Tag Archives: Hat-Trick

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.

15th JANUARY 2017 TABLE

POS TABLE P W D L F A GD PTS
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.

FINAL 2016-2017 TABLE – THE TOP SIX

POS TABLE P W D L F A GD PTS
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
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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.

 

Premier League Rewind: 22nd-24th August 1998

Results: Charlton Athletic 5-0 Southampton, Chelsea 1-1 Newcastle United, Derby County 0-0 Wimbledon, Leicester City 2-0 Everton, Liverpool FC 0-0 Arsenal, Nottingham Forest 1-0 Coventry City, Tottenham Hotspur 0-3 Sheffield Wednesday, West Ham United 0-0 Manchester United, Aston Villa 3-1 Middlesbrough, Leeds United 1-0 Blackburn Rovers

There seemed to a post-attacking hangover after the 1998 World Cup finals in France and defences were most definitely on-top in the first month of the 1998-1999 season. On the second weekend of the campaign, there were three more goalless draws to add to the three on the opening day and just 18 goals across the 10 fixtures.

The main story was Charlton Athletic’s first game in the Premier League at The Valley and it turned out to be a memorable afternoon the Addicks supporters would never forget. Southampton were ripped apart in the Saturday afternoon sunshine in the capital. John Robinson had the honour of scoring Charlton’s first goal in the top-flight since promotion and play-off hero Clive Mendonca helped himself to a second half hat-trick. The Saints caved in and finished with midfielder David Howells in-goal after regular goalkeeper Paul Jones was sent off for a professional foul. Charlton won 5-0 and ended the weekend top of the Premier League table.

Two days after his big money transfer from Aston Villa to Manchester United, Dwight Yorke made his Red Devils debut at Upton Park as Alex Ferguson’s side continued their unspectacular start to the season with a turgid performance in a goalless draw with the Hammers. David Beckham made his first trip to a visiting ground since his World Cup nightmare and he was viciously booed throughout the afternoon by the West Ham faithful who hadn’t forgiven him for his antics in St-Etienne back in June.

Aston Villa boss John Gregory was furious Yorke had left his club and when his striker demanded to leave, he famously said “if he’d had a gun at the time, I think I would have shot him!” The Villans didn’t seem to miss him at home to newly-promoted Middlesbrough. Julian Joachim scored the pick of the goals in the home side’s impressive 3-1 victory infront of the Super Sunday cameras.

The standard and competitiveness of the Premier League was drawn out by the fact that there were no 100% records left after just two rounds of fixtures. Only two teams were pointless so far; Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur. Spurs’ alarming 3-0 home defeat to Sheffield Wednesday with goals from Peter Atherton, Paolo Di Canio and Andy Hinchcliffe would turn out to be Christian Gross’ last home fixture as manager of the club. He was sacked in early September. The win for the Owls was the first in-charge for Danny Wilson after he left relegated Barnsley in the summer to take charge of a club he represented in his playing days.

The first manager to leave his post in the season was Kenny Dalglish. Although Newcastle recorded an excellent 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge against a new-look Chelsea, Dalglish resigned a few days later and would be replaced by ex-Chelsea manager Ruud Gullit.

The weekend ended with Leeds United edging out Blackburn Rovers 1-0 on Monday Night Football. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink scored the only goal of the game after 18 minutes. It was the first of his 18 Premier League goals in the season, as he shared the Golden Boot with Yorke and Liverpool FC’s Michael Owen. 

What else happened in August 1998?

  • Just four months after The Good Friday agreement, trouble returns to Northern Ireland when a car bomb explodes at Omagh, planted by a splinter group who opposed the agreement. 29 people are killed and 220 are injured in the worst terrorist atrocity in Northern Ireland.
  • The United States embassy buildings are bombed in Tanzania and Kenya, killing 224 people and injuring over 4500. They are immediately linked to al-Qaeda and its leader, Osama bin Laden.
  • American President Bill Clinton admits in a televised address to the country that he “misled people” about his sexual affair with Monica Lewinsky.
  • The world’s first bionic arm, the Edinburgh Modular Arm System is fitted.
  • Richard Dunn, the former CEO of Thames Television dies aged 55. He was in-charge of Thames when they controversially lost the London license to serve ITV in the 1991 Franchise Awards.
  • Damon Hill wins the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa – the first-ever victory for the Jordan Formula One team, ran by Irish team owner Eddie Jordan. It is Hill’s 22nd and final victory in the sport.
  • The Netherlands is selected as the venue for the trial of the two Libyan men charged with the Lockerbie bombing of December 1988.

