Tag Archives: Manchester United

Memorable Matches: Manchester United 0-1 Arsenal (March 1998)

Goalscorer: Marc Overmars 79

Teams:

Manchester United: Peter Schmeichel, John Curtis (Ben Thornley 52), Denis Irwin, Henning Berg, Gary Neville, Phil Neville (Ole Gunnar Solskjaer 77), Ronny Johnsen (David May 79), David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Teddy Sheringham, Andy Cole

Arsenal: Alex Manninger, Nigel Winterburn, Lee Dixon, Martin Keown, Tony Adams, Emmanuel Petit, Patrick Vieira, Ray Parlour (Remi Garde 70), Marc Overmars, Christopher Wreh (Nicolas Anelka 66), Dennis Bergkamp

Referee: Alan Wilkie, Attendance: 55,174

It wasn’t quite a title decider but this match between Manchester United and Arsenal in March 1998 was a pivotal one in deciding who would claim the advantage in the season. Two weeks earlier, United had beaten Chelsea 1-0 at Stamford Bridge. Most bookmakers’ stopped taking bets and some even started paying out on another title for the men from Old Trafford.

However, Arsenal dug in and were starting to be rewarded. Three days earlier, they had won at Wimbledon to close the gap at the top to nine points with three games in-hand. Defeat at the Theatre of Dreams would all but end their aspirations for a title tilt. Victory would put them within striking distance of their opponents, who still had European action on their minds.

Alex Ferguson’s options were restricted by injuries. Ryan Giggs, Roy Keane and Nicky Butt were among those on the treatment table whilst Alex Manninger passed a late fitness test to keep his spot in-goal for the Gunners’ with David Seaman still absent through injury.

After early pressure from the home side, it was Arsenal who looked the more energised. Marc Overmars was the most threatening player to Manchester United. His best chance of the first half was a shot into the side netting after splitting the defence. Gary Neville and youngster John Curtis were struggling to handle the pace of Overmars throughout. United’s best opening came seven minutes before the interval. Andy Cole looked in an offside position but the flag stayed down. This meant Cole was played through but he was to be thwarted by Manninger.

There was little change in terms of the momentum in the second half. Arsenal were the more likely side to score but were passing up opportunities to inflict the damage. Finally, they broke the deadlock 11 minutes from full-time. Substitute Nicolas Anelka flicked the ball onto Overmars, who once again ran beyond Gary Neville. His header gave him the advantage to run onto the ball and saw him beat Peter Schmeichel as the Dane started to close down his angles. It was the first goal Arsenal had scored at Old Trafford since 1991 and what a crucial one it was.

As they tried to rescue the game, there was worse to come for Manchester United. Schmeichel decided to make a run into the Arsenal penalty area for a corner but when the move broke down and he tried to sprint back, he pulled his hamstring, ruling him out of the UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg with French side AS Monaco.

Arsenal had done it and became just the second side to double Manchester United in a season in Premier League history. They wouldn’t drop another point before wrapping up the title in early May. Arsene Wenger became the first foreign manager to win the Premier League and the platform for this success was this result at Old Trafford.

Great Goals: Cristiano Ronaldo – MANCHESTER UNITED vs. Portsmouth (January 2008)

The 2007-2008 season was all about Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese player has gone onto great and glorious things with Real Madrid but his legend was created in Manchester.

Against Portsmouth, he was at his absolute finest. He’d already scored early on to put the Red Devils’ infront. 12 minutes in, United won a free-kick which Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney stood over. There was only ever going to be one contender to take this and it wasn’t Rooney.

Ronaldo revolutionised the way a free-kick can be dispatched. He took a few strides back, then managed to get sensational power and pace onto the ball from 30-yards out and it flew into the net leaving David James looking bemused.

It was his 27th of his 42 goals in all competitions for the season and quite possibly, the very best.

Premier League Rewind: 4th-5th March 2000

Results: Manchester United 1-1 Liverpool FC, Derby County 4-0 Wimbledon, Everton 1-1 Sheffield Wednesday, Newcastle United 0-1 Chelsea, Southampton 1-1 Middlesbrough, Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Bradford City, Watford 1-2 West Ham United, Aston Villa 1-1 Arsenal, Leeds United 3-0 Coventry City, Leicester City 5-2 Sunderland

Manchester United were the favourites to retain their Premier League title in the early weeks of March 2000 but they were still under pressure from David O’Leary’s energised and exciting Leeds United side. Weeks earlier, Sir Alex Ferguson’s team had opened up a five-point lead with a game in hand after winning at Elland Road. However, dropped points away at Wimbledon had seen Leeds stay in striking touch and that would continue on the weekend of 4th-5th March.

The Red Devils’ were first in action for the weekend with a lunchtime kick-off against bitter rivals Liverpool FC. Gerard Houllier had insisted in the build-up to this match that his side were ready to inflict defeat on their great enemy. They came very close to achieving his prediction. Patrik Berger scored a spectacular free-kick to give the visitors’ the lead. United’s equaliser was controversial. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer went unpunished for a high challenge on Sami Hyypia. Whilst the Finn was off receiving treatment, Solskjaer scored the equaliser in stoppage-time at the end of the first half. Only some wasteful finishing by Liverpool FC forwards Titi Camara, Erik Meijer and the returning Michael Owen ensured this encounter would finish all-square.

So, Leeds had the chance to close the gap to four points by the end of the weekend. They achieved this 24 hours’ later with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Coventry City who were still winless away from Highfield Road. The impressive Harry Kewell opened the scoring in the season where he was crowned the PFA Young Player of the Year and Michael Bridges added another two to his growing tally in his only injury-free season in Yorkshire.

Third-place Arsenal were unable to cash in on Manchester United’s dropped points at home as they held to a 1-1 draw by Aston Villa on the same Sunday afternoon. In fact, it looked like they were heading for defeat at Villa Park for the third successive campaign before a rare goal from Lee Dixon in the 84th minute rescued a point.

So Chelsea finished the weekend in third spot and therefore in the final qualification spot for next season’s UEFA Champions League. Gus Poyet scored the solitary goal in a 1-0 away win at Newcastle United. Newcastle would be sick of the sight of the Uruguayan by the season’s end. A month later, it was his double that beat the Magpies’ in the FA Cup semi-finals.

A month earlier, Leicester City had taken a gamble to sign Stan Collymore. Collymore’s time at Aston Villa had not been good. He had spectacularly fallen out with John Gregory, been treated for depression and attracted unsavoury off-the-field headlines. Days before the club’s televised Super Sunday match with Sunderland; reports emerged of an incident at a hotel in La Manga where Collymore had let off a fire extinguisher during a training camp. The team was kicked out of the resort they had been staying in and the forward was fined two weeks’ wages. Manager Martin O’Neill was unimpressed, saying: “I think it is a warning to Stan. This, in footballing parlance, is a yellow card.”

Collymore responded in the best possible fashion, scoring a brilliant hat-trick in Leicester’s 5-2 victory over the Black Cats’ – his finest display in the Premier League for several seasons. The match also saw Emile Heskey score his final goal for the club. He would be transferred weeks later to Liverpool FC for over £11 million.

