Tag Archives: October

Premier League Rewind: 19th-21st October 2002

Results: Leeds United 0-1 Liverpool FC, Blackburn Rovers 5-2 Newcastle United, Everton 2-1 Arsenal, Fulham 1-1 Manchester United, Manchester City 0-3 Chelsea, Sunderland 0-1 West Ham United, West Bromwich Albion 1-1 Birmingham City, Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 Bolton Wanderers, Charlton Athletic 1-0 Middlesbrough, Aston Villa 0-1 Southampton

Reigning Premier League champions Arsenal were in sensational form ahead of this round of fixtures in the 2002-2003 season. Undefeated in league matches since December 2001, the Gunners travelled to Goodison Park full of confidence and looking to extend their 30-match unbeaten run.

It seemed like it was going to the formbook when Freddie Ljungberg put the Gunners infront meaning they had now scored in 49 consecutive matches. However, this was an Everton side that was beginning to show some real promise under David Moyes. After Lee Carsley had an effort that hit the post, Tomasz Radzinski drove in an equaliser past David Seaman midway through the first half. The game looked like it was going to end in a draw when 16-year-old Wayne Rooney tried his luck from distance and his shot beat Seaman comprehensively. It was his first Premier League goal and ended Arsenal’s 10-month unbeaten sequence in the Premier League. After the game, a gracious Arsene Wenger said: “Rooney is the biggest England talent I’ve seen since I arrived in England.” He wasn’t wrong either judging by how his career worked out.

Arsenal’s slip up on Merseyside meant Liverpool FC finished the weekend top of the table. The Reds had already hit top spot before Arsenal kicked off because their match concluded on Saturday lunchtime and they grabbed a narrow 1-0 victory away at Elland Road over Leeds United. It was a goal scored in Yorkshire but made by two Senegalese players. El-Hadji Diouf’s fine cross was prodded into the back of the net by Salif Diao. It was his first and only Premier League goal as a Liverpool FC player.

Middlesbrough began the weekend in third place but dropped two places after slipping to a 1-0 defeat at The Valley against Charlton Athletic. Jason Euell’s fourth-minute header saw the Addicks climb out of the drop zone with only their third victory from 10 games this season. The team to benefit from Boro’s defeat were Tottenham Hotspur. Glenn Hoddle’s side recorded their sixth victory from 10 outings as they beat Bolton Wanderers 3-1 at White Hart Lane. Robbie Keane was quickly becoming a favourite with the Spurs faithful. He added another two goals to his tally since his late August move from Leeds United.

Manchester United remained in fourth place but required a second half equaliser from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to earn a hard-fought point in a 1-1 draw at Fulham, who consolidated their position in the top half of the table. However, the Cottagers did slip below west London rivals Chelsea in the table after Claudio Ranieri’s side achieved a convincing 3-0 away victory on their last-ever trip to Maine Road against Manchester City. There were two more goals for Gianfranco Zola who was enjoying the limelight in his final season as a Chelsea player.

Sunderland unveiled a new management team after parting company with Peter Reid just before the last international break. Howard Wilkinson returned to Premier League management for the first time in six years, supported by Steve Cotterill. They got off to a shocking start though, losing 1-0 at home to fellow strugglers West Ham United. The Hammers moved into 14th place after achieving their third win in four matches but with just six points covering the entire bottom half of the table, there was still little to separate the struggling teams in this intriguing Premier League season.

What else happened in October 2002?

  • Over 200 people are killed when multiple bombs are planted in two nightclubs on the Indonesian island of Bali. Over 20 UK nationals are among the dead.
  • Chechen rebels take control of the Nord-Ost theatre in Moscow, holding the audience hostage. Following a Russian attempt to subdue the militants, at least 170 people are killed.
  • Estelle Morris steps down as Secretary of State for Education.
  • Hearsay confirms they are going to go their separate ways. Created by the ITV series Popstars, they cite pressure and public abuse for their reasons.
  • Following allegations about his personal life in the press and from Matthew Wright on his Channel Five programme, This Morning presenter John Leslie is sacked.
  • The Northern Ireland Assembly is suspended following allegations of spying.
  • The BBC Asian Network is broadcast nationally for the first time.