 

 

Memorable Matches: Arsenal 4-2 Wigan Athletic (May 2006)

Goalscorers: Robert Pires 8, Paul Scharner 10, David Thompson 33, Thierry Henry 35, 56, 76 PEN

Teams:

Arsenal: Jens Lehmann, Ashley Cole, Emmanuel Eboue, Sol Campbell, Kolo Toure, Gilberto Silva, Cesc Fabregas, Aleksandar Hleb (Robin van Persie 79), Robert Pires (Freddie Ljungberg 74), Jose Antonio Reyes (Dennis Bergkamp 79), Thierry Henry

Wigan Athletic: Mike Pollitt, Leighton Baines, Pascal Chimbonda, Mat Jackson, Paul Scharner, Reto Ziegler (Damien Francis 66), Graham Kavanagh, David Thompson (Andreas Johansson 73 (SENT OFF), Lee McCulloch, Henri Camara (David Connolly 82), Jason Roberts

Referee: Uriah Rennie, Attendance: 38,359

After 93 years, football was about to say goodbye to Highbury as Arsenal prepared to play there for the very last time on the final day of the 2005-2006 season. The Gunners had to better the result of north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur to claim fourth position in the final table and a chance to qualify for the following season’s UEFA Champions League.

Wigan Athletic had nothing to play for as they arrived to complete their first top-flight campaign but they played their part in an entertaining final farewell to Highbury. Before the match, Thierry Henry collected some of his individual prizes, including the Golden Boot and the Football Writers’ Award. There was one more day for the Frenchman to produce another grand performance at the ground.

Arsenal led after just eight minutes. Wigan failed to deal with a corner and from Sol Campbell’s flick-on – Robert Pires scored at the second attempt, having been denied first time round by an instinctive save from Mike Pollitt. It was Pires’ last Premier League goal for the club. He was to be released at the end of the season.

Two minutes later though, the visitors were level. David Thompson’s well-measured free-kick was steered in by centre-back Paul Scharner. Scharner had scored his first Wigan goal earlier in the season in a League Cup semi-final between the teams so he was finding a real liking for playing the Gunners. 12 minutes before half-time, Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann left a gaping hole at a free-kick and Thompson exposed this flaw with a clever set-piece that ended up in the back of Lehmann’s net. Paul Jewell’s Latics were threatening to be the party poopers.

Their lead lasted just two minutes. Aleksandar Hleb won back possession and played Henry through to equalise for his 135th Highbury goal. It was 2-2 at half-time and with Tottenham’s game also level at 1-1 against West Ham United, it was Martin Jol’s side that were on-course to finish fourth.

Into the second half and on 56 minutes, Thompson’s dreadful backpass put Henry through. He evaded Pollitt’s dive, stayed on his feet and put Arsenal 3-2 infront. With 14 minutes left, Arsenal won a penalty. In his first involvement since arriving as a substitute, Freddie Ljungberg went down under a challenge from Andreas Johansson. Uriah Rennie gave the spot-kick and sent the Wigan forward off. Henry made no mistake from the spot, completing his hat-trick, kissing the turf after scoring.

Dennis Bergkamp arrived into the game for his final-ever league match as a professional footballer and on his arrival, cheers went around the ground as Arsenal fans discovered West Ham had taken the lead against Tottenham. The Hammers held on for a 2-1 victory meaning this win was good enough for Arsenal to secure fourth place in the final standings.

There was then a glorious closing ceremony with 90 former players and staff welcomed back for a lap of honour before Arsene Wenger counted down the clock to 00:00:00 with a spectacular fireworks display. Football had finished at Highbury but it had gone out in sensational style.

Premier League Rewind: 17th-18th August 1996

Results: Arsenal 2-0 West Ham United, Blackburn Rovers 0-2 Tottenham Hotspur, Coventry City 0-3 Nottingham Forest, Derby County 3-3 Leeds United, Everton 2-0 Newcastle United, Middlesbrough 3-3 Liverpool FC, Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 Aston Villa, Sunderland 0-0 Leicester City, Wimbledon 0-3 Manchester United, Southampton 0-0 Chelsea

Fans on the opening weekend of the 1996-1997 Premier League season were treated to some spectacular action and a goal that even 23 years on, is still constantly replayed again and again.

