rd October 1993 1993-1994
Sheffield Wednesday 5-1 Coventry City 28th December 1994 1994-1995
Blackburn Rovers 5-1 Coventry City 23rd September 1995 1995-1996
Coventry City 1-5 Newcastle United 19th September 1998 1998-1999
Liverpool FC 4-0 Coventry City 17th April 1993 1992-1993
Newcastle United 4-0 Coventry City 23rd February 1994 1993-1994
Newcastle United 4-0 Coventry City 24th August 1994 1994-1995



Manager No of Seasons managed Left the Club
Bobby Gould 2 23rd October 1993
Phil Neal 2 14th February 1995
Ron Atkinson 3 1st November 1996
Gordon Strachan 5 10th September 2001


Highest Home Attendances

Match Date Attendance Figure Season
Coventry City 0-1 Manchester United 12th April 1993 24,429 1992-1993
Coventry City 3-0 Aston Villa 26th December 1992 24,245 1992-1993
Coventry City 0-4 Manchester United 22nd November 1995 23,400 1995-1996
Coventry City 1-0 Liverpool FC 6th April 1996 23,137 1995-1996
Coventry City 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur 26th December 1998 23,098 1998-1999
Coventry City 0-3 Liverpool FC 1st April 2000 23,098 1999-2000
Coventry City 0-2 Manchester United 18th January 1997 23,085 1996-1997
Coventry City 0-1 Tottenham Hotspur 26th February 2000 23,077 1999-2000
Coventry City 0-2 Liverpool FC 28th April 2001 23,063 2000-2001
Coventry City 2-1 Liverpool FC 30th January 1999 23,056 1998-1999



Coventry City were one of the great survivors in the first decade of the Premier League. The Sky Blues were involved in many relegation scraps and narrowly avoided the drop on the final day in both 1996 and 1997. However, they also had a habit of pulling off some unexpected surprises as many of the elite Premier League sides discovered. Relegation came in 2001 and since then, ownership issues, stadium problems and fan protests have seen the club drop as low as League Two. Currently, they are in League One after winning the play-off final in League Two last season.



Coventry made a brilliant start to life in the Premier League under Bobby Gould, winning six of their first eight matches to sit in the dizzying heights of second position, only below fellow early season pacesetters Norwich City. Unlike the Canaries though, they couldn’t keep that level up and dropped into mid-table as the campaign progressed. There was a 5-1 demolition of Liverpool FC and an impressive 5-2 victory away at Blackburn in January but departures of Roberto Rosario to Nottingham Forest and Kevin Gallacher to Blackburn Rovers hurt their attacking prowess and they eventually finished just three points above the relegation zone.



Coventry’s top scorer in 1992-1993, Mick Quinn, made a searing start to the new campaign with an opening day hat-trick at Highbury against Arsenal. However, a run of six league games without a win culminated in the resignation of manager Bobby Gould just moments after a 5-1 beating at the hands of Queens Park Rangers in October. Former Bolton Wanderers manager Phil Neal was his successor and he kept Coventry well clear of danger. An unbeaten run of seven matches at the end of the campaign saw the Sky Blues finish a solid 11th. It was also their 2-1 victory over Blackburn Rovers on 2nd May that handed the title to Manchester United.



Only one win in their first eight matches (2-1 vs. Leeds United) left Coventry in the bottom four in early October and despite the goals of Dion Dublin on a consistent basis after his £2 million transfer from Manchester United, the Sky Blues were in the thick of the relegation battle all season. Despite beating fellow strugglers Crystal Palace 2-0 on 11th February, manager Phil Neal still lost his job three days later.

Ron Atkinson took over and he steered Coventry to five victories in the closing months of the campaign including a 3-2 win at Anfield where Peter Ndlovu scored a hat-trick. Safety was clinched in the final week of the season with a 3-1 victory at White Hart Lane over Tottenham Hotspur. Coventry finished the campaign in 16th place – three places clear of the drop zone.



It was another season of struggle for Coventry and their supporters – as they won just one of their first 16 encounters. Dion Dublin continued to score plenty of goals but even though he scored a hat-trick at Sheffield Wednesday in early December, a 4-3 defeat at Hillsborough meant they dropped to bottom in the table.