The status at the bottom of the table remained unchanged but the plight of Wimbledon was becoming evident. A week after the club’s charismatic guvnor Sam Hamann had left the club, the Dons looked lost away at Derby County. They completely caved in during the last 25 minutes at Pride Park, losing 4-0 and showing a lack of urgency that would signal all was not good between manager Egil Olsen and his players. Wimbledon ended the weekend in 16th and just three points clear of the drop zone. Those spots were occupied by Bradford City, Sheffield Wednesday and Watford.

What else happened in March 2000?

  • Vladimir Putin is elected as the new President of Russia.
  • The PlayStation 2 is released in Japan. Several months later, it becomes the best-selling games console of all-time.
  • There is a change in the official currency of Ecuador with the US dollar replacing the Ecuadorian Sucre.
  • Channel 5 wins the rights to screen Home and Away in the UK, meaning its affiliation with ITV ends. ITV had broadcasted the Aussie soap since 1989.
  • 9-2 shot Looks Like Trouble wins the Cheltenham Gold Cup, ridden by Richard Johnson.
  • Macy Gray, Travis and Robbie Williams are the big winners at the BRITS, winning two awards each.

Seasonal Records: 1995-1996

For all the statistical fans out there, here are some of the season’s records from the 1995-1996 Premier League season which was the first where just 20 clubs took part.

FINAL TABLE

Position Team P W D L F A GD PTS
1 Manchester United 38 25 7 6 73 35 +38 82
2 Newcastle United 38 24 6 8 66 37 +29 78
3 Liverpool FC 38 20 11 7 70 34 +36 71
4 Aston Villa 38 18 9 11 52 35 +17 63
5 Arsenal 38 17 12 9 49 32 +17 63
6 Everton 38 17 10 11 64 44 +20 61
7 Blackburn Rovers 38 18 7 13 61 47 +14 61
8 Tottenham Hotspur 38 16 13 9 50 38 +12 61
9 Nottingham Forest 38 15 13 10 50 54 -4 58
10 West Ham United 38 14 9 15 43 52 -9 51
11 Chelsea 38 12 14 12 46 44 +2 50
12 Middlesbrough 38 11 10 17 35 50 -15 43
13 Leeds United 38 12 7 19 40 57 -17 43
14 Wimbledon 38 10 11 17 55 70 -15 41
15 Sheffield Wednesday 38 10 10 18 48 61 -13 40
16 Coventry City 38 8 14 16 42 60 -18 38
17 Southampton 38 9 11 18 34 52 -18 38
18 Manchester City 38 9 11 18 33 58 -25 38
19 Queens Park Rangers 38 9 6 23 38 57 -19 33
20 Bolton Wanderers 38 8 5 25 39 71 -32 29

THE BASIC STATS

Goals Scored 988
European qualifiers Manchester United (UEFA Champions League), Newcastle United (UEFA Cup), Aston Villa (UEFA Cup), Arsenal (UEFA Cup), Liverpool FC (UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup)
Longest winning run 6 games (Manchester United)
Longest unbeaten run 15 games (Liverpool FC)
Longest winless run 14 games (Coventry City & Wimbledon)
Longest losing run 8 games (Manchester City & Middlesbrough)
Highest attendance 53,926 (Manchester United vs. Nottingham Forest)
Lowest attendance 6,352 (Wimbledon vs. Sheffield Wednesday)

AWARDS

PFA Players’ Player of the Year Les Ferdinand (Newcastle United)
PFA Young Player of the Year Robbie Fowler (Liverpool FC)
Football Writers’ Award Eric Cantona (Manchester United)
PFA Team of the Year David James, Alan Wright, Tony Adams, Ugo Ehiogu, Gary Neville, Ruud Gullit, Steve Stone, Rob Lee, David Ginola, Alan Shearer, Les Ferdinand
Manager of the Year Alex Ferguson (Manchester United)
Goal of the Season Tony Yeboah (Wimbledon vs. LEEDS UNITED)

HAT-TRICK HEROES

Player Teams Score Date
Matt Le Tissier Southampton vs. Nottingham Forest 3-4 19th August 1995
Robbie Fowler (4) Liverpool FC vs. Bolton Wanderers 5-2 23rd September 1995
Alan Shearer Blackburn Rovers vs. Coventry City 5-1 23rd September 1995
Tony Yeboah Wimbledon vs. Leeds United 2-4 23rd September 1995
Les Ferdinand Newcastle United vs. Wimbledon 6-1 21st October 1995
Gary McAllister Leeds United vs. Coventry City 3-1 28th October 1995
Alan Shearer Blackburn Rovers vs. Nottingham Forest 7-0 18th November 1995
Alan Shearer Blackburn Rovers vs. West Ham United 4-2 2nd December 1995
Dion Dublin Sheffield Wednesday vs. Coventry City 4-3 4th December 1995
Savo Milosevic Aston Villa vs. Coventry City 4-1 16th December 1995
Robbie Fowler Liverpool FC vs. Arsenal 3-1 23rd December 1995
Alan Shearer Blackburn Rovers vs. Bolton Wanderers 3-1 3rd February 1996
Gavin Peacock Chelsea vs. Middlesbrough 5-0 4th February 1996
Alan Shearer Tottenham Hotspur vs. Blackburn Rovers 2-3 16th March 1996
Mark Hughes Chelsea vs. Leeds United 4-1 13th April 1996
Andrei Kanchelskis Sheffield Wednesday vs. Everton 2-5 27th April 1996

TOP SCORERS

Position Player Teams No of Goals
1 Alan Shearer Blackburn Rovers 31
2 Robbie Fowler Liverpool FC 28
3 Les Ferdinand Newcastle United 25
4 Dwight Yorke Aston Villa 17
5= Andrei Kanchelskis Everton 16
5= Teddy Sheringham Tottenham Hotspur 16
7= Ian Wright Arsenal 15
7= Chris Armstrong Tottenham Hotspur 15
9= Eric Cantona Manchester United 14
9= Stan Collymore Liverpool FC 14
9= Dion Dublin Coventry City 14
12 John Spencer Chelsea 13
13= Savo Milosevic Aston Villa 12
13= Tony Yeboah Leeds United 12
13= David Hirst Sheffield Wednesday 12
16= Andy Cole Manchester United 11
16= Dennis Bergkamp Arsenal 11
16= Robbie Earle Wimbledon 11
16= Ryan Giggs Manchester United 11
20= Tony Cottee West Ham United 10
20= Paul Scholes Manchester United 10
20= Dean Holdsworth Wimbledon 10
20= Danny Dichio Queens Park Rangers 10
20= Julian Dicks West Ham United 10
25 Graham Stuart Everton 9

BIGGEST VICTORIES

Blackburn Rovers 7-0 Nottingham Forest 18th November 1995
Bolton Wanderers 0-6 Manchester United 25th February 1996
Liverpool FC 6-0 Manchester City 28th October 1995
Newcastle United 6-1 Wimbledon 21st October 1995
Manchester United 5-0 Nottingham Forest 28th April 1996
Liverpool FC 5-0 Leeds United 20th January 1996
Chelsea 5-0 Middlesbrough 5th February 1996
Coventry City 5-0 Blackburn Rovers 9th December 1995
Sheffield Wednesday 6-2 Leeds United 16th December 1995
Blackburn Rovers 5-1 Coventry City 23rd September 1995

