Tag Archives: Liverpool FC

Premier League Rewind: 3rd-4th November 2001

Results: Leicester City 1-0 Sunderland, Bolton Wanderers 2-2 Everton, Middlesbrough 5-1 Derby County, Newcastle United 3-0 Aston Villa, Southampton 1-2 Blackburn Rovers, West Ham United 0-2 Fulham, Liverpool FC 3-1 Manchester United, Arsenal 2-4 Charlton Athletic, Chelsea 2-1 Ipswich Town, Leeds United 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur

The top seven in the 2001-2002 Premier League season were covered by just four points going into the 11th set of fixtures. The slightly surprising early pacesetters were Aston Villa. John Gregory’s side had won four of their last five fixtures to top the table by a single point.

However, their leadership of the table would only be temporary and by the end of the weekend, we’d have new leaders in the form of the league’s only unbeaten club. Villa had the chance to put some distance between them and the chasing pack as they played on Saturday afternoon at St James’ Park against Newcastle United. However, they were no match for Sir Bobby Robson’s free-flowing side, losing 3-0. Craig Bellamy continued his burgeoning reputation with two goals and Alan Shearer rolled back the years with a spectacular volley which completely beat Peter Schmeichel. After four successive seasons loitering in mid-table, Newcastle were in the chasing pack and just three points off top spot.

So, Leeds United had the opportunity to take command of the title race. They welcomed Tottenham Hotspur to Elland Road. Spurs had managed to string three successive victories together before this fixture and sat in seventh and on the coattails of the established elite. They led here too through Gus Poyet’s beautiful curling shot. However, Leeds responded with an Ian Harte equaliser before Harry Kewell wrapped the match up for David O’Leary’s young chargers nine minutes from full-time. It finished 2-1 and Leeds were heading for the summit. They were unbeaten and looked like a serious title player at this stage of the season.

On the same Sunday afternoon, England’s biggest rivals went head-to-head at Anfield and it was Liverpool FC who prevailed. They beat Manchester United 3-1 to record a fourth consecutive victory against the Red Devils. Michael Owen had recently returned from a hamstring injury and showed no signs of weakness here with two goals. There was also a blockbuster free-kick from John Arne Riise which ranks among this game’s greatest-ever goals.

Arsenal could have taken advantage of United’s third defeat of the season but they experienced a clumsy afternoon of their own against Charlton Athletic, especially in the defensive department. Richard Wright inexplicably punched the ball into his own net and Claus Jensen chipped him from distance on a painful afternoon for the man considered to be the heir to David Seaman’s possession of the goalkeeper jersey for both club and country. Charlton’s 4-2 victory was one for clinical fans over stylish gameplay. Home form was the weakness for Arsenal so far, with just one victory at Highbury from five outings.

Much-maligned striker Ade Akinbiyi chose the fixture with Sunderland to finally grab his first goal of the season. He needed two swipes at his shot but it went into the net and Leicester had their first home victory of the campaign as they beat the Black Cats 1-0 infront of the Sky Sports cameras. That meant not only did the Foxes climb off the foot of the table but they were now out of the bottom three. Replacing them at the bottom were Derby County who were thrashed 5-1 by Middlesbrough at The Riverside Stadium.

What else happened in November 2001?

  • The music world mourns the death of former Beatles singer and guitarist George Harrison, who dies in Los Angeles, aged 58 after a battle with lung cancer.
  • The first instalment in the Harry Potter film series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone makes its premier debut in London.
  • 12 British plane-spotters are held by Greek authorities on charges of spying.
  • 260 people are killed when an American Airlines flight crashes in Queens, New York moments are take-off from JFK airport.
  • The national airline of Belgium, Sabena, goes bankrupt.
  • The governing body of the UK Singles Chart, Chart Information Network Ltd. (CIN), changes its name to The Official UK Charts Company.
  • Richard & Judy’s new teatime programme debuts on Channel 4.

 

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Seasonal Records: 2013-2014

For all the statistical fans out there, here are some of the season’s records from the 2013-2014 Premier League campaign. The title remained in Manchester again but it was City’s turn to finish as kings of the top-flight, pipping a stern challenge from Liverpool FC on the final day of the season.

