Tag Archives: Liverpool FC

Shock Results: Liverpool FC 0-1 Barnsley (November 1997)

Goalscorer: Ashley Ward 35

Teams:

Liverpool FC: David James, Stig Inge Bjornebye (Danny Murphy 65), Bjorn Tore Kvarme, Dominic Matteo, Jason McAteer, Jamie Redknapp, Patrik Berger, Oyvind Leonhardsen, Steve McManaman, Karl-Heinz Riedle, Michael Owen

Barnsley: Lars Leese, Darren Barnard, Arjan de Zeeuw, Nicky Eaden, Peter Markstedt, Adie Moses, Martin Bullock, Neil Redfearn, Eric Tinkler, Andy Liddell (Matty Appleby 68), Ashley Ward (John Hendrie 86)

Referee: Jeff Winter, Attendance: 41,011

The 1997-1998 Premier League season was Barnsley’s first-ever in the top-flight. Their supporters were ready to enjoy the ride but the Tykes had already taken some hefty beatings by the end of November 1997. They’d lost 5-0 away at Arsenal, 6-0 at home to Chelsea and 7-0 at Old Trafford against Manchester United. Therefore, the Yorkshire side travelled to Anfield low on confidence and fearing the worst.

Liverpool needed just three more goals to reach 400 Premier League strikes at Anfield and manager Roy Evans gave a start to his new young prodigy, Michael Owen. Danny Wilson also made a big call by dropping his first-choice goalkeeper Dave Watson and replacing him with German Lars Leese.

The goals were expected to come for the home side but Barnsley stayed resilient in the first 30 minutes. Patrik Berger tested Leese with a long-range effort before Karl-Heinz Riedle wasted two very good opportunities. The German had scored twice in the UEFA Champions League final for previous club Borussia Dortmund just six months earlier. However, he was finding the going very tough in English football.

Then, the Anfield faithful were stunned when the visitors took an unexpected lead through a goal of comic proportions. Andy Liddell managed to escape David James’ clutches and got to the by-line before squaring the ball back. Berger got to the cutback first but his poor control saw summer signing Ashley Ward poke the ball home into the unguarded net to score one of the easiest goals of his career. By half-time, the Liverpool FC supporters were fed up and booed the team off at the interval. They might have been missing Paul Ince and Robbie Fowler but it had been a very disjointed performance from those who played.

There was a slight improvement in the second half and Leese was by far the busier goalkeeper. He denied Owen and summer arrival Oyvind Leonhardsen in the opening moments of the second period. By now, Barnsley were firmly penned back in their own half but they wouldn’t budge. Leese was enjoying his day in-goal and defensive debutant Peter Markstedt looked like a seasoned campaigner as Owen struggled to make the telling impact. Most of Liverpool’s chances fell to Riedle but he wasted more opportunities. First, he shot over after being set-up by Stig Inge Bjornebye before being played through by substitute Danny Murphy, only to fire straight at Leese’s legs. It just wasn’t the home side’s day.

Barnsley’s tremendous goalkeeper and heroic defensive effort meant they had just pulled off one of the shock results of the season. Although they would be relegated at the end of the campaign, their supporters will always look back on this amazing day on their only top-flight visit to Anfield when they silenced The Kop and left with three welcome points.

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Great Goals: Raul Meireles – Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. LIVERPOOL FC (January 2011)

Roy Hodgson’s tenure as Liverpool FC manager was a painful one for many of the club’s supporters but one of the best bits of business he did do was to bring in the Portuguese midfielder Raul Meireles from FC Porto.

It took Meireles a little bit of time to settle into the Premier League but he scored a flurry of goals in January and February 2011 and this was his best strike – a cracking volley away at Molineux against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Liverpool were leading 1-0 thanks to a first half strike from Fernando Torres when Meireles tried his luck five minutes after the interval. A long ball over the top was headed away by a Wolves defender. Meireles watched the ball all the way and connected sweetly as it dropped from the sky. Wayne Hennessey could only stand and watch as the ball hit the back of the net.

Liverpool FC won 3-0 and it was the first win in the second managerial reign for Kenny Dalglish. It was part of a run that saw Meireles score in five of the next six matches but he would leave the club surprisingly in the summer of 2011, joining Torres at Chelsea to win the UEFA Champions League a year later.