HIGHEST SCORING GAMES

No of Goals Teams Date
8 Sheffield Wednesday 6-2 Leeds United 16th December 1995
7 Blackburn Rovers 7-0 Nottingham Forest 18th November 1995
7 Newcastle United 6-1 Wimbledon 21st October 1995
7 Liverpool FC 5-2 Bolton Wanderers 23rd September 1995
7 Sheffield Wednesday 2-5 Everton 27th April 1996
7 Liverpool FC 4-3 Newcastle United 3rd April 1996
7 Southampton 3-4 Nottingham Forest 19th August 1995
7 Sheffield Wednesday 4-3 Coventry City 4th December 1995
6 Bolton Wanderers 0-6 Manchester United 25th February 1996
6 Liverpool FC 6-0 Manchester City 28th October 1995
6 Blackburn Rovers 5-1 Coventry City 23rd September 1995
6 Nottingham Forest 1-5 Blackburn Rovers 13th April 1996
6 Arsenal 4-2 Sheffield Wednesday 21st November 1995
6 Wimbledon 2-4 Manchester United 3rd February 1996
6 Liverpool FC 4-2 Nottingham Forest 1st January 1996
6 Aston Villa 4-2 Queens Park Rangers 9th March 1996
6 Arsenal 4-2 Southampton 23rd September 1995
6 Blackburn Rovers 4-2 West Ham United 2nd December 1995
6 West Ham United 4-2 Manchester City 23rd March 1996
6 Middlesbrough 4-2 West Ham United 23rd December 1995

YOUNGEST PLAYERS USED

Player Teams Age at the time Date
Mark Platts Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 Wimbledon 16 years, 8 months, 18 days 10th February 1996
Andy Campbell Middlesbrough 3-1 Sheffield Wednesday 16 years, 11 months, 18 days 5th April 1996
Neil Finn Manchester City 2-1 West Ham United 17 years, 3 days 1st January 1996
Jody Morris Chelsea 5-0 Middlesbrough 17 years, 1 month, 14 days 5th February 1996
Michael Branch Manchester United 2-0 Everton 17 years, 4 months, 3 days 21st February 1996
Nigel Quashie Manchester United 2-1 Queens Park Rangers 17 years, 5 months, 10 days 30th December 1995
Alan Maybury Aston Villa 3-0 Leeds United 17 years, 5 months, 26 days 3rd February 1996
Rio Ferdinand West Ham United 1-1 Sheffield Wednesday 17 years, 5 months, 28 days 5th May 1996
Harry Kewell Leeds United 0-1 Middlesbrough 17 years, 6 months, 8 days 30th March 1996
Frank Lampard West Ham United 3-2 Coventry City 17 years, 7 months, 11 days 31st January 1996

OLDEST PLAYERS USED

Player Teams Age at the time Date
Ray Wilkins Nottingham Forest 3-0 Queens Park Rangers 39 years, 7 months, 21 days 5th May 1996
Gordon Strachan Nottingham Forest 0-0 Coventry City 39 years, 2 months, 8 days 17th April 1996
Bryan Robson Middlesbrough 4-2 West Ham United 38 years, 11 months, 12 days 23rd December 1995
Steve Ogrizovic Coventry City 0-0 Leeds United 38 years, 7 months, 23 days 5th May 1996
Bruce Grobbelaar Aston Villa 3-0 Southampton 38 years, 5 months, 23 days 8th April 1996
Les Sealey Newcastle United 3-0 West Ham United 38 years, 5 months, 18 days 18th March 1996
Alvin Martin West Ham United 1-1 Sheffield Wednesday 37 years, 9 months, 6 days 5th May 1996
Neville Southall Everton 1-0 Aston Villa 37 years, 7 months, 19 days 5th May 1996
Nigel Spink Queens Park Rangers 1-0 Aston Villa 37 years, 4 months, 15 days 23rd December 1995
Mick Harford Southampton 0-0 Wimbledon 37 years, 2 months, 23 days 5th May 1996

CLEAN SHEETS

Position Player Teams No of Clean Sheets
1 Peter Schmeichel Manchester United 18
2= David James Liverpool FC 16
2= David Seaman Arsenal 16
4= Mark Bosnich Aston Villa 15
4= Neville Southall Everton 15
6= Ian Walker Tottenham Hotspur 11
6= Ludek Miklosko West Ham United 11
8= Tim Flowers Blackburn Rovers 10
8= Dmitri Kharine Chelsea 10
8= Dave Beasant Southampton 10

Premier League Files: Nicky Butt

Premier League Career: Manchester United (1992-2004), Newcastle United (2004-2005), (2006-2009), Birmingham City (2005-2006)

Part of the young talent that were dubbed “Fergie’s Fledglings,” Nicky Butt enjoyed a lengthy and fruitful Premier League career, winning six Premier League titles at Manchester United. He is back at the club where he received his big break helping today’s youngsters in the academy as well as being one of the five ‘Class of 92’ owners at Salford City FC.

The midfielder turned professional in 1993 but he had already made his Premier League debut by then, appearing as a late substitute in Manchester United’s 3-0 victory over Oldham Athletic in November 1992. It wasn’t until the 1994-1995 season though that the Old Trafford faithful got to see Butt play on a regular basis.

Roy Keane and Paul Ince were the main central midfielders at the time but with Paul Parker injured and Gary Neville still an emerging talent, Keane was often asked to deputise as a right-back. That meant Butt got more opportunities than expected and when Ince departed in the 1995 pre-season for Serie A with Inter Milan, Ferguson elected to draft Butt into the team on a regular basis as Ince’s replacement.

Goals were not a crucial part of Nicky’s game. Instead, his job was to be the ball-winner in midfield and allow the creative talents to take control going forwards. Nevertheless, he could still chip in with the odd strike. This included a goal in the opening minute of a fixture with Liverpool FC in October 1995 which was Eric Cantona’s comeback match after his nine-month ban for his kung-fu kick on a Crystal Palace supporter. In 1997-1998, Butt made the PFA Team of the Year and many believed this was his best season in the colours of Manchester United as he developed leadership qualities after a knee injury robbed the club of Keane’s presence for much of that season.

Although he started the 1999 UEFA Champions League final victory in Barcelona as Keane was suspended, Roy’s return to fitness, coupled with Paul Scholes dropping back into a central role meant Butt’s first-team opportunities got more limited into the millennium. As competition increased in the midfield, he realised it was time to leave the club that developed him. In January 2004, Nicky Butt handed in a transfer request. Sir Alex Ferguson admitted: “Nicky Butt has asked to leave; it is a very sad situation. Nicky has given Manchester United great service but he wants to play first-team football.”

After turning down a move to Birmingham City, Butt was signed by Sir Bobby Robson for Newcastle United in July 2004. Signing a four-year deal, he was seen as a replacement for Gary Speed who had departed for Bolton Wanderers. Robson was sacked though four games into the new season and Graeme Souness was not convinced by Butt’s performances. He signed Emre, Amdy Faye and Scott Parker and sent Butt packing on-loan to ironically, Birmingham City in August 2005.

He scored on his Blues’ home debut in a 2-1 defeat to Manchester City and played 24 times but after finding out that Steve Bruce had picked his son Alex ahead of him for an away trip to West Ham United, he walked out of the squad and was fined for his lack of discipline. He apologised and returned to the squad but Birmingham were relegated at the end of the season and he returned to Newcastle.