FINAL TABLE

Position Team P W D L F A GD PTS
1 Manchester City 38 27 5 6 102 37 +65 86
2 Liverpool FC 38 26 6 6 101 50 +51 84
3 Chelsea 38 25 7 6 71 27 +44 82
4 Arsenal 38 24 7 7 68 41 +27 79
5 Everton 38 21 9 8 61 39 +22 72
6 Tottenham Hotspur 38 21 6 11 55 51 +4 69
7 Manchester United 38 19 7 12 64 43 +21 64
8 Southampton 38 15 11 12 54 46 +8 56
9 Stoke City 38 13 11 14 45 52 -7 50
10 Newcastle United 38 15 4 19 43 59 -16 49
11 Crystal Palace 38 13 6 19 33 48 -15 45
12 Swansea City 38 11 9 18 54 54 0 42
13 West Ham United 38 11 7 20 40 51 -11 40
14 Sunderland 38 10 8 20 41 60 -19 38
15 Aston Villa 38 10 8 20 39 61 -22 38
16 Hull City 38 10 7 21 38 53 -15 37
17 West Bromwich Albion 38 7 15 16 43 59 -16 36
18 Norwich City 38 8 9 21 28 62 -34 33
19 Fulham 38 9 5 24 40 85 -45 32
20 Cardiff City 38 7 9 22 32 74 -42 30

 

THE BASIC STATS

Goals Scored 1052
European qualifiers Manchester City (UEFA Champions League)

Liverpool FC (UEFA Champions League)

Chelsea (UEFA Champions League)

Arsenal (UEFA Champions League)

Everton (UEFA Europa League)

Tottenham Hotspur (UEFA Europa League)

Hull City (UEFA Europa League)

Longest winning run 11 games (Liverpool FC)
Longest unbeaten run 16 games (Liverpool FC)
Longest winless run 9 games (Sunderland, West Bromwich Albion & Fulham)
Longest losing run 7 games (Crystal Palace)
Highest attendance 75,368 (Manchester United vs. Aston Villa)
Lowest attendance 19,242 (Swansea City vs. Stoke City)

 

AWARDS

PFA Players’ Player of the Year Luis Suarez (Liverpool FC)
PFA Young Player of the Year Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
Football Writers’ Award Luis Suarez (Liverpool FC)
PFA Team of the Year Petr Cech, Gary Cahill, Vincent Kompany, Seamus Coleman, Luke Shaw, Steven Gerrard, Yaya Toure, Adam Lallana, Eden Hazard, Daniel Sturridge, Luis Suarez
Manager of the Year Tony Pulis (Crystal Palace)
Premier League Goal of the Season Jack Wilshere (ARSENAL vs. Norwich City)

 

HAT-TRICK HEROES

Player Teams Score Date
Luis Suarez Liverpool FC vs. West Bromwich Albion 4-1 26th October 2013
Luis Suarez (4) Liverpool FC vs. Norwich City 5-1 4th December 2013
Adam Johnson Fulham vs. Sunderland 1-4 11th January 2014
Samuel Eto’o Chelsea vs. Manchester United 3-1 19th January 2014
Eden Hazard Chelsea vs. Newcastle United 3-0 8th February 2014
Andre Schurrle Fulham vs. Chelsea 1-3 1st March 2014
Yaya Toure Manchester City vs. Fulham 5-0 22nd March 2014
Luis Suarez Cardiff City vs. Liverpool FC 3-6 22nd March 2014

 

TOP SCORERS

Position Player Teams No of Goals
1 Luis Suarez Liverpool FC 31
2 Daniel Sturridge Liverpool FC 22
3 Yaya Toure Manchester City 20
4= Sergio Aguero Manchester City 17
4= Wayne Rooney Manchester United 17
4= Wilfried Bony Swansea City 17
7= Edin Dzeko Manchester City 16
7= Olivier Giroud Arsenal 16
9= Romelu Lukaku Everton 15
9= Jay Rodriguez Southampton 15
11= Eden Hazard Chelsea 14
11= Loic Remy Newcastle United 14
13= Steven Gerrard Liverpool FC 13
13= Rickie Lambert Southampton 13
15 Robin van Persie Arsenal 12
16 Emmanuel Adebayor Tottenham Hotspur 11
17= Aaron Ramsey Arsenal 10
17= Christian Benteke Aston Villa 10
19= Alvaro Negredo Manchester City 9
19= Raheem Sterling Liverpool FC 9
19= Samuel Eto’o Chelsea 9
19= Danny Welbeck Manchester United 9
19= Adam Lallana Southampton 9
24= Oscar Chelsea 8
24= Lukas Podolski Arsenal 8

 

BIGGEST VICTORIES

Manchester City 7-0 Norwich City 2nd November 2013
Manchester City 6-0 Tottenham Hotspur 24th November 2013
Chelsea 6-0 Arsenal 22nd March 2014
Hull City 6-0 Fulham 28th December 2013
Manchester City 5-0 Fulham 22nd March 2014
Tottenham Hotspur 0-5 Liverpool FC 15th December 2013
Tottenham Hotspur 1-5 Manchester City 29th January 2014
Liverpool FC 5-1 Norwich City 4th December 2013
Liverpool FC 5-1 Arsenal 8th February 2014
Tottenham Hotspur 5-1 Sunderland 7th April 2014