 

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Premier League Rewind: 29th-31st October 2011

Results: Chelsea 3-5 Arsenal, Everton 0-1 Manchester United, Manchester City 3-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers, Norwich City 3-3 Blackburn Rovers, Sunderland 2-2 Aston Villa, Swansea City 3-1 Bolton Wanderers, Wigan Athletic 0-2 Fulham, West Bromwich Albion 0-2 Liverpool FC, Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 Queens Park Rangers, Stoke City 1-3 Newcastle United

The Premier League world was still reeling from Manchester City’s exhilarating display at Old Trafford a weekend earlier, where they’d humiliated Manchester United 6-1 on their own backyard. Also, football was dealing with some damaging allegations of claims of racism against Chelsea and England captain John Terry and Liverpool FC forward Luis Suarez.

So, Terry had a point to prove and so did Chelsea against Arsenal in the opening game of the weekend. It turned out to be one of the greatest-ever London Derbies in Premier League history. The Blues led 2-1 at half-time through headers from Frank Lampard and inevitably, Terry. Arsenal turned the game around in the second half with goals in quick succession by Andre Santos and Theo Walcott. Juan Mata levelled the match up with an equaliser and with five minutes to go, it looked like the points would be shared. Then, Terry slipped over and his error allowed Robin van Persie a clear run on-goal. The Dutchman made no mistake to score his second of the afternoon and put Arsenal 4-3 ahead. There was still time for Van Persie to complete a magnificent hat-trick in stoppage-time and hand Andre Villas-Boas a first home defeat as Chelsea boss.

The Blues slipped nine points off the pace that was red-hot and being set by Manchester City. Roberto Mancini’s side had conceded just eight goals in 10 matches and relinquished only two points so far this season. There was a routine win on this weekend, beating Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-1 at The Etihad Stadium. City kept a five-point cushion over Manchester United who bounced back from the derby disaster to edge past Everton 1-0 at Goodison Park. As with most recent seasons, Everton had made a very slow start. They’d now lost four out of their last five matches and dropped to 16th in the table, only four points clear of the relegation zone.

Chelsea’s terrible 10 days was compounded by the final game of the weekend which saw Newcastle United overtake them and move into third place. Alan Pardew’s side were the only side other than league leaders Manchester City to remain unbeaten at the end of October. Demba Ba scored his second hat-trick of the season as the Magpies claimed an impressive 3-1 victory away at Stoke City on the Monday Night Football.

Tottenham Hotspur consolidated their position just outside the top four as they beat Queens Park Rangers 3-1 in a London Derby. Gareth Bale scored twice for the home side, who were now unbeaten in seven games and still had a game in-hand on their rivals in the table. Bottom of the table were Wigan Athletic. Roberto Martinez’s side looked set for a long winter after losing 2-0 at home to Fulham through goals from Clint Dempsey and Mousa Dembele. Bolton Wanderers lost 3-1 to Swansea City to suffer an eighth loss in 10 outings and Blackburn Rovers remained in the bottom three after throwing away a 3-1 lead to draw 3-3 with Norwich City. Grant Holt rescued a point for the hosts with an equaliser in the fourth minute of stoppage-time.

What else happened in October 2011?

  • The war in Libya ends as Colonel Gaddafi is killed in Sirte and the city is taken under control by the National Transitional Council.
  • After 43 years of political violence, the Basque separatist militant organisation ETA declares an end to its campaign, which has killed over 800 people since 1968.
  • American entrepreneur and co-founder of Apple, Steve Jobs, dies in California aged 56 from a pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor.
  • New Zealand beat France to win the 2011 Rugby World Cup final, their first victory in the competition since 1987.
  • Liam Fox resigns as Defence Secretary after allegations are made over his working relationship with self-styled adviser Adam Werritty.
  • Motorsport is rocked by tragic accidents on successive Sundays that claim the life of British IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon in Las Vegas and the popular Italian motorcyclist Marco Simoncelli in Malaysia.
  • In a ceremony in London, former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney marries American heiress Nancy Shevell.

Premier League Rewind: 28th-30th October 2017

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

The showdown clash of the final weekend of October was the meeting between second and third in the Premier League table. Deadlocked on 20 points apiece, only goal difference was separating Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur ahead of their meeting at Old Trafford. Tottenham had recorded four straight wins, scoring 12 goals in the process, whilst Manchester United hadn’t conceded a goal on home soil yet in their first four home matches.

Something had to give and in the end, it was Spurs’ winning run that was halted by a substitute. Anthony Martial had been marginalised for the bulk of the season so far by Jose Mourinho but the Frenchman seemed to have a knack for coming off the bench to score crucial goals. He did it again with nine minutes left, sharpest to react to Romelu Lukaku’s flick-on and managed to defeat his French counterpart Hugo Lloris. Tottenham were missing the injured Harry Kane and fell to a fourth consecutive defeat in the Premier League at The Theatre of Dreams.