Butt became an integral part of the Newcastle line-up on his return and would captain the side on many occasions when Parker and Michael Owen were injured. He won over the fans’, who had been sceptical about his arrival in the first place and stayed with the club even after their relegation from the top-flight in 2009. He helped get them back into the Premier League before retiring from football.

He might not have attracted major headlines but Nicky Butt had a medal-winning career.

Referees in the Middle: Keith Hackett

Premier League Career: 1992-1994

First Premier League Match: Ipswich Town 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur (30 August 1992)

Final Premier League Match: Manchester United 1-0 Liverpool FC (30 March 1994)

The majority of Keith Hackett’s career was before the introduction of the FA Premier League but even though he had reached the planned retirement age before the reformation in English football, his exemption onto the list for the inaugural season showed how well-respected he was.

Hackett’s record is right up there with the best in the business. In a list maintained by the IFFHS (International Federation of Football History and Statistics), Hackett is within the top 100 referees. When he retired in April 1994, he had been refereeing for over 34 years.

Like many of his peers, Hackett began in the local leagues in 1960, taking charge of games across Yorkshire. He became a Football League linesman in 1972 and four years later, had progressed to the full list of officials. He was just 32 years old when this milestone was achieved.

His best period was the 1980s. He was one of the youngest referees to ever have the privilege of officiating at the FA Cup final which was in those days, the ultimate domestic honour in English club football. Hackett’s year for the showpiece was the 1981 classic between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City which finished 1-1 before the Ricky Villa magic in the replay days later.

Three years later, he was back at Wembley to do the all-Merseyside Charity Shield when a Bruce Grobbelaar own goal meant Everton beat Liverpool FC. The domestic set was complete when he got the 1986 League Cup final as Oxford United won their only knockout trophy, defeating Queens Park Rangers 3-0.

In 1988, Hackett was the English choice of official at the 1988 European Championships in West Germany. He took control of the hosts’ 1-1 draw with Italy during the group stages which was played in Cologne. Later that summer, he went to the Olympic Games to officiate in the football competition in Seoul, South Korea. Again, he looked after a West German match, this time the semi-final with Brazil which ended 1-1 but saw the South Americans win on penalties.

In October 1990, he had to deal with one of the toughest incidents of his or anyone’s career when a 21-man brawl broke out at Old Trafford during a league clash involving Manchester United and Arsenal. Hackett and his match officials handled a tricky situation with stern punishments for both clubs. After consultations between them and the FA, Manchester United were docked one point and deducted two points from Arsenal’s total. The Gunners’ still won the league championship.

When the Premier League began, the new league could trust on Keith Hackett’s judgement and control. He took charge of 36 Premier League matches, handed out just 38 yellow cards and didn’t dismiss a single player. In that period, he only awarded three penalties and two of those were in one match when Oldham Athletic lost 4-1 to Tottenham in the inaugural season. He retired just short of his 50th birthday in 1994 with his last match in the middle being a blockbuster encounter between Manchester United and Liverpool FC. United won the midweek match 1-0 with Paul Ince scoring the only goal.

After retiring from officiating, Hackett became a referees’ assessor and in March 2004, he replaced Philip Don to be appointed General Manager of the PGMOB (Professional Game Match Officials Board). His knowledge has also come through in publishing through books, cartoon quizzes and columns for the Observer and the Daily Telegraph.

He is honest enough in his assessments too. At the end of the 2016-2017 campaign, he stated in a strong article that the likes of Jon Moss, Kevin Friend and Roger East shouldn’t be retained on the current elite list.

Keith Hackett is still a strong voice in the game and he won’t hold back either. People listen to his frank and honest assessments nowadays, just like they did when he was controlling football matches in the middle.

Premier League Rewind: 18th-20th September 1993

Results: Blackburn Rovers 0-2 West Ham United, Coventry City 1-1 Chelsea, Everton 2-0 Liverpool FC, Ipswich Town 1-2 Aston Villa, Leeds United 2-1 Sheffield United, Queens Park Rangers 2-2 Norwich City, Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 Southampton, Swindon Town 2-2 Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur 5-0 Oldham Athletic, Manchester United 1-0 Arsenal, Wimbledon 1-0 Manchester City

The 1993-1994 Premier League season was starting to slowly take shape in September 1993. There were some big games on the weekend of 18th-20th September which produced some interesting stories.

The biggest match-up was the latest in the rivalry of the Merseyside derby between Everton and Liverpool FC. Both sides had made positive starts to the campaign and were in the chasing pack behind early season pacesetters Manchester United and Arsenal. In the 27th minute, the home side took the lead which led to some extraordinary scenes afterwards. Andy Hinchcliffe’s corner was cleared at the near post by Steve McManaman. It only managed to find Mark Ward, who rifled a shot into the bottom corner of the net. As he went off celebrating, Liverpool goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar got into a heated confrontation with McManaman which saw handbags thrown and luckily no more than that. Tony Cottee’s goal five minutes from time ensured Howard Kendall’s men would finish the weekend inside the top four.

With Manchester United and Arsenal playing each other on the Sunday afternoon, Blackburn Rovers had the opportunity to take top spot briefly. They missed their chance at home to newly-promoted West Ham United. A goal in each half from Lee Chapman and Trevor Morley spearheaded the Hammers’ to an unlikely 2-0 victory at Ewood Park. It was already Blackburn’s second home loss of the campaign.

It was a miserable weekend for Oldham Athletic, who took a pasting at free-flowing Tottenham Hotspur. Ossie Ardiles loved his sides to attack and they did this at White Hart Lane to devastating effect. Inside nine minutes, Oldham were 3-0 down and ended up losing 5-0. Teddy Sheringham continued his fine start to the season, scoring twice. Sheringham’s goals kept Tottenham in the early season mix. Unfortunately, injury would strike a month later which seriously hurt his side’s form afterwards.

Fresh from scoring the winning goal a week earlier to beat the reigning champions, Gavin Peacock was at it again at Highfield Road. He opened the scoring in Chelsea’s 1-1 draw with Coventry City. Steve Morgan equalised for a share of the spoils. The points were also shared in games involving Swindon Town and Newcastle United at the County Ground and Queens Park Rangers vs. Norwich City at Loftus Road. Les Ferdinand rescued a point for QPR in their 2-2 draw with the Canaries. His 83rd minute goal denied Norwich another impressive success away from home.

On Super Sunday, the top two met at Old Trafford. Manchester United bounced back to winning ways with a stunning free-kick from Eric Cantona good enough to beat Arsenal 1-0. It took the Red Devils’ three points clear at the top of the table. The action ended with Wimbledon beating Manchester City by the same scoreline on Monday Night Football. Robbie Earle scored the only goal to inflict a first defeat on Brian Horton as City manager.

What else happened in September 1993?

  • The 1,000th Boeing 747 jumbo jet is produced.
  • Sci-Fi drama “The X-Files” makes its debut on American television, launching the careers of Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny.
  • Pete Sampras and Steffi Graf are the men’s and women’s singles champions at the US Open at Flushing Meadows.
  • The USA beat Europe 15-13 to win the 30th Ryder Cup at The Belfry.
  • Nearly 10,000 people are killed when an earthquake strikes the region of Latur, India which measures 6.4 on the Richter scale.
  • In Washington, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestine Leader Yasser Arafat famously shake hands after signing the Oslo I Accord; temporarily bringing peace to the Middle East.