 

HIGHEST SCORING GAMES

No of Goals Teams Date
9 Manchester City 6-3 Arsenal 14th December 2013
9 Cardiff City 3-6 Arsenal 22nd March 2014
8 Stoke City 3-5 Liverpool FC 12th January 2014
7 Manchester City 7-0 Norwich City 2nd November 2013
7 Liverpool FC 4-3 Swansea City 23rd February 2014
7 Sunderland 3-4 Chelsea 4th December 2013
7 Aston Villa 4-3 West Bromwich Albion 29th January 2014
6 Manchester City 6-0 Tottenham Hotspur 24th November 2013
6 Chelsea 6-0 Arsenal 22nd March 2014
6 Hull City 6-0 Fulham 28th December 2013
6 Tottenham Hotspur 1-5 Manchester City 29th January 2014
6 Liverpool FC 5-1 Norwich City 4th December 2013
6 Liverpool FC 5-1 Arsenal 8th February 2014
6 Tottenham Hotspur 5-1 Sunderland 7th April 2014
6 Newcastle United 5-1 Stoke City 26th December 2013
6 Fulham 2-4 Manchester City 21st December 2013
6 Manchester City 4-2 Cardiff City 18th January 2014
6 Southampton 4-2 Norwich City 15th March 2014
6 Everton 3-3 Liverpool FC 23rd November 2013
6 Crystal Palace 3-3 Liverpool FC 5th May 2014

 

YOUNGEST PLAYERS USED

Player Teams Age at the time Date
Adam Armstrong Fulham 1-0 Newcastle United 17 years, 1 month, 5 days 15th March 2014
Patrick Roberts Manchester City 5-0 Fulham 17 years, 1 month, 17 days 22nd March 2014
Moussa Dembele West Ham United 3-0 Fulham 17 years, 4 months, 18 days 30th November 2013
Chuba Akpom Sunderland 1-3 Arsenal 17 years, 11 months, 5 days 14th September 2013
Tom James Cardiff City 1-2 Chelsea 18 years, 26 days 11th May 2014
Luke Shaw West Bromwich Albion 0-1 Southampton 18 years, 1 month, 5 days 17th August 2013
Declan John West Ham United 2-0 Cardiff City 18 years, 1 month, 18 days 17th August 2013
Jordon Ibe Liverpool FC 5-1 Arsenal 18 years, 2 months 8th February 2014
Serge Gnabry Arsenal 3-1 Stoke City 18 years, 2 months, 8 days 22nd September 2013
Sam Gallagher Newcastle United 1-1 Southampton 18 years, 2 months, 29 days 14th December 2013

 

OLDEST PLAYERS USED

Player Teams Age at the time Date
Brad Friedel Tottenham Hotspur 0-1 Newcastle United 42 years, 5 months, 23 days 10th November 2013
Mark Schwarzer Cardiff City 1-2 Chelsea 41 years, 7 months, 5 days 11th May 2014
Ryan Giggs Manchester United 3-1 Hull City 40 years, 5 months, 7 days 6th May 2014
Kevin Phillips Crystal Palace 1-4 Fulham 40 years, 2 months, 26 days 21st October 2013
Steve Harper Aston Villa 3-1 Hull City 39 years, 1 month, 19 days 3rd May 2014
Jussi Jaaskelainen Fulham 2-1 West Ham United 38 years, 8 months, 13 days 1st January 2014
Thomas Sorensen West Bromwich Albion 1-2 Stoke City 37 years, 10 months, 29 days 11th May 2014
Kelvin Davis Southampton 0-3 Chelsea 37 years, 3 months, 3 days 1st January 2014
Georgios Karagounis Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 Fulham 37 years, 1 month, 13 days 19th April 2014
Sylvain Distin Hull City 0-2 Everton 36 years, 4 months, 25 days 11th May 2014

 

CLEAN SHEETS

Position Player Teams No of Clean Sheets
1= Petr Cech Chelsea 16
1= Wojciech Szczesny Arsenal 16
3 Tim Howard Everton 15
4= Hugo Lloris Tottenham Hotspur 14
4= Artur Boruc Southampton 14
6 Joe Hart Manchester City 13
7= David de Gea Manchester United 12
7= Julian Speroni Crystal Palace 12
7= John Ruddy Norwich City 12
10 Vito Mannone Sunderland 11

Great Goals: Stan Collymore – LIVERPOOL FC vs. Sheffield Wednesday (August 1995)

In the summer of 1995, Liverpool FC broke the British transfer record to sign Stan Collymore from Nottingham Forest for £7.5 million. Collymore was seen as one of the most exciting talents in English football and his debut for his new club at home to Sheffield Wednesday saw him produce the kind of magic everyone knew he had the capability to do.