Days later, reigning champions Blackburn Rovers were well-beaten 5-0 which remains the Sky Blues’ biggest-ever Premier League victory. In April, defender David Busst sustained a career-ending injury against Manchester United which is considered one of the worst injuries ever sustained on a football pitch. The defeat at Old Trafford was their last of the season. Eight points gained from their last four matches and four consecutive clean sheets meant they avoided relegation on the final day of the season after a goalless draw with Leeds United.



An opening day 3-0 defeat at home to Nottingham Forest set the tone for another difficult campaign for Coventry City and 24 hours after a 1-1 draw away at Everton, Ron Atkinson stepped down as manager and moved into a Director of Football role. His assistant Gordon Strachan succeeded him and initially, there was a positive effect. A run of four successive victories guided the Sky Blues into 11th place by mid-January with Darren Huckerby arriving to help take the pressure off Dion Dublin in regards to goalscoring threats. Dublin still starred though – finishing top scorer with 14 strikes and his goals ultimately kept Coventry just clear of danger.

However, when they lost 2-1 at home to Derby County on the penultimate weekend of the season, it looked like Coventry’s 30-year stay in England’s top-flight was on the verge of ending. They had to beat Tottenham Hotspur on the final day and goals from Dublin and Paul Williams saw them pull off an unlikely 2-1 victory. Sunderland lost at Wimbledon so the Black Cats were relegated instead. Coventry had survived again by the skin of their teeth.



Gordon Strachan’s first full campaign in the hotseat turned out to be a huge success. This time, there was no relegation battle to worry about. Coventry finished an impressive 11th with 52 points amassed and they lost just 10 of their 38 league matches – the fourth-lowest of the season.

Dion Dublin turned down a move to Blackburn Rovers and his commitment to the Coventry cause remained. An opening day hat-trick against Chelsea set the tone for his season which saw him share the Golden Boot with 18 goals alongside Michael Owen and Chris Sutton. The most enjoyable result was the post-Christmas 3-2 victory over Manchester United with Darren Huckerby scoring a late winner for the Sky Blues.



For the second consecutive season, Coventry started their season with victory over Chelsea with both Huckerby and Dublin on-target. Dublin though left in early November, signing in mid-November for Aston Villa and it meant the club struggled to replicate the goalscoring form of the previous campaign. Coventry finished in 15th place and nine points worse off but eight home wins at Highfield Road and 10 goals from Noel Whelan meant they were never in any significant relegation danger.

Steve Froggatt scored the Goal of the Season against Everton in mid-November whilst the 4-1 away victory at Villa Park in February was the highlight of the campaign from a results perspective.



There was a Moroccan feel to Coventry in pre-season as Mustapha Hadji and Youssef Chippo both arrived to add a continental approach to the Sky Blues. Also arriving was Robbie Keane and the highly-rated youngster scored 12 Premier League goals in his debut top-flight campaign. Coventry enjoyed one of the best home records in the division, winning 12 of their 19 matches at Highfield Road which included a memorable 3-2 success on Boxing Day over Arsenal. However, they failed to win a single match on their travels and that restricted them to a 14th place finish.



After 16 months without an away victory, Coventry City’s 2-1 win at The Dell over Southampton on 23rd August ended their barren run and hopes were high for a better campaign, especially when Manchester City were beaten days later on their own patch. However, only two more victories followed before Christmas and with Keane sold in the summer to Inter Milan, goalscoring became a real problem. Hadji and newcomer Craig Bellamy were top of the charts but both only managed six goals apiece.

After 34 years of top-flight football, Coventry’s luck ran out. Despite leading 2-0 at Villa Park in their penultimate game of the season, Paul Merson’s late winner helped Aston Villa claim all three points and condemn Coventry to relegation to Division One. Strachan stepped down a few months later.

Seasonal Stories: Southampton (2014-2015)

Challenging the elite

Summer 2014 was one of turmoil for Southampton who saw their manager leave for a new post and several key figures from the previous season move onto bigger clubs. However, new manager Ronald Koeman and his players found a great resolve that saw them achieve a best-ever Premier League finish of seventh, despite being made relegation favourites at the start of the campaign.

The form of Graziano Pelle was important whilst towards the end of the season, another of the new purchases in Sadio Mane sealed his place in the Premier League record books.