That moment came at Selhurst Park where the reigning FA Cup and Premier League holders, Manchester United were taking on Wimbledon. It was a routine afternoon for the Red Devils who were leading 2-0 going into stoppage-time with goals from Eric Cantona and Denis Irwin. Then, David Beckham did something truly special. From the halfway line, the youngster spotted Wimbledon goalkeeper Neil Sullivan off his goal-line and decided to shoot for goal. He judged it to perfection. Sullivan dashed back but didn’t get there in-time and the ball ended up in the back of the net. It took the goalscorer towards global stardom.

At The Riverside Stadium, a new star of its own was being created in the form of Middlesbrough’s new striker. Fabrizio Ravanelli, a UEFA Champions League winner with Juventus just a few months earlier, made a sensational start against Liverpool FC. The Italian scored an opening day hat-trick to ensure Boro earned an entertaining 3-3 draw with the men from Merseyside, despite trailing three times in the match.

It was Nottingham Forest who would top the table at the end of the opening weekend. Like Ravanelli, Kevin Campbell hit a treble as Frank Clark’s side brushed aside Coventry City 3-0 at Highfield Road in commanding fashion. However, they wouldn’t win another match before December in the Premier League and by then, Clark was out of a job. This was as good as it got for Forest supporters during the 1996-1997 season.

Manchester United’s closest challengers in the previous campaign had been Newcastle United but after being thumped by the champions in the curtain-raising FA Charity Shield a week earlier, the Magpies lost 2-0 on the opening day to Everton at Goodison Park. First half goals from David Unsworth via the penalty spot and Gary Speed on his home debut saw the Toffees to an impressive win.

Speed had decided to join the club he’d supported as a boy. The club he’d left behind, Leeds United were involved in their own six-goal thriller at The Baseball Ground. They drew 3-3 with Derby County. Leeds would score only 25 further goals in their remaining 37 league matches during the campaign.

It had been a tumultuous build-up to the season for Arsenal. With star striker Ian Wright pondering over handing in a transfer request and Bruce Rioch sacked less than a week before the season began, the Gunners did beat West Ham United 2-0 under the guidance of caretaker manager Stewart Houston. Wright didn’t start the match and it was his replacement in the team, John Hartson who opened the scoring. By the end of the season though, Wright was still scoring goals for fun at Arsenal and Hartson had been transferred to West Ham.

Sky Sports’ first live TV selection wasn’t a classic as Southampton and Chelsea played out a largely uneventful 0-0 draw on Super Sunday at The Dell. The game was played in sizzling temperatures and it did see Ruud Gullit make his debut as a manager after succeeding England-bound Glenn Hoddle in the summer. A clean sheet was a good platform to build on for Gullit in a season that would end with silverware.

What else happened in August 1996?

  • The 1996 Summer Olympics conclude in Atlanta. It is a nightmare games for Great Britain, who win just one gold medal.
  • Boris Yeltsin is sworn in at the Kremlin for a second term as President of Russia.
  • At the Republican National Convention, Bob Dole is selected as their candidate for the presidency.
  • The Prince and Princess of Wales are formally divorced at the High Court of Justice in London.
  • Unemployment has fallen to 2.1 million – its lowest level since the summer of 1991.
  • Zoë Ball presents her final edition of The Big Breakfast, having decided to join BBC One’s Live & Kicking.
  • Influential punk rock group The Ramones play their final show at The Palace in Hollywood.

Memorable Matches: Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-5 West Bromwich Albion (February 2012)

Goalscorers: Peter Odemwingie 34, 77, 88, Steven Fletcher 45, Jonas Olsson 64, Keith Andrews 85

Teams:

Wolverhampton Wanderers: Wayne Hennessey, Sebastien Bassong (Christophe Berra 61), Kevin Foley, Roger Johnson, Stephen Ward, David Edwards (Nenad Milijas 69), Jamie O’Hara, Matt Jarvis, Kevin Doyle, Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, Steven Fletcher

West Bromwich Albion: Ben Foster, Gareth McAuley, Jonas Olsson, Liam Ridgewell, Steven Reid, Paul Scharner (Keith Andrews 46), Youssouf Mulumbu, James Morrison, Jerome Thomas (Simon Cox 76), Marc-Antoine Fortune, Peter Odemwingie (Graham Dorrans 89)

Referee: Lee Mason, Attendance: 27,131

Roy Hodgson needed a result ahead of this Black Country Derby in February 2012. West Bromwich Albion had won just one of their previous seven matches and were looking in a precarious position. Wolves were reeling them in and had notched up a vital win eight days earlier away at Queens Park Rangers. So the outcome was a real surprise for both sets of supporters.