An hour had been played and David Pleat’s Owls were frustrating Liverpool with Collymore and new strike partner Ian Rush having limited chances to make an impact. Then, Collymore delivered in the grand manner. Receiving the ball slightly fortunately from John Barnes, he twisted and span past Julian Watts. Chris Waddle had a brief tug at his shirt but nothing was going to stop Liverpool’s new forward.

He curled a memorable shot into Kevin Pressman’s net and won the game for Roy Evans’ side. Collymore did come up with other vital goals and worked well with hotshot Robbie Fowler but he did generally frustrate supporters during his two seasons on Merseyside.

Premier League Rewind: 13th May 2018

Results: Burnley 1-2 AFC Bournemouth, Crystal Palace 2-0 West Bromwich Albion, Huddersfield Town 0-1 Arsenal, Liverpool FC 4-0 Brighton & Hove Albion, Manchester United 1-0 Watford, Newcastle United 3-0 Chelsea, Southampton 0-1 Manchester City, Swansea City 1-2 Stoke City, Tottenham Hotspur 5-4 Leicester City, West Ham United 3-1 Everton

For once, there was little to play for on the final day of a Premier League season. With Swansea City relegated barring a mathematical set of bizarre circumstances, the main issue still to be resolved was who would play in next season’s UEFA Champions League. Liverpool FC held the advantage, with a two-point cushion over Chelsea. The Reds knew that because of their superior goal difference, a draw at home to Brighton & Hove Albion would be enough to ensure another season of premier European club football at Anfield.

In the end, the Champions League finalists didn’t need to worry. They breezed to a 4-0 victory over the Seagulls, with Dominic Solanke and Andrew Robertson scoring their first goals for the club. However, it was Mohamed Salah who claimed the limelight once again. The Egyptian opened the scoring to break the record for most goals in a 38-game season. He finished with a tally of 32, surpassing the mark previously held jointly by Alan Shearer, Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suarez. That meant Salah would claim the Golden Boot, to add to his PFA Players’ Player of the Year and Football Writers’ awards.

Harry Kane put up a stern defence of the Golden Boot but he narrowly missed out on achieving three in a row, despite scoring twice on the final day in a nine-goal thriller between Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City. Despite trailing 3-1 early in the second half, Tottenham won the game 5-4 to guarantee third place in the table.

Liverpool’s victory meant Chelsea’s result away at St James’ Park was academic but they collapsed spectacularly on Tyneside. Ayoze Perez continued his rich vein of form to finish his season with two goals in Newcastle’s excellent 3-0 victory. Despite winning the FA Cup a week later, Antonio Conte would pay for Chelsea’s failure to qualify for the Champions League. He was sacked in July.

Down on the south coast and Manchester City were attempting to achieve another historic landmark. It looked like they might miss out on achieving 100 points until Gabriel Jesus scored the winning goal in stoppage-time away at Southampton. The 1-0 victory took City to the three-figure total for points, ensuring they finished with a winning margin of 19 points over second-placed Manchester United – another PL record.

Despite the defeat, Southampton’s safety was officially confirmed. Swansea lost anyway 2-1 to Stoke City as both clubs said goodbye to the Premier League for at least a season. Darren Moore tasted defeat for the first time as caretaker manager of West Bromwich Albion. The Baggies lost 2-0 at Selhurst Park to Crystal Palace but he had done enough to become full-time manager of the club. The game also marked John Motson’s final commentary broadcast for the BBC. However, he has shelved his retirement plans and is working for talkSPORT during the 2018-2019 season.

Another legend like Motson bowing out of his long-time position on the final day was Arsene Wenger. After 22 years at the helm as Arsenal manager, Wenger stepped down after the final day of the campaign. He left on a winning note as Arsenal won 1-0 at Huddersfield Town, courtesy of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s first half goal. Incredibly, this was Arsenal’s first away league victory of the calendar year.

What else happened in May 2018?

  • An estimated global audience of 1.9 billion watch the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at St George’s Chapel at Windsor.
  • The residents of Manchester mark the first anniversary of the terrorist attack on Manchester Arena with a memorial service at Manchester cathedral.
  • Following the data privacy scandal involving social media giant Facebook, Cambridge Analytica files for bankruptcy.
  • Gareth Southgate announces his squad for the 2018 World Cup finals and there’s no place in the party for goalkeeper Joe Hart or midfielder Jack Wilshere.
  • Israel win The 2018 Eurovision Song Contest which is held in Lisbon, Portugal.
  • Following pressure from campaigners, Theresa May agrees to appoint a panel to help oversee the enquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire.
  • Mark Williams defeats John Higgins 18-16 to win the World Snooker Championship at The Crucible in Sheffield.

