Tag Archives: Michael Owen

Premier League Rewind: 5th-8th May 2001

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

With three games to go and the title already wrapped up by Manchester United, attention in May 2001 was largely focused on the bottom of the table. Bradford City were already condemned to relegation but the fight for survival was on between Derby County, Manchester City and Coventry City.

All three sides had testing fixtures away from home and with no margin for error, the side able to pull off a victory was more likely to survive. Derby had the most challenging match with a trip to the champions at Old Trafford. Jim Smith’s side had struggled all season and had only won one of their last seven encounters. The Rams though had pulled off an unexpected victory away at Manchester United in April 1997, so they had experience of producing the unexpected and they did so again here, with a shock 1-0 victory. Malcolm Christie scored the only goal of the game in the 34th minute to inflict only a second home defeat on Sir Alex Ferguson’s side all season. This win piled the pressure on Coventry City.

It meant the Sky Blues had to realistically win at Villa Park against Midlands rivals Aston Villa. They were in a very strong position when two spectacular goals from Mustapha Hadji had them 2-0 ahead. However, it was a position Gordon Strachan’s side weren’t used to in the 2000-2001 season. They’d recorded just eight league victories all campaign and it showed. Darius Vassell and Juan Pablo Angel pulled Villa level and with four minutes to go, Paul Merson delivered the final blow with a superb curling effort. The Villans won 3-2 and that result, combined with Derby’s win meant Coventry’s 34-year stay in England’s top-flight was officially over. They haven’t been back since.

Two nights later, a similar fate befell Manchester City. Shaun Goater gave their supporters hope by opening the scoring away to high-flying Ipswich Town in the 74th minute. Matt Holland equalised four minutes later though and Martijn Reuser’s diving header five minutes from full-time sealed a 2-1 win for Ipswich to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for the following season’s UEFA Champions League. For Joe Royle and Manchester City, it was the end of the road and relegation back to the First Division.

Ipswich were in a three-horse race for the final UEFA Champions League qualifying position and it was advantage Liverpool FC in this particular battle. The Reds were preparing for the FA Cup final with Arsenal but warmed up by claiming four points from two home fixtures. Michael Owen was in sensational form, scoring yet another hat-trick against Newcastle United in a 3-0 success. Three days later, he grabbed another two goals in an absorbing 2-2 draw with Chelsea, as Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink matched Owen’s accomplishment. The Dutchman’s two goals on Merseyside saw him take a giant step closer to winning the Golden Boot.

Elsewhere, Arsenal secured the runners-up position by defeating in-form Leeds United 2-1. Freddie Ljungberg and Sylvain Wiltord scored the goals in what turned out to be a damaging defeat for Leeds’ prospects of matching their third place finish from the previous campaign. Leicester’s wretched run of seven consecutive losses was ended by a 4-2 home victory against Tottenham Hotspur with goals from Gary Rowett, Dean Sturridge, Steve Guppy and a Robbie Savage penalty whilst Middlesbrough’s safety was secured by other results. They drew 1-1 at Valley Parade with bottom-placed Bradford City.

What else happened in May 2001?

  • Campaigning for the UK General Election is dominated by a scuffle between Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott and a protestor in Rhyl after an egg is thrown at him.
  • Silvio Berlusconi becomes Italian Prime Minister for the second time after winning the election in Italy.
  • The government decides to start relaxing its tough sanctions put in place to tackle the foot and mouth crisis two months on.
  • Liverpool FC complete a unique ‘Treble’ of cup victories, defeating Arsenal 2-1 in the FA Cup final in Cardiff, before prevailing 5-4 against Spanish side Alaves in the UEFA Cup final in Dortmund.
  • At 16, Temba Tsheri becomes the youngest person to summit Mount Everest.
  • With the song ‘Everybody,’ Estonia win the 2001 Eurovision Song Contest.

 

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Premier League Rewind: 17th-18th December 2005

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

The final round of matches before Christmas in the 2005-2006 season saw Chelsea have the opportunity to strengthen their grip on the Premier League title. Jose Mourinho’s all-conquering Blues had lost just once so far away at Manchester United and dropped just four points in the campaign when they travelled to Highbury for the last-ever time to play Arsenal.

The Gunners were smarting off the back of successive defeats on their travels to Bolton Wanderers and Newcastle United without scoring and things didn’t improve here against the league leaders. They were denied a perfectly good goal when Robin van Persie was wrongly flagged for offside. Chelsea took advantage when Arjen Robben scored just before half-time. A mistake from Lauren allowed Joe Cole to score a second goal after 73 minutes and took Mourinho’s men a whopping 20 points clear of the previous season’s runners-up. He was seen shaking hands before full-time with his coaching staff in a joyous manner. It had been another professional performance from the reigning champions.

The result left Arsenal way off the pace in eighth position and also, five points adrift of the top four positions. Chelsea’s nearest challengers were Manchester United who remained nine points behind the men from west London. The Red Devils recorded their sixth win in seven matches with a fairly routine 2-0 victory at shot-shy Aston Villa. Both Ruud van Nistelrooy and Wayne Rooney were on-target to keep United in second position and leave Villa just four points above the bottom three.

With third-placed Liverpool FC away on FIFA World Club Championship duty in Japan, Tottenham had the opportunity to move above the Reds but couldn’t fully capitalise, drawing a thrilling match at Middlesbrough. Spurs trailed twice in the game but battled back to draw 3-3 with Mido scoring the equaliser in the 80th minute to ensure the spoils were deservedly shared.

Wigan Athletic bounced back from five successive defeats to the ‘big 5’ by waltzing past Charlton Athletic 3-0, pushing the Latics back into both positive goal difference and the top six. Henri Camara scored a hat-trick as Charlton crashed to their sixth defeat in seven matches. Camara wasn’t the only hat-trick hero of the weekend as Michael Owen scored his first treble as a Newcastle United player in the Magpies’ 4-2 away victory at West Ham. They would turn out to be Owen’s last goals of the season. He broke his foot two weeks later which would keep him on the sidelines for the best part of four months.

Harry Redknapp had made a sensational return to Portsmouth following a year of drama on the south coast between Pompey and Southampton. His first game back at Fratton Park saw his team record a priceless and scrappy 1-0 triumph over West Bromwich Albion with Svetoslav Todorov scoring the only goal of the contest. However, Portsmouth would spend Christmas Day still in the bottom three.

The result saw them overtake Birmingham City however, who went down 4-1 away at Manchester City in the Saturday teatime fixture. David Sommeil put the home side into the lead after just 42 seconds and Birmingham goalkeeper Nico Vaesen endured a torrid evening, conceding a penalty and receiving a late red card for handling outside his penalty area. For Steve Bruce and the travelling support, it was torrid evening at Eastlands.

What else happened in December 2005?

  • David Cameron is elected as the new leader of The Conservative Party, defeating David Davis in the leadership election.
  • The Civil Partnership Act 2004 comes into force. This grants same-sex couples similar legal rights to those of married heterosexuals. One of the first high-profile marriages is that of singer Elton John and his long-time partner, David Furnish.
  • The Buncefield oil storage facility in Hertfordshire is destroyed by a series of explosions.
  • Irish President Mary McAleese meets The Queen at Hillsborough Castle. It is the first time that the two heads of state meet in Ireland.
  • England cricket all-rounder Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff wins the 2005 BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
  • Amelle Berrabah joins the Sugababes, replacing Mutya Buena who leaves the band.
  • The final-ever episode is aired of the Channel Five soap opera, Family Affairs.