West Brom took the lead after 34 minutes. Peter Odemwingie was allowed to cut inside far too easily and his strike on-goal took a massive deflection off David Edwards to completely deceive Wayne Hennessey. The visitors deserved the lead for their early sustained pressure on the Wolves goal.

However, in the final seconds of the first half, Wolves levelled against the run of play. The front three of Kevin Doyle, Sylvain Ebanks-Blake and Steven Fletcher linked up brilliantly and Fletcher’s shot went through the legs of a West Brom defender, leaving Ben Foster unsighted and unable to stop the shot from going in.

West Brom regained the lead on 64 minutes. Gareth McAuley hit a post from a corner but the home side failed to clear their lines. McAuley’s centre-back partner, Jonas Olsson tried his luck and Hennessey allowed the ball to slip through his grasp and just over the goal-line. The goalkeeper should have done better but teammate Jamie O’Hara did interfere with his vision at the crucial moment.

In truth, Hodgson’s side had completely dominated this Black Country Derby and with 13 minutes left, they finally established a winning lead. Yet again, Wolves failed to deal with a set-piece. Liam Ridgewell got an unchallenged header at the back post. Olsson played his part with a nice flick into the path of Odemwingie and the forward stabbed the ball into the net from close-range.

Wolves’ humiliation was almost complete five minutes from full-time. Keith Andrews, who had started his professional career at Molineux, found the net to make it 4-1. Again, another deflection had got the better of Hennessey. The visiting supporters loved this and more joy was to come. Odemwingie completed his hat-trick moments before he was substituted. It was his finest performance in a West Bromwich Albion shirt and this result remains West Brom’s biggest victory in their Premier League history.

It was a perfect way for Hodgson to celebrate a year in-charge as manager but the repercussions of this hefty defeat were huge for Wolves. Mick McCarthy was sacked 24 hours later and they failed to win another game before the end of the season as they were relegated to the Championship.

Memorable Matches: West Ham United 3-4 AFC Bournemouth (August 2015)

Goalscorers: Callum Wilson 11, 28, 79 PEN, Mark Noble 48 PEN, Cheikhou Kouyate 53, Marc Pugh 66, Modibo Maiga 82

Teams:

West Ham United: Darren Randolph, Aaron Cresswell, Carl Jenkinson (SENT OFF), Angelo Ogbonna (James Tomkins 35), Winston Reid, Cheikhou Kouyate, Pedro Obiang, Mark Noble, Kevin Nolan (Matt Jarvis 45), Dimitri Payet, Diafra Sakho (Modibo Maiga 73)

AFC Bournemouth: Artur Boruc, Steve Cook, Charlie Daniels, Tommy Elphick, Simon Francis, Eunan O’Kane, Andrew Surman, Max Gradel (Dan Gosling 85), Matt Ritchie (Adam Smith 90), Josh King (Marc Pugh 51), Callum Wilson

Referee: Jon Moss, Attendance: 34,977

Just over six years after avoiding relegation from the Football League on the last day of the season, AFC Bournemouth were embarking on their debut Premier League campaign in 2015-2016. After back-to-back 1-0 defeats to Aston Villa and Liverpool FC, Eddie Howe’s side were still looking for their first points or goal at this level when they travelled to Upton Park in August 2015.

West Ham United had already beaten Arsenal on the opening weekend but lost their first home match of the season a week earlier to eventual champions Leicester City. The Hammers were about to put in a dithering defensive display that was punished by the top-flight newcomers. It was only the sixth meeting between the sides in all-time history.

Bournemouth led after just 11 minutes. Simon Francis got the better of Aaron Cresswell on the left-hand side and drilled in a cross that received a first-time finish from Callum Wilson. Just before the half-hour mark, Cresswell made his second critical error of the match. Poor control in his own penalty area allowed Wilson in to score his second of the afternoon. The former England Under-21 forward was adapting brilliantly to the new level of football.

At half-time, Slaven Bilic withdrew skipper Kevin Nolan, replacing him with Matt Jarvis. It turned out to be Nolan’s last appearance for the club. He left by mutual consent days later. Three minutes into the second half, West Ham finally flickered into life. Mark Noble went down in the penalty area under a challenge from Josh King. Jon Moss pointed to the penalty spot and Noble made no mistake with the penalty. Five minutes later, the home side were back on level terms. Diafra Sakho’s shot was saved by Artur Boruc but the rebound was rifled into the top corner by Cheikhou Kouyate.