Iconic Moments: An ill-fitting Kop farewell (April 1994)

Following the Hillsborough disaster, the Taylor Report recommended that all football grounds should become all-seater stadiums by May 1994. That meant some changes to several top-flight stadiums and one of those came at Liverpool FC.

The Spion Kop was one of the famous terraces in the world. It was mighty when it was full to the rafters with fans swinging, cheering and shouting their heroes towards a string of league championships, especially in the 1970s and 1980s. Even when it was empty, it was a mighty sight to see the stand as it was. However, times were changing and Liverpool had to fall into line with the updated safety recommendations. After 88 years of standing on The Kop, the time had come for it to go.

On 30th April 1994, the club played their final home match of a largely disappointing season at home to Norwich City. Liverpool bought back many of the club’s legends, including Ian Callaghan, Billy Liddell, Joe Fagan and Kenny Dalglish in a celebration as this was the last match to be played here before the bulldozers came in during the summer. It would turn out to be an ill-fitting farewell to such an iconic cathedral of English football.

Jeremy Goss scored a brilliant goal infront of The Spion Kop as Norwich left with all three points. Their 1-0 win was deserved on a day when the players seemed to play the occasion rather than the game. It was a sad end but the memories will always remain and the new Kop – which was built in time for the new 1994-1995 season still holds over 12,000 seated fans today.

Seasonal Records: 2006-2007

For all the statistical fans out there, here are some of the season’s records from the 2006-2007 Premier League campaign. After a three-year period watching dominance from the capital, Manchester United regained that winning feeling to claim their ninth Premier League title, spearheaded by Cristiano Ronaldo, who began to show why he would become one of the greatest players to ever play football.

FINAL TABLE

Position Team P W D L F A GD PTS
1 Manchester United 38 28 5 5 83 27 +56 89
2 Chelsea 38 24 11 3 64 24 +40 83
3 Liverpool FC 38 20 8 10 57 27 +30 68
4 Arsenal 38 19 11 8 63 35 +28 68
5 Tottenham Hotspur 38 17 9 12 57 54 +3 60
6 Everton 38 15 13 10 52 36 +16 58
7 Bolton Wanderers 38 16 8 14 47 52 -5 56
8 Reading 38 16 7 15 52 47 +5 55
9 Portsmouth 38 14 12 12 45 42 +3 54
10 Blackburn Rovers 38 15 7 16 52 54 -2 52
11 Aston Villa 38 11 17 10 43 41 +2 50
12 Middlesbrough 38 12 10 16 44 49 -5 46
13 Newcastle United 38 11 10 17 38 47 -9 43
14 Manchester City 38 11 9 18 29 44 -15 42
15 West Ham United 38 12 5 21 35 59 -24 41
16 Fulham 38 8 15 15 38 60 -22 39
17 Wigan Athletic 38 10 8 20 37 59 -22 38
18 Sheffield United 38 10 8 20 32 55 -23 38
19 Charlton Athletic 38 8 10 20 34 60 -26 34
20 Watford 38 5 13 20 29 59 -30 28

 

THE BASIC STATS

Goals Scored 931
European qualifiers Chelsea (UEFA Champions League)

Manchester United (UEFA Champions League)

Liverpool FC (UEFA Champions League)

Arsenal (UEFA Champions League)

Tottenham Hotspur (UEFA Cup)

Everton (UEFA Cup)

Bolton Wanderers (UEFA Cup)

Blackburn Rovers (UEFA Intertoto Cup)

Longest winning run 9 games (Chelsea)
Longest unbeaten run 14 games (Chelsea)
Longest winless run 11 games (Aston Villa, Watford & West Ham United)
Longest losing run 8 games (Wigan Athletic)
Highest attendance 76,098 (Manchester United vs. Blackburn Rovers)
Lowest attendance 13,760 (Watford vs. Blackburn Rovers)

 

AWARDS

PFA Players’ Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)
PFA Young Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)
Football Writers’ Award Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)
PFA Team of the Year Edwin van der Sar, Patrice Evra, Rio Ferdinand, Gary Neville, Nemanja Vidic, Steven Gerrard, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Cristiano Ronaldo, Dimitar Berbatov, Didier Drogba
Manager of the Year Sir Alex Ferguson (Manchester United)
Premier League Goal of the Season Wayne Rooney (MANCHESTER UNITED vs. Bolton Wanderers)

 

HAT-TRICK HEROES

Player Teams Score Date
Wayne Rooney Bolton Wanderers vs. Manchester United 0-4 28th October 2006
Didier Drogba Chelsea vs. Watford 4-0 11th November 2006
Peter Crouch Liverpool FC vs. Arsenal 4-1 31st March 2007