Seasonal Records: 1994-1995

For all the statistical fans out there, here are some of the season’s records from season three of the Premier League – 1994-1995.

FINAL TABLE

Position Team P W D L F A GD PTS
1 Blackburn Rovers 42 27 8 7 80 39 +41 89
2 Manchester United 42 26 10 6 77 28 +49 88
3 Nottingham Forest 42 22 11 9 72 43 +29 77
4 Liverpool FC 42 21 11 10 65 37 +28 74
5 Leeds United 42 20 13 9 59 38 +21 73
6 Newcastle United 42 20 12 10 67 47 +20 72
7 Tottenham Hotspur 42 16 14 12 66 58 +8 62
8 Queens Park Rangers 42 17 9 16 61 59 +2 60
9 Wimbledon 42 15 11 16 48 65 -17 56
10 Southampton 42 12 18 12 61 63 -2 54
11 Chelsea 42 13 15 14 50 55 -5 54
12 Arsenal 42 13 12 17 52 49 +3 51
13 Sheffield Wednesday 42 13 12 17 49 57 -8 51
14 West Ham United 42 13 11 18 44 48 -4 50
15 Everton 42 11 17 14 44 51 -7 50
16 Coventry City 42 12 14 16 44 62 -18 50
17 Manchester City 42 12 13 17 53 64 -11 49
18 Aston Villa 42 11 15 16 51 56 -5 48
19 Crystal Palace 42 11 12 19 34 49 -15 45
20 Norwich City 42 10 13 19 37 54 -17 43
21 Leicester City 42 6 11 25 45 80 -35 29
22 Ipswich Town 42 7 6 29 36 93 -57 27

 

THE BASIC STATS

Goals Scored 1,195
European qualifiers Blackburn Rovers (UEFA Champions League), Manchester United (UEFA Cup), Nottingham Forest (UEFA Cup), Liverpool FC (UEFA Cup), Leeds United (UEFA Cup), Everton (UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup)
Longest winning run 7 games (Blackburn Rovers)
Longest unbeaten run 13 games (Nottingham Forest)
Longest winless run 12 games (Everton & Southampton)
Longest losing run 8 games (Ipswich Town)
Highest attendance 43,868 (Manchester United vs. Sheffield Wednesday)
Lowest attendance 5,268 (Wimbledon vs. Manchester City)

 

AWARDS

PFA Players’ Player of the Year Alan Shearer (Blackburn Rovers)
PFA Young Player of the Year Robbie Fowler (Liverpool FC)
Football Writers’ Award Jurgen Klinsmann (Tottenham Hotspur)
PFA Team of the Year Tim Flowers, Graeme Le Saux, Rob Jones, Colin Hendry, Gary Pallister, Paul Ince, Tim Sherwood, Matt Le Tissier, Chris Sutton, Alan Shearer, Jurgen Klinsmann
Manager of the Year Kenny Dalglish (Blackburn Rovers)
LMA Manager of the Year Frank Clark (Nottingham Forest)
Goal of the Season Matt Le Tissier (Blackburn Rovers vs. SOUTHAMPTON)

 

HAT-TRICK HEROES

Player Teams Score Date
Chris Sutton Blackburn Rovers vs. Coventry City 4-0 27th August 1994
Robbie Fowler Liverpool FC vs. Arsenal 3-0 28th August 1994
Andrei Kanchelskis Manchester United vs. Manchester City 5-0 10th November 1994
Alan Shearer Blackburn Rovers vs. Queens Park Rangers 4-0 26th November 1994
Teddy Sheringham Tottenham Hotspur vs. Newcastle United 4-2 2nd December 1994
Tony Cottee West Ham United vs. Manchester City 3-0 17th December 1994
Alan Shearer Blackburn Rovers vs. West Ham United 4-2 2nd January 1995
Alan Shearer Blackburn Rovers vs. Ipswich Town 4-1 28th January 1995
Tommy Johnson Aston Villa vs. Wimbledon 7-1 11th February 1995
Andy Cole (5 goals) Manchester United vs. Ipswich Town 9-0 4th March 1995
Peter Ndlovu Liverpool FC vs. Coventry City 2-3 14th March 1995
Tony Yeboah Leeds United vs. Ipswich Town 4-0 5th April 1995
Ian Wright Arsenal vs. Ipswich Town 4-1 15th April 1995

 

TOP SCORERS

Position Player Teams No of Goals
1 Alan Shearer Blackburn Rovers 34
2 Robbie Fowler Liverpool FC 25
3 Les Ferdinand Queens Park Rangers 24
4 Stan Collymore Nottingham Forest 22
5 Andy Cole Newcastle United & Manchester United 21
6= Jurgen Klinsmann Tottenham Hotspur 20
6= Matt Le Tissier Southampton 20
8 Teddy Sheringham Tottenham Hotspur 18
8= Ian Wright Arsenal 18
10= Chris Sutton Blackburn Rovers 15
10= Uwe Rosler Manchester City 15
10= Dean Saunders Aston Villa 15
13= Andrei Kanchelskis Manchester United 14
13= Paul Rideout Everton 14
15= Bryan Roy Nottingham Forest 13
15= Peter Beardsley Newcastle United 13
15= Tony Cottee West Ham United 13
15= Dion Dublin Coventry City 13
19= Eric Cantona Manchester United 12
19= Ian Rush Liverpool FC 12
19= Tony Yeboah Leeds United 12
19= Paul Walsh Manchester City 12
23= John Spencer Chelsea 11
23= Mark Bright Sheffield Wednesday 11
23= Guy Whittingham Aston Villa & Sheffield Wednesday 11

BIGGEST VICTORIES

Manchester United 9-0 Ipswich Town 4th March 1995
Aston Villa 7-1 Wimbledon 11th February 1995
Sheffield Wednesday 1-7 Nottingham Forest 1st April 1995
Crystal Palace 1-6 Liverpool FC 20th August 1994
Manchester United 5-0 Manchester City 10th November 1994
Newcastle United 5-1 Southampton 27th August 1994
Arsenal 5-1 Norwich City 1st April 1995
Sheffield Wednesday 5-1 Coventry City 28th December 1994
Blackburn Rovers 4-0 Coventry City 27th August 1994
Leicester City 0-4 Manchester United 15th April 1995

 

HIGHEST SCORING GAMES

No of Goals Teams Date
9 Manchester United 9-0 Ipswich Town 4th March 1995
8 Sheffield Wednesday 1-7 Nottingham Forest 1st April 1995
8 Aston Villa 7-1 Wimbledon 11th February 1995
8 Aston Villa 4-4 Leicester City 22nd February 1995
7 Crystal Palace 1-6 Liverpool FC 20th August 1994
7 Manchester City 5-2 Tottenham Hotspur 22nd October 1994
7 Sheffield Wednesday 3-4 Tottenham Hotspur 20th August 1994
7 Wimbledon 4-3 Aston Villa 9th November 1994
7 Leicester City 3-4 Wimbledon 1st April 1995
7 Southampton 4-3 Tottenham Hotspur 2nd April 1995
7 Tottenham Hotspur 3-4 Aston Villa 19th November 1994
7 Leicester City 4-3 Southampton 15th October 1994
6 Newcastle United 5-1 Southampton 27th August 1994
6 Arsenal 5-1 Norwich City 1st April 1995
6 Sheffield Wednesday 5-1 Coventry City 28th December 1994
6 Blackburn Rovers 4-2 West Ham United 2nd January 1995
6 Blackburn Rovers 2-4 Manchester United 23rd October 1994
6 Leicester City 2-4 Nottingham Forest 11th March 1995
6 Newcastle United 4-2 Chelsea 10th September 1994
6 Tottenham Hotspur 4-2 Newcastle United 3rd December 1994

