Tag Archives: Manchester United

Memorable Matches: Manchester United 4-2 Blackpool (May 2011)

Goalscorers: Ji-Sung Park 21, Charlie Adam 40, Gary Taylor-Fletcher 57, Anderson 62, Ian Evatt 74 OG, Michael Owen 81

Teams:

Manchester United: Edwin van der Sar, Patrice Evra, Jonny Evans, Rafael (Chris Smalling 46), Nemanja Vidic (Wayne Rooney 84), Anderson, Darren Fletcher, Paul Scholes, Nani, Ji-Sung Park (Michael Owen 63), Dimitar Berbatov

Blackpool: Matt Gilks, Stephen Crainey, Ian Evatt, Alex Baptiste, Neal Eardley, Keith Southern (Brett Ormerod 86), David Vaughan, Charlie Adam, Gary Taylor-Fletcher, Jason Puncheon (Luke Varney 75), DJ Campbell (Matt Phillips 75)

Referee: Mike Dean, Attendance: 75,400

Blackpool had been an exciting side to watch in the 2010-2011 Premier League season. Ian Holloway’s side had beaten Liverpool FC twice and Tottenham Hotspur during their rollercoaster season and began the final day of the campaign outside of the bottom three. Despite their destiny being in their own hands, that meant the Tangerines’ probably needed to get some kind of result at Manchester United. It was a party atmosphere at Old Trafford.  A week earlier, Manchester United had become the most successful club in English football history, wrapping up their 19th league title to overtake Liverpool’s record. Blackpool respectfully gave the newly-crowned champions a guard of honour before the sides did battle in an end-to-end contest.

Both sides had chances in the first 20 minutes. Keith Southern had the first opportunity of the match but side-footed wide of goal whilst Matt Gilks had to repel efforts from Rafael and Dimitar Berbatov. However, he couldn’t stop Ji-Sung Park giving the home side the lead. A misunderstanding between the goalkeeper and Ian Evatt allowed the South Korean in, who calmly dinked the ball over Gilks to put Blackpool into the relegation zone.

All season, Holloway’s instinct had been to attack opponents and he was not going to change this tactic on the final day. It earned some reward five minutes shy of half-time. Gary Taylor-Fletcher won a free-kick after a clumsy tackle from Nemanja Vidic. Free-kick specialist Charlie Adam placed his effort perfectly beyond Edwin van der Sar, who was making his final Premier League appearance before retirement.

Blackpool did the unthinkable 12 minutes into the second half and took the lead at the Theatre of Dreams. Neat build-up involving Jason Puncheon and David Vaughan saw the Welshman’s cross deftly placed into the back of the net by the excellent Taylor-Fletcher. The away supporters were now beginning to dream. Blackpool were half an hour away from staying up in the top-flight.

Their lead lasted just five minutes though. Park found an unmarked Anderson who curled a strike into the top corner. Blackpool were now only staying up on goal difference. A more catastrophic moment would occur on 74 minutes. Substitute Chris Smalling’s cross was diverted into his own net by the unfortunate Evatt. The expressions on the faces of fans and manager said it all. With eight minutes left, Anderson’s sliding pass found an onside Michael Owen. He made no mistake to send Blackpool towards the Championship exactly a year to the day when they were promoted via the play-offs.

Holloway’s team had made many friends along the way but ultimately, their energetic season ended in disappointment as they went down on the final day along with Birmingham City. For United, they could celebrate another title-winning moment on an afternoon of contrasting emotions.

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Great Goals: Ruud van Nistelrooy – MANCHESTER UNITED vs. Fulham (March 2003)

Ruud van Nistelrooy was one of Europe’s great goalscorers. His habit was being in the right place at the right time to score from close-range or play off high offside traps and exposing weaknesses in defensive strategies.

This goal was all about skill, class and pace as well – the latter never being one of Van Nistelrooy’s true qualities. He collected possession from just inside his own half and spun away from Sylvain Legwinski who claimed he had been fouled by this movement. After this though, the rest is all about genuine class.

Van Nistelrooy beats no fewer than five Fulham players who either back off or put in feeble challenges. When in the penalty area, you always would back him and this was no exception, scooping the final effort beyond the Cottagers back-up goalkeeper, Maik Taylor.

This was the second goal of a Van Nistelrooy hat-trick in United’s 3-0 victory which set them up for an eighth Premier League title in 11 seasons. Van Nistelrooy won the Golden Boot that season too and there weren’t many better efforts in his Manchester United spell that this special solo strike.

Shock Results: Burnley 1-0 Manchester United (August 2009)

Goalscorers: Robbie Blake 19

Teams:

Burnley: Brian Jensen, Graham Alexander (Joey Gudjonsson 73), Andre Bikey, Clarke Carlisle, Tyrone Mears, Stephen Jordan, Grant McCann, Wade Elliott, Robbie Blake, Steven Fletcher (Steven Thompson 81), Martin Paterson (Chris Eagles 73)

Manchester United: Ben Foster, Wes Brown (Gary Neville 71), Jonny Evans, Patrice Evra, John O’Shea, Anderson (Antonio Valencia 59), Michael Carrick, Ji-Sung Park, Ryan Giggs, Michael Owen (Dimitar Berbatov 63), Wayne Rooney

Referee: Alan Wiley, Attendance: 20,872

After an absence of 33 years, top-flight football returned to Turf Moor and Burnley’s first-ever Premier League match at the ground was the one the fans had been waiting for all summer, as reigning champions Manchester United arrived in Lancashire.