 

TOP SCORERS

Position Player Teams No of Goals
1 Didier Drogba Chelsea 20
2 Benni McCarthy Blackburn Rovers 18
3 Cristiano Ronaldo Manchester United 17
4= Wayne Rooney Manchester United 14
4= Mark Viduka Middlesbrough 14
6= Kevin Doyle Reading 13
6= Darren Bent Charlton Athletic 13
8= Dirk Kuyt Liverpool FC 12
8= Dimitar Berbatov Tottenham Hotspur 12
8= Yakubu Middlesbrough 12
11= Frank Lampard Chelsea 11
11= Robin van Persie Arsenal 11
11= Robbie Keane Tottenham Hotspur 11
11= Andy Johnson Everton 11
11= Nicolas Anelka Bolton Wanderers 11
11= Obafemi Martins Newcastle United 11
11= Bobby Zamora West Ham United 11
18= Thierry Henry Arsenal 10
18= Jermain Defoe Tottenham Hotspur 10
18= Kanu Portsmouth 10
18= Gilberto Arsenal 10
22= Peter Crouch Liverpool FC 9
22= Mikel Arteta Everton 9
22= Gabriel Agbonlahor Aston Villa 9
22= Brian McBride Fulham 9

BIGGEST VICTORIES

Reading 6-0 West Ham United 1st January 2007
Arsenal 6-2 Blackburn Rovers 23rd December 2006
Manchester United 5-1 Fulham 20th August 2006
Tottenham Hotspur 5-1 Charlton Athletic 9th December 2006
Middlesbrough 5-1 Bolton Wanderers 20th January 2007
Bolton Wanderers 0-4 Manchester United 28th October 2006
Chelsea 4-0 Watford 11th November 2006
Wigan Athletic 0-4 Liverpool FC 2nd December 2006
Reading 0-4 Arsenal 22nd October 2006
Manchester United 4-0 Watford 31st January 2007

 

HIGHEST SCORING GAMES

No of Goals Teams Date
8 Arsenal 6-2 Blackburn Rovers 23rd December 2006
7 West Ham United 3-4 Tottenham Hotspur 4th March 2007
6 Reading 6-0 West Ham United 1st January 2007
6 Manchester United 5-1 Fulham 20th August 2006
6 Tottenham Hotspur 5-1 Charlton Athletic 9th December 2006
6 Middlesbrough 5-1 Bolton Wanderers 20th January 2007
6 Everton 2-4 Manchester United 28th April 2007
6 Blackburn Rovers 4-2 Manchester City 17th September 2006
6 Watford 4-2 Portsmouth 9th April 2007
6 Wigan Athletic 3-3 Tottenham Hotspur 15th April 2007
6 Blackburn Rovers 3-3 Reading 13th May 2007
6 West Ham United 3-3 Fulham 13th January 2007
6 Watford 3-3 Fulham 2nd October 2006
5 Manchester United 4-1 Bolton Wanderers 17th March 2007
5 Manchester United 4-1 Blackburn Rovers 31st March 2007
5 West Ham United 1-4 Chelsea 18th April 2007
5 Liverpool FC 4-1 Arsenal 31st March 2007
5 Tottenham Hotspur 4-1 Bolton Wanderers 25th February 2007
5 Everton 4-1 Fulham 6th April 2007
5 Blackburn Rovers 4-1 Charlton Athletic 28th April 2007

 

YOUNGEST PLAYERS USED

Player Teams Age at the time Date
Matthew Briggs Middlesbrough 3-1 Fulham 16 years, 2 months, 4 days 13th May 2007
Daniel Sturridge Manchester City 0-2 Reading 17 years, 5 months, 2 days 3rd February 2007
Theo Walcott Arsenal 1-1 Aston Villa 17 years, 5 months, 3 days 19th August 2006
Ben Sahar Chelsea 4-0 Wigan Athletic 17 years, 5 months, 3 days 13th January 2007
Sam Hutchinson Chelsea 1-1 Everton 17 years, 9 months, 10 days 13th May 2007
Adel Taarabt West Ham United 3-4 Tottenham Hotspur 17 years, 9 months, 8 days 4th March 2007
Scott Sinclair Arsenal 1-1 Chelsea 18 years, 1 month, 11 days 6th May 2007
Andy Carroll Wigan Athletic 1-0 Newcastle United 18 years, 1 month, 19 days 25th February 2007
Micah Richards Chelsea 3-0 Manchester City 18 years, 1 month, 27 days 20th August 2006
Emiliano Insua Portsmouth 2-1 Liverpool FC 18 years, 3 months, 21 days 28th April 2007