The Cherries were showing great character though despite surrendering their two-goal lead. Stand-in goalkeeper Darren Randolph had to be at his best, making several top saves before Bournemouth restored their lead on 66 minutes. Substitute Marc Pugh beautifully cut inside Carl Jenkinson and found the far corner with a precise finish beyond Randolph. With 11 minutes left, Jenkinson’s miserable afternoon was complete with a red card. Having been dispossessed by the dangerous Max Gradel, he dragged down the Ivorian in the penalty area and conceded a spot-kick as well as sealing his early shower. Wilson took the penalty and completed his hat-trick – becoming only the fifth player from a newly-promoted side to score a treble in Premier League history.

Modibo Maiga pulled a goal back for Bilic’s side but West Ham ran out of time for a second equaliser and Bournemouth held on for their first-ever Premier League victory.

Premier League Rewind: 26th-27th August 1994

Results: Aston Villa 1-1 Crystal Palace, Blackburn Rovers 4-0 Coventry City, Leeds United 2-3 Chelsea, Manchester City 4-0 Everton, Newcastle United 5-1 Southampton, Norwich City 1-0 West Ham United, Nottingham Forest 1-0 Leicester City, Queens Park Rangers 1-2 Ipswich Town, Tottenham Hotspur 0-1 Manchester United, Wimbledon 0-1 Sheffield Wednesday, Liverpool FC 3-0 Arsenal

Going into the third set of fixtures in the 1994-1995 Premier League, 20 teams had played two games each and just two sides had 100% records. They were Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur. The Magpies had already scored seven goals in their opening two victories over Leicester City and Coventry City. They were about to add five more to that tally in a 5-1 destruction of Southampton.

The rout against the Saints was set-up by three goals in a 10-minute period. Defender Steve Watson, who was playing in a wide midfield position, benefited from a more attacking approach by scoring the first two goals of the afternoon. Andy Cole added another brace to his growing collection as Kevin Keegan’s side consolidated top spot in the early season table.

Tottenham’s maximum start to the season disappeared as they were beaten 1-0 by champions Manchester United at White Hart Lane. United skipper Steve Bruce scored the only goal, heading home after Ian Walker came for a Ryan Giggs corner and got nowhere near it. Bruce then blotted his copybook by giving away a penalty for body checking Ilie Dumitrescu. However, Teddy Sheringham couldn’t convert the spot-kick. He was denied by Peter Schmeichel. It was a second failure from the penalty spot for Sheringham in four days.

With work still being done to the new Kop all-seater stand, Liverpool FC hadn’t played in the first midweek round of the season but the new era at the ground began on Super Sunday with Arsenal the visitors to Anfield. It would produce one of the most groundbreaking historical records that would stand for over two decades. Young forward Robbie Fowler was already making a name for himself. On this day, he scored the fastest hat-trick in Premier League history – a record that would last for 21 years. The 19-year-old found the net three times in just four minutes and 33 seconds. It was a record that would stand until Sadio Mane managed a quicker treble for Southampton against Aston Villa in May 2015. Liverpool won the game 3-0 and a star was well and truly born.

That meant Liverpool had won two games from two and so too had Chelsea, who produced the comeback of the round. They went 2-0 down to Leeds United inside 18 minutes, courtesy of goals from South African Phil Masinga and Leeds’ own young talent in Noel Whelan. The fightback was inspired by Dennis Wise, who scored from the penalty spot before half-time. Then, his free-kick in the 61st minute was saved by John Lukic but only into the path of John Spencer to equalise. Spencer scored the winner with two minutes left with his shot from outside the area squirming underneath Lukic’s body to complete a great turnaround from the Londoners.

After three sets of games, eight clubs were still awaiting their first victory of the campaign. Among them were Aston Villa, who were pegged back at home in the closing stages for the second successive match. Newly-promoted Crystal Palace earned a 1-1 draw thanks to Gareth Southgate’s 87th minute equaliser. Coventry City were another side without a victory and they took a second consecutive 4-0 beating on their travels. This time, it was Blackburn Rovers dishing out a thrashing, with their new striker, Chris Sutton scoring a hat-trick. Coventry had Mick Quinn sent off.