A challenging summer

Southampton had finished the 2013-2014 Premier League season in eighth position with their best-ever points tally in a 38-game season. However, the club were about to experience plenty of upheaval in a challenging summer.

First was the departure of Argentine manager Mauricio Pochettino. Pochettino had impressed throughout his 18-month tenure in the St Mary’s hotseat and plenty of clubs were interested in his services. It was Tottenham Hotspur who eventually got his signature, replacing Tim Sherwood. Pochettino’s successor would be ex-Dutch defender Ronald Koeman, who had plenty of managerial experience from spells with PSV Eindhoven, Benfica and Valencia.

Koeman had to deal with many of the key Southampton first-team squad moving onto pastures new. Liverpool FC took the trio of Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren, whilst Manchester United signed Luke Shaw and Calum Chambers left for Arsenal. Morgan Schneiderlin also tried to force a move through to Tottenham but his transfer request was rejected and a serious knee injury meant Jay Rodriguez’s impact on this campaign was going to be severely limited.

There were eight new arrivals. Belgian defender Toby Alderweireld and left-back Ryan Bertrand were the season’s loan stars and they would be joined by six new permanent squad members. Attacking midfielder Sadio Mane came in from RB Salzburg, Fraser Forster moved from Celtic to succeed Artur Boruc as the club’s permanent no.1 goalkeeper and Serbian midfielder Dusan Tadic was acquired from FC Twente. Many columnists and pundits had Southampton down among their contenders for relegation following the summer of change.

Tremendous early run

Southampton played well on the opening weekend at Anfield and were unfortunate to lose 2-1 to Liverpool FC. Shane Long, a recent signing from Hull City, missed a great late opportunity to earn the Saints a share of the points.

Southampton’s first win came at the end of August. Having made peace with the hierarchy after his summer spat, Schneiderlin came to the fore at Upton Park, scoring twice in Southampton’s 3-1 triumph away at West Ham United.

This win in east London started a tremendous run of form for Southampton as they would win eight of their next nine matches to rise to the dizzying heights of second position. They kept six clean sheets in that period with Alderweireld and Bertrand settling in very quickly and showing that Shaw and Lovren weren’t being missed at all.

One of those victories remains the club’s biggest-ever Premier League victory as they wiped the floor with Sunderland. Southampton won 8-0. They were helped by three own goals whilst Graziano Pelle scored twice to continue his fantastic start to his Southampton career. He scored six goals in his first 11 matches.

TABLE ON 9th November 2014

1 Chelsea 11 9 2 0 28 11 +17 29
2 SOUTHAMPTON 11 8 1 2 23 5 +18 25
3 Manchester City 11 6 3 2 22 12 +10 21
4 West Ham United 11 5 3 3 19 14 +5 18
5 Swansea City 11 5 3 3 15 11 +4 18
6 Arsenal 11 4 5 2 19 13 +6 17

Maintaining form in festive period

Another player who was having an excellent season was Nathaniel Clyne. The right-back scored a late equaliser to earn a 1-1 draw at Aston Villa but it did begin a dip of form which saw Southampton lose four consecutive matches. Three of those games were against the elite in the shape of Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United.

However, there was another bounce at the right time. With the festive period in sight, Southampton had some tricky games against Everton, Crystal Palace, Chelsea and Arsenal but collected 10 points from a possible 12. The 3-1 victory at Selhurst Park saw Neil Warnock’s second reign as Crystal Palace manager come to an end whilst the 2-0 victory over Arsenal forced Arsene Wenger into changing his main goalkeeper from Wojciech Szczesny after an error-strewn display on the south coast to David Ospina.

The January transfer window was a quiet one in comparison to the busy summer period. Bertrand’s loan move became a permanent transfer whilst Dutch winger Eljero Elia was brought in on-loan for the rest of the season from SV Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga. Jack Cork though did leave for a fresh start at Swansea City after being unable to hold down a regular place in Koeman’s starting XI.

Elia’s impact was limited but he did score both goals to spearhead a 2-1 away victory at Newcastle United. This came after Tadic came off the bench to secure victory at Old Trafford against Manchester United. In mid-January, Southampton were sitting in third place and above Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Liverpool FC. They looked a potential serious player for the UEFA Champions League qualifying positions.