The win for Mourinho’s men closed the gap on Manchester City at the top of the table to two points but before the Saturday was over, that advantage had stretched again back to the five-point cushion City enjoyed at the start of the day. Goals from Leroy Sane, Fernandinho and Raheem Sterling helped Pep Guardiola’s side win 3-2 at The Hawthorns against West Bromwich Albion. It was City’s eighth successive Premier League victory and in the process, ensured it was an eighth straight match without a victory for the Baggies.

There was a first-ever managerial meeting at Anfield between old pals Jurgen Klopp and David Wagner. Wagner had been on Klopp’s coaching staff during his title-winning days as a manager with Borussia Dortmund and they also played together in the 1990s for 1. FSV Mainz 05. On this occasion, Klopp’s Liverpool were simply too powerful for Wagner’s Huddersfield side. Despite Mohamed Salah missing a penalty in the first half, Liverpool ran away with the contest in the second half to wind up 3-0 winners. Daniel Sturridge scored his 100th career goal in this match. It was his final league goal for the Reds in the season before a loan move to West Bromwich Albion in the January transfer window.

On a weekend of goalscoring milestones, there was a 50th Arsenal goal for Aaron Ramsey in Arsenal’s comeback victory over Swansea City at The Emirates Stadium. Trailing at half-time to Sam Clucas’ goal, strikes from Sead Kolasinac and Ramsey protected the Gunners’ unbeaten home record in the 2017-2018 season. Watford dropped to eighth after a surprising 1-0 home defeat to Stoke City. Summer signing Darren Fletcher scored his first goal as a Stoke player in the 14th minute to settle the contest. The win took the Potters into 14th place and relieved some of the pressure off Mark Hughes for now at least.

There was no change to the bottom three from the start of the weekend. Crystal Palace remained at the foot of the table but did recover from 2-0 down at half-time to rescue a late draw with West Ham United. Second-bottom AFC Bournemouth lost 1-0 at home to Chelsea whilst first half goals from Jamie Vardy and Demarai Gray for Leicester City piled the misery onto Everton supporters. Leicester’s 2-0 win was an ideal start for their new manager Claude Puel and a chastening experience for the Everton interim boss, David Unsworth.

What else happened in October 2017?

  • The deadliest mass shooting by a lone gunman in American history takes place in Las Vegas. Stephen Paddock opened fire on a crowd in Las Vegas, injuring 851 people and killing 58.
  • Monarch Airlines, the UK’s fifth biggest airline collapses and is placed into administration, costing 3,500 people their jobs.
  • The England Under-17 football team beat Spain 5-2 in the final to win the FIFA Under-17 World Cup.
  • Catalonia declares independence from Spain following a controversial referendum. However, the Catalan Republic is not recognised by the Spanish government or any other sovereign nation.
  • Lewis Hamilton becomes the most successful British driver in Formula One history, as he claimed his fourth world championship with a ninth-place finish in the Mexican Grand Prix.
  • UNESCO suffers a blow as both Israel and the United States announce their decision to withdraw from the organisation.
  • Round £1 coins, first used in 1983, cease to be a legal tender in the UK. They were replaced by a 12-sided version.

Iconic Moments: Koeman axed by Everton (October 2017)

After a seventh-place finish in his first season in the hotseat at Goodison Park, expectations were high at Everton for Ronald Koeman to mount a serious challenge for a top-four finish in pre-season. By the end of October, his managerial reputation looked destroyed and his club management career was over – for the time being at least.

Everton were forced to sell star striker Romelu Lukaku in the summer of 2017 after the Belgian marksman turned down a new contract. They cashed in on Lukaku and earned £75 million from Manchester United with Wayne Rooney making an emotional return to his boyhood club as part of the deal. However, it became clear that Rooney was a signing for the fans and not really a player Koeman wanted.

There were other big arrivals for hefty sums of money, including Icelandic international Glyfi Sigurdsson, future England no.1 goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and centre-back Michael Keane from Burnley. However, Lukaku wasn’t replaced and that was a costly decision. Koeman even had to swallow his pride and bring back Oumar Niasse from the doldrums. He did give the Dutchman a priceless victory with two goals off the bench against AFC Bournemouth in September but by then, Koeman was already in big trouble.