There were worrying signs too for Mike Walker at Everton whose side caved in dramatically in the second half at Maine Road. Uwe Rosler and Paul Walsh both scored twice as Manchester City eased to a 4-0 victory and Walker would only win one match in the league before being dismissed in early November by the Toffees hierarchy.

What else happened in August 1994?

  • The IRA announces a “complete cessation of military operations.”
  • The 1994 Sunday Trading Act comes into force, permitting retailers to start trading in six-hour slots on Sundays.
  • Britpop band Oasis releases their debut album Definitely Maybe; and it becomes the fastest selling debut album in the United Kingdom.
  • Sky Sports launch their second television channel, as Sky Sports 2 is born.
  • Norwich Central Library is destroyed by a huge fire, with most of the city’s historical records lost in the blaze.
  • The last traces of Eastern Europe’s Soviet occupation disappear as the Russian army vacates Estonia and Latvia.

Premier League Rewind: 20th-22nd January 2018

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

With Christmas well and truly over and the January transfer window in full swing, a question had been asked of runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City. A week earlier, the Citizens lost 4-3 to Liverpool FC, losing their first league match of the campaign. Could Pep Guardiola’s side return to winning ways?

They made no mistake against Newcastle United, beating the Magpies 3-1. Sergio Aguero was in peak form against Newcastle again, scoring his seventh hat-trick in the competition and his second against the Toon Army after his five-goal haul against them in October 2015. It was a perfect way to mark his 200th appearance in the competition.

Manchester City remained 12 points clear at the top of the table after Manchester United extended their unbeaten run in the Premier League to eight matches. Anthony Martial’s strike after 54 minutes saw Jose Mourinho’s men record a narrow 1-0 victory over Burnley at Turf Moor. By contrast, Burnley’s bright start to the season had been checked. They were still eighth in the table but winless now in seven games and had lost their last three matches. The Red Devils were yet to concede a goal in 2018.

Liverpool FC should have been on a real high after the victory over Manchester City. However, Jurgen Klopp’s side inexplicably lost their next match, going down 1-0 at The Liberty Stadium to struggling Swansea City. Virgil van Dijk made his league debut for the Reds after his £75 million move from Southampton making him the most expensive defender in world football. However, he was partially responsible for the only goal of the game, scored by Swansea centre-back, Alfie Mawson. Swansea remained bottom but were now just three points adrift of safety.

Following a humiliating exit at the hands of Coventry City in the FA Cup earlier in the month, Stoke City had parted company with Mark Hughes after nearly five years in-charge. After missing out on their prime target, the Derby boss Gary Rowett, it was Paul Lambert who stepped in to fill the breach. He made the perfect start as the Potters beat Huddersfield Town 2-0 to lift themselves outside the drop zone. They were replaced in the bottom three by Southampton, who hadn’t won a game now in nearly two months. That was despite the Saints earning a decent point against Tottenham Hotspur. Harry Kane scored the equaliser for Tottenham. It was his 99th Premier League goal.

The match at Goodison Park between Everton and West Bromwich Albion was completely overshadowed by a horrific injury to Everton midfielder, James McCarthy. An unfortunate collision with West Brom forward Salomon Rondon saw him suffer a double leg fracture and leaving the field on a stretcher. Rondon was seen in tears after the incident which meant the final 1-1 scoreline was made completely irrelevant by these events.

Sam Allardyce was the man in-charge of Everton but their prime target to succeed Ronald Koeman had been Marco Silva. The Watford boss had been the subject of an approach by Everton in mid-November. The Hornets turned the approach down but their form completely nosedived after this. A 2-0 defeat away at Leicester City spelt the end for Silva. He was sacked by Watford less than 24 hours after the loss at The King Power Stadium.

What else happened in January 2018?

  • Cyrille Regis dies after suffering a heart attack, aged 59. He won five England caps and represented the likes of West Bromwich Albion, Coventry City and Aston Villa during a 19-year professional career.
  • The UK’s second-largest construction company, Carillion goes into liquidation with debts of £1.5 million. Over 19,000 jobs in the UK disappear with the collapse.
  • A huge fire at the Liverpool Echo Arena car park destroys 1,400 cars.
  • The United States government enters a federal government shutdown as a result of a dispute over Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
  • A total lunar eclipse takes place. It is the first blue moon eclipse since 1983.
  • After touring for nearly 50 years, Sir Elton John announces his retirement.
  • Professional dancer Brendan Cole announces he is leaving Strictly Come Dancing after being with the series since its inception in 2004.