Despite an opening day 2-0 loss to Stoke City, the home support of nearly 21,000 were keen not to miss this piece of history for their club. However, they surely were heading to the ground more in hope than expectation. Manchester United didn’t lose many early-season matches and could call on the likes of Wayne Rooney, Michael Owen and Ryan Giggs among their attacking options.

Owen was a summer arrival at Old Trafford on a free transfer from relegated Newcastle United and he should have marked his first competitive start for his new club with a goal inside two minutes. Patrice Evra produced a perfect delivery to the near post but the England forward couldn’t make any decisive contact and the chance was gone. Burnley went toe-to-toe with their more illustrious opponents and created their own openings. Steven Fletcher had two half-chances but couldn’t find the target, whilst Ben Foster, deputising for the injured Edwin van der Sar in the Manchester United goal, had to smother Martin Paterson when he attempted to round the goalkeeper.

In the 19th minute, Burnley took a shock lead. Ex-Manchester City defender Stephen Jordan produced a floating cross to the back post. Evra only got a partial header to it and the ball dropped perfectly to Robbie Blake. Blake produced a volley of the highest quality that flew past Foster at his near post. Although most goalkeepers would be criticised for being beaten at their near post, Foster couldn’t be blamed for this. It was a sublime strike from Blake and it left home supporters dreaming of the unlikely result coming true.

Owen missed another clear opportunity infront of the England boss Fabio Capello, heading wide from Wes Brown’s cross. Moments later, Sir Alex Ferguson’s side had a wonderful chance to equalise. Owen played through Evra, who was hauled down by the Burnley goalscorer Blake. Despite Owen and Rooney being on the pitch, it was Michael Carrick who was the surprise choice of penalty-taker. His spot-kick wasn’t firmly in the left-hand corner and Brian Jensen guessed right to save the penalty and become just as big as a hero as Blake on the night.

Into the second half and Blake nearly doubled his tally. He sent a curling free-kick wide of the post. Jensen’s fine evening continued with super saves to deny Ji-Sung Park and Giggs. The Clarets held on during four minutes of injury-time to record a famous victory, their first at Turf Moor against the Red Devils since September 1968. Their 2009-2010 season did end in relegation and manager Owen Coyle left in January for the Bolton Wanderers job but the supporters will always remember the night they beat Manchester United fair and square.

Iconic Moments: A Brucey bonus (April 1993)

The first Premier League season was drawing towards its conclusion and a real head-to-head scrap was developing for the championship between Ron Atkinson’s Aston Villa and Manchester United. Alex Ferguson’s team were doing the chasing going into the Easter weekend. It was at this stage a year earlier where they’d folded in the run-in and handed the title to their rivals from the Pennines in Leeds United.

United were playing Sheffield Wednesday at Old Trafford and the game was finely poised at 0-0 when the referee in the match, Mike Peck picked up an Achilles injury and had to be replaced. Beginning the match as linesman, John Hilditch was suddenly thrust into the limelight as substitute referee. His first decision was a simple one. Paul Ince’s poorly-timed tackle on Chris Waddle saw a penalty given. It was converted by John Sheridan and Sheffield Wednesday led 1-0. Some Manchester United fans looked despondent. Were their title dreams and the 26-year wait for a championship set to continue?

The home side pushed forward and in the 88th minute, Steve Bruce headed home from a corner to level the scores. Time was surely nearly up? Not for Hilditch. He had timed the length of the stoppage for the referee change, plus numerous time-wasting tactics from the Owls’ players, including substitutions. It meant seven minutes of injury-time were to be played and this was before electronic scoreboards on the touchline.

Wednesday players kept badgering the referee on how long was left but the final whistle still wasn’t blown. There was just enough time for Gary Pallister’s cross to be deflected off Nigel Worthington’s head and into the path of Bruce, who diverted another terrific header past Chris Woods’ despairing dive. Old Trafford exploded in joy and exultation. On the touchline, Alex Ferguson and Brian Kidd couldn’t contain themselves. Kidd jumped onto the pitch and looking up to the heavens. This was an iconic image in the first 25 years of Premier League football.

The 2-1 win was the catalyst for a faultless run-in from Manchester United. They would eventually win the title by 10 points, provided by efficient time-keeping and a real Brucey bonus.

Premier League Rewind: 7th-8th February 2009

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

Going into this February weekend in the 2008-2009 season, only five points covered the top four teams. Manchester United held a two-point lead over Liverpool FC and crucially had a game in hand too. Despite having lost two of their last four matches, Chelsea were still in contention and Aston Villa’s best run for several seasons meant they couldn’t be fully discounted from the title picture.

The weekend’s matches began at The Etihad Stadium and there was more misery for Gareth Southgate and his Middlesbrough side. They were beaten 1-0 by mid-table Manchester City with Craig Bellamy scoring his second goal for his new club since joining from West Ham United. Middlesbrough had only scored one goal now in their last six matches and their Premier League status looked in severe jeopardy.

In the 3pm kick-offs, most attention was focused on Chelsea who looked to close the gap on the top two. However, they suffered a damaging blow to their title hopes after an unconvincing display at home to Hull City which saw the teams play out a goalless draw. At the full-time whistle, boos from the home crowd were notable and banners were hurled out by frustrated fans, calling for manager Luiz Felipe Scolari to be sacked. Two days later, the supporters got their wish as Roman Abramovich parted company with the Brazilian former World Cup winning manager. Chelsea were now looking for their third manager since Jose Mourinho’s abrupt departure 17 months earlier.