Heavy back-to-back defeats to Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United, coupled with a humiliating display in a UEFA Europa League group stage game in Atalanta put Koeman on the backfoot. Another European defeat at home to Lyon which saw an ugly brawl started by Ashley Williams put him on the verge of the sack when Arsenal visited Merseyside on Sunday 22nd October.

Rooney did give Everton the lead but Arsenal’s dominance in the game was so one-sided. Idrissa Gueye was sent off and only a brilliant display from Pickford stopped the scoreline creeping towards double figures. When Alexis Sanchez scored his first Premier League goal of the season to make the scoreline 5-2, the look on Everton chairman Bill Kenwright’s face said it all. Everton finished the evening in the bottom three. Koeman was sacked a day later. He has since become the manager of the Netherlands international team.

The hunt for his successor became messy and eventually, they sacrificed all principles and turned to Sam Allardyce just to steer them away from relegation danger after David Unsworth’s character-building month as interim boss. Allardyce did what was required and guided Everton to comfortable safety with an eighth-place finish but the fans never took to his style of football and he was sacked at the end of the season, replaced by the manager the Everton board always wanted as Koeman’s ultimate successor, Marco Silva.

The 2017-2018 season was a scrappy one for everyone connected with Everton Football Club.

Premier League Rewind: 22nd-23rd October 2005

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

Chelsea went into the 22nd-23rd October 2005 weekend defending a 100% record. Nine teams had tried; nine teams had failed to take any points off Jose Mourinho’s champions, who were already threatening to turn the title race into a one-team demonstration. The Blues were nine points clear of London rivals Tottenham Hotspur and had conceded just three goals in their opening nine matches.

They travelled to bottom of the table Everton at Goodison Park and only the most hopeful of Toffees’ supporters expected nothing else but another win for the defending champions. Everton were up for the fight though and keen to prove that their lowly position was a false indication of their talents. They led at half-time through a James Beattie penalty. Frank Lampard equalised although there were question marks about the legality of the throw-in from Asier del Horno in the build-up to the goal. Didier Drogba then had a goal wrongly disallowed for offside as Everton held on for a 1-1 draw and ended the Blues’ perfect start to the campaign.

It was a London 1-2-3 at the end of the weekend. Alan Curbishley’s Charlton Athletic continued to punch above their weight and maintained their perfect start away from The Valley. Their fifth consecutive victory on their travels was achieved at Fratton Park, coming from behind to defeat Portsmouth 2-1. Second half goals from Darren Ambrose and Dennis Rommedahl cancelled out Dario Silva’s first goal for Portsmouth, leaving the south coast side just a point clear of the bottom three.

Tottenham dropped to third but still recorded a fine 1-1 draw at Old Trafford against Manchester United. An inch-perfect free-kick by Jermaine Jenas in the 72nd minute saw Spurs earn a deserved point at the Theatre of Dreams. Home form was a concern for Sir Alex Ferguson, whose side had won just once at home from their four outings on their own patch so far.

It was a weekend where the London clubs took the headlines. Arsenal celebrated Thierry Henry’s achievement as the club’s all-time top goalscorer after his exploits in the UEFA Champions League earlier in the week in Prague. Henry played a part in one of the strangest incidents of the season as the Gunners squeaked past Manchester City 1-0 at Highbury. Robert Pires scored a penalty to settle the match but it was a second spot-kick that caused the biggest talking point. It appeared Pires had attempted to roll the ball forwards to Henry to finish what should have been a clever move first pioneered in the 1980s by Dutch legend Johan Cruyff. Unfortunately, Pires scuffed the ball which moved off the spot and a free-kick was given to the opposition by referee Mike Riley. It was lucky for all parties that Arsenal did claim the three points.

24 hours later, West Ham United beat Middlesbrough 2-1 with a ghost own goal from Boro defender Chris Riggott. The referee’s assistant judged Riggott’s deflection from Paul Konchesky’s free-kick had crossed the line. Replays showed clearly that Mark Schwarzer had prevented this and even West Ham’s opening goalscorer Teddy Sheringham admitted afterwards that the ball hadn’t crossed the line by some distance. Boro boss Steve McClaren was not amused.

In a massive Tyne & Wear Derby, Emre’s glorious free-kick helped Newcastle United to a vital 3-2 victory over Sunderland which kept the Black Cats in the bottom three and gave some much-needed relief to under-fire Newcastle boss Graeme Souness.