Iconic Moments: Salah’s super scoring landmark (May 2018)

Manchester City might have claimed many team records but their galaxy of stars were pipped to all the major individual prizes by the extraordinary Mohamed Salah. Returning to the Premier League after a successful stint in Italy, the Egyptian won the PFA Players’ Player of the Year, the Football Writers’ Award and claimed the Golden Boot.

He was given the prize after Liverpool FC’s final day 4-0 win against Brighton & Hove Albion which secured Champions League football for the Merseysiders for the 2018-2019 campaign. Salah scored his 32nd goal of the Premier League season in the 26th minute and that meant he held off the stiff challenge of Tottenham’s Harry Kane, pipping the double Golden Boot winner to top spot by two strikes.

That meant Salah broke a Premier League record of most goals scored in a 38-game season, beating a record that had been jointly-held by Alan Shearer, Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suarez. He scored against 17 different opponents too which was another Premier League record. Only Manchester United and Swansea City kept Salah off the scoresheet in 2017-2018. To finish his scoring landmarks, he scored more goals on his own than the entire team efforts of Swansea, Huddersfield Town and West Bromwich Albion. It was a world-class debut campaign at Anfield for ‘Majestic Mo.’

Great Goals: Jamie Vardy – LEICESTER CITY vs. Liverpool FC (February 2016)

In February 2016, Leicester City were still top of the Premier League table and many still believed that this amazing journey would have to come to an end at some point. In the space of a few days, they turned all the doubters into believers.

They faced Liverpool FC who were going through a transformation period under the guidance of Jurgen Klopp. The scoreline was locked at 0-0 in the 60th minute and it looked like something special was going to be required to break the deadlock. England international Jamie Vardy produced it with one of the best goals of his career.

Picked out by the eagle-eyed Riyad Mahrez, Vardy was in a one-on-one situation with Dejan Lovren. Lovren thought he had his angles covered but the Croatian was to be proven wrong. Vardy produced the most breathtaking of strikes that left Simon Mignolet flapping at thin air. It was an amazing moment for one of the players of the season. Even Klopp admitted afterwards that the goal was “world-class.”

Leicester won 2-0 and days later, stunned title favourites Manchester City to win 3-1 at The Etihad Stadium. They were on their way to completing the greatest story ever seen in the first 25 years of the Premier League.

Memorable Matches: Liverpool FC 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur (February 2018)

Goalscorers: Mohamed Salah 3, 90, Victor Wanyama 80, Harry Kane 90 PEN

Teams:

Liverpool FC: Loris Karius, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Dejan Lovren, Virgil van Dijk, Andrew Robertson, Emre Can, Jordan Henderson (Georginio Wijnaldum 78), James Milner (Joel Matip 78), Sadio Mane (Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 65), Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah

Tottenham Hotspur: Hugo Lloris, Ben Davies, Kieran Trippier, Davinson Sanchez (Erik Lamela 71), Jan Vertonghen, Eric Dier, Mousa Dembele (Victor Wanyama 79), Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen, Heung-Min Son (Fernando Llorente 90), Harry Kane

Referee: Jon Moss, Attendance: 53,213

Three weeks after inflicting a first league defeat on Manchester City in the 2017-2018 season, Liverpool FC welcomed Tottenham Hotspur to Anfield for another unbelievable match which saw some individual brilliance, great goals, dodgy decisions and a landmark achieved by England’s premier striker.

After beating City, Liverpool had endured the disappointment of losing away to Swansea and being dumped out of the FA Cup at home by West Bromwich Albion. A comfortable midweek victory at Huddersfield had at least restored some momentum and Jurgen Klopp could welcome Jordan Henderson back into the first-team for the first time in six weeks since limping off early on in the 3-3 belter at Arsenal in December.

They made a flying start in this encounter, scoring inside three minutes. Eric Dier’s lazy attempt at a backpass was intercepted by the sensational Mohamed Salah and the Egyptian was not going to pass up this gift. Salah scored his 20th league goal of the season and it was the Reds’ fastest goal in the Premier League since Daniel Sturridge netted against Newcastle United in April 2016. Liverpool were in control throughout the first half and their high-pressing game meant Tottenham’s midfielders were getting overrun in possession. Harry Kane was anonymous, touching the ball just 10 times in the first 45 minutes. However, Liverpool’s style does mean they can run out of energy and as the second half progressed, it was the visitors who started to dominate, both in terms of possession and creating opportunities.