 

The Clubs: Liverpool FC

All statistics correct upto 10th January 2019

All-Time Premier League Record

Played Won Drew Lost Scored Conceded Goal Difference Points No of Seasons
1021 516 258 247 1734 1034 +700 1806 27

 

Most Premier League Appearances

Player Appearances Total
Jamie Carragher 508
Steven Gerrard 504
Sami Hyypia 318
Pepe Reina 285
Robbie Fowler 266
Lucas 247
Martin Skrtel 242
Steve McManaman 240
John Arne Riise 234
Jamie Redknapp 231

 

Most Premier League Goals

Player Goals Total
Robbie Fowler 128
Steven Gerrard 121
Michael Owen 118
Luis Suarez 69
Fernando Torres 65
Dirk Kuyt 51
Daniel Sturridge 51
Ian Rush 45
Mohamed Salah 45
Roberto Firmino 44

 

Biggest Premier League Victories

Match Date Season
Liverpool FC 7-1 Southampton 16th January 1999 1998-1999
Liverpool FC 6-0 Manchester City 28th October 1995 1995-1996
Ipswich Town 0-6 Liverpool FC 9th February 2002 2001-2002
West Bromwich Albion 0-6 Liverpool FC 26th April 2003 2002-2003
Liverpool FC 6-0 Derby County 1st September 2007 2007-2008
Newcastle United 0-6 Liverpool FC 27th April 2013 2012-2013
Aston Villa 0-6 Liverpool FC 14th February 2016 2015-2016
Crystal Palace 1-6 Liverpool FC 20th August 1994 1994-1995
Liverpool FC 6-1 Hull City 26th September 2009 2009-2010
Liverpool FC 6-1 Watford 6th November 2016 2016-2017

 

Worst Premier League Defeats

Match Date Season
Stoke City 6-1 Liverpool FC 24th May 2015 2014-2015
Manchester City 5-0 Liverpool FC 9th September 2017 2017-2018
Coventry City 5-1 Liverpool FC 19th December 1992 1992-1993
Chelsea 4-0 Liverpool FC 16th December 2001 2001-2002
Manchester United 4-0 Liverpool FC 5th April 2003 2002-2003
Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 Liverpool FC 18th September 2011 2011-2012
Blackburn Rovers 4-1 Liverpool FC 3rd April 1993 1992-1993
Chelsea 4-1 Liverpool FC 25th April 1998 1997-1998
Liverpool FC 1-4 Chelsea 2nd October 2005 2005-2006
Arsenal 4-1 Liverpool FC 4th April 2015 2014-2015

 

Managers

Manager No of Seasons managed Left the Club
Graeme Souness 2 28th January 1994
Roy Evans 6 11th November 1998
Gerard Houllier 6 30th June 2004
Rafa Benitez 6 3rd June 2010
Roy Hodgson 1 7th January 2011
Kenny Dalglish 2 16th May 2012
Brendan Rodgers 4 4th October 2015
Jurgen Klopp 4  

 

Highest Home Attendances

Match Date Attendance Figure Season
Liverpool FC 4-1 Cardiff City 27th October 2018 53,373 2018-2019
Liverpool FC 1-0 Brighton & Hove Albion 25th August 2018 53,294 2018-2019
Liverpool FC 2-2 AFC Bournemouth 5th April 2017 53,292 2016-2017
Liverpool FC 2-0 Newcastle United 3rd March 2018 53,287 2017-2018
Liverpool FC 5-0 Watford 17th March 2018 53,287 2017-2018
Liverpool FC 4-3 Manchester City 14th January 2018 53,285 2017-2018
Liverpool FC 3-0 Huddersfield Town 28th October 2017 53,268 2017-2018
Liverpool FC 3-0 Southampton 18th November 2017 53,256 2017-2018
Liverpool FC 4-1 West Ham United 24th February 2018 53,256 2017-2018
Liverpool FC 0-0 Stoke City 28th April 2018 53,255 2017-2018

 

Intro

Liverpool FC is one of just six teams to have featured in every single Premier League season but their wait for a league championship goes on. It is now 29 years since the top-flight title arrived in the Anfield trophy cabinet and that was before the Premier League era. The Reds have experienced some near-misses under Roy Evans (1997), Gerard Houllier (2002), Rafa Benitez (2009) and Brendan Rodgers (2014). However, Jurgen Klopp’s current set of players are in a fantastic position to end the league famine – remaining unbeaten through the first half of the current campaign.

 

1992-1993

Manager Graeme Souness continued to reshape an ageing squad, signing goalkeeper David James and forward Paul Stewart but the Reds showed no consistency throughout the inaugural Premier League season. They were in the bottom half for much of the campaign and only a run of seven wins in their last 12 matches took the Reds into a fortunate finish of sixth position in the table. His absence from the 6-2 final day win over Tottenham Hotspur because of being on a ‘scouting mission’ increased speculation his tenure at Anfield was coming to an end.

 

1993-1994

Liverpool FC started 1993-1994 with three successive victories and things seemed to be looking up but the inconsistency remained and they were a lowly 13th in the table on Christmas Day. There was a rousing comeback from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 with Manchester United in early January but weeks later, Souness departed after a humiliating FA Cup exit at home to Bristol City. Roy Evans was promoted into the managerial hotseat and guided the club to eighth position in the final table, also allowing hotshot Robbie Fowler to make his mark in the first-team.

 

1994-1995

Liverpool FC became winners once again in Evans’ first full season as manager with two Steve McManaman goals guiding them to victory in the League Cup final over Bolton Wanderers. In the Premier League, there were also radical improvements with a fourth place finish despite failing to beat Everton in either Merseyside Derby, plus a 1-0 home loss to bottom club Ipswich Town.

 

1995-1996

Having paid a national record £8.5 million for Nottingham Forest striker Stan Collymore in the close season, Liverpool FC were many people’s favourites for the league title in 1995-1996 but they fell short, finishing third in the table behind Manchester United and Newcastle United. For the second year in a row, Robbie Fowler won the PFA Young Player of the Year award and finished runner-up to Alan Shearer in the race for the Golden Boot. November was the month where Liverpool’s challenge for the title ultimately died, collecting just one point from 12 available.

 

1996-1997

1996-1997 was a missed opportunity for Liverpool FC who topped the table going into New Years’ Day, holding a five-point advantage. However, they dropped silly points at Anfield, including a shock 2-1 home loss to bottom-placed Coventry City in early April. There was also David James, who made a series of errors which earned him the nickname ‘Calamity James,’ and the ‘Spice Boys’ culture with the media believing some of the players preferring partying and socialising to winning football matches. The Reds finished fourth, missing out on a second-place finish on goal difference and pressure started to grow on Evans’ management.

 

1997-1998

The emergence of 18-year-old Michael Owen was the highlight in an unspectacular season for the club. Owen won the PFA Young Player of the Year award and was the joint-winner of the Golden Boot alongside Dion Dublin and Chris Sutton. Owen’s goals came at a good time as Robbie Fowler’s progress was stalled by a serious knee injury in the closing stages of February’s 1-1 Merseyside Derby draw. Liverpool FC finished third, a distant 13 points behind champions Arsenal.

 

1998-1999

The Liverpool FC board decided to act on previous shortcomings by bringing in Gerard Houllier to work alongside Roy Evans as joint-managers. It was a partnership that never looked like working out. Despite amassing 10 points from their first four matches, including a quick-fire Owen hat-trick at St James’ Park, the writing was on the wall from the moment Liverpool drew 3-3 at home with newly-promoted Charlton Athletic. After a League Cup defeat at home to Tottenham Hotspur, Evans resigned in mid-November with the club only 11th in the Premier League table.