Their slip-up allowed Aston Villa to capitalise. They won 2-0 away at Blackburn Rovers, courtesy of goals from James Milner and Gabriel Agbonlahor. This meant they had achieved a club record of seven away victories on the trot and moved Martin O’Neill’s side into third place. They were now genuine contenders for a UEFA Champions League spot at the end of the season.

Blackburn remained in the drop zone, where they were joined by Middlesbrough and West Bromwich Albion. Albion lost 3-2 at home to Newcastle United but Newcastle’s victory was without their manager. Joe Kinnear had been taken to hospital before kick-off and health problems meant he would have to vacate his position. Assistant manager Chris Hughton would take caretaker charge. Peter Lovenkrands scored his first goal for the club in this five-goal contest.

With Manchester United not playing until the Sunday, Liverpool FC had the chance to go top of the table for a few hours at least. They did it the hard way away to Portsmouth but got the job done. Fernando Torres came off the bench to score a last-minute winner as Rafa Benitez’s side won 3-2, despite trailing twice in the game at Fratton Park. The result left Pompey just four points clear of trouble and they decided to wield the axe on Tony Adams as manager, only a few hours before Scolari’s departure from Chelsea was confirmed.

So, could Manchester United respond? A question was asked and once again, it was responded in style. Ryan Giggs scored his first goal of the season and it was a fine individual effort too to breakdown West Ham United’s resolve at Upton Park. United won 1-0, as they continued their winning run. They hadn’t dropped a single point since returning from FIFA World Club Championship duty in mid-December.

Elsewhere, the North London derby ended in a goalless draw. For Arsenal, it started a worrying run of four successive 0-0 draws which almost cost them a top-four finish.

What else happened in February 2009?

  • ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ wins 15 awards combined at the BAFTAs and Oscars, including Best Director for Danny Boyle and Best Film.
  • Duffy is the big winner at the BRIT Awards, scooping three gongs, including the MasterCard Album of the Year for ‘Rockferry.’
  • UK unemployment reaches 1.97 million.
  • Many parts of the UK experienced heavy snowfall at the start of the month, causing plenty of travel disruption and the closure of many schools for the best part of a week.
  • Prime Minister Gordon Brown suspends PMQs at the end of February for the first time since 1994, following the tragic death of David Cameron’s six-year old son, Ivan.
  • Boxing champion Joe Calzaghe retired after 46 fights. He remained undefeated throughout a 15-year career.
  • ITV was forced to apologise after millions of TV viewers missed Dan Gosling’s extra-time winner in the FA Cup fourth-round replay between Everton and Liverpool FC. The gaffe saw an advert for Tic-Tac mints shown instead!

Great Goals: Wayne Rooney – MANCHESTER UNITED vs. Newcastle United (April 2005)

In January 2017, Wayne Rooney overtook Sir Bobby Charlton to become Manchester United’s record goalscorer. It was an amazing feat for one of the greatest English players of his generation.

One of his early goals came in a Premier League match at home to Newcastle United. The Red Devils were 1-0 down 10 minutes into the second half and looked short of attacking input. Rooney was experiencing a frustrating afternoon of his own. He had picked up a knock in the first half and looked like he might be substituted. He answered those doubts in stunning style.

Rooney was having an argument with the referee Neale Barry over not getting an earlier free-kick. He paused from this conversation and latched onto a defensive clearance, producing a confident and cracking volley into the top corner of the net. It was one of the best strikes of the 2004-2005 season and another sign of money well spent by Sir Alex Ferguson.

It was a pure hit and a goal that kick-started Manchester United’s afternoon. Wes Brown’s header in the last 15 minutes ensured the home side won the day 2-1.

Memorable Matches: Southampton 6-3 Manchester United (October 1996)

Goalscorers: Eyal Berkovic 6, 83, Matt Le Tissier 35, David Beckham 41, Egil Ostenstad 45, 85, David May 56, Paul Scholes 89, Phil Neville 90 OG

Teams:

Southampton: Dave Beasant, Jason Dodd, Richard Dryden, Claus Lundekvam, Simon Charlton (Graham Potter 70), Alan Neilson (Jim Magilton 75), Ulrich van Gobbel, Matt Oakley, Eyal Berkovic, Matt Le Tissier (Gordon Watson 88), Egil Ostenstad

Manchester United: Peter Schmeichel, David May, Gary Pallister (Denis Irwin 45), Gary Neville, Phil Neville, Nicky Butt (Brian McClair 17), Roy Keane (SENT OFF), David Beckham, Jordi Cruyff (Ole Gunnar Solskjaer 83), Paul Scholes, Eric Cantona

Referee: Jeff Winter, Attendance: 15,256

Manchester United arrived at The Dell in October 1996 off the back of a humiliating 5-0 defeat to Newcastle United six days earlier. Manager Alex Ferguson must have been shell-shocked after the scoreline at St James’ Park. He was about to get another taste of embarrassment. This result will remain one of Southampton’s greatest and one of Manchester United’s worst in the Premier League era.

This match was played six months after the ‘grey shirt’ debacle when Manchester United lost 3-1 and changed their away kit at half-time because Ferguson claimed the players couldn’t see each other! This time, he could offer no excuses. His team were simply outplayed and outfoxed by a wily Southampton outfit.