Henderson and Emre Can had run out of legs and Klopp’s attempt to switch to a back-three by sacrificing James Milner for Joel Matip didn’t have the desired effect. Pochettino’s next substitution did had the impact he was looking for. With 10 minutes remaining, a cross into the box was fisted away by Loris Karius who probably could have caught the ball. His punch was returned with interest by Victor Wanyama who blasted a vicious drive from 25-yards out into the top corner, almost ripping the goal net off. It was a thunderbolt and everyone inside Anfield looked stunned. One of the Goals of the Season had just come from the most unexpected source and all this within a minute of his arrival into the game.

The drama continued moments later. Kane looked in an offside position when played through by Dele Alli but it was missed by referee Jon Moss and his assistant, Eddie Smart. Karius brought him down and a penalty was awarded. The goalkeeper was fortunate to avoid a red card but he made amends by staying tall in his goal and saved Kane’s rather tame spot-kick.

Then, out of nowhere, Salah came up with more brilliance. In the first minute of time added on. He weaved his way past the challenges of Alli and Vertonghen and cutely finished over the onrushing Hugo Lloris. Klopp raced down the touchline punching the air in delight whilst Kane looked devastated on the centre circle. His miss and Salah’s stunning moment of magic seemed to have handed Liverpool all three points. However, there was another twist to come.

With seconds remaining, Virgil van Dijk and Erik Lamela collided in the penalty area. Moss initially waved away Tottenham protests but linesman Smart felt there had been a foul. After further consultation, Tottenham had their second penalty of the match and Klopp looked dismayed, sarcastically applauding the decision in the dugout.

Kane had a chance to redeem himself and this time, he made no mistake, sending Karius the wrong way to achieve another milestone. It was his 100th Premier League goal in just his 141st top-flight appearance. Only Alan Shearer (124 games) had reached the century in a quicker time.

A point was the least Tottenham deserved from this absorbing contest and it helped them edge out Liverpool FC in the final standings to finish third, although both would qualify for the group stages of the UEFA Champions League.

Great Goals: Mohamed Salah – LIVERPOOL FC vs. Tottenham Hotspur (February 2018)

Mohamed Salah arrived back in the Premier League in the summer of 2017, determined to show Liverpool FC fans his worth. He had previously auditioned in the top-flight with Chelsea and it is fair to say, he had a testing year in west London which didn’t really work out in terms of his career. After flourishing in Italy with Fiorentina and AS Roma, he joined Liverpool FC and set about taking the English game by storm.

Against Tottenham in February, he was in peak form. The game was right in the balance after Victor Wanyama’s smashing strike, whilst Harry Kane had missed a penalty. Then, in stoppage-time, Salah produced another moment of magic. His 21st goal of an extraordinary campaign was probably his finest. Initially appealing for a potential handball, Salah re-engaged quickly in what was more important and his trickery saw him twist inside Ben Davies, avoid Dele Alli’s attempt to foul him, brush off Jan Vertonghen and then, clip the ball over the top of the onrushing Hugo Lloris. It was a glorious piece of skill, calmness and trickery from the Player of the Season.

The game did ultimately finish all-square but Salah ended the season with a Golden Boot and a clean sweep of PFA Players’ Player of the Year and the Football Writers Award. It will be very interesting to see if he can follow up on his sensational season in 2018-2019 after his World Cup heartache this summer with Egypt.

Great Goals: Victor Wanyama – Liverpool FC vs. TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR (February 2018)

At Anfield in February 2018, Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur played out a thrilling encounter which saw missed penalties, goalscoring milestones achieved and two contenders for Goal of the Season.

Leading 1-0 from the third minute onwards, Liverpool were hanging on against a barrage of Tottenham pressure and they eventually buckled with 10 minutes left to play. It looked like Liverpool FC goalkeeper Loris Karius had got enough on his punch from Christian Eriksen’s cross. The ball landed at the feet of Victor Wanyama and the Kenyan international launched a missile of a shot into the top corner of the net. No goalkeeper in the world would have stopped this thunderbolt.

Wanyama had only just arrived into the game as a substitute, so this was some introduction. The points were ultimately shared and despite some individual brilliance from Mohamed Salah later on, this goal from Wanyama was surely the best of the day.

Memorable Matches: Liverpool FC 4-3 Manchester City (January 2018)

Goalscorers: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 9, Leroy Sane 40, Roberto Firmino 59, Sadio Mane 61, Mohamed Salah 68, Bernardo Silva 84, Ilkay Gundogan 90

Teams:

Liverpool FC: Loris Karius, Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip, Joe Gomez, Andrew Robertson, Emre Can (James Milner 79), Georginio Wijnaldum, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sadio Mane (Ragnar Klavan 90), Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah (Adam Lallana 88)

Manchester City: Ederson, Fabian Delph (Danilo 31), Kyle Walker, Nicolas Otamendi, John Stones, Fernandinho, Ilkay Gundogan, Kevin De Bruyne, Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling (Bernardo Silva 71), Sergio Aguero

Referee: Andre Marriner, Attendance: 53,285

Manchester City travelled to Anfield in January 2018 still unbeaten in the Premier League. They had avoided defeat in their first 22 games and only Everton and Crystal Palace had managed to take points off them so far in the season. Liverpool FC were seen as a major obstacle in the way of Pep Guardiola’s side potentially becoming the first team since Arsenal in 2003-2004 to go through an entire campaign undefeated.