 

OLDEST PLAYERS USED

Player Teams Age at the time Date
Alec Chamberlain Watford 1-1 Newcastle United 42 years, 10 months, 23 days 13th May 2007
Teddy Sheringham West Ham United 0-1 Manchester City 40 years, 8 months, 28 days 30th December 2006
Pavel Srnicek Bolton Wanderers 2-1 Newcastle United 38 years, 9 months, 16 days 26th December 2006
Gary Speed Bolton Wanderers 2-2 Aston Villa 37 years, 8 months, 5 days 13th May 2007
Chris Powell Reading 0-2 Watford 37 years, 7 months, 27 days 5th May 2007
Jens Lehmann Arsenal 1-1 Chelsea 37 years, 5 months, 26 days 6th May 2007
John Filan Wigan Athletic 0-3 West Ham United 37 years, 2 months, 20 days 28th April 2007
Arjan de Zeeuw Sheffield United 1-2 Wigan Athletic 37 years, 27 days 13th May 2007
David James Portsmouth 0-0 Arsenal 36 years, 9 months, 11 days 13th May 2007
Tugay Blackburn Rovers 3-3 Reading 36 years, 8 months, 19 days 13th May 2007

 

CLEAN SHEETS

Position Player Teams No of Clean Sheets
1 Pepe Reina Liverpool FC 19
2 Tim Howard Everton 14
3= Petr Cech Chelsea 13
3= Marcus Hahnemann Reading 13
5= Edwin van der Sar Manchester United 12
5= Jussi Jaaskelainen Bolton Wanderers 12
5= David James Portsmouth 12
5= Thomas Sorensen Aston Villa 12
9 Scott Carson Charlton Athletic 11
10 Jens Lehmann Arsenal 10

Great Goals: Juan Mata – Liverpool FC vs. MANCHESTER UNITED (March 2015)

Manchester United arrived at Anfield in March 2015 just one point clear of their greatest rivals as the two teams were fighting over fourth spot in the Premier League table. The Merseysiders hadn’t lost in the top-flight since being beaten 3-0 at Old Trafford before Christmas. They were the form team but it was Louis van Gaal’s side that turned up and put in a performance.

Juan Mata scored an early opener and Liverpool’s efforts at recovery were made harder when Steven Gerrard was sent off within a minute of the second half resuming. This was to be Mata’s day and the Spaniard’s second goal of the game was simply world-class.

He played a neat one-two with Angel di Maria. The Argentine clipped the ball into Mata’s path and he swivelled on it superbly, producing a fantastic bicycle kick that left Simon Mignolet completely stranded.

Manchester United won the game 2-1 and would finish well clear of Liverpool in the final standings. It was a classy goal that won the day and a crucial one in the season for the Red Devils.

Premier League Files: Mark Walters

Premier League Career: Liverpool FC (1992-1995), Southampton (1996)

Mark Walters has plenty of honours to reflect on when looking back at his career. The man who has “Everton” as his middle name won major prizes with Aston Villa, Rangers and Liverpool FC and was one of the Reds star players in a difficult first Premier League campaign for the club.

Walters began his career as an apprentice at Aston Villa on leaving school in the summer of 1980, turning professional a year later and he spent six seasons with the club, becoming one of the brightest talents in the English game during this period. With English clubs banned from playing in Europe following the Heysel Stadium disaster, Walters moved to Rangers on New Years’ Eve 1987. It was his first link-up with former Liverpool FC captain Graeme Souness, who was the club’s manager at the time.

Walters won three league titles and two League Cups during a successful four-year stint in Scottish football. That was despite some awful racist abuse he suffered in his early Rangers career, especially from Celtic and Hearts supporters. Souness was appointed Liverpool manager in April 1991 and one of his first acts was to bring Walters back to England, with the Merseysiders signing him in August for £1.25 million.

His best display of his maiden campaign at Anfield came in European competition, scoring and terrorising Auxerre’s defenders as Liverpool rekindled their famous European spirit to overturn a 2-0 deficit and beat the French side 3-2 in the UEFA Cup second round. He was an unused substitute in the club’s 1992 FA Cup final victory over Second Division outfit Sunderland.