 

YOUNGEST PLAYERS USED

Player Teams Age at the time Date
Emile Heskey Queens Park Rangers 2-0 Leicester City 17 years, 1 month, 25 days 8th March 1995
Richard Wright Ipswich Town 2-0 Coventry City 17 years, 6 months, 1 day 6th May 1995
Matt Oakley Everton 0-0 Southampton 17 years, 8 months, 19 days 6th May 1995
Kevin Ellis Arsenal 4-1 Ipswich Town 17 years, 11 months, 4 days 15th April 1995
Phil Neville Manchester City 0-3 Manchester United 18 years, 21 days 11th February 1995
Stephen Hughes Arsenal 0-0 Aston Villa 18 years, 3 months, 8 days 26th December 1994
Brian Launders Crystal Palace 0-1 Chelsea 18 years, 3 months, 16 days 24th September 1994
Keith O’Neill Southampton 1-1 Norwich City 18 years, 8 months, 17 days 2nd November 1994
Marcus Hall Coventry City 0-4 Tottenham Hotspur 18 years, 9 months, 7 days 31st December 1994
Jon Wright Aston Villa 1-1 Norwich City 18 years, 10 months, 21 days 15th October 1994

 

OLDEST PLAYERS USED

Player Teams Age at the time Date
John Burridge Manchester City 2-3 Queens Park Rangers 43 years, 5 months, 11 days 14th May 1995
Ray Wilkins Chelsea 1-0 Queens Park Rangers 38 years, 7 months, 15 days 29th April 1995
Gordon Strachan Coventry City 0-0 Everton 38 years, 3 months, 5 days 14th May 1995
John Wark Ipswich Town 2-0 Coventry City 37 years, 9 months, 2 days 6th May 1995
Steve Ogrizovic Nottingham Forest 2-0 Coventry City 37 years, 7 months, 5 days 17th April 1995
Graham Rix Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal 37 years, 6 months, 21 days 14th May 1995
Glenn Hoddle Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal 37 years, 6 months, 17 days 14th May 1995
Bruce Grobbelaar Liverpool FC 3-1 Southampton 37 years, 5 months, 20 days 5th April 1995
Nigel Spink Norwich City 1-1 Aston Villa 36 years, 9 months, 6 days 14th May 1995
Neville Southall Coventry City 0-0 Everton 36 years, 7 months, 28 days 14th May 1995

 

CLEAN SHEETS

Position Player Teams No of Clean Sheets
1 Peter Schmeichel Manchester United 21
2= Tim Flowers Blackburn Rovers 17
2= David James Liverpool FC 17
2= John Lukic Leeds United 17
5= Pavel Srnicek Newcastle United 14
5= Neville Southall Everton 14
5= Nigel Martyn Crystal Palace 14
8= Mark Crossley Nottingham Forest 13
8= Ludek Miklosko West Ham United 13
10= Ian Walker Tottenham Hotspur 11

Shock Results: Manchester United 1-3 Fulham (October 2003)

Goalscorers: Lee Clark 3, Diego Forlan 45, Steed Malbranque 66, Junichi Inamoto 79

Teams:

Manchester United: Tim Howard, Gary Neville, Mikael Silvestre (Quinton Fortune 45), Rio Ferdinand, John O’Shea, Eric Djemba-Djemba (David Bellion 80), Nicky Butt, Cristiano Ronaldo (Paul Scholes 69), Ryan Giggs, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Diego Forlan

Fulham: Edwin van der Sar, Moritz Volz, Jerome Bonnnissel (Martin Djetou 74), Zat Knight, Alain Goma, Lee Clark, Mark Pembridge (Junichi Inamoto 32), Sylvain Legwinski, Steed Malbranque, Louis Saha, Luis Boa Morte (Barry Hayles 86)

Referee: Mike Riley, Attendance: 67,727

Manchester United would have gone top of the Premier League table in October 2003 but they were given a rude awakening by Fulham at Old Trafford. They were on a high following a midweek UEFA Champions League success against Rangers but Chris Coleman’s team had other ideas.

Fulham took control very early on and got the lead through a defensive mistake. Mikael Silvestre conceded possession and the lively Steed Malbranque steered a low cross into the box. The experienced Lee Clark was at the right place at the right time to convert at the near post.

It was no fluke. The Cottagers’ showed no fear for the occasion and they could have extended their lead before half-time. American stopper Tim Howard had to deny the in-form Louis Saha, who would become a Manchester United player three months later. Then, Mark Pembridge, a deadline day signing from Everton smashed an effort against the crossbar.

There was little Sir Alex Ferguson could do to influence matters. He was confined to the directors’ box. An earlier misconduct incident in the season at Newcastle United meant he was serving a touchline ban. His side did find their feet and slightly undeservedly, equalised right on the stroke of half-time. Diego Forlan’s fine finish across the bows of Edwin van der Sar levelled the scores. It was the much-maligned Uruguayan’s first goal of the season.

If Ferguson was dishing out the “hairdryer” treatment during the 15-minute pause, the players were not listening. Fulham kept plugging away and they never lost belief in their abilities to pull off a shock result. Midway through the second half, they got their lead back. An opportunist strike from Malbranque saw Fulham on their way to a first victory at Old Trafford in over 30 years. The Frenchman punished a slack header from Rio Ferdinand.

United were reeling and although they responded with a John O’Shea header that whistled wide of Van der Sar’s goal, it was Fulham who deservedly struck again in the 79th minute. Popular midfielder Junichi Inamoto produced a spectacular finish from six-yards out to send Fulham fans into delirium.

This moved them upto fifth in the table and they had a fine season, despite losing Saha to Manchester United in the January transfer window. A ninth-place finish was an excellent reward in Coleman’s first full season in club management. Manchester United did spend Christmas on top of the table but ended a disappointing third and 12 points behind unbeaten Arsenal.

Great Goals: Eric Cantona – MANCHESTER UNITED vs. Sunderland (December 1996)

The 1996-1997 season would be Eric Cantona’s final campaign as a professional footballer. The Manchester United skipper was a genius on-the-pitch and against Sunderland, he showed why he had so many adoring fans.

United were already cruising to victory against the newly-promoted Black Cats when the Frenchman produced another sublime piece of quality. Receiving possession from just inside the halfway line, Cantona beats two defenders and sets off towards the Sunderland goal. He exchanges passes with Brian McClair before receiving possession back and going for the cheeky finish.

Spotting Lionel Perez off his line, the talismanic forward chips the ball over Perez and into the net off the post. He then just stands in an iconic celebration to take in the acclaim of the crowd of Old Trafford who received a pre-xmas gift of class and coolness.