Houllier was left in sole charge but fortunes continued to flirt from a 7-1 thumping of Southampton to a 1-0 loss at The Valley to Charlton. Liverpool finished a poor seventh in the table but Owen finished joint-holder of the Golden Boot for the second season running. However, Steve McManaman would leave at the end of the season for Real Madrid via the Bosman ruling.

 

1999-2000

Houllier made seven close-season signings and with former defender Phil Thompson installed as assistant manager, Liverpool started to recover and become a leading Premier League force again. There were still bumps in the road with home defeats to Watford and Everton, plus an FA Cup exit to First Division Blackburn Rovers. However, Liverpool challenged for UEFA Champions League qualification all season. A five-game winning run and the £11 million signing of Emile Heskey took Liverpool into second spot before a bad end to the season with no wins and no goals from their last five outings cost the Reds a top three finish. Fourth place was the final outcome.

 

2000-2001

Nick Barmby made the move across Stanley Park, whilst Gary McAllister and Christian Ziege were also added to an increased strength in-depth in the squad. Liverpool FC enjoyed a trophy-laden season with their own unique treble of cups, winning the League Cup, FA Cup and UEFA Cup. In the Premier League, a 4-0 final day win over Charlton Athletic at The Valley secured third place and a spot in the following season’s UEFA Champions League. Steven Gerrard’s development continued as the youngster won PFA Young Player of the Year honours and there was also a memorable league double over bitter rivals Manchester United for the first time in the Premier League era.

 

2001-2002

In mid-October at half-time of a Premier League match with Leeds United, Gerard Houllier was rushed to hospital complaining of chest pains. He required emergency heart surgery and was out of action for five months. Phil Thompson stepped into the breach and did remarkably well to keep the Reds fighting on two fronts, despite a run of one win in nine Premier League matches during the winter months.

Michael Owen’s stock continued to rise as he won the Ballon d’Or and there was another league double over Manchester United with Danny Murphy scoring the winner at Old Trafford for the second season running.

Houllier returned to the dugout in mid-March and spearheaded Liverpool FC to their best-ever Premier League finish of second spot and 80 points achieved, only finishing behind Arsenal. Second spot was achieved on the final day by a 5-0 home victory over Ipswich with John Arne Riise, one of the signings of the season, scoring twice.

 

2002-2003

Liverpool FC’s domestic service was faultless in the early months with the club stringing together a 12-match unbeaten run. However, a late 1-0 reverse to Middlesbrough in November started a calamitous run of 11 games without a victory that dropped the Reds out of the title race. By early January, they sat seventh and in severe danger of missing out on a top-four finish.

Houllier’s signings of Salif Diao, Bruno Cheyrou and El-Hadji Diouf all turned out to be expensive flops but a second League Cup triumph in three years softened the blow of an average league season which ended with defeat at Chelsea, a fifth place finish and only UEFA Cup football at Anfield for the following campaign.

 

2003-2004

Houllier attempted to revive his fortunes with the arrival of Harry Kewell from Leeds United whilst Djibril Cisse was signed for the following campaign from Auxerre. Injuries plagued Liverpool’s campaign with Jamie Carragher, Milan Baros, Steve Finnan and Owen all missing significant portions of the season but Liverpool’s league form was poor. 1-0 victories away at Chelsea and Manchester United were the only major highlights. Liverpool scraped a fourth place finish but eight days after the season concluded, Houllier’s tenure was brought to an end by the board with the club finishing a whopping 30 points behind unbeaten champions Arsenal in the final standings.

 

2004-2005

After winning two La Liga titles in three seasons and the UEFA Cup, Rafa Benitez arrived in June to replace Houllier. He managed to persuade his high-profile skipper Steven Gerrard to stay on but Michael Owen departed in an £8 million move to Real Madrid. Once again, injuries marred Liverpool’s domestic challenge and they finished fifth and even further behind the league champions – 37 points this time off Chelsea’s searing pace.

However, LFC’s campaign was all about their UEFA Champions League run. Gerrard’s dramatic strike against Olympiacos saw the club progress into the knockout rounds where the champions of Italy Juventus and new English champions Chelsea were both dumped out. In the final in Istanbul, Liverpool fell 3-0 down to AC Milan but stormed back to 3-3 in a miraculous recovery, led by the inspirational Gerrard. Jerzy Dudek’s heroics in the penalty shootout saw Liverpool record a historic fifth European Cup triumph, keeping the famous trophy in the Anfield trophy cabinet for good.

 

2005-2006

As Champions of Europe, Liverpool FC were now firmly back among the elite of European football. 2005-2006 saw more trophy glory for Rafa Benitez and Gerrard once again led by example, scoring twice in a thrilling FA Cup final against West Ham United which saw the Merseysiders triumph on penalties again. There was also progress in the Premier League. Despite a stuttering start, Liverpool produced two lengthy winning sequences during the league campaign on their way to third place and a new points-high tally of 82 points. Gerrard won the PFA Players’ Player of the Year and Robbie Fowler was re-signed, five years after leaving for Leeds United.

 

2006-2007

Liverpool FC’s failure to win away from Anfield or score in open play on their travels until early December scuppered any chances of a title tilt. The Reds finished third again but further off the pace set by Manchester United and Chelsea. Peter Crouch scored a perfect hat-trick in a 4-1 win over Arsenal whilst Robbie Fowler said an emotional farewell to his boyhood club in his second spell. Once again, the UEFA Champions League dominated Liverpool’s season with another final appearance against AC Milan – although this time, it ended in defeat in Athens.

 

2007-2008

Fernando Torres was acquired for a club-record transfer fee as Liverpool FC looked to bridge the gap between them and the regular championship contenders. Torres did score 24 times in the Premier League and the Reds stayed unbeaten until mid-December. There were just four league defeats but too many draws proved costly for LFC and Benitez as they finished fourth – 11 points clear of fifth place Everton but also, 11 points behind the champions Manchester United.

 

2008-2009

Liverpool FC launched their closest title tilt, finishing just four points shy of Manchester United, having lost just two matches and scored more goals than any other side in the division. Steven Gerrard put in another immaculate individual campaign which saw him win the Football Writers’ Award and the Reds stayed unbeaten all throughout the season at Anfield. Unfortunately, seven home draws against the likes of Stoke City, Fulham and West Ham United would have significant damage and dropping these points would be a decisive factor. The club also said a fond farewell to Sami Hyypia. The Finn left at the end of the season for Bayer 04 Leverkusen after 10 years, 318 appearances and plenty of memorable memories.

 

2009-2010

Selling Xabi Alonso in pre-season to Real Madrid and replacing him with injury-plagued Alberto Aquilani was the beginning of the end for Rafa Benitez. Liverpool FC had a miserable season which included a group stage exit from the UEFA Champions League and FA Cup demise at the hands of Reading at Anfield. It wasn’t much better in the league. The Reds finished a distant seventh and a deteriorating relationship with American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett sealed Benitez’s fate. The Spaniard left the club in June whilst Hicks and Gillett put Liverpool FC up for sale.

 

2010-2011

LMA Manager of the Year Roy Hodgson succeeded Rafa Benitez as Liverpool FC manager but struggled badly to get the best out of his players. Liverpool’s decline reached drastic proportions in early October when they lost at home to newly-promoted Blackpool, leaving them in the bottom three. Meanwhile, the club was sold to Fenway Sports Group, who persisted with Hodgson until early January. He left after a 3-1 loss to Blackburn Rovers left Liverpool 12th in the Premier League and only four points above the relegation zone.