In 1992-1993, Walters came to prominence. He scored Liverpool’s first-ever Premier League goal with the equaliser in a 2-1 home victory over Sheffield United in August 1992. He also became the first player from Liverpool to score a Premier League hat-trick, grabbing three goals in their 4-0 success over Coventry City. Walters scored 11 times which was an impressive return for a wide midfielder. Only goalscoring legend Ian Rush outscored him in a season where Liverpool rallied in the closing weeks to finish sixth having been in the bottom half of the table for much of the campaign.

That was the best of Walters’ time on Merseyside. He lost his regular place to the younger Jamie Redknapp during the 1993-1994 campaign and was carted out on-loan to Stoke City and later, Wolverhampton Wanderers. In January 1996, his contract was cancelled by Roy Evans and he moved to Southampton on a free transfer.

He didn’t make any impression on the south coast, only appearing five times and playing incredibly poorly in a 3-0 away loss to relegation rivals Queens Park Rangers in March. He didn’t feature in the top-flight again and was released that summer to join Swindon Town. He retired in 2002 after featuring for three seasons with Bristol Rovers.

Since retirement, Walters has played in some Masters Football competitions for Rangers, done coaching with youngsters at Coventry Preparatory School and is heavily involved with groups aiming to eliminate racism in football.

Memorable Matches: Chelsea 2-1 Liverpool FC (May 2003)

Goalscorers: Sami Hyypia 11, Marcel Desailly 13, Jesper Gronkjaer 26

Teams:

Chelsea: Carlo Cudicini, Celestine Babayaro, Marcel Desailly, William Gallas, Graeme Le Saux, Mario Melchiot, Emmanuel Petit, Frank Lampard, Jesper Gronkjaer (Mario Stanic 68), Eidur Gudjohnsen (Gianfranco Zola 72), Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (Carlton Cole 80)

Liverpool FC: Jerzy Dudek, Jamie Carragher, Sami Hyypia, John Arne Riise (Bruno Cheyrou 75), Djimi Traore, Salif Diao (Emile Heskey 45), Steven Gerrard (SENT OFF), Danny Murphy, El-Hadji Diouf (Patrik Berger 63), Milan Baros, Michael Owen

Referee: Alan Wiley, Attendance: 41,911

It was titled as the £20 million shootout and the chance to compete at Europe’s top table. Chelsea and Liverpool FC went head-to-head on the final day of the 2002-2003 season in effectively a direct play-off. The winner of the contest would end up in the following season’s UEFA Champions League. The loser would have to settle with the consolation prize of the UEFA Cup.

The advantage was with Chelsea at kick-off. The Blues had not lost at Stamford Bridge to their opponents since 1989 and a draw would be enough to take Claudio Ranieri’s side into the Champions League. Liverpool had to win to ensure a third successive season in Europe’s elite.

After a cagey first 10 minutes, the game exploded into life with three very quick but decisive goals. It was the visitors who took the lead in the 11th minute. Danny Murphy’s free-kick was met by a glancing header from the Liverpool skipper, Sami Hyypia. Hyypia escaped the attentions of Emmanuel Petit at the back post and powered his header past Carlo Cudicini. It was Liverpool’s first goal at Chelsea’s home since February 1999.

Their advantage would only last for one minute and 14 seconds. Liverpool didn’t properly clear their lines from a Chelsea free-kick. Jesper Gronkjaer placed the ball back into the danger zone and his cross was spot-on for Chelsea’s own captain, Marcel Desailly to square the match at 1-1. Desailly beat Salif Diao to the header and his effort clipped the inside of the post and went into the back of the net, much to the euphoria of Chelsea supporters.

Gerard Houllier’s team were firmly on the backfoot midway through the first half when they fell behind. Jesper Gronkjaer easily escaped the attentions of John Arne Riise and even though his standing foot gave way at the point of contact, he directed his shot into the bottom corner, leaving Jerzy Dudek with no chance. It was the most vital goal in Chelsea’s history with debts threatening to put the club’s long-term future in grave jeopardy.

Houllier threw Emile Heskey on at half-time and they were unlucky not to equalise. Cudicini made a rare handling misjudgement and Milan Baros scrambled home what he thought was a leveller. It was disallowed by the officials for a handball that was well-spotted.