The scoring began in the sixth minute. New signing Egil Ostenstad forced Peter Schmeichel into a save. However, Eyal Berkovic was in the right place to smash the ball past the Dane on the rebound. United’s cause wasn’t helped even further when Roy Keane picked up a red card inside of 21 minutes.

10 minutes before half-time, it was 2-0. Berkovic found Matt Le Tissier, who had plenty of time outside the penalty area. He evaded challenges from Brian McClair and David May before producing a delicate lob over Schmeichel’s head. It was another amazing goal in the Le Tissier collection. The Red Devils’ did find a quick response this time. David Beckham’s trademark free-kick reduced the deficit but not for long. Right on the stroke of half-time, Ostenstad bamboozled May and then somehow squeezed a shot past Schmeichel’s defences at his near post. The scoreline was 3-1 at half-time.

Another five goals would follow in the second half. Again, Manchester United responded. Beckham’s free-kick was nodded in at the back post by May, who was making up for his own shoddy defensive display. Then, with seven minutes left, Southampton scored their fourth goal. Israeli international Berkovic crashed in his second goal of the afternoon with a venomous volley from the edge of the penalty area after a corner wasn’t properly cleared by United’s weary defenders. Worse was to come.

Ostenstad raced past May again and beat Schmeichel to make it 5-2! Paul Scholes did grab a consolation shortly afterwards but there was still time for a sixth Saints’ goal. Substitute Gordon Watson played in Ostenstad who rounded Schmeichel and found the net again, via Phil Neville’s despairing attempt to stop the ball. Although Ostenstad deserved his hat-trick, the records officially show this quite harshly as a Neville own goal.

Manchester United would lose their unbeaten 40-year home record in Europe days later to Fenerbahce but would claim a fourth Premier League title in five years. Southampton survived again and their fans will never forget the afternoon when the reigning champions were hit for six of the best.

Seasonal Records: 2002-2003

For all the statistical fans out there, here are some of the season’s records from the 2002-2003 Premier League campaign, as Manchester United claimed their eighth Premier League title and the first club slipped out of the league despite reaching the usual magical safety mark of 40 points.

FINAL TABLE

Position Team P W D L F A GD PTS
1 Manchester United 38 25 8 5 74 34 +40 83
2 Arsenal 38 23 9 6 85 42 +43 78
3 Newcastle United 38 21 6 11 63 48 +15 69
4 Chelsea 38 19 10 9 68 38 +30 67
5 Liverpool FC 38 18 10 10 61 41 +20 64
6 Blackburn Rovers 38 16 12 10 52 43 +9 60
7 Everton 38 17 8 13 48 49 -1 59
8 Southampton 38 13 13 12 43 46 -3 52
9 Manchester City 38 15 6 17 47 54 -7 51
10 Tottenham Hotspur 38 14 8 16 51 62 -11 50
11 Middlesbrough 38 13 10 15 48 44 +4 49
12 Charlton Athletic 38 14 7 17 45 56 -11 49
13 Birmingham City 38 13 9 16 41 49 -8 48
14 Fulham 38 13 9 16 41 50 -9 48
15 Leeds United 38 14 5 19 58 57 +1 47
16 Aston Villa 38 12 9 17 42 47 -5 45
17 Bolton Wanderers 38 10 14 14 41 51 -10 44
18 West Ham United 38 10 12 16 42 59 -17 42
19 West Bromwich Albion 38 6 8 24 29 65 -36 26
20 Sunderland 38 4 7 27 21 65 -44 19

 

THE BASIC STATS

Goals Scored 1000
European qualifiers Manchester United (UEFA Champions League), Arsenal (UEFA Champions League), Newcastle United (UEFA Champions League), Chelsea (UEFA Champions League), Liverpool FC (UEFA Cup), Blackburn Rovers (UEFA Cup), Southampton (UEFA Cup), Manchester City (UEFA Cup)
Longest winning run 7 games (Liverpool FC)
Longest unbeaten run 18 games (Manchester United)
Longest winless run 20 games (Sunderland)
Longest losing run 15 games (Sunderland)
Highest attendance 67,721 (Manchester United vs. Charlton Athletic)
Lowest attendance 14,017 (Fulham vs. Blackburn Rovers)

 

AWARDS

PFA Players’ Player of the Year Thierry Henry (Arsenal)
PFA Young Player of the Year Jermaine Jenas (Newcastle United)
Football Writers’ Award Thierry Henry (Arsenal)
PFA Team of the Year Brad Friedel, Sol Campbell, William Gallas, Stephen Carr, Ashley Cole, Patrick Vieira, Kieron Dyer, Robert Pires, Paul Scholes, Thierry Henry, Alan Shearer
Manager of the Year Sir Alex Ferguson (Manchester United
Premier League Goal of the Season Thierry Henry (ARSENAL vs. Tottenham Hotspur)

 

HAT-TRICK HEROES

Player Teams Score Date
Michael Owen Manchester City vs. Liverpool FC 0-3 28th September 2002
James Beattie Southampton vs. Fulham 4-2 27th October 2002
Ruud van Nistelrooy Manchester United vs. Newcastle United 5-3 23rd November 2002
Robbie Keane Tottenham Hotspur vs. Everton 4-3 12th January 2003
Thierry Henry Arsenal vs. West Ham United 3-1 27th January 2003
Ruud van Nistelrooy Manchester United vs. Fulham 3-0 22nd March 2003
Mark Viduka Charlton Athletic vs. Leeds United 1-6 5th April 2003
Paul Scholes Newcastle United vs. Manchester United 2-6 12th April 2003
Michael Owen (4) West Bromwich Albion vs. Liverpool FC 0-6 26th April 2003
Ruud van Nistelrooy Manchester United vs. Charlton Athletic 4-1 3rd May 2003
Jermaine Pennant Arsenal vs. Southampton 6-1 7th May 2003
Robert Pires Arsenal vs. Southampton 6-1 7th May 2003
Freddie Ljungberg Sunderland vs. Arsenal 0-4 11th May 2003