Playing legend and former manager Kenny Dalglish returned in a caretaker capacity until the end of the season and steered the club to a sixth place finish. Liverpool also bought Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll in the January transfer window, whilst selling star striker Fernando Torres to Chelsea for a British transfer record fee of £50 million.

 

2011-2012

Dalglish was given a three-year contract to stay on as manager and signed the likes of Charlie Adam, Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson in pre-season. Liverpool FC had a quiet season in the Premier League, finishing only eighth in the table and below Merseyside rivals Everton for only the second time in 20 years. The main incident was Luis Suarez being found guilty of racially abusing Patrice Evra during a Premier League match against Manchester United. Suarez was given an eight-match ban. Although Liverpool won the League Cup final on penalties and reached the FA Cup final, Dalglish was sacked four days after the season ended due to their poor final league position.

 

2012-2013

It was Swansea City manager Brendan Rodgers who was selected as Dalglish’s successor and Rodgers added Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge to the squad in the January transfer window, forming the formidable ‘SAS’ partnership with Luis Suarez. Suarez finished as runner-up to Robin van Persie in the race for the Golden Boot but again, committed a serious act on-the-pitch with a biting incident on Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic which landed the Uruguayan with a 10-match ban. Liverpool FC finished seventh in the table and the club’s highest-ever Premier League appearance maker, Jamie Carragher retired at the end of the season to start a television punditry career with Sky Sports.

 

2013-2014

Liverpool FC scored over 100 Premier League goals and produced some memorable moments in a titanic Premier League title scrap with Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea. The Reds thrashed Tottenham Hotspur 5-0 at White Hart Lane, commandingly defeated outgoing champions Manchester United 3-0 at Old Trafford and scored an extraordinary four goals in the first 20 minutes of a 5-1 rout against Arsenal.

An emotional 3-2 victory over Manchester City in mid-April put Liverpool in control of their fate and it looked like the league championship might be heading back to Anfield. Unfortunately, Steven Gerrard’s crucial slip against Chelsea allowed Demba Ba in to score the first goal of the Blues’ 2-0 victory at Anfield two weeks after the City victory. A late collapse at Selhurst Park a week later effectively handed Manchester City the title which they secured on the last day of the season.

A rejuvenated Luis Suarez won the Golden Boot with 31 goals and swept the board in the main individual awards. He would leave that summer in a £75 million move to Barcelona after another biting incident whilst playing at the World Cup finals for Uruguay.

 

2014-2015

After the runners-up finish in 2013-2014, hopes were high for a Liverpool FC title challenge in 2014-2015 but they simply failed to materialise. A poor start with seven losses recorded by mid-November plus the failed gamble with signing Mario Balotelli meant the Reds played no significant part in the title race.

A calamitous 6-1 final day defeat away at Stoke City left Liverpool in a distant sixth place whilst legendary skipper Steven Gerrard decided to leave at the end of the season and finish his playing career with LA Galaxy in the United States. Gerrard made 504 Premier League appearances across 17 years, scoring 121 goals but the main Premier League prize would ultimately elude him.

 

2015-2016

Liverpool’s board decided to stick with Brendan Rodgers but just three wins from the club’s first eight matches left the Reds in mid-table in early October. Hours after a 1-1 draw at Goodison Park with Everton, Rodgers was sacked and replaced by Jurgen Klopp. Klopp’s ‘gegenpress’ style brought about impressive victories over Chelsea and Manchester City, plus a Boxing Day triumph over eventual champions Leicester City. Liverpool finished in eighth place and reached both the League Cup and UEFA Europa League finals, losing both.

 

2016-2017

Jurgen Klopp’s first full season in the Liverpool FC dugout saw the club return to the elite of European football as they qualified for the UEFA Champions League with a fourth place finish. Klopp added Sadio Mane and Georginio Wijnaldum to his squad in pre-season and Liverpool made an early impression with a thrilling 4-3 victory over Arsenal on the opening weekend. Liverpool sat second on New Years’ Day but just one win from their opening six matches in 2017 saw the club drop to fifth. Important wins included Emre Can’s spectacular Goal of the Season strike to defeat Watford before a final day 3-0 victory over Middlesbrough saw the Merseysiders edge out Arsenal to a spot in Europe’s premier club competition for the following season.

 

2017-2018

Liverpool FC signed Mohamed Salah in the summer from AS Roma and the Egyptian enjoyed an extraordinary season, breaking the record for most goals scored in a 38-game Premier League season, as well as winning the Golden Boot and PFA Players’ Player of the Year. Salah’s goals helped Liverpool to finish in fourth place for the second successive season, although they were 25 points adrift of runaway champions Manchester City.

There was also a memorable run to the UEFA Champions League final which ended with a 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid whilst Virgil van Dijk was signed in January for a new world record fee for a defender, costing the club £75 million from Southampton.

 

2018-2019

Following Loris Karius’ miserable night in the Champions League final, Klopp finally addressed the goalkeeping issue by paying AS Roma over £65 million for Brazilian no.1 Allison. Liverpool have made an extraordinary start to the season, remaining undefeated until a recent 2-1 loss to Manchester City. They have dropped just nine points in their first 21 matches of the season and hold a four-point lead at the top of the table.

Highlights include a 5-1 thrashing of Arsenal, Divock Origi’s crazy and dramatic last-gasp winner in December’s Merseyside Derby and a 3-1 success over Manchester United which led to the Red Devils sacking Jose Mourinho two days later.

Premier League Rewind: 28th-30th September 2002

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

Still undefeated at the start of the season, champions Arsenal were looking in irresistible form at the end of September 2002. The Gunners travelled to Elland Road to face Leeds United, aiming at more records and this performance demonstrated the growing gulfing gap that was emerging between the two sides.

Kanu’s opening goal after nine minutes ensured Arsenal had now scored in 47 successive top-flight matches, breaking a record that had stood for 71 years that had been held by Chesterfield. Kolo Toure’s header and a trademark Thierry Henry strike made it 3-0 just after half-time. Although Harry Kewell did pull a late consolation back for the hosts, Kanu’s second of the afternoon ensured a 4-1 win for Arsenal who blew Leeds apart. Terry Venables’ side had lost four of their first eight matches, whilst Arsenal maintained their two-point lead at the top.

Like the men from north London, Liverpool FC were still unbeaten too and they responded later that afternoon with their own masterclass away from home. Manchester City had no answer for the Reds and in particular, Michael Owen. Owen had made an indifferent start to the 2002-2003 campaign, scoring just once and that was from the penalty spot against Newcastle United. However, he rediscovered his scoring touch on Liverpool’s last league visit to Maine Road. Owen scored a hat-trick in Liverpool’s 3-0 victory.

In total, there were seven away victories across the weekend, making a complete mockery of the term ‘home advantage.’ One of the most impressive performances came from Middlesbrough who ran out convincing 3-0 winners at White Hart Lane over Tottenham Hotspur. Massimo Maccarone, Geremi and Joseph Desire-Job all scored and Boro had quietly asserted themselves into the Premier League’s top three. Having topped the table themselves in August, Tottenham had dropped to sixth and lost three of their last four matches. It looked set to be another inconsistent season for Glenn Hoddle and his troops.

Although they hadn’t found their peak form yet, Manchester United were just six points off the early pacesetters. They recovered from a Claus Jensen blockbuster to defeat Charlton Athletic 3-1 at The Valley and record their first win away from Old Trafford in the season. Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Ruud van Nistelrooy were all on-target for the visitors.