Feeling the pace

A late home defeat in early February to Swansea City was the first signs that Southampton would fall short of what had turned out to be an ambitious but feasible target. Jonjo Shelvey’s long-range strike helped the Welsh club garner all three points on a day where a couple of Southampton’s key players had days to forget. Forster, who had been excellent in-goal, didn’t do enough to keep out Shelvey’s shot, whilst Bertrand blotted his copybook with a red card for a dangerous tackle on Modou Barrow.

Southampton would win only another five Premier League matches after this game and dropped out of the top four after a 2-0 home loss to Liverpool FC on 22nd February. They wouldn’t return to that position again.

Nevertheless, there were still some high points. Tadic’s penalty ensured they collected an excellent point at Stamford Bridge against champions-elect Chelsea whilst James Ward-Prowse scored only his second-ever goal for the club in April’s 2-0 win over Hull City which briefly took the Saints back into fifth position.

Southampton eventually finished in seventh, winning just one of their last six games. However, that victory was a memorable one against Aston Villa.

Southampton were leading 5-1 at half-time as they took full advantage of a brittle defensive display from their opponents. Mane broke Robbie Fowler’s 21-year record to become the new holder of the fastest Premier League hat-trick in history. Mane’s treble came in just two minutes, 56 seconds. Shane Long added a spectacular fifth from 40 yards out and Koeman admitted afterwards: “It was an amazing afternoon and I didn’t expect it I have to be honest but I was expecting a reaction after the last two games and it was great as it was our last home game. The fans deserved it for their amazing support.”


1 Chelsea 38 26 9 3 73 32 +41 87
2 Manchester City 38 24 7 7 83 38 +45 79
3 Arsenal 38 22 9 7 71 36 +35 75
4 Manchester United 38 20 10 8 62 37 +25 70
5 Tottenham Hotspur 38 19 7 12 58 53 +5 64
6 Liverpool FC 38 18 8 12 52 48 +4 62
7 SOUTHAMPTON 38 18 6 14 54 33 +21 60

Southampton had produced a stunning season and proven a lot of people wrong. The fans could be happy that despite all of the summer changes, Koeman and the board had made some smart moves in the transfer market and been rewarded with the club’s best-ever Premier League finish. They also finished with the second-best defensive record, letting in just 33 goals in 38 matches.

Seasonal Stories: Tottenham Hotspur (2016-2017)

Farewell to the Lane

Tottenham Hotspur might have ended the 2016-2017 season without any silverware but it was a memorable campaign for Mauricio Pochettino and his young, exciting side. For the second successive season, they made a challenge for the title, eventually falling seven points short of London rivals Chelsea but they finished gallant runners-up.

They finished above north London rivals Arsenal for the first time in 22 years, Harry Kane won the Golden Boot for the second successive season and they dropped just four points all campaign on home soil as White Hart Lane received a fond farewell.

Splashing the cash

After coming close to winning the Premier League title in 2015-2016, Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino and his young squad were hungry to take two further steps following their third-place finish the previous season.

After impressing for France during EURO 2016, Moussa Sissoko was acquired from relegated Newcastle United for £30 million on transfer deadline day. He joined Victor Wanyama, who linked up with Pochettino again having played underneath the Argentine at Southampton and Vincent Janssen, who came in from Ajax as back-up for Harry Kane.

Tottenham made a brilliant start to the season and finished September in second place, with four wins from their opening six matches. Heung-Min Son started the season in peak form. The South Korean scored braces in away victories over Stoke City and Middlesbrough. The only blow was the loss of Kane for seven weeks after he sustained an ankle injury in the closing stages of a narrow home win against rock-bottom Sunderland.

Poch triumphing over Pep

October began with a visit to White Hart Lane from league leaders Manchester City. Pep Guardiola’s side had made an impeccable start, winning their first six league matches of the season but on the day, it was Pochettino who would triumph over Pep. Tottenham got at the Citizens early on and the visitors couldn’t handle their pressing tactics. An Aleksandar Kolarov own goal and strike from Dele Alli helped Spurs to record an impressive 2-0 victory and meant, they were now the only club yet to taste defeat in the Premier League in 2016-2017.