As the game disappeared from the Reds’ grasp, Steven Gerrard saw red. A naughty high tackle on Graeme Le Saux saw the midfielder receive a red card in the closing exchanges. So, it was Chelsea who got the prize of Champions League football and two months later, a certain Russian billionaire called Roman Abramovich bought the club. Life in west London would never be the same again.

Great Goals: Dietmar Hamann – LIVERPOOL FC vs. Portsmouth (March 2004)

A month earlier, Liverpool FC had been dumped out of the FA Cup by Portsmouth. Gerard Houllier’s side were keen for revenge and they achieved this with a routine 3-0 victory at Anfield. The scoring was opened in spectacular fashion from Dietmar Hamann.

The German midfielder didn’t score many in his career but when he did find the target, they often flew into the top corner of the net. This was another of those unstoppable efforts. Michael Owen was the provider on this occasion. It was his cross from a corner which hadn’t been cleared properly and Hamann met it with a fantastic volley that sped into the goal.

It was crowned Goal of the Season for the 2003-2004 campaign by viewers of ITV’s ‘The Premiership.’

Iconic Moments: Beach ball Bent (October 2009)

In October 2009, Liverpool FC travelled to Sunderland, keen to recover from back-to-back losses in the UEFA Champions League and Premier League against Fiorentina and Chelsea respectively. Sunderland were playing well at home, having won three of their four home games so far and coming within an inch of a shock win at Old Trafford a fortnight earlier.

They got an unexpected helping hand in this match as early as the fifth minute. The ball reached Darren Bent who decided to try his luck in the early exchanges with the main aim of warming up Pepe Reina’s palms. His connection with the football was not great but it was enough to defeat Reina via a deflection. However, it didn’t come off the nearest defender, Glen Johnson. Instead, it had been deflected into the net off a beach ball!

Despite protestations from Liverpool players, referee Mike Jones allowed the goal to stand following some consultation with his officials. Sunderland would win 1-0 and climbed into seventh place in the table, above their unfortunate opponents.

Later, the culprit was identified as 16-year-old Liverpool supporter Callum Campbell who had thrown the beach ball onto the pitch in the moments before the teams came out. It was an unfortunate incident and goes down as one of the freakiest goals in Premier League history.

Iconic Moments: Cantona returns (October 1995)

It was billed as ‘The Return of The King.’ After serving an eight-month suspension for his kung-fu kick at a Crystal Palace supporter, Eric Cantona was ready to return to the Manchester United first-team. It nearly never happened. He had requested a transfer in the summer, feeling he was being victimised by the English media for his actions on that evening at Selhurst Park. Alex Ferguson had managed to convince him to stay and he was ready for his return to Old Trafford against arch-rivals Liverpool FC.

The fans were generally thrilled. It was a huge event for them. They’d felt Manchester United’s season without silverware in 1994-1995 had been sparked by the Cantona suspension and were keen to get their title back.

He made an amazing start, setting up a goal in the opening minute for Nicky Butt. Although Robbie Fowler scored twice to give Liverpool FC the lead, this day was all about Cantona. With 20 minutes left, Ryan Giggs was tripped by Jamie Redknapp in the penalty area and referee David Elleray pointed to the penalty spot. The stage was set for the talismanic Frenchman to seal his comeback with a goal. He sent David James the wrong way to make it 2-2 which is how the game ended.

It was a terrific match and a point each was a fair result but Sunday, 1st October 1995 was all about the return of Eric Cantona. His quest to turn the 1995-1996 title race into a one-man crusade had begun.

Premier League Rewind: 16th-18th January 1999

Results: Chelsea 2-1 Coventry City, Derby County 1-0 Blackburn Rovers, Leeds United 2-0 Middlesbrough, Leicester City 2-6 Manchester United, Liverpool FC 7-1 Southampton, Nottingham Forest 0-1 Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur 0-0 Wimbledon, West Ham United 0-4 Sheffield Wednesday, Charlton Athletic 2-2 Newcastle United, Aston Villa 3-0 Everton

The final year of the 20th century provided plenty of entertaining action in the Premier League and an intense scrap for the championship title was shaping up very nicely in January 1999. The usual suspects, Manchester United and reigning champions Arsenal were being challenged for supremacy by early season pacesetters Aston Villa and Chelsea, who were finally beginning to launch a sustained title challenge for the first time in the Premier League era.