Manchester United won the game 5-0 and whilst they won their fourth Premier League title in five seasons, Sunderland were relegated on the final day.

Seasonal Records: 1993-1994

For all the statistical fans out there, here are some of the season’s records from the second season of top-flight – the 1993-1994 FA Carling Premiership.

FINAL TABLE

Position Team P W D L F A GD PTS
1 Manchester United 42 27 11 4 80 38 +42 92
2 Blackburn Rovers 42 25 9 8 63 36 +27 84
3 Newcastle United 42 23 8 11 82 41 +41 77
4 Arsenal 42 18 17 7 53 28 +25 71
5 Leeds United 42 18 16 8 65 39 +26 70
6 Wimbledon 42 18 11 13 56 53 +3 65
7 Sheffield Wednesday 42 16 16 10 76 54 +22 64
8 Liverpool FC 42 17 9 16 59 55 +4 60
9 Queens Park Rangers 42 16 12 14 62 61 +1 60
10 Aston Villa 42 15 12 15 46 50 -4 57
11 Coventry City 42 14 14 14 43 45 -2 56
12 Norwich City 42 12 17 13 65 61 +4 53
13 West Ham United 42 13 13 16 47 58 -11 52
14 Chelsea 42 13 12 17 49 53 -4 51
15 Tottenham Hotspur 42 11 12 19 54 59 -5 45
16 Manchester City 42 9 18 15 38 49 -11 45
17 Everton 42 12 8 22 42 63 -21 44
18 Southampton 42 12 7 23 49 66 -17 43
19 Ipswich Town 42 9 16 17 35 58 -23 43
20 Sheffield United 42 8 18 16 42 60 -18 42
21 Oldham Athletic 42 9 13 20 42 68 -26 40
22 Swindon Town 42 5 15 22 47 100 -53 30

THE BASIC STATS

Goals Scored 1,195
European qualifiers Manchester United (UEFA Champions League), Aston Villa (UEFA Cup), Blackburn Rovers (UEFA Cup), Newcastle United (UEFA Cup), Arsenal (UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup), Chelsea (UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup)
Longest winning run 8 games (Manchester United)
Longest unbeaten run 22 games (Manchester United)
Longest winless run 15 games (Swindon Town)
Longest losing run 7 games (Tottenham Hotspur)
Highest attendance 45,347 (Aston Villa vs. Liverpool FC)
Lowest attendance 4,739 (Wimbledon vs. Coventry City)

AWARDS

PFA Players’ Player of the Year Eric Cantona (Manchester United)
PFA Young Player of the Year Andy Cole (Newcastle United)
Football Writers’ Award Alan Shearer (Blackburn Rovers)
PFA Team of the Year Tim Flowers, Gary Kelly, Denis Irwin, Tony Adams, Gary Pallister, David Batty, Gary McAllister, Paul Ince, Peter Beardsley, Eric Cantona, Alan Shearer
Manager of the Year Alex Ferguson (Manchester United)
LMA Manager of the Year Joe Kinnear (Wimbledon)
Goal of the Season Rod Wallace (LEEDS UNITED vs. Tottenham Hotspur)

HAT-TRICK HEROES

Player Teams Score Date
Mick Quinn Arsenal vs. Coventry City 0-3 14th August 1993
Tony Cottee Everton vs. Sheffield United 4-2 21st August 1993
Kevin Campbell Arsenal vs. Ipswich Town 4-0 11th September 1993
Efan Ekoku (4 goals) Everton vs. Norwich City 1-5 25th September 1993
Alan Shearer Leeds United vs. Blackburn Rovers 3-3 23rd October 1993
Robbie Fowler Liverpool FC vs. Southampton 4-2 30th October 1993
Peter Beardsley Newcastle United vs. Wimbledon 4-0 30th October 1993
Bradley Allen Everton vs. Queens Park Rangers 0-3 20th November 1993
Andy Cole Newcastle United vs. Liverpool FC 3-0 21st November 1993
Kevin Campbell Swindon Town vs. Arsenal 0-4 27th December 1993
Tony Cottee Everton vs. Swindon Town 6-2 15th January 1994
Jan-Aage Fjortoft Swindon Town vs. Coventry City 3-1 5th February 1994
Dean Saunders Aston Villa vs. Swindon Town 5-0 12th February 1994
Matt Le Tissier Southampton vs. Liverpool FC 4-2 14th February 1994
Andy Cole Newcastle United vs. Coventry City 4-0 23rd February 1994
Ian Wright Ipswich Town vs. Arsenal 1-5 5th March 1994
Ian Wright Southampton vs. Arsenal 0-4 19th March 1994
Matt Le Tissier Norwich City vs. Southampton 4-5 9th April 1994
Dean Holdsworth Wimbledon vs. Oldham Athletic 3-0 26th April 1994

TOP SCORERS

Position Player Teams No of Goals
1 Andy Cole Newcastle United 34
2 Alan Shearer Blackburn Rovers 31
3= Chris Sutton Norwich City 25
3= Matt Le Tissier Southampton 25
5 Ian Wright Arsenal 23
6 Peter Beardsley Newcastle United 21
7 Mark Bright Sheffield Wednesday 19
8 Eric Cantona Manchester United 18
9= Rod Wallace Leeds United 17
9= Dean Holdsworth Wimbledon 17
11 Les Ferdinand Queens Park Rangers 16
11= Tony Cottee Everton 16
13 Kevin Campbell Arsenal 14
13= Ian Rush Liverpool FC 14
13= Teddy Sheringham Tottenham Hotspur 14
16 Ryan Giggs Manchester United 13
16= Trevor Morley West Ham United 13
16= Mark Stein Chelsea 13
17= Mark Hughes Manchester United 12
17= Gordon Watson Sheffield Wednesday 12
17= Robbie Fowler Liverpool FC 12
17= Efan Ekoku Norwich City 12
17= Jan-Aage Fjortoft Swindon Town 12
24= Brian Deane Leeds United 11
24= John Fashanu Wimbledon 11

BIGGEST VICTORIES

Newcastle United 7-1 Swindon Town 12th March 1994
Manchester United 5-0 Sheffield Wednesday 16th March 1994
Swindon Town 0-5 Leeds United 7th May 1994
Sheffield Wednesday 5-0 West Ham United 18th December 1993
Sheffield Wednesday 5-0 Ipswich Town 23rd April 1994
Swindon Town 0-5 Liverpool FC 22nd August 1993
Aston Villa 5-0 Swindon Town 12th February 1994
Tottenham Hotspur 5-0 Oldham Athletic 18th September 1993
Everton 6-2 Swindon Town 15th January 1994
Newcastle United 5-1 Aston Villa 27th April 1994