Another manager also under pressure was Birmingham boss Steve Bruce. His team continued to underperform and a 2-0 loss in the Saturday lunchtime kick-off to Blackburn Rovers kept them firmly planted in the bottom three, with just Sunderland and Everton below them. It was a position the Birmingham supporters would get used to as the season progressed.

What else happened in October 2005?

  • Saddam Hussein goes on trial in Baghdad for crimes against humanity.
  • Daniel Craig is announced as the sixth official James Bond actor.
  • The European Court of Human Rights rules the United Kingdom’s ban on voting rights for prisoners is unlawful.
  • An earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale occurred in Kashmir, Pakistan, killing over 175,000 people.
  • Southend Pier, in the East of England, is devastated by a fire.
  • British playwright Harold Pinter is confirmed as the 2005 winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature.
  • NTL, the largest British cable television company, announces its multi-billion pound purchase of Telewest, creating one of the largest companies in the British media industry.

Premier League Rewind: 25th-27th October 2014

Results: West Ham United 2-1 Manchester City, Liverpool FC 0-0 Hull City, Southampton 1-0 Stoke City, Sunderland 0-2 Arsenal, West Bromwich Albion 2-2 Crystal Palace, Swansea City 2-0 Leicester City, Burnley 1-3 Everton, Tottenham Hotspur 1-2 Newcastle United, Manchester United 1-1 Chelsea, Queens Park Rangers 2-0 Aston Villa

Nine games into the 2014-2015 season and Chelsea were in pole position to regain the Premier League title from Manchester City. The Blues were still undefeated in the campaign and looking tough to catch for the chasing pack.

On the 25th-27th October weekend, Jose Mourinho took his team to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United. It was a first meeting between Mourinho and Louis van Gaal since the 2010 UEFA Champions League final. There was plenty of mutual respect between the managers in the build-up to this clash but it looked like Mourinho would have the final say. Didier Drogba headed the visitors infront and it looked like the league leaders would hold onto a 1-0 lead at full-time. However, with moments remaining, Manchester United won a free-kick which led to the late dismissal of Branislav Ivanovic. From the resultant set-piece, Robin van Persie thrashed home an equaliser to ensure Chelsea dropped points for only the second time this season.

Their lead over the Red Devils was still a healthy 10 points. Worse still for Van Gaal, his team had won just three from nine matches so far and were languishing in eighth spot in the table. Chelsea’s nearest pursuers were Southampton. They regained second position after Sadio Mane’s goal was enough to beat Stoke City 1-0.

They replaced Manchester City in the top two after the reigning champions fell to a 2-1 defeat away at West Ham United. It was their second league loss of the season. The decisive goal ultimately came from Diafra Sakho, who scored in his sixth successive Premier League match for the club. Despite a wonderful strike from David Silva, City left Upton Park empty-handed and West Ham climbed into the top four much to the delight of Russell Brand. The Hammers’ fan interrupted a post-match interview to congratulate manager Sam Allardyce.

After their 8-0 mauling a week earlier to Southampton, Sunderland’s woes continued. At home to Arsenal, Vito Mannone made two terrible mistakes, allowing Alexis Sanchez to score twice and allow the visitors to leave with all three points in a 2-0 victory. In fact, just six points covered West Ham in fourth position to Aston Villa in 15th. Villa’s fifth successive defeat came on Monday Night Football, losing 2-0 to Queens Park Rangers. Charlie Austin scored a double which was enough to lift QPR off the foot of the Premier League table. Aston Villa had now failed to score in over 500 minutes of Premier League football. Another team struggling were Leicester City. They were now without a win in four games after losing 2-0 to Swansea City.

QPR were replaced at the bottom of the table by Burnley, who lost 3-1 at home to Everton. Veteran forward Samuel Eto’o scored twice for Everton who moved into the top half with back-to-back victories. Sunderland dropped into the bottom three at the expense of their Tyne & Wear rivals, Newcastle United. Having not won any of their first seven games, the Magpies were about to embark on a five-match winning sequence. The second of these came at White Hart Lane, defeating Tottenham Hotspur 2-1.

What else happened in October 2014?