All four sides would ultimately win on the 16th-18th January weekend but with very differing results. The leaders going into the weekend were Chelsea and Gianluca Vialli’s side held onto that advantage after a narrow and fortunate 2-1 victory over Coventry City. The Sky Blues had defeated Chelsea on the opening weekend of the season and were looking at a surprising league double when Darren Huckerby put them infront after only nine minutes.

Franck Leboeuf equalised just before half-time before the match turned into a heated battle which even saw a confrontation involving both sets of coaching staff. Jeff Winter sent Gordon Strachan to the stands although he claimed to have no part in the scuffle. Without their manager, Coventry lost their hard-earned point in stoppage-time. Roberto Di Matteo scored the winner to keep Chelsea top and extended their unbeaten run to 21 Premier League matches.

Aston Villa sat just below Chelsea on goal difference. They cruised to a 3-0 victory over Everton on the Monday Night Football. Villa were helped by an early red card for Everton defender Alex Cleland. He saw red from referee Neale Barry after just 11 minutes and from then on, John Gregory’s side didn’t look back. There were two goals for Julian Joachim and one from Paul Merson. However, this would be their last domestic victory until early April as their challenge faded dramatically.

Like Chelsea, Arsenal had to work incredibly hard to earn three points. Martin Keown’s header was enough to defeat a plucky Nottingham Forest 1-0 at The City Ground. Forest had a new manager as Ron Atkinson was appointed to try and save their precarious position. Atkinson made headlines almost instantly by sitting in the wrong dugout before kick-off! It pretty much summed up Forest’s season; calamitous!

Still, at least they weren’t thrashed on this weekend. That happened to both Leicester City and Southampton. Leicester were well-beaten, 6-2 at home by a goal-hungry Manchester United. Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole were in imperious form. Yorke scored a hat-trick and Cole helped himself to two goals. There was also time for a first Red Devils goal for centre-back Jaap Stam. Leicester did score the goal of the game from Theo Zagorakis. However, they simply couldn’t handle United’s red-hot attack. Sir Alex Ferguson’s side were handily placed in third, just two points shy of league leaders Chelsea.

It was worse still for Southampton who caved in 7-1 at Anfield to Liverpool FC. Robbie Fowler scored a hat-trick. In the process, he made it to a century of Premier League goals. Jamie Carragher and Dominic Matteo also scored rare goals as Southampton’s defenders simply wilted on Merseyside. The win took Liverpool up to sixth spot with four wins now from their last five games.

Southampton and Forest were joined in the relegation zone by Charlton Athletic. They did though manage to end their eight-game losing streak by earning a 2-2 home draw with Newcastle United. Martin Pringle scored his first goal for the club in the 90th minute.

What else happened in January 1999?

  • In an interview with The Times newspaper, England manager Glenn Hoddle suggests people born with disabilities are paying for sins in a previous life. His comments prove to be very damaging for his job prospects.
  • After fourteen years of playing NBA basketball, superstar Michael Jordan announces his second retirement.
  • The Denver Broncos win their second consecutive Super Bowl, defeating the Atlanta Falcons, 34-19, in Super Bowl XXXIII.
  • Fernando Henrique Cardoso takes office as President of Brazil for the second time.
  • Britney Spears releases her debut album.
  • Unemployment in the UK falls to just over 1.3 million. This is the lowest total in 20 years.
  • Channel 5 airs an episode of their soap opera Family Affairs, which sees one of the original families – the Hart clan killed in a dramatic boat explosion in a desperate bid to improve falling ratings.

Great Goals: Erik Edman – Liverpool FC vs. TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR (April 2005)

It is fair to say that Erik Edman was never a regular goalscorer in his career. He would only ever score once in the Premier League for Tottenham Hotspur but it was a strike at Anfield in April 2005 that will surely rank as one of the best-ever goals scored by a full-back in Premier League history.

Tottenham won a corner in the 11th minute which was taken short. Andy Reid had attempted to play the ball into the penalty area but his cross was blocked by Stephen Warnock. Warnock’s clearance arrived at the feet of Edman. Given a bit of time, Liverpool players expected the Swedish left-back to either play a short pass or send a long ball into the box for Tottenham’s attackers to battle it out with the LFC centre-backs.

Instead, Edman decided to go for goal. He connected with the ball so sweetly and it flew into the top corner of the net. Even Jerzy Dudek looked completely stunned at what had just happened. Edman had just produced something out of absolutely nothing.

The game would finish honours even in a 2-2 draw but Edman’s goal is still remembered by Tottenham supporters as one of their most unexpected efforts.