HIGHEST SCORING GAMES

No of Goals Teams Date
9 Norwich City 4-5 Southampton 9th April 1994
8 Newcastle United 7-1 Swindon Town 12th March 1994
8 Everton 6-2 Swindon Town 15th January 1994
7 Oldham Athletic 2-5 Manchester United 29th December 1993
7 Norwich City 3-4 Queens Park Rangers 12th March 1994
7 Chelsea 4-3 Tottenham Hotspur 27th February 1994
6 Wimbledon 4-2 Newcastle United 12th February 1994
6 Newcastle United 5-1 Aston Villa 27th April 1994
6 Queens Park Rangers 5-1 Coventry City 23rd October 1993
6 Chelsea 4-2 Everton 3rd January 1994
6 Southampton 4-2 Liverpool FC 14th February 1994
6 Ipswich Town 1-5 Arsenal 5th March 1994
6 Everton 1-5 Norwich City 25th September 1993
6 Tottenham Hotspur 3-3 Liverpool FC 18th December 1993
6 Sheffield Wednesday 3-3 Swindon Town 29th December 1993
6 Liverpool FC 4-2 Southampton 30th October 1993
6 Liverpool FC 3-3 Manchester United 4th January 1994
6 Leeds United 3-3 Blackburn Rovers 23rd October 1993
6 Everton 4-2 Chelsea 5th February 1994
6 Sheffield Wednesday 3-3 Norwich City 1st September 1993

YOUNGEST PLAYERS USED

Player Teams Age at the time Date
David Beresford Sheffield Wednesday 3-0 Oldham Athletic 17 years, 13 days 24th November 1993
Stephen Carr Ipswich Town 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur 17 years, 28 days 26th September 1993
Willie Boland Coventry City 1-1 West Ham United 18 years, 15 days 21st August 1993
Darren Eadie Queens Park Rangers 2-2 Norwich City 18 years, 3 months, 8 days 18th September 1993
Lee Briscoe Tottenham Hotspur 1-3 Sheffield Wednesday 18 years, 4 months, 6 days 5th February 1994
Neal Bartlett Queens Park Rangers 2-1 Southampton 18 years, 4 months, 14 days 21st August 1993
Andy Turner Newcastle United 0-1 Tottenham Hotspur 18 years, 4 months, 22 days 14th August 1993
Robbie Fowler Chelsea 1-0 Liverpool FC 18 years, 5 months, 16 days 25th September 1993
Chris Holland Newcastle United 2-0 Ipswich Town 18 years, 6 months, 11 days 22nd March 1994
Michael Duberry Chelsea 1-2 Coventry City 18 years, 6 months, 20 days 4th May 1994

OLDEST PLAYERS USED

Player Teams Age at the time Date
Trevor Francis Sheffield Wednesday 0-0 Coventry City 39 years, 7 months, 1 day 20th November 1993
Kevin Moran Blackburn Rovers 0-0 Ipswich Town 38 years, 8 days 7th May 1994
Ray Wilkins Tottenham Hotspur 1-2 Queens Park Rangers 37 years, 7 months, 23 days 7th May 1994
Peter Reid Southampton 3-1 Chelsea 37 years, 6 months, 7 days 27th December 1993
Bryan Robson Manchester United 0-0 Coventry City 37 years, 3 months, 27 days 8th May 1994
Gordon Strachan Swindon Town 0-5 Leeds United 37 years, 2 months, 28 days 7th May 1994
John Wark Blackburn Rovers 0-0 Ipswich Town 36 years, 9 months, 3 days 7th May 1994
Steve Ogrizovic Manchester United 0-0 Coventry City 36 years, 7 months, 26 days 8th May 1994
Mal Donaghy Chelsea 1-2 Coventry City 36 years, 7 months, 21 days 4th May 1994
Glenn Hoddle Chelsea 3-2 Sheffield United 36 years, 6 months, 10 days 7th May 1994

CLEAN SHEETS

Position Player Teams No of Clean Sheets
1 David Seaman Arsenal 20
2 Peter Schmeichel Manchester United 15
3 Ludek Miklosko West Ham United 14
4 Tim Flowers Southampton & Blackburn Rovers 13
5 Hans Segers Wimbledon 12
6= Steve Ogrizovic Coventry City 11
6= Dimitri Kharine Chelsea 11
6= Neville Southall Wimbledon 11
9= Mark Bosnich Aston Villa 10
9= Bryan Gunn Norwich City 10

Memorable Matches: Southampton 2-3 Manchester United (September 2012)

Goalscorers: Rickie Lambert 15, Robin van Persie 22, 86, 90, Morgan Schneiderlin 54

Teams:

Southampton: Kelvin Davis, Nathaniel Clyne, Jos Hooiveld, Jose Fonte, Daniel Fox, Morgan Schneiderlin, Steven Davis, James Ward-Prowse, Adam Lallana (Jay Rodriguez 78), Jason Puncheon (Emmanuel Mayuka 74), Rickie Lambert (Guly do Prado 75)

Manchester United: Anders Lindegaard, Rafael, Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra, Antonio Valencia, Tom Cleverley (Paul Scholes 61), Michael Carrick, Shinji Kagawa (Nani 61), Danny Welbeck (Javier Hernandez 71), Robin van Persie

Referee: Mike Dean, Attendance: 31,609

In the summer of 2012, Robin van Persie elected not to sign a new contract at Arsenal. With just a year left on his current deal at the Emirates Stadium, the Gunners’ had little choice but to sell him or risk losing him a year later for absolutely nothing. Both Manchester clubs expressed an interest in signing the Dutchman but it was United who beat City to his signature. It was the kind of move that Sir Alex Ferguson made which brought about echoes of his purchase of Eric Cantona 20 years earlier.

Van Persie had scored on his home debut a week earlier against Fulham and was hungry for more in the Red Devils’ next match which was a trip to newly-promoted Southampton. Wayne Rooney was missing through injury whilst David de Gea was dropped after two indifferent performances for Anders Lindegaard.

Lindegaard couldn’t keep a clean sheet though. Southampton started brightly and took the lead on 15 minutes. Rickie Lambert outjumped Rafael at the back post to nod home his second goal of the season. A fortnight earlier, Lambert had scored against Manchester City in a narrow 3-2 defeat. This time, he was hoping to be on the scoresheet in a winning contribution against a Manchester side.

The lead didn’t last long though. Antonio Valencia’s cross found Van Persie and displaying his usual predatory instincts; the marksman beat Kelvin Davis on the half-volley. It was a cracking game with chances at both ends and the scores even at half-time.

Like the first half, it was Nigel Adkins’ side that started stronger following a break in play. They caused Ferguson’s team huge problems on the counter-attack. Lambert’s cross headed into the back of Lindegaard’s net by the efficient Morgan Schneiderlin. With Tom Cleverley struggling against James Ward-Prowse in midfield, Ferguson decided to bring on experience in Paul Scholes in the 61st minute. It was another inspired move. Scholes immediately started to spray passes across the pitch and completely took control of the central midfield battle.

In the 68th minute, Jos Hooiveld made a clumsy challenge on Van Persie and Mike Dean had little option but to give a spot-kick. However, the usual reliable Dutchman was too casual with his penalty on this occasion. Davis was able to stop his chipped effort. Van Persie though would not be denied. His late double cruelly denying the Saints’ at least a point from a gripping encounter. His first Manchester United hat-trick meant he had already started repaying the £24m transfer fee spent on him by Ferguson.

Any debt had been welly and truly repaid by the season’s end. RVP was top scorer for the second season running and spearheaded Manchester United to a 20th league title in what turned out to be Sir Alex Ferguson’s swansong season. Southampton controversially dismissed Adkins in mid-January but comfortably survived under the guidance of a certain Mauricio Pochettino.