Results: Chelsea 0-0 Tottenham Hotspur, Coventry City 3-3 Wimbledon, Everton 2-2 Sheffield Wednesday, Manchester City 1-0 Aston Villa, Middlesbrough 2-1 Liverpool FC, Newcastle United 2-1 Leeds United, Southampton 1-0 Bolton Wanderers, West Ham United 1-0 Queens Park Rangers, Arsenal 0-0 Blackburn Rovers, Nottingham Forest 1-1 Manchester United
Kevin Keegan’s Newcastle United had lost just one game all season and had a 100% record at St James’ Park for the season. Leeds United’s visit on the weekend of 25th-27th November 1995 was the standout fixture of a weekend which produced just 21 goals in 10 matches.
Leeds threatened to take that record when Brian Deane headed Howard Wilkinson’s side into the lead after 31 minutes. Newcastle responded brilliantly in the second half and two goals in two successive minutes from Rob Lee and Peter Beardsley turned the game around. The Magpies’ 2-1 win meant they would end November on top of the table and having extended their advantage over the chasing pack.
Manchester United lost ground on Keegan’s team after drawing 1-1 on the Monday Night Football game at Nottingham Forest. An Eric Cantona penalty ensured they left the City Ground with a point but it would start a worrying run of just two wins in their next nine matches that almost cost them a chance to regain the crown they’d lost the previous season to Blackburn Rovers.
The reigning champions hadn’t yet won on their travels in the season and had just returned from a painful defeat in Moscow in the Champions League which had seen the infamous clash on the field between Graeme Le Saux and David Batty. Blackburn played out an uneventful 0-0 draw at Arsenal on Super Sunday; moved to a lunchtime kick-off to make way for the Scottish League Cup Final (back in the days when Scottish football was just as important to the TV broadcasters!)
The most enterprising game of the weekend was played out between Coventry City and Wimbledon. Ron Atkinson’s side had won just once all season whilst Wimbledon were hovering just outside the drop zone. The Sky Blues’ ended with nine men as both Paul Williams and Richard Shaw were shown red cards. However, David Rennie scored a rare goal in the 83rd minute to rescue a 3-3 draw, having trailed 3-1 midway through the second half.
Atkinson’s team remained in the drop zone alongside Bolton Wanderers and Queens Park Rangers. The latter sides both lost 1-0 to Southampton and West Ham United respectively. Liverpool FC’s slide into mid-table continued. A 2-1 loss to Middlesbrough meant Roy Evans’ side collected just one point from four league matches and slid out of both the UEFA Cup and League Cup during a nightmare November.
Going in the right direction were Manchester City. Alan Ball had seen his side fail to win a match before November. Yet, 10 points from four games saw them climb out of the drop zone. The latest success came over Aston Villa. Georgi Kinkladze scored the only goal of the game with four minutes remaining.
Tottenham Hotspur ended the month in third spot after drawing 0-0 at Stamford Bridge with Chelsea but by this stage, it already looked like a two-horse race for the title between Newcastle United and Manchester United.
What else happened in November 1995?
- The Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin is assassinated by a Jewish extremist who opposed peace with the Palestinians.
- Piers Brosnan stars as James Bond for the first time in “Goldeneye.”
- Diana, Princess of Wales admits to infidelity in an explosive TV interview for “Panorama” with Martin Bashir.
- Rosemary West is found guilty at Winchester Crown Court of killing 10 women.
- “Toy Story” is released as the first feature-length film created completely using computer-generated imagery.
- The Today newspaper ceases publication, becoming the first long-running national UK newspaper title to close since the Daily Sketch in 1971.
- The Queen Mother undergoes a hip replacement operation at the age of 95.