This was Liverpool’s first match since selling Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona for £142 million and their own expensive purchase, defender Virgil van Dijk was injured so would have to wait to make his Premier League debut for the club. With both sides loving to attack and score goals, a 0-0 draw was never likely.

The home side took the lead after nine minutes. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s energetic run through the centre of the park led to the England midfielder driving a low shot beyond Ederson’s reach to give the Reds the lead infront of an ecstatic Kop end. Liverpool were in control of the game but surrendered their advantage five minutes before the interval. Joe Gomez misjudged an aerial pass, allowing Leroy Sane to get round the back of him. The German’s shot then somehow evaded Loris Karius at the near post to strike the equaliser. Karius had just won Jurgen Klopp’s backing to take over no.1 goalkeeping duties from Simon Mignolet. This was not an ideal start to prove the manager’s confidence in him.

The course of the match turned in a scintillating period which saw Liverpool punish City clinically for individual errors, scoring three times in nine second half minutes. First, Roberto Firmino pressured John Stones into a mistake and coolly restored Liverpool’s lead just before the hour mark. Moments later, Sadio Mane smashed the crossbar and then with the very next attack, Mane arrowed an explosive shot into the top corner to make it 3-1. Having been controversially sent off in the reverse fixture in September, Mane had his revenge against the Citizens.

Mohamed Salah was having one of his quieter matches but he was never going to be left off the scoring. On 69 minutes, Ederson made a rare lapse of judgement in an otherwise fantastic debut season. His poor clearance fell straight to Salah who lobbed the ball into the empty net from over 40-yards out. It was great vision and the perfect finish to surely put the game beyond the league leaders.

Guardiola’s side rallied in the closing stages and late goals from substitute Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan made it a nervous final few minutes but Liverpool FC held on for a deserved victory. This extended their own unbeaten run in all competitions to 18 matches, although they would lose their very next match to bottom-placed Swansea City. The ultimate winner had been football as these wonderful teams put in an exciting exhibition for everyone to enjoy on a cold January afternoon.

Shock Results: Swansea City 1-0 Liverpool FC (January 2018)

Goalscorer: Alfie Mawson 40

Teams:

Swansea City: Lukasz Fabianski, Federico Fernandez, Alfie Mawson, Mike van der Hoorn, Kyle Naughton, Martin Olsson, Sam Clucas, Leroy Fer, Ki Sung-Yueng, Nathan Dyer (Tom Carroll 64), Jordan Ayew (Wilfried Bony 79)

Liverpool FC: Loris Karius, Joe Gomez, Andrew Robertson, Joel Matip, Virgil van Dijk, Emre Can, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Adam Lallana 68), Georginio Wijnaldum (Danny Ings 73), Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah

Referee: Neil Swarbrick, Attendance: 20,886

27 days earlier, Swansea City had shipped five goals at Anfield against Liverpool FC. The Swans were without a permanent manager, bottom of the table and looked completely devoid of any confidence. However, the Swans soon found a new boss and Carlos Carvalhal was about to give belief back to the Swansea supporters.

In the return match on a Monday Night Football at The Liberty Stadium, Swansea took a more cautious approach to this match. Carvalhal would later say: “They (Liverpool) are like a Formula 1 car. But at 4pm in London it will be difficult to speed, they would be a car like any other. We needed to make sure there was traffic; we could not let them have open roads to drive in.”

Both sides did have early opportunities. Jordan Ayew did have the ball in the back of the net but it was correctly ruled out as he had run the ball out of play. Meanwhile, Liverpool FC’s club-record signing was making his Premier League debut and Virgil van Dijk came close to scoring with a headed effort from a corner. His attempt whistled just wide of the far post.

The general feeling was if Swansea were going to strike, it would come from a set-piece. That theory was proved right five minutes before half-time. Liverpool didn’t clear their lines properly from a corner. Van Dijk was especially guilty as he didn’t get enough on his clearing header. After a ricochet off Federico Fernandez, Alfie Mawson took full advantage. He drove a shot into the bottom corner of the net. It was his first goal of the season.

Both Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah wasted good opportunities in the first half but Liverpool were nowhere near the level they’d demonstrated in their recent victory over the runaway league leaders Manchester City. Going into the match, Salah had scored 24 goals in all competitions, two more than the entire Swansea team. He had a quiet evening though. The Egyptian’s best moment was a free-kick in the second half that forced Lukasz Fabianski into a flying save.