Chelsea dropped to fifth after losing their first Premier League match of the season. Once again, Paolo Di Canio was the man who caused them problems. Di Canio had taken a real liking to playing Chelsea throughout his career and he was at it again at Stamford Bridge, spearheading West Ham United to a 3-2 victory and their first win of the season. The maverick Italian scored twice, including the winner of September’s Goal of the Month but it wasn’t enough to lift the Hammers off the foot of the Premier League table.

Southampton remained in the bottom three after eight games after conceding a 90th minute equaliser to Youri Djorkaeff of Bolton Wanderers in a 1-1 draw between the sides at The Reebok Stadium. Lastly, Sunderland achieved a rare victory as David Bellion’s 70th minute goal defeated Aston Villa 1-0 at The Stadium of Light. The win would turn out to be Peter Reid’s final home match as manager. He parted company with the club 10 days later.

What else happened in September 2002?

  • The first anniversary of the September 11th 2001 attacks is marked by many services and memorials across the United States.
  • The body of the abducted British schoolgirl Amanda Dowler is found in remote woodland near Hampshire.
  • An earthquake is felt in Dudley which causes minor structural damage but no injuries. It is the biggest earthquake to strike the UK in 12 years, registering 4.7 on the Richter scale.
  • Switzerland becomes a full member of the United Nations.
  • Serena Williams and Pete Sampras win the singles’ events at the US Open. In Sampras’ case, his win over Andre Agassi is his 14th Grand Slam – the last of his phenomenal career.
  • Team Europe claims back The Ryder Cup from the United States at The Belfry in the first tournament of the 21st century. It had been postponed in 2001 due to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
  • ‘Top of the Pops’ airs its 2000th edition.

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

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

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

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

Iconic Moments: A striking star is born at Selhurst (May 1997)

Michael Owen had a knack throughout his schoolboy days of scoring goals for a living. As he climbed rapidly through the youth ranks at Liverpool FC, it looked like the Merseysiders had another young superstar about to make a sudden emergence on the first-team.

Owen was looking to follow in the footsteps of Robbie Fowler back in 1993 when he emerged from nowhere to become a prolific goalscorer for LFC as soon as he reached the senior side. Rated as the best attacker of his age in the country, Owen was put on the bench for Liverpool’s penultimate match of the 1996-1997 Premier League campaign which was a tricky trip to Selhurst Park to play Wimbledon.

Liverpool still had an outside shot of winning the title but those faint chances evaporated when they went 2-0 down thanks to goals from Jason Euell and Dean Holdsworth. Boss Roy Evans decided to throw Owen on in the vain hope of finding three goals to take the title fight to the last day.

16 minutes from time, Stig Inge Bjornebye steered a pass through and Owen raced onto the ball and showed great maturity in dispatching the ball into the Wimbledon net. It wasn’t enough on the night as Liverpool lost 2-1 but Owen’s cameo was a sign of things to come. The Liverpool Echo said a day later: “Only teenage substitute Michael Owen could emerge with any credit from a performance that mocked Anfield’s rich traditions before time started running out.”

In all competitions, Owen scored 158 goals for Liverpool FC before leaving for Real Madrid in the summer of 2004. The Premier League title eluded him in his Anfield days but he did win five trophies in 2001, and was crowned the European Football of the Year – the last Englishman to do so.

And it all started on a lifeless night for Liverpool in general where a striking star was born at Selhurst.

The Managers: Mauricio Pochettino

Premier League Clubs Managed: Southampton (2013-2014), Tottenham Hotspur (2014-PRESENT)

Mauricio Pochettino is one of the brightest talents in management. His Tottenham Hotspur sides have been a joy to watch over the past two and a half years. He has transformed Tottenham from a team that used to be frustratingly inconsistent into regular title challengers.

So far, Pochettino hasn’t quite managed to win any silverware as a manager but his time is coming and so is that of a rising Tottenham side that even in 2017-2018, seem to have been the most consistent side beyond the dominance at Manchester City.

To think that this was a man who when he was controversially appointed as Southampton manager in January 2013 was best-known for ‘fouling’ Michael Owen in Sapporo during the 2002 World Cup finals.

Tough and uncompromising

Football was engrossed into Pochettino’s life at a very early age. He watched on closely at the 1978 World Cup, as host nation Argentina won the trophy for the first time. He was just six years old when the likes of Ardiles, Kempes and Villa proved too good for the rest of the world.

Just over a decade later, he was playing professional football in his home country, winning the national championship in 1991 with Newell’s Old Boys. Even at this age, he was learning methods and tactics from his manager at the time, Marcelo Bielsa, who would go on to manage both Argentina and Chile at World Cup final competitions.

Aged 22, Pochettino made the move into mainland Europe, joining Espanyol in 1994. The Catalans had just been promoted back to La Liga and moulded Pochettino into a tough but uncompromising defender. His first spell with the club lasted nearly seven years, winning the Copa del Rey in the year 2000.

He joined French heavyweights Paris Saint-Germain in January 2001, spending two years with the Parisians. After one further campaign in France with Bordeaux, he returned to Espanyol to close down his playing career in 2006, winning a second Copa del Rey in the process.

Did he trip Owen?

Mauricio won 20 caps for Argentina between 1999 and 2002. He started every game at the 2002 World Cup, where Argentina came into the tournament in Asia as co-favourites with many of the pundits and bookmakers.

They faced old foes in England in their second match. A minute before half-time, Italian referee Pierluigi Collina penalised Pochettino for fouling Michael Owen in the penalty area. David Beckham duly converted the spot-kick to set England up for a 1-0 victory and their first in the World Cup against Argentina since 1966.

To this day, Pochettino is adamant that contact wasn’t made between him and Owen and when you look at replays, the forward certainly threw himself to the ground to win the penalty. If you were an Englishman though, you probably didn’t care about this element.

Argentina crashed out in the group stages after drawing their final match with Sweden and Pochettino would never play for the international side again.

His coaching career began with the club where he wound down his playing time, Espanyol. He took over in January 2009 with the club in the bottom three and saw him managing nine players who were his teammates just three years earlier. Immediately, Pochettino began to influence his high-pressing system, which has become a trait throughout his management career. He guided Espanyol to a mid-table finish in 2008-2009 and a first derby victory over Barcelona at the Nou Camp in 27 years, who were managed by Guardiola and on their way to a league and European treble.

He remained manager of the club until November 2012, leaving after a poor start to the 2012-2013 season that left Espanyol bottom of La Liga with just nine points from 13 games. He won 53 of his 161 matches in-charge of them and financial restrictions also played a part in his departure.

His next job would see him head for the Premier League in unexpected fashion.

Building on solid foundations

In January 2013, newly-promoted Southampton had just produced an excellent comeback at Stamford Bridge to hold Chelsea to a 2-2 draw. Yet, they sacked manager Nigel Adkins just 48 hours later. It seemed like a harsh decision, especially when Pochettino was announced as his immediate replacement.

He didn’t speak any English – at least in media conferences and despite receiving high praise for his work with Espanyol, there was a lot of caution at this appointment that had been made by the Southampton hierarchy. They needn’t have worried.

A goalless draw with Everton was followed by a narrow loss at Old Trafford, then a wonderful 3-1 victory at home to champions Manchester City. Liverpool FC and Chelsea were also vanquished on the south coast by the end of the season. Southampton survived pretty comfortably.

Pochettino was able to get the maximum out of all his players and improved many too. The likes of Luke Shaw, Jay Rodriguez, Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert especially flourished underneath his coaching methods. His high-pressing, attacking brand of football worked at St Mary’s as Southampton improved to an outstanding eighth-place finish in the 2013-2014 season, recording their highest points tally in the Premier League too.