  • UKIP receives its first MP when Douglas Carswell, who defected to the party from the Conservatives, wins the by-election in Clacton.
  • The SNP confirms Nicola Sturgeon will succeed Alex Salmond as leader of the party after she was the only candidate in a leadership ballot.
  • Johann Lamont resigns as leader of the Scottish Labour Party with immediate effect.
  • Nancy Birtwhistle wins the fifth series of “The Great British Bake Off.”
  • Racing driver Jules Bianchi is left with life-threatening injuries after spinning off and hitting a recovery truck during the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka. He will succumb to those injuries in July 2015.
  • EastEnders confirms omnibus editions of the soap from April 2015 will be stopped because of declining viewing figures.
  • IF Elfsborg manager and former Sheffield Wednesday player Klas Ingesson dies at the age of just 46 from the effects of multiple myeloma.

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: 15th-17th October 1994

Results: Arsenal 3-1 Chelsea, Aston Villa 1-1 Norwich City, Blackburn Rovers 3-2 Liverpool FC, Crystal Palace 0-1 Newcastle United, Everton 0-2 Coventry City, Leeds United 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur, Leicester City 4-3 Southampton, Manchester United 1-0 West Ham United, Queens Park Rangers 1-2 Manchester City, Ipswich Town 1-2 Sheffield Wednesday, Nottingham Forest 3-1 Wimbledon

Whilst Blackburn Rovers and Manchester United were the two teams who would go on to dictate the destiny of the Premier League title in season 1994-1995, it wasn’t so clear who would be the team to beat in mid-October 1994. Kenny Dalglish and Alex Ferguson’s sides were in the chasing pack, but behind a couple of hot pacesetters.

Going into the weekend’s matches, Newcastle United and Nottingham Forest still held unbeaten records and these were maintained through contrasting fashions. Kevin Keegan’s Magpies’ had dropped just four points all season but their trip to Selhurst Park for a match with Crystal Palace wasn’t all about style and swagger. This time, it was about grit and determination to get all three points. They managed to achieve this with a minute to go. Palace defended brilliantly all day but Peter Beardsley produced a special effort to beat Nigel Martyn and ensure the visiting fans went home happy and still on top of the table.

Nottingham Forest had to wait until the Monday evening to respond. Frank Clark’s side were in live action on Sky Sports and played a Wimbledon side that had made a sluggish start to the season. Stan Collymore scored one of the goals of the season at the City Ground. Collecting possession from just inside the Wimbledon half, the striker went on a mazy run and as the space opened up, went for goal. The shot flew past Hans Segers as Forest went on to record a 3-1 victory and maintain their impressive start on their Premier League return.

The two sides that Dalglish cared about the most in English football clashed at Ewood Park and Blackburn Rovers prevailed in a five-goal thriller with Liverpool FC. John Barnes might have scored the goal of the weekend with a stunning acrobatic kick that rolled back the years to his prime days. It wasn’t enough though for the visitors’ to grab a share of the spoils. Two goals from Chris Sutton ensured Dalglish’s current side beat his old employers 3-2.

Liverpool FC stayed in the top four but the nightmare continued across Merseyside for Everton. Still without a win and the pressure continued to mount on the beleaguered Mike Walker. New signings Duncan Ferguson and Ian Durrant played at home to Coventry City but made little impact on the contest. Dion Dublin was among the scorers in an easy 2-0 win for Coventry. Walker insisted he wasn’t under pressure from the board afterwards but his time was almost up in the Goodison Park hotseat.

Another side that had been struggling were Leicester City but the newly-promoted Foxes’ achieved a second victory of the term in an entertaining 4-3 triumph at home to Southampton. Franz Carr scored the goal of the match as Brian Little’s side held off a late fightback from their opponents to claim all three points. It would be the last victory Little achieved with Leicester. He would walk out on the club five weeks later to take over at Midlands’ rivals Aston Villa.

Elsewhere, Arsenal beat Chelsea 3-1 in a London derby, Manchester United sneaked past West Ham United through an Eric Cantona goal and David Hirst scored an 89th minute winner as Sheffield Wednesday beat Ipswich Town 2-1 on Super Sunday despite a late red card for Des Walker.

What else happened in October 1994?

  • Fernando Henrique Cardoso is elected president of Brazil.
  • Yasser Arafat, Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres are awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts in keeping peace in the Middle East.
  • The USA defeats Europe 13-7 in the Solheim Cup.
  • BSkyB launch two new channels; Sky Soap and Sky Travel.
  • The conclusion of the Sharongate storyline in EastEnders as Grant finds out Sharon has been having an affair with his brother, Phil. An estimated 25.3 million watch the drama unfold.
  • Former Academy Award winner Martha Raye dies in Los Angeles aged 78.
  • Two trains crash head-on in heavy fog in Kent after a driver passes a red signal. Five are killed and 13 injured.