Liverpool had scored 29 away goals in the league but they achieved none here despite controlling the second half. The closest they came was with virtually the last kick of the match. Van Dijk picked out Roberto Firmino but the Brazilian’s late header struck the post with Fabianski well-beaten.

Swansea held on for a sensational victory which took them within three points of safety. It was Carvalhal’s second win in four matches and he would guide them to impressive victories in quick succession over Arsenal, Burnley and West Ham United.

However, Swansea failed to win another game after the 4-1 victory over the Hammers in early March and they would be relegated at the end of the season. However, the fans can lookback at this victory over the Reds as one of the bright spots of a disappointing 2017-2018 season.

Premier League Rewind: 22nd-23rd December 2017

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

The final weekend of Premier League action before Christmas 2017 certainly didn’t disappoint. It started with one of the matches of the season. Goals were almost a certain guarantee as Arsenal and Liverpool FC went head-to-head at The Emirates Stadium to kick-start the weekend.

The Sky Sports Friday Night Football audience were treated to an entertaining spectacle full of great attacking football and some costly mistakes by both goalkeepers. Liverpool dominated the first half and deservedly led at half-time through Philippe Coutinho’s header. Mohamed Salah extended the advantage shortly after half-time before Arsenal burst into life with three goals in a devastating six-minute spell. Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil both scored either side of a Granit Xhaka long-distance shot which Simon Mignolet completely misjudged the flight of. Petr Cech also made a critical error, parrying Roberto Firmino’s strike into his own net with 20 minutes left to play. This meant the match ended in a thrilling 3-3 draw, keeping the Reds one point clear of the Gunners in the table.

Manchester City extended their lead at the top of the table to 13 points after recording their 17th successive victory, thumping AFC Bournemouth 4-0 at The Etihad Stadium. Sergio Aguero added another two goals to his growing collection and it meant Manchester City became the first team in Premier League history to score 100 goals in the calendar year. With back-to-back 4-0 losses, Eddie Howe’s Cherries would spend Christmas Day in the bottom three.

Second-placed Manchester United lost further ground after conceding a late equaliser to Harry Maguire and Leicester City. In an exciting contest at The King Power Stadium, Riyad Mahrez played through Jamie Vardy to score his 50th Premier League goal before a Juan Mata brace either side of half-time put the Red Devils into a 2-1 lead. Daniel Amartey received his marching orders for two yellow cards but 10-man Leicester never gave up and Maguire’s intervention in the fourth minute of stoppage-time kept their excellent run going. Claude Puel had lost just two of his 10 matches’ in-charge as Foxes boss.

Tottenham Hotspur moved from seventh into fifth spot after Harry Kane scored a hat-trick in Spurs’ 3-0 victory at Turf Moor over Burnley. Kane’s treble saw him equal Alan Shearer’s long-standing record of most goals in a Premier League calendar year. He would have one more chance to break the record against Southampton on Boxing Day.

The Saints’ own form was questionable to say the least. Virgil van Dijk was now completely out-of-favour with manager Mauricio Pellegrino and his side now went six games without a win after drawing 1-1 at home to Huddersfield Town. Charlie Austin scored his fifth goal in seven matches but was later charged by the FA with violent conduct and limped off injured too. He would be out of action for several months.

It was Swansea City who would spend Christmas Day bottom of the table, despite getting a 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace. It was the first meeting at The Liberty Stadium between the teams since the previous season’s encounter which ended 5-4 to Swansea. Unsurprisingly, this fixture lacked the excitement of the 2016-2017 match but Jordan Ayew’s equaliser was a positive tonic for interim boss Leon Britton, who was filling in after Paul Clement’s dismissal earlier in the week. West Bromwich Albion completed the bottom three after a 3-1 defeat to Stoke City. Alan Pardew was still winless five games into his reign as Baggies boss.

What else happened in December 2017?

  • One of Theresa May’s closest allies, Damian Green, resigns from the government after an investigation finds he made “inaccurate and misleading” statements regarding pornography on a computer in his Commons office.
  • The United States officially recognises Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
  • Following an investigation into state-sponsored doping, Russia is banned from competing in the 2018 Winter Olympics by the IOC.
  • For $66 billion, The Walt Disney Company announces that it will acquire most of 21st Century Fox, including the 20th Century Fox film studio.
  • Coventry is named as the UK City of Culture for the year 2021.
  • Made in Chelsea star Georgia Toffolo beats Hollyoaks actor Jamie Lomas to win the 17th series of I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!
  • Sir Mo Farah is the surprising winner of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year for 2017.