A new challenge awaited Mauricio and that was to reawaken the sleeping giant that was Tottenham Hotspur.

Taking Tottenham a major step forward

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy was impressed with Pochettino’s work at Southampton and identified him as the long-term manager for his club after failing to be convinced by both Andre Villas-Boas and Tim Sherwood.

Three weeks after the 2013-2014 season finished, he was appointed Tottenham manager on a five-year contract, becoming the second Argentine to manage the club after Ossie Ardiles. It would take time for Mauricio to stamp his authority on the place. The squad was heavily unbalanced with a lot of deadwood that needed to be removed from the books. The likes of Paulinho, Roberto Soldado and Etienne Capoue were quickly made surplus to requirements by the new manager.

A run to the League Cup final was the main highlight of the 2014-2015 campaign which ended in defeat to Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea. Tottenham finished fifth in the Premier League, beating Chelsea 5-3 along the way whilst the discovery of Harry Kane was one of the best stories of the entire season.

Tottenham went a major step forward and Pochettino’s desire to use the nucleus of talent on young English talent was noted. Kane, Eric Dier, Danny Rose, Kyle Walker and Dele Alli were all impressing greatly. Most of the players bought with the Gareth Bale money had now been moved on, with only Christian Eriksen and Erik Lamela remaining around the first-team setup.

The 2015-2016 season was Tottenham’s first significant tilt at a title challenge. Spurs were the closest challengers to Leicester City in a gripping contest between two surprise packages. Kane won the Golden Boot and Alli the Goal of the Season for a spectacular individual effort against Crystal Palace. Ultimately, defeats at home to Newcastle and away at West Ham meant Tottenham were always playing catch-up.

It all imploded at Stamford Bridge in May 2016. Needing to win to keep Leicester waiting a little bit longer, Tottenham charged into a 2-0 lead against the outgoing champions but lost their composure and temperament. Nine players were booked, Mousa Dembele was charged with violent conduct and the manager even ran onto the pitch to stop a confrontation between Rose and Willian. Chelsea flickered into life in the second half and earned a 2-2 draw that handed the title to Leicester and Claudio Ranieri.

Spurs collapsed mentally after this and lost their final two games to ensure Arsenal finished above them in the Premier League for the 21st consecutive season. However, massive strides had been made by both club and manager.

The next challenge

Tottenham learned from their 2015-2016 experience and pushed a more motivated Chelsea close in the 2016-2017 title battle. Yet again, Kane clinched the Golden Boot and they went through their final season at White Hart Lane before redevelopment undefeated. Only Liverpool FC and Leicester City managed to leave with points for their efforts. Yet again, their challenge ended in a London Derby, this time to West Ham in May but Tottenham rallied to win their final three games, scoring 15 goals in the process.

They finished second and only seven points shy of the champions from across the capital. Only a disappointing European campaign took the gloss off what was another incredible Tottenham season.

Tottenham are playing at Wembley Stadium in 2017-2018 and despite dropping points at home to the likes of Burnley, West Bromwich Albion and Swansea City, they’ve found their groove of late, defeating Manchester United and Arsenal in recent matches. They are a stronger proposition in the UEFA Champions League too and Kane is arguably now the most deadly finisher in world football.

Mauricio Pochettino has come a long way since his first match as a manager with Espanyol. He has so many admirers within the game and with a bit more luck and experience, he will win silverware. It is a more a question of when it will happen, rather than if.

Premier League Rewind: 18th-19th August 2001

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

The opening weekend of the 2001-2002 Premier League season saw 28 goals in its first weekend with a new title sponsor. Barclaycard had taken over sponsorship rights over the summer from Carling.

Fulham were welcomed into the Premier League family and they had a daunting first fixture too against reigning Premier League champions Manchester United. Sir Alex Ferguson was looking to achieve four titles in a row in what at the time we thought was going to be his final campaign in the dugout at Old Trafford.

They were pushed all the way by the newcomers, with Louis Saha making an immediate impression. The Frenchman scored twice as Fulham led twice but their best efforts were cancelled out by United’s new £19 million striker. Ruud van Nistelrooy helped himself to a debut double and the home side came away with all three points in a nervy 3-2 victory.

Unlike Fulham, Blackburn Rovers and Bolton Wanderers did boast previous Premier League experience. They both returned to the top-flight on this weekend, with mixed fortunes. Blackburn lost 2-1 at Derby County, as Fabrizio Ravanelli scored a trademark free-kick on his return to English football.

On the other hand, Bolton had a day to savour at Filbert Street, crushing Leicester City 5-0. The outstanding Per Frandsen scored two free-kicks and Kevin Nolan also scored twice as the pressure cranked up on Leicester boss Peter Taylor.

There was a bad-tempered match on Teeside as Arsenal travelled to Middlesbrough. Steve McClaren’s first game as a Premier League boss ended in a 4-0 home defeat as Arsenal began their extraordinary run of scoring in every single league match in the season. Both Ugo Ehiogu and Ray Parlour were sent off with two late goals by Dennis Bergkamp making the scoreline look more flattering than how the actual game developed.

Liverpool FC had Michael Owen to thank once again. Owen continued where he left off from the previous season in his dream year which saw him finish as the European Footballer of the Year. He scored twice as the Reds defeated West Ham United 2-1 at Anfield. Lastly, Chelsea and Newcastle United shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge. This match was more notable as it was the first game in the UK that was made available via a pay-per-view subscription model. Premiership Plus would be around on the Sky platform for the next five seasons.

What else happened in August 2001?

  • Former royal butler Paul Burrell is charged with theft of items that belonged to Diana, Princess of Wales. The prosecution collapses three months later.
  • A plane crash in the Bahamas claims the life of American R&B performer Aaliyah and eight members of her record company. She was just 22-years-old.
  • Law goes into effect in Germany legalizing same-sex registered partnerships.
  • Whitney Houston signs the largest contract in music history with Arista Records, a six-album deal worth over $100 million.
  • Michael Schumacher wins the FIA Formula One World Championship with victory in the Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest. It is the German’s fourth world title.
  • The BBC introduces a fourth weekly episode of EastEnders, to be broadcast at 8pm every Friday night.

Iconic Moments: The greatest Manchester Derby ever? (September 2009)

Some say it is one of the greatest games the Premier League has ever seen.  Certainly, it is one of the finest Manchester derbies to have ever been played. The meeting of Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford in September 2009 was a special occasion.

It was the first time back at the Theatre of Dreams for Carlos Tevez since his controversial switch across the city that summer but his new club were quickly behind. Wayne Rooney opened the scoring inside three minutes.  It was 1-1 at half-time though. Tevez robbed Ben Foster of possession and Gareth Barry scored his first Manchester City goal.

Goals were exchanged throughout a belting second half. There were braces for both Darren Fletcher and Craig Bellamy. Bellamy’s second goal came on the brink of time added on and made the score 3-3. It looked like the points would be shared. However, this was Manchester United in “Fergie Time.”

Ryan Giggs picked out a wonderful pass for substitute Michael Owen. Owen kept his composure to beat Shay Given and score his first goal at Old Trafford since his summer arrival from Newcastle United. On the touchline, Mark Hughes was seething.  He felt the allotted time had been played well before Owen’s winner.  For now, the noisy neighbours had been silenced but the rivalry between the two clubs was greater than it ever had been.