Iconic Moments: Record-breaking Harry (December 2017)

2017-2018 was a record-breaking season for Harry Kane. Although he would ultimately miss out on a third consecutive Golden Boot to Liverpool FC’s Mohamed Salah, Kane reached the landmark of 30 league goals in a season for the first time.

He also became Tottenham Hotspur’s leading all-time Premier League goalscorer, surpassing Teddy Sheringham’s total in January 2018 and a month later, his stoppage-time penalty to earn a point at Anfield saw Kane enter the 100 Club for Premier League goals. He looks like the most serious challenger to Alan Shearer’s all-time leading total of 260.

His biggest achievement though was breaking one of Shearer’s long-standing records. In Tottenham’s final league match of 2017, Kane scored a hat-trick in Spurs 5-2 Boxing Day thumping of struggling Southampton. His header to open the scoring in the 22nd minute was a piece of Premier League history. It was Kane’s 37th league goal of the calendar year, surpassing Shearer’s tally of 36 which he achieved in 1995 when he was at Blackburn Rovers.

Kane also took his tally for the year to 56 for Tottenham and England, achieving a higher goal total than Lionel Messi. There was no silverware in 2017 but it was an amazing year for Kane who ended the season as Three Lions captain, guiding England to the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup.

Premier League Rewind: 15th-17th September 2017

Results: AFC Bournemouth 2-1 Brighton & Hove Albion, Crystal Palace 0-1 Southampton, Huddersfield Town 1-1 Leicester City, Liverpool FC 1-1 Burnley, Newcastle United 2-1 Stoke City, Watford 0-6 Manchester City, West Bromwich Albion 0-0 West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur 0-0 Swansea City, Chelsea 0-0 Arsenal, Manchester United 4-0 Everton

The weekend of the 15th-17th September 2017 was the fifth round of fixtures in the 2017-2018 season and already, a pattern was starting to develop at the top of the table. The two Manchester clubs were dismissing their opponents with consummate ease. There was no change on this weekend.

Having thrashed 10-man Liverpool FC 5-0 on the previous Saturday, Pep Guardiola’s all-conquering Citizens went one better at Vicarage Road. Watford went into the match unbeaten with two wins and two draws to their name but they simply had no answer for the visitors who were in ruthless form. Sergio Aguero scored the first hat-trick of the season as he closed in on becoming the club’s record all-time goalscorer. The 6-0 final scoreline simply didn’t flatter Manchester City. Their goalscoring glut in September already had the other challengers quaking with fear.

Manchester United were doing their best to keep up though. Like West Ham United and Swansea City in August, Everton were on the wrong end of a 4-0 beating from Jose Mourinho’s men. It was Wayne Rooney’s first return to Old Trafford since his summer departure back to Merseyside and he was given a warm reception on his reunion with his former club. However, Everton fell behind early on to September’s Goal of the Month; a screamer from distance in the fourth minute by converted full-back Antonio Valencia. There was also a goal for Romelu Lukaku against his former club in the closing moments as Everton fell to a third successive heavy defeat in all competitions in just eight days. The pressure was growing on Ronald Koeman.

The weekend actually got underway with a Friday Night Football on the south coast and a local derby between AFC Bournemouth and Brighton & Hove Albion. Bournemouth were pointless going into the match and trailed early in the second half to Solly March’s header. However, the Cherries rallied and goals from Andrew Surman and Jermain Defoe helped them defeat the Seagulls 2-1 in an enthralling contest. It was their first points and win of the season.

Bournemouth were off the mark but Crystal Palace remained on zero points and also, zero goals. Southampton left Selhurst Park with all three points in the Saturday lunchtime kick-off. Saints’ skipper Steven Davis scored the only goal in the opening five minutes to ensure a losing start for Roy Hodgson in his first managerial match since being in-charge on that fateful night in Nice when England were knocked out of the 2016 European Championships by Iceland.

Chelsea lost ground on the top two after being held to a goalless draw by a battling Arsenal side at Stamford Bridge, with David Luiz seeing red for the hosts. It was the first of four meetings between the sides during the season and Arsenal remained undefeated in all four encounters. This was one of three goalless draws during the weekend. Another took place at The Hawthorns, where Gareth Barry equalled Ryan Giggs’ all-time Premier League appearance record, levelling up on 632 appearances in the drab stalemate between West Bromwich Albion and West Ham United.