 

TOP SCORERS

Position Player Teams No of Goals
1 Ruud van Nistelrooy Manchester United 25
2 Thierry Henry Arsenal 24
3 James Beattie Southampton 23
4 Mark Viduka Leeds United 20
5 Michael Owen Liverpool FC 19
6 Alan Shearer Newcastle United 17
7= Paul Scholes Manchester United 14
7= Robert Pires Arsenal 14
7= Gianfranco Zola Chelsea 14
7= Nicolas Anelka Manchester City 14
7= Robbie Keane Leeds United & Tottenham Hotspur 14
7= Harry Kewell Leeds United 14
13 Teddy Sheringham Tottenham Hotspur 12
14= Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink Chelsea 11
14= Tomasz Radzinski Everton 11
16= Sylvain Wiltord Arsenal 10
16= Eidur Gudjohnsen Chelsea 10
16= Kevin Campbell Everton 10
16= Jason Euell Charlton Athletic 10
16= Dion Dublin Aston Villa 10
21= Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Manchester United 9
21= Milan Baros Liverpool FC 9
21= Damien Duff Blackburn Rovers 9
21= Marc-Vivien Foe Manchester City 9
21= Massimo Maccarone Middlesbrough 9

BIGGEST VICTORIES

West Bromwich Albion 0-6 Liverpool FC 26th April 2003
Arsenal 6-1 Southampton 7th May 2003
Charlton Athletic 1-6 Leeds United 5th April 2003
Chelsea 5-0 Manchester City 22nd March 2003
Newcastle United 2-6 Manchester United 12th April 2003
Manchester City 1-5 Arsenal 22nd February 2003
Newcastle United 5-1 Blackburn Rovers 22nd March 2003
Middlesbrough 5-1 Tottenham Hotspur 3rd May 2003
Manchester United 4-0 Liverpool FC 5th April 2003
Birmingham City 0-4 Arsenal 12th January 2003

 

HIGHEST SCORING GAMES

No of Goals Teams Date
8 Newcastle United 2-6 Manchester United 12th April 2003
8 Manchester United 5-3 Newcastle United 23rd November 2002
7 Arsenal 6-1 Southampton 7th May 2003
7 Charlton Athletic 1-6 Leeds United 5th April 2003
7 Arsenal 5-2 West Bromwich Albion 27th August 2002
7 Blackburn Rovers 5-2 Newcastle United 19th October 2002
7 Middlesbrough 2-5 Aston Villa 28th January 2003
7 Tottenham Hotspur 4-3 Everton 12th January 2003
7 West Ham United 3-4 Leeds United 10th November 2002
7 Bolton Wanderers 4-3 Newcastle United 26th December 2002
6 West Bromwich Albion 0-6 Liverpool FC 26th April 2003
6 Manchester City 1-5 Arsenal 22nd February 2003
6 Newcastle United 5-1 Blackburn Rovers 22nd March 2003
6 Middlesbrough 5-1 Tottenham Hotspur 3rd May 2003
6 Southampton 4-2 Fulham 27th October 2002
6 Bolton Wanderers 4-2 Birmingham City 1st February 2003
6 Charlton Athletic 4-2 West Ham United 22nd January 2003
6 Leeds United 2-4 Bolton Wanderers 17th November 2002
5 Chelsea 5-0 Manchester City 22nd March 2003
5 Manchester United 4-1 Charlton Athletic 3rd May 2003

 

YOUNGEST PLAYERS USED

Player Teams Age at the time Date
Wayne Rooney Everton 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur 16 years, 9 months, 24 days 17th August 2002
James Milner West Ham United 3-4 Leeds United 16 years, 10 months, 6 days 10th November 2002
Mat Sadler Birmingham City 3-1 Bolton Wanderers 17 years, 8 months, 7 days 2nd November 2002
Danny Livesey Bolton Wanderers 2-3 Liverpool FC 17 years, 8 months, 14 days 14th September 2002
Jay McEveley Bolton Wanderers 1-1 Blackburn Rovers 17 years, 9 months, 26 days 7th December 2002
Kieran Richardson Manchester United 5-3 Newcastle United 18 years, 1 month, 2 days 23rd November 2002
Robert Huth Fulham 0-0 Chelsea 18 years, 1 month, 5 days 23rd September 2002
Andrew Davies Middlesbrough 2-5 Aston Villa 18 years, 1 month, 11 days 28th January 2003
Osei Sankofa Manchester United 4-1 Charlton Athletic 18 years, 1 month, 14 days 3rd May 2003
Jamie Slabber Tottenham Hotspur 2-3 Liverpool FC 18 years, 2 months, 13 days 16th March 2003

 