It was an entertaining and dramatic contest which was voted the ‘Greatest Match’ by fans at the 20 Seasons awards in 2012.

Seasonal Records: 1997-1998

For all the statistical fans out there, here are some of the season’s records from the 1997-1998 Premier League season, as a third Premier League team emerged as a championship-winning side.

FINAL TABLE

Position Team P W D L F A GD PTS
1 Arsenal 38 23 9 6 68 33 +35 78
2 Manchester United 38 23 8 7 73 26 +47 77
3 Liverpool FC 38 18 11 9 68 42 +26 65
4 Chelsea 38 20 3 15 71 43 +28 63
5 Leeds United 38 17 8 13 57 46 +11 59
6 Blackburn Rovers 38 16 10 12 57 52 +5 58
7 Aston Villa 38 17 6 15 49 48 +1 57
8 West Ham United 38 16 8 14 56 57 -1 56
9 Derby County 38 16 7 15 52 49 +3 55
10 Leicester City 38 13 14 11 51 41 +10 53
11 Coventry City 38 12 16 10 46 44 +2 52
12 Southampton 38 14 6 18 50 55 -5 48
13 Newcastle United 38 11 11 16 35 44 -9 44
14 Tottenham Hotspur 38 11 11 16 44 56 -12 44
15 Wimbledon 38 10 14 14 34 46 -12 44
16 Sheffield Wednesday 38 12 8 18 52 67 -15 44
17 Everton 38 9 13 16 41 56 -15 40
18 Bolton Wanderers 38 9 13 16 41 61 -20 40
19 Barnsley 38 10 5 23 37 82 -45 35
20 Crystal Palace 38 8 9 21 37 71 -34 33

THE BASIC STATS

Goals Scored 1019
European qualifiers Arsenal (UEFA Champions League), Manchester United (UEFA Champions League), Liverpool FC (UEFA Cup), Leeds United (UEFA Cup), Blackburn Rovers (UEFA Cup), Aston Villa (UEFA Cup), Chelsea (UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup), Newcastle United (UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup), Crystal Palace (UEFA Intertoto Cup)
Longest winning run 10 games (Arsenal)
Longest unbeaten run 18 games (Arsenal)
Longest winless run 15 games (Crystal Palace)
Longest losing run 8 games (Crystal Palace)
Highest attendance 55,306 (Manchester United vs. Wimbledon)
Lowest attendance 7,688 (Wimbledon vs. Barnsley)

AWARDS

PFA Players’ Player of the Year Dennis Bergkamp (Arsenal)
PFA Young Player of the Year Michael Owen (Liverpool FC)
Football Writers’ Award Dennis Bergkamp (Arsenal)
PFA Team of the Year Nigel Martyn, Graeme Le Saux, Colin Hendry, Gary Pallister, Gary Neville, David Batty, Nicky Butt, David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Dennis Bergkamp, Michael Owen
Manager of the Year Arsene Wenger (Arsenal)
Goal of the Season Dennis Bergkamp (Leicester City vs. ARSENAL)

HAT-TRICK HEROES

Player Teams Score Date
Dion Dublin Coventry City vs. Chelsea 3-2 9th August 1997
Chris Sutton Aston Villa vs. Blackburn Rovers 0-4 13th August 1997
Gianluca Vialli (4) Barnsley vs. Chelsea 0-6 24th August 1997
Dennis Bergkamp Leicester City vs. Arsenal 3-3 27th August 1997
Ian Wright Arsenal vs. Bolton Wanderers 4-1 13th September 1997
Patrik Berger Liverpool FC vs. Chelsea 4-2 5th October 1997
Andy Cole Manchester United vs. Barnsley 7-0 25th October 1997
Andy Booth Sheffield Wednesday vs. Bolton Wanderers 5-0 8th November 1997
Gianfranco Zola Chelsea vs. Derby County 4-0 29th November 1997
Tore Andre Flo Tottenham Hotspur vs. Chelsea 1-6 6th December 1997
Duncan Ferguson Everton vs. Bolton Wanderers 3-2 28th December 1997
Kevin Gallacher Blackburn Rovers vs. Aston Villa 5-0 17th January 1998
Michael Owen Sheffield Wednesday vs. Liverpool FC 3-3 14th February 1998
Chris Sutton Blackburn Rovers vs. Leicester City 5-3 28th February 1998
Darren Huckerby Leeds United vs. Coventry City 3-3 25th April 1998
Jurgen Klinsmann (4) Wimbledon vs. Tottenham Hotspur 2-6 2nd May 1998

 

TOP SCORERS

Position Player Teams No of Goals
1= Michael Owen Liverpool FC 18
1= Chris Sutton Blackburn Rovers 18
1= Dion Dublin Coventry City 18
4= Dennis Bergkamp Arsenal 16
4= Andy Cole Manchester United 16
4= Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink Leeds United 16
4= Kevin Gallacher Blackburn Rovers 16
8 John Hartson West Ham United 15
9 Darren Huckerby Coventry City 14
10 Paulo Wanchope Derby County 13
11= Marc Overmars Arsenal 12
11= Dwight Yorke Aston Villa 12
11= Francesco Baiano Derby County 12
11= Paolo di Canio Sheffield Wednesday 12
11= Nathan Blake Bolton Wanderers 12
16= Tore Andre Flo Chelsea 11
16= Matt Le Tissier Southampton 11
16= Steve McManaman Liverpool FC 11
16= Gianluca Vialli Chelsea 11
16= Duncan Ferguson Everton 11
16= Egil Ostenstad Southampton 11
22= Ian Wright Arsenal 10
22= Rod Wallace Leeds United 10
22= Emile Heskey Leicester City 10
22= Neil Redfearn Barnsley 10

BIGGEST VICTORIES

Manchester United 7-0 Barnsley 25th October 1997
Barnsley 0-6 Chelsea 24th August 1997
West Ham United 6-0 Barnsley 10th January 1998
Blackburn Rovers 7-2 Sheffield Wednesday 25th August 1997
Manchester United 6-1 Sheffield Wednesday 1st November 1997
Tottenham Hotspur 1-6 Chelsea 6th December 1997
Arsenal 5-0 Barnsley 4th October 1997
Liverpool FC 5-0 West Ham United 2nd May 1998
Derby County 0-5 Leeds United 15th March 1998
Blackburn Rovers 5-0 Aston Villa 17th January 1998

 

HIGHEST SCORING GAMES

No of Goals Teams Date
9 Blackburn Rovers 7-2 Sheffield Wednesday 25th August 1997
8 Chelsea 6-2 Crystal Palace 11th March 1998
8 Wimbledon 2-6 Tottenham Hotspur 2nd May 1998
8 Blackburn Rovers 5-3 Leicester City 28th February 1998
7 Manchester United 7-0 Barnsley 25th October 1997
7 Manchester United 6-1 Sheffield Wednesday 1st November 1997
7 Tottenham Hotspur 1-6 Chelsea 6th December 1997
7 Wimbledon 2-5 Manchester United 22nd November 1997
7 Sheffield Wednesday 2-5 Derby County 24th September 1997
7 Bolton Wanderers 5-2 Crystal Palace 2nd May 1998
7 Blackburn Rovers 3-4 Leeds United 14th September 1997
7 West Ham United 4-3 Leicester City 10th May 1998
7 Barnsley 4-3 Southampton 14th March 1998
7 Leeds United 4-3 Derby County 8th November 1997
6 Barnsley 0-6 Chelsea 24th August 1997
6 West Ham United 6-0 Barnsley 10th January 1998
6 Bolton Wanderers 1-5 Coventry City 31st January 1998
6 Liverpool FC 4-2 Chelsea 5th October 1997
6 Chelsea 4-2 Southampton 30th August 1997
6 West Ham United 2-4 Southampton 25th April 1998