The next period of league matches was frustrating and ultimately, a run of just two wins in eight matches proved to be costly come the final outcome in regards to a title challenge. Tottenham’s unbeaten record remained until the end of November when in their 13th match, they lost 2-1 at Stamford Bridge to league leaders Chelsea. By now, Kane was back from injury and rescued a point from the penalty spot in the first North London Derby of the season at The Emirates Stadium.

Defeat no.2 of the season came at Old Trafford in mid-December. Kane was robbed of possession in the centre circle and Manchester United broke forward, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan scoring the only goal of the game. Tottenham’s response to this setback was a run of six successive victories which meant by mid-January, they were firmly in the shake-up for a top four finish.


1 Chelsea 21 17 1 3 45 15 +30 52
2 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 21 13 6 2 43 14 +29 45
3 Liverpool FC 21 13 6 2 49 24 +25 45
4 Arsenal 21 13 5 3 48 22 +26 44
5 Manchester City 21 13 3 5 41 26 +15 42
6 Manchester United 21 11 7 3 32 20 +12 40

King Kane loves a treble

At the turn of the year, it was Dele Alli who was firmly in the goals. Alli managed to score three successive braces of goals during the festive period, including two headers at White Hart Lane in early January which saw Chelsea’s 13-match winning sequence end in a 2-0 defeat.

Kane was about to enjoy a stunning 2017 which ultimately saw him break the record for Premier League goals in a calendar year. His first hat-trick of the season came in mid-January in a fairly routine 4-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion.

Kane followed this hat-trick up with back-to-back trebles in successive Sundays in February. First, his hat-trick took Spurs past Championship side Fulham in the FA Cup fifth round before a first half hat-trick saw Stoke City condemned to a third successive 4-0 loss against the Lilywhites in the Premier League.

Kane was locked in a tight battle for the Golden Boot with Everton’s Romelu Lukaku but it looked like the Belgian might have the edge, especially when Kane injured his ankle again in the FA Cup quarter-finals against Millwall, putting him on the treatment table again for another month.

With uncertainty around Arsene Wenger’s future at Arsenal and the inconsistency from Liverpool FC and both Manchester clubs, it was Tottenham who were the only team who looked capable of giving Chelsea some nervy moments in the run-in. 10 points behind with 10 games left to play, Tottenham quickly cut that gap to four points, enjoying a fruitful run of nine successive victories – their best-ever sequence in their Premier League history.

The end at White Hart Lane

At the end of April, Tottenham beat Arsenal 2-0 in the last North London Derby at White Hart Lane with goals from Alli and the returning Kane. This meant that Tottenham would finish above Arsenal in a top-flight table for the first time since 1995 and guaranteed a finish in the top four.

There was a sense within the supporters that a genuine bid for the title was on but a week later, that hope expired on Tottenham’s first visit to The London Stadium. Manuel Lanzini’s second half strike guided West Ham to a 1-0 victory, sending their supporters into ecstasy at crushing Spurs’ dreams. By the time Tottenham played their next match, Chelsea had recorded the two wins they had required to regain the Premier League title.

All that was left was for the final-ever match to be played at White Hart Lane. Tottenham were moving temporarily into Wembley Stadium whilst a new stadium was built on the site of the historic ground. Manchester United were the visitors but they couldn’t be the party poopers. Wanyama opened the scoring with an early header and fittingly, Kane would be the final Tottenham scorer at the ground, scoring his first-ever goal against Manchester United in the process.

A 2-1 victory over the Red Devils guaranteed second place in the table, their best-ever Premier League finish and an unbeaten home record in the last White Hart Lane season, recording 15 successive home victories. Only Liverpool FC and Leicester City avoided defeat. There was plenty of emotion as a final celebration was held with Tottenham legends past and present braving the rain to join in the celebrations. Kane wasn’t done though. Seven goals in the last week of the season, including another two hat-tricks as Spurs brushed aside Leicester and Hull City 6-1 and 7-1 respectively. That meant a second successive Golden Boot for the striker.

Alas, there was no silverware for the team but Tottenham Hotspur had produced plenty of excitement and entertainment for their supporters and the neutrals in season 2016-2017.