OLDEST PLAYERS USED

Player Teams Age at the time Date
David Seaman Sunderland 0-4 Arsenal 39 years, 1 month, 17 days 11th May 2003
Peter Schmeichel Manchester City 0-1 Southampton 38 years, 8 months, 11 days 11th May 2003
Nigel Winterburn West Ham United 0-3 Liverpool FC 38 years, 7 months, 19 days 2nd February 2003
Gudni Bergsson Bolton Wanderers 2-1 Middlesbrough 38 years, 6 months, 9 days 11th May 2003
Laurent Blanc Everton 1-2 Manchester United 38 years, 5 months 11th May 2003
Teddy Sheringham Tottenham Hotspur 0-4 Blackburn Rovers 38 years, 4 months, 19 days 11th May 2003
Gianfranco Zola Chelsea 2-1 Liverpool FC 38 years, 1 month, 24 days 11th May 2003
Martin Keown Arsenal 2-3 Leeds United 37 years, 4 months, 16 days 4th May 2003
Les Ferdinand Birmingham City 2-2 West Ham United 36 years, 9 months, 20 days 11th May 2003
John Moncur Arsenal 3-1 West Ham United 36 years, 6 months, 10 days 19th January 2003

 

CLEAN SHEETS

Position Player Teams No of Clean Sheets
1 Brad Friedel Blackburn Rovers 15
2 Shay Given Newcastle United 14
3= Carlo Cudicini Chelsea 12
3= Jerzy Dudek Liverpool FC 12
5 Richard Wright Everton 11
6= Fabien Barthez Manchester United 10
6= Mark Schwarzer Middlesbrough 10
6= Paul Robinson Leeds United 10
6= Jussi Jaaskelainen Bolton Wanderers 10
10 Antti Niemi Southampton 9

Premier League Rewind: 23rd-25th April 2011

Results: Manchester United 1-0 Everton, Aston Villa 1-1 Stoke City, Blackpool 1-1 Newcastle United, Liverpool FC 5-0 Birmingham City, Sunderland 4-2 Wigan Athletic, Tottenham Hotspur 2-2 West Bromwich Albion, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-1 Fulham, Chelsea 3-0 West Ham United, Bolton Wanderers 2-1 Arsenal, Blackburn Rovers 0-1 Manchester City

The 2010-2011 Premier League season had been one of the most unpredictable campaigns for many years. With five games left to go, nothing was settled. Manchester United were six points clear but not totally comfortable yet in terms of the title picture with an ever-improving Chelsea bearing down on them. Meanwhile at the bottom, just six points covered Fulham, Stoke City, Sunderland, Birmingham City, Blackburn Rovers, Wigan Athletic, Blackpool, West Ham United and Wolverhampton Wanderers. It really was too close to call.

Manchester United opened up proceedings on 23rd April with a brief opportunity to extend their lead at the top of the table to nine points. They played Everton in the Saturday lunchtime kick-off and were pushed all the way by a stubborn David Moyes. They were eventually broken down by Javier Hernandez in the last 10 minutes. 1-0 was the final scoreline and another giant leap towards a record-breaking 19th title had taken place. United had dropped just two points at home all season and that was a proud statistic that would hold up in their remaining two matches.

On a wet and torrential evening in west London, Chelsea knew they needed to win against bottom-placed West Ham United to keep the pressure up on Manchester United. As they still had to travel to Old Trafford to play the Red Devils, hope still existed for Carlo Ancelotti’s side and they made no mistake here, dispatching the Hammers 3-0. The most exciting moment of the match was Fernando Torres scoring his first goal for the club after 734 minutes. Torres had struggled to match the form he’d demonstrated at Liverpool FC and it was clear this goal was a massive weight off his shoulders.

If Chelsea still had title hopes, they had completely diminished for Arsenal. They had won only one of their past six matches and another defeat; 2-1 to Bolton Wanderers dashed any faint hopes they had of catching the leaders. Arsene Wenger’s side had shown major fragilities after their last-gasp League Cup final loss to Birmingham City in February. There was a poignant moment here too. Bolton’s stoppage-time winner was scored by midfielder Tamir Cohen, who removed his shirt and dedicated the goal to his father Avi, who had been killed in a traffic accident in December 2010.

Manchester City strengthened their grip on fourth place and the final UEFA Champions League qualifying spot after a Monday night 1-0 victory away at Blackburn Rovers. January signing Edin Dzeko scored his first goal for the club. They extended their lead on closest challengers Tottenham Hotspur to four points after Spurs dropped points at home to West Bromwich Albion. Simon Cox scored the pick of the goals in a 2-2 draw at White Hart Lane.

At the wrong end of the table, the big winners were Sunderland. After four successive defeats, a 4-2 victory over Wigan Athletic eased their concerns and moved them seven points clear of danger with four games left to play. That result plunged Wigan back into the bottom three with Blackpool climbing out after a 1-1 draw with Newcastle United. Birmingham’s 5-0 defeat at Anfield to Liverpool FC left them very vulnerable with Maxi Rodriguez scoring his first of two hat-tricks in 16 days.

What else happened in April 2011?

  • Prince William and Kate Middleton marry at Westminster Abbey. An estimated two billion people watch the wedding.
  • The 20-1 shot Ballabriggs wins the Grand National, trained by Donald McCain, son of former National trainer, Ginger McCain.
  • Channel 5 confirms it has bought the rights to TV show Big Brother and will screen it from August 2011.
  • Actor Brian Regan, best known as playing Terry Sullivan in Brookside from 1982-1997, is charged with the murder of a city bouncer in Merseyside.
  • The Daily Sport and Sunday Sport tabloid newspapers cease publication and enter administration.