 

YOUNGEST PLAYERS USED

Player Teams Age at the time Date
Francis Jeffers Manchester United 2-0 Everton 16 years, 11 months, 1 day 26th December 1997
Gareth Barry Sheffield Wednesday 1-3 Aston Villa 17 years, 2 months, 9 days 2nd May 1998
Michael Owen Wimbledon 1-1 Liverpool FC 17 years, 7 months, 26 days 9th August 1997
Danny Cadamarteri Derby County 3-1 Everton 17 years, 11 months, 1 day 13th September 1997
Michael Ball Newcastle United 1-0 Everton 17 years, 11 months, 22 days 24th September 1997
Junior Agogo Newcastle United 2-1 Sheffield Wednesday 18 years, 8 days 9th August 1997
Stephen McPhail Leicester City 1-0 Leeds United 18 years, 1 month, 29 days 7th February 1998
Aaron Hughes Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 Newcastle United 18 years, 2 months, 2 days 10th January 1998
Richard Dunne Everton 3-2 Bolton Wanderers 18 years, 3 months, 7 days 28th December 1997
Paolo Vernazza Arsenal 1-0 Crystal Palace 18 years, 3 months, 20 days 21st February 1998

 

OLDEST PLAYERS USED

Player Teams Age at the time Date
Steve Ogrizovic Leeds United 3-3 Coventry City 40 years, 7 months, 13 days 25th April 1998
Neville Southall Everton 0-2 Tottenham Hotspur 39 years, 2 months, 13 days 29th November 1997
Peter Beardsley Bolton Wanderers 1-5 Coventry City 37 years, 13 days 31st January 1998
Gary Mabbutt Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Southampton 36 years, 8 months, 17 days 10th May 1998
Peter Shirtliff Southampton 4-1 Barnsley 36 years, 7 months, 2 days 8th November 1997
Dave Watson Everton 1-1 Coventry City 36 years, 5 months, 20 days 10th May 1998
Clive Wilson Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Everton 36 years, 4 months, 22 days 4th April 1998
Ian Rush Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 Newcastle United 36 years, 2 months, 21 days 10th January 1998
Stuart Pearce Newcastle United 3-1 Chelsea 36 years, 8 days 2nd May 1998
Ludek Miklosko Derby County 2-0 West Ham United 35 years, 11 months, 27 days 6th December 1997

 

CLEAN SHEETS

Position Player Teams No of Clean Sheets
1 Peter Schmeichel Manchester United 16
2 Kasey Keller Leicester City 14
3= David Seaman Arsenal 13
3= Mart Poom Derby County 13
5 Ed de Goey Chelsea 12
6= David James Liverpool FC 11
6= Nigel Martyn Leeds United 11
6= Tim Flowers Blackburn Rovers 11
9 Keith Branagan Bolton Wanderers 10
10 Mark Bosnich Aston Villa 9

Premier League Rewind: 17th-20th January 1998

Results: Barnsley 1-0 Crystal Palace, Blackburn Rovers 5-0 Aston Villa, Coventry City 2-2 Arsenal, Leeds United 1-2 Sheffield Wednesday, Leicester City 0-0 Liverpool FC, Newcastle United 2-1 Bolton Wanderers, Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 West Ham United, Wimbledon 0-0 Derby County, Everton 3-1 Chelsea, Southampton 1-0 Manchester United, Liverpool FC 1-0 Newcastle United

On the weekend of 17th-20th January 1998, no-one seemed likely to catch Manchester United. A fifth Premier League title in six seasons looked more likely for the Red Devils’ with every passing week. However, every top team has a bogey ground over the years and theirs was most definitely the Dell.

Having been beaten in April 1996 by the ‘grey shirt’ debacle and then humiliated 6-3 just six months later, Sir Alex Ferguson must have feared the Monday Night visit to the south coast. He was right too. Kevin Davies headed the hosts’ infront inside three minutes before an extraordinary display from Paul Jones, who made save after save to inflict back-to-back away defeats on the champions. It was the third successive season Manchester United would leave Southampton’s ground empty-handed.

Chelsea had been among the main pursuers but their away form was a real cause of concern. This was highlighted in a Super Sunday trip to Goodison Park to take on a struggling Everton side. Although Tore Andre Flo gave Chelsea the lead, that advantage was cancelled out just two minutes later by skipper Gary Speed. Duncan Ferguson and a Michael Duberry own goal completed a positive afternoon for Howard Kendall’s side. It would turn out to be Speed’s final match in Everton colours. He was sold to Newcastle United weeks later.

The Magpies’ were welcoming back their own star asset. Alan Shearer had sustained a serious knee injury in a pre-season tournament at Goodison Park in late July. He came back as a second-half substitute in the home fixture with Bolton Wanderers. Typically, Shearer had a role to play in the winning goal which was scored by Temuri Ketsbaia. The Georgian then lost control of his emotions, ripping his shirt off, before repeating kicking an advertising hoarding. It was a strange reaction but the 2-1 win was a vital result for Newcastle.

After a searing start of their own, Blackburn Rovers’ momentum had been checked in recent weeks and they managed just one win in January 1998. However, it was a great performance to trounce Aston Villa 5-0 at Ewood Park. It meant they defeated Villa by an aggregate score of 9-0 over the two matches they played against each other.

There was a bad-tempered match between Coventry City and Arsenal at Highfield Road. The Sky Blues’ were in excellent form and Gordon Strachan was about to win a Manager of the Month award for his achievements. They had beaten Manchester United a month earlier and held Arsenal up in a 2-2 draw. Both Patrick Vieira and Paul Williams saw red. Dion Dublin’s penalty ensured a share of the spoils against a tired Arsenal side that had gone to penalties earlier that week to overcome plucky Port Vale in the FA Cup.

North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur were also involved in a tempestuous game that weekend. Jurgen Klinsmann’s first goal since returning to the club was overshadowed by a red card for West Ham’s Samassi Abou. Abou proceeded to manhandle referee David Elleray and he had to be helped from the field by manager Harry Redknapp. Tottenham’s Colin Calderwood decided to get involved in the confrontation which saw the pair nearly come to blows. For the record, Tottenham won 1-0.

There was one match extra on this weekend and a third clash in little over a month between Liverpool FC and Newcastle United. Michael Owen scored the only goal in Liverpool’s 1-0 victory to complete a hat-trick of wins for the Reds’ over Dalglish’s Toon Army. This game had initially been scheduled for 31 August 1997 but was postponed as a mark of respect following the death of Princess Diana in a car accident in Paris.

What else happened in January 1998?

  • US president Bill Clinton’s integrity is called into question as reports emerge of his alleged affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Later in the month in a live statement to the American nation, Clinton makes the famous vow: “I want to say one thing to the American people; I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.”
  • A life imprisonment is handed down to Ramzi Yousef for his role in the first bombing of the World Trade Centre in 1993.
  • Manchester United footballer David Beckham and Spice Girl Victoria Adams (Posh Spice) announce their engagement.
  • France’s new national sports stadium, the Stade de France in Paris is officially opened ahead of that summer’s World Cup.
  • Titanic, Dame Judi Dench and Peter Fonda are among the winners at the 55th Golden Globes.
  • The Denver Broncos beat the Green Bay Packers 31-24 to win Super Bowl XXXII.
  • Hayley Patterson, British soap’s first transgender character, is first seen in Coronation Street.