The third game without a goal on the weekend was at Wembley Stadium as Swansea City held Tottenham Hotspur to keep Spurs’ winless streak at their temporary home going, whilst Newcastle United climbed into the dizzying heights of fourth spot in the table after beating Stoke City 2-1 to achieve a third successive victory. For the second successive match, it was skipper Jamaal Lascelles who powered home the winner from a set-piece.

What else happened in September 2017?

  • A blast and fire at Parsons Green train station is treated as a terrorist attack. This time, there are no fatalities, but 29 injuries in-total. It is the fourth attack on the UK in 2017 alone.
  • Kensington Palace announces that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child.
  • Weeks after Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma strikes The Caribbean and the United States. The Category 5 hurricane causes $64.2 billion in damage and claims the lives of 146 people.
  • In response to recent sanctions put in place by the United States, Russian President Vladimir Putin expelled 755 diplomats from his country.
  • North Korea conducts its sixth and most powerful nuclear test.
  • Paris and Los Angeles are chosen as the hosts of the 2024 and 2028 Olympic Games.
  • A new £10 polymer banknote enters circulation in the UK, with Jane Austen featured.

Memorable Matches: Oldham Athletic 2-3 Norwich City (November 1992)

Goalscorers: Mark Robins 14, 27, 90, Graeme Sharp 25, Ian Marshall 43

Teams:

Oldham Athletic: Jon Hallworth, Gunnar Halle, Richard Jobson, Neil Pointon, Steve Redmond, Paul Bernard, Nick Henry, Mike Milligan, Ian Marshall, Ian Olney (Neil Adams 58), Graeme Sharp

Norwich City: Bryan Gunn, Ian Butterworth, Mark Bowen, Ian Culverhouse, John Polston, Daryl Sutch, Ian Crook, David Phillips, Ruel Fox, Darren Beckford (Chris Sutton 88), Mark Robins

Referee: Robbie Hart, Attendance: 11,081

Oldham Athletic and Norwich City were two of the more unfashionable clubs in the Premier League’s very first season. However, both teams were a real credit to the league’s early inception, producing outstanding stories throughout the 1992-1993 campaign.

The sides met in early November 1992 and there was plenty of attention on Mike Walker’s Canaries. Results earlier in the weekend had taken Arsenal to the top of the Premier League table but Norwich knew victory at Boundary Park would take them back to the summit. Oldham though must have fancied their chances. Despite the visitors’ excellent attacking record, their defence was brittle and they’d conceded 11 goals on two recent painful away trips to Ewood Park and Anfield. The one certainly was a 0-0 scoreline was a very unlikely result here.

It was Norwich who struck first in an opening 45 minutes that saw the pendulum swing back and forwards. Ian Culverhouse produced a lovely ball after 14 minutes and summer arrival, Mark Robins was left completely unmarked in the penalty area to open the scoring. It was Robins first goal in seven matches and with the Canaries first serious attack, they were infront.

Norwich’s lead lasted just 11 minutes. Nick Henry delivered a ball into the box from the left-hand side. It was flicked on and Graeme Sharp reacted instantly, providing a predatory finish beyond Bryan Gunn to bring Oldham level. However, their parity didn’t last long. Two minutes later, Norwich were back infront.

Oldham’s high offside trap was brutally exposed by the pacey winger Ruel Fox. He produced the perfect first-time pass and with goalkeeper Jon Hallworth caught in no-man’s land and the defenders scrambling to get back, Robins had all the time in the world to convert his second goal of the evening. Two minutes before half-time, Oldham levelled the scores again. Auxiliary forward Ian Marshall was first to another flick-on and bravely beat an onrushing Gunn to the loose ball. There was a collision between the pair but Marshall got enough on his looping shot to find the back of the net.

The second half was a cagier affair and it looked like the points were going to be shared. Robins though would have the last laugh. In stoppage-time, he created some space for himself in the penalty area and his low shot found the bottom corner of Hallworth’s net to seal victory for Norwich and take them back to the top of the Premier League table. Discarded by Manchester United and Alex Ferguson, the forward was proving his valuable worth to the Norwich cause. He scored the club’s first Premier League hat-trick and only the second in the history of the league after Eric Cantona’s treble for Leeds United against Tottenham Hotspur back in August.

Norwich stayed top of the table for Christmas but their defensive issues would see them fade away slightly in the second half of the season. Nevertheless, the East Anglian side were a tremendous third in the final standings. Oldham scored plenty of goals throughout the campaign and won their final three matches to avoid the drop on the final day of the season.