Memorable Matches: Manchester United 0-1 Arsenal (May 2002)

Goalscorers: Sylvain Wiltord 55

Teams:

Manchester United: Fabien Barthez, Laurent Blanc, Wes Brown, Phil Neville, Mikael Silvestre, Roy Keane, Juan Sebastian Veron (Ruud van Nistelrooy 58), Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Diego Forlan (Quinton Fortune 68), Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Arsenal: David Seaman, Sol Campbell, Martin Keown, Ashley Cole, Lauren, Edu, Patrick Vieira, Ray Parlour, Freddie Ljungberg, Kanu (Lee Dixon 89), Sylvain Wiltord

Referee: Paul Durkin, Attendance: 67,580

This was the ultimate showdown of the 2001-2002 season. Arsenal arrived at Old Trafford looking to wrap up a second league and cup double against reigning champions Manchester United. Only a victory for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side would keep the title fight going to the final day of the season.

Arsenal were in impressive form, having not dropped a point in the Premier League since drawing 1-1 with Southampton in early February. Days earlier, goals from Ray Parlour and the in-form Freddie Ljungberg had beaten Chelsea 2-0 in the FA Cup final at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium. However, they were missing the injured Tony Adams and Thierry Henry. Ruud van Nistelrooy was rested to the bench by Ferguson with the boss admitting before the game that he thought the Dutchman had been looking fatigued in recent games.

It was a frantic first 45 minutes with the home side deciding to break the game up as much as possible, committing several late tackles as referee Paul Durkin struggled to keep emotions under control. Both Paul Scholes and Phil Neville were slightly fortunate to stay on the pitch after wild fouls on Edu and Sylvain Wiltord. Both were punished with just yellow cards.

Arsenal didn’t produce much attacking threat early on but started to show their authority on the match just before the interval. Wiltord fired a cross into the box which only just evaded a late stretch from Edu and when Fabien Barthez produced a sloppy clearance, his compatriot Wiltord was too late to pounce on this error.

10 minutes into the second half, Arsenal got the breakthrough which continued their unique feat of scoring in every single Premier League game in the season. Mikael Silvestre gave away possession to Wiltord. The forward passed the ball to Ljungberg who got the better of Laurent Blanc, before firing a shot on-goal. Barthez parried his strike only into the path of Wiltord, who drove the ball into the back of the net past the goalkeeper’s despairing dive.

Ferguson threw Van Nistelrooy on now knowing his side needed two goals but they didn’t even look like scoring one. Roy Keane’s header which whistled wide from a corner was the closest they came to troubling David Seaman.

Arsenal showed their class on the night and ultimately, the season to complete their third league and cup double. They’d taken the title from Manchester United in their own backyard and done it in style. No-one could argue they were the best side in the country in 2001-2002.

Premier League Rewind: 23rd-24th October 2004

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

Arsenal went into the weekend of the 23rd-24th October 2004 having reached an extraordinary 49 Premier League matches unbeaten. To achieve the amazing 50-game mark, they would have to avoid defeat at Old Trafford. Beat Manchester United and it would knock Sir Alex Ferguson’s side out of the title race by the end of October. United had won just three of their first nine matches in 2004-2005 and defeat here would leave them 11 points off the pace. They couldn’t afford to let that happen.

Like the previous season’s game at the Theatre of Dreams, it was a tetchy, steamy affair with some unpleasant tackles. Ruud van Nistelrooy would later be banned for violent conduct but the game was decided in the last 15 minutes. Wayne Rooney went down under very minimal contact, if any from Sol Campbell. Mike Riley pointed to the penalty spot and after his miss in the same fixture last season, van Nistelrooy saw off those demons to convert the spot-kick. With Arsenal pushing forward in the dying embers, they were caught out on the counter-attack. Alan Smith squared the ball for Rooney to finish the match off. Manchester United won 2-0 and Arsenal’s historic run was over.

The scuffles continued in the tunnel afterwards. Both sets of teams squared up to each other as did both managers with Ferguson being hit by a slice of pizza from an Arsenal player in an episode later dubbed as “Pizzagate” by the tabloids. The identity was not revealed until 2017, when Cesc Fabregas confessed to being the pizza thrower on the Sky One panel show ‘A League of Their Own.’

Earlier that day, Newcastle United and Manchester City played out a barnstorming second half which saw seven goals shared between the sides. Craig Bellamy, reportedly at war with Newcastle manager Graeme Souness over his substitution at Charlton a week earlier, scored the winning goal.

Arsenal’s defeat allowed Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea to close the gap at the top of the table to two points. They thrashed Blackburn Rovers 4-0 at Stamford Bridge. Eidur Gudjohnsen scored a hat-trick in Chelsea’s biggest win of the season to-date. It was a second successive 4-0 defeat for Blackburn and plenty to ponder for their manager; the former Wales boss Mark Hughes.

Everton continued their fine start to the campaign and remained in the top three with a 3-2 win in the opening game of the weekend away at Norwich City. Duncan Ferguson scored the winning goal after the Canaries showed their character to recover from a 2-0 deficit. Fellow strugglers Crystal Palace and West Bromwich Albion met at Selhurst Park where two goals from Andy Johnson steered Palace to a welcome 3-0 victory and signalled the end of Gary Megson’s tenure at The Hawthorns.

Elsewhere, Bolton Wanderers remained in the top four after winning 2-1 away at White Hart Lane over Tottenham Hotspur and John Arne Riise scored his first Premier League goal in 20 months as Liverpool FC made it four successive Anfield victories in beating Charlton Athletic 2-0.