1 Chelsea 38 30 3 5 85 33 +52 93
2 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 38 26 8 4 86 26 +60 86
3 Manchester City 38 23 9 6 80 39 +41 78
4 Liverpool FC 38 22 10 6 78 42 +36 76
5 Arsenal 38 23 6 9 77 44 +33 75
6 Manchester United 38 18 15 5 54 29 +25 69

Premier League Rewind: 17th-18th December 2005

Results: Aston Villa 0-2 Manchester United, Everton 0-4 Bolton Wanderers, Fulham 2-1 Blackburn Rovers, Portsmouth 1-0 West Bromwich Albion, West Ham United 2-4 Newcastle United, Wigan Athletic 3-0 Charlton Athletic, Manchester City 4-1 Birmingham City, Middlesbrough 3-3 Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal 0-2 Chelsea

The final round of matches before Christmas in the 2005-2006 season saw Chelsea have the opportunity to strengthen their grip on the Premier League title. Jose Mourinho’s all-conquering Blues had lost just once so far away at Manchester United and dropped just four points in the campaign when they travelled to Highbury for the last-ever time to play Arsenal.

The Gunners were smarting off the back of successive defeats on their travels to Bolton Wanderers and Newcastle United without scoring and things didn’t improve here against the league leaders. They were denied a perfectly good goal when Robin van Persie was wrongly flagged for offside. Chelsea took advantage when Arjen Robben scored just before half-time. A mistake from Lauren allowed Joe Cole to score a second goal after 73 minutes and took Mourinho’s men a whopping 20 points clear of the previous season’s runners-up. He was seen shaking hands before full-time with his coaching staff in a joyous manner. It had been another professional performance from the reigning champions.

The result left Arsenal way off the pace in eighth position and also, five points adrift of the top four positions. Chelsea’s nearest challengers were Manchester United who remained nine points behind the men from west London. The Red Devils recorded their sixth win in seven matches with a fairly routine 2-0 victory at shot-shy Aston Villa. Both Ruud van Nistelrooy and Wayne Rooney were on-target to keep United in second position and leave Villa just four points above the bottom three.

With third-placed Liverpool FC away on FIFA World Club Championship duty in Japan, Tottenham had the opportunity to move above the Reds but couldn’t fully capitalise, drawing a thrilling match at Middlesbrough. Spurs trailed twice in the game but battled back to draw 3-3 with Mido scoring the equaliser in the 80th minute to ensure the spoils were deservedly shared.

Wigan Athletic bounced back from five successive defeats to the ‘big 5’ by waltzing past Charlton Athletic 3-0, pushing the Latics back into both positive goal difference and the top six. Henri Camara scored a hat-trick as Charlton crashed to their sixth defeat in seven matches. Camara wasn’t the only hat-trick hero of the weekend as Michael Owen scored his first treble as a Newcastle United player in the Magpies’ 4-2 away victory at West Ham. They would turn out to be Owen’s last goals of the season. He broke his foot two weeks later which would keep him on the sidelines for the best part of four months.

Harry Redknapp had made a sensational return to Portsmouth following a year of drama on the south coast between Pompey and Southampton. His first game back at Fratton Park saw his team record a priceless and scrappy 1-0 triumph over West Bromwich Albion with Svetoslav Todorov scoring the only goal of the contest. However, Portsmouth would spend Christmas Day still in the bottom three.

The result saw them overtake Birmingham City however, who went down 4-1 away at Manchester City in the Saturday teatime fixture. David Sommeil put the home side into the lead after just 42 seconds and Birmingham goalkeeper Nico Vaesen endured a torrid evening, conceding a penalty and receiving a late red card for handling outside his penalty area. For Steve Bruce and the travelling support, it was torrid evening at Eastlands.

What else happened in December 2005?

  • David Cameron is elected as the new leader of The Conservative Party, defeating David Davis in the leadership election.
  • The Civil Partnership Act 2004 comes into force. This grants same-sex couples similar legal rights to those of married heterosexuals. One of the first high-profile marriages is that of singer Elton John and his long-time partner, David Furnish.
  • The Buncefield oil storage facility in Hertfordshire is destroyed by a series of explosions.
  • Irish President Mary McAleese meets The Queen at Hillsborough Castle. It is the first time that the two heads of state meet in Ireland.
  • England cricket all-rounder Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff wins the 2005 BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
  • Amelle Berrabah joins the Sugababes, replacing Mutya Buena who leaves the band.
  • The final-ever episode is aired of the Channel Five soap opera, Family Affairs.