What else happened in October 2004?

  • Militants in Iraq behead British hostage Ken Bigley. He had been kidnapped on the 16th September.
  • Tony Blair confirms his intention to resign as Prime Minister during his next term should Labour win the next General Election.
  • One of BBC Radio 1’s original DJ’s, John Peel dies in Peru aged 65 after suffering a sudden heart attack.
  • The first European Constitution is established after senior European figures sign the Treaty and Final Act in Rome.
  • A team of explorers reach the bottom of Krubera Cave in Georgia which is the world’s deepest cave.
  • 30 people, mainly Israeli tourists are killed when two suicide bombs explode in the Red Sea resort of Taba, Egypt.

Premier League Rewind: 5th-8th May 2012

Results: Arsenal 3-3 Norwich City, Aston Villa 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur, Bolton Wanderers 2-2 West Bromwich Albion, Fulham 2-1 Sunderland, Newcastle United 0-2 Manchester City, Queens Park Rangers 1-0 Stoke City, Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-0 Everton, Manchester United 2-0 Swansea City, Blackburn Rovers 0-1 Wigan Athletic, Liverpool FC 4-1 Chelsea

The penultimate weekend of the 2011-2012 campaign saw some important matches at both ends of the table. Having been eight points clear of their Manchester rivals after seeing off Queens Park Rangers a month earlier at Old Trafford, Manchester United had blown that advantage. Manchester City’s 1-0 victory in the derby a week earlier meant they were now top of the table on goal difference.

All Roberto Mancini’s side needed to do now was to keep winning. Two more wins and they would become Premier League champions. However, the Italian insisted that United were still the favourites. That was because Manchester City had a tricky away fixture at Newcastle, who were still right in the race to finish in the top four.

With 20 minutes left, Mancini’s prophecy looked like it was coming true. The game needed a special moment at 0-0 and it received it through Yaya Toure. The Ivorian managed to bend a shot in from distance that defeated Tim Krul and set the Citizens’ on their way. As Newcastle pushed players forward in an attempt to grab an equaliser, City broke again in the 89th minute and Toure sealed the victory. Their 2-0 win put them firmly in the driving seat going into the final weekend.

At a subdued Old Trafford, Manchester United needed lots of goals and three points at home to Swansea City. They got the win through first half efforts by Paul Scholes and Ashley Young. However, a 2-0 scoreline was not what they were hoping for. Trailing by eight goals in the table, Sir Alex Ferguson’s side now needed to win on the final day away at Sunderland and hope Manchester City tripped up at home to Queens Park Rangers. Of course, we didn’t know at the time of the extraordinary drama that would follow a week later.

With Wolverhampton Wanderers already relegated two weeks earlier, the battle was on to avoid the drop between Bolton Wanderers, Blackburn Rovers, Queens Park Rangers, Wigan Athletic and Aston Villa. Villa’s 1-1 draw at home to Champions League-chasing Tottenham Hotspur meant barring any mathematical nightmares, they were safe. At Loftus Road, Queens Park Rangers picked up a priceless victory at home to Stoke City. Djibril Cisse’s goal in the final minute of normal time steered Mark Hughes’ side to an important 1-0 victory. Their destiny was now in their own hands.

Bolton Wanderers situation looked bleak after throwing away a two-goal lead at home to West Bromwich Albion. In his first match since being appointed as the future England manager, Roy Hodgson’s side recovered from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 and ensure Bolton had to win on the final day away at Stoke to stand any chance of survival.

Survival was beyond Blackburn Rovers. On Monday Night Football, they had to beat Wigan Athletic to take their fight to the final day whilst a draw would be enough for Wigan. With less than five minutes to go, Antolin Alcaraz’s header on a rain-soaked evening saw Wigan get the goal to earn their safety. Bottom in mid-March, Roberto Martinez’s side had beaten Liverpool FC, Manchester United, Arsenal and Newcastle United in the run-in to complete another escape act. For Blackburn, the 1-0 defeat left Steve Kean devastated. They were relegated after 10 years back in the top-flight and it ended a tumultuous season at Ewood Park with fan protests against the manager and the club’s Indian owners becoming a regular theme. The match saw an appearance of the Blackburn chicken!

In the final game of this round, Liverpool FC made amends for their FA Cup final defeat 72 hours later, crushing Chelsea 4-1 at Anfield. Jonjo Shelvey scored his first Premier League goal as Liverpool finished their home season in style in what would turn out to be Kenny Dalglish’s penultimate match in charge.

What else happened in May 2012?

  • Boris Johnson is re-elected as Mayor of London with 51.5% of the vote.
  • A torch relay ahead of the 2012 London Olympics will start after the flame arrives in Cornwall on a flight from its traditional home of Athens, Greece.
  • During a visit to the BBC Scotland headquarters in Glasgow, Prince Charles presents the lunchtime weather forecast!
  • Sweden wins the Eurovision Song Contest in Baku, Azerbaijan. The United Kingdom entry comes 25th with just 12 points, six places below ‘Jedward’ who do the Irish entry.
  • British and American hairstylist Vidal Sassoon dies in California, aged 84.
  • Pastor Maldonado from Venezuela wins the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona. It is the first Formula One victory for Williams in eight years. The celebrations are marred by a horrible fire that breaks out in their garage an hour after the race. Fortunately, no-one is seriously hurt.
  • The Tokyo Skytree, the tallest self-supporting tower in the world at 634 metres high is opened to the public.