Tag Archives: Robbie Fowler

Iconic Moments: Fowler destroys the Arsenal back four (August 1994)

Robbie Fowler was already making a name for himself before Arsenal travelled to Anfield in August 1994. It was the first league match to be played at the famous ground since the famous standing terrace; The Spion Kop had been torn down due to the safety regulations demanded by The Taylor Report. The new all-seater Kop stand was still taking shape but the first seats were ready for this showpiece encounter. However, it was the other end of the ground where all the action took place.

In the 26th minute, Fowler powered the home side into the lead after the ball bounced off his strike partner Ian Rush invitingly into his path. Less than three minutes later, he’d doubled his tally for the afternoon. Steve McManaman made a 60-yard run and found Fowler who had made a run to the right-hand side, before drilling a shot beyond an unsighted David Seaman and into the back of the net.

Just part the half-hour, John Barnes clipped a ball over the top of the famous Arsenal back four and Fowler was away, leaving Tony Adams behind. Seaman blocked his first effort but Fowler was instinctive to this and got to the loose ball before the England goalkeeper and Martin Keown to complete his hat-trick from the most improbable of angles. He had just destroyed the Arsenal back four in four minutes and 33 seconds.

It was a Premier League record for the fastest hat-trick that stood for over 20 years and still remains one of the most remarkable moments in the league’s history. This was the day when 19-year-old Robbie Fowler became one of the hottest properties, not just in English but in world football.

Advertisements

Iconic Moments: Mane breaks Fowler’s hat-trick record (May 2015)

On the final Saturday of the 2014-2015 season, Sadio Mane achieved a little piece of Premier League history. The Senegalese midfielder broke Robbie Fowler’s long-standing record by scoring the fastest hat-trick in the competition’s history, timed at two minutes and 56 seconds against Aston Villa.

Mane was playing for Southampton at the time and he opened the scoring for the Saints after 12 minutes, pouncing first from a rebound after his initial effort was saved by Villa goalkeeper, Shay Given. Moments later, a terrible backpass attempt from Alan Hutton allowed Shane Long in on-goal. Given successfully challenged him but Mane was quickest to the loose ball and scored his second goal. Then after 15 minutes, he completed his hat-trick with a beautiful curling effort after being picked out by Long.

Southampton won the match 6-1 and Fowler’s 21-year record had been shattered by Mane, who would join Liverpool FC from the south coast side in the summer of 2016.

Seasonal Stories: Liverpool FC (1996-1997)

A missed opportunity

This was Roy Evans’ third full season as Liverpool FC manager and the pressure was increasing on him to bring back silverware to the Anfield trophy cabinet. Liverpool had an emerging young crop of players coming through along with a few experienced heads and in 1996-1997, they looked like a genuine title contender. They were five points clear going into the New Year.

However, too many dropped points against inferior sides, a series of goalkeeper blunders from David James and questions about the team’s mentality saw the challenge ebb away and on the final day, the Reds were squeezed into fourth place courtesy of goal difference. It definitely felt like a missed opportunity.

Squad: David James, Rob Jones, John Scales (Left in December 1996), Bjorn Tore Kvarme, Jason McAteer, Mark Wright, Phil Babb, Steve Harkness, Neil Ruddock, Stig Inge Bjornebye, Dominic Matteo, Jamie Carragher, Mark Kennedy, Michael Thomas, Jamie Redknapp, John Barnes, Steve McManaman, Patrik Berger, David Thompson, Stan Collymore, Robbie Fowler, Michael Owen

Bagging Berger

After finishing third in 1995-1996 behind Manchester United and Newcastle United, Liverpool FC were seen as a creditable contender for Premier League glory. Six whole seasons had now passed since the Reds had been English champions and that was far too long for many of the patient supporters.

Manager Roy Evans didn’t see any need to invest heavily in the summer transfer market but he did swoop for the Czech midfielder Patrik Berger from Borussia Dortmund. Berger had excelled at the 1996 European Championships, helping his country reach the final and Liverpool snapped him up for £3.25 million.

One player who did move on was Ian Rush, who had announced his departure towards the end of the previous campaign. Rush was LFC’s all-time leading goalscorer but had now fallen behind Robbie Fowler and Stan Collymore in the pecking order and elected to move on for a fresh challenge at Leeds United.

Setting the pace

Liverpool’s first game of the new season came at The Riverside Stadium against Middlesbrough and it was a thrilling contest. The Reds led three times through goals from Stig Inge Bjornebye, John Barnes and Fowler. However, they had to be content with a 3-3 draw thanks to a spectacular opening day hat-trick from Middlesbrough’s new striker, Fabrizio Ravanelli.

The first victory arrived two days later when two Steve McManaman goals defeated Arsenal 2-0 at Anfield and Liverpool stayed unbeaten for the first eight matches of the Premier League campaign, topping the standings at the end of September.

Berger settled in very quickly, grabbing a brace on his LFC debut in a fine 3-0 away win at Filbert Street against Leicester City before repeating the trick in a fabulous 5-1 victory over Chelsea at Anfield. Fowler was still scoring goals as freely as the previous campaign and even the unlikely source of Phil Babb popped up with the winner at his old stomping ground of Highfield Road.

There were only three defeats in the first half of the campaign. The first came at Old Trafford in mid-October thanks to a David Beckham strike. There was a dismal day at Ewood Park where Liverpool lost 3-0 to bottom-placed Blackburn Rovers and in early December, surprise packages Sheffield Wednesday claimed a 1-0 victory and became the first team to leave Anfield with all three points in the 1996-1997 campaign.

Fowler scored four goals in the return fixture with Middlesbrough and when Barnes rolled back the years with a winning goal from distance in the final Premier League fixture of 1996 away at Southampton, Liverpool went into 1997 holding a useful five-point lead at the top of the table.

29th DECEMBER 1996 TABLE

POS TABLE P W D L F A GD PTS
1 LIVERPOOL FC 21 12 6 3 38 19 +19 42
2 Manchester United 20 10 7 3 42 25 +17 37
3 Arsenal 20 10 7 3 37 20 +17 37
4 Wimbledon 19 11 4 4 33 23 +10 37
5 Newcastle United 20 10 4 6 35 22 +13 34
6 Aston Villa 20 10 4 6 29 19 +10 34

Faltering signs

1997 did start with a 1-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge to Chelsea who would also stage an extraordinary fightback from 2-0 down to beat Evans’ side 4-2 in the FA Cup fourth round. Liverpool though were still conducting business in the Premier League in a fairly professional manner.

They kept five successive clean sheets in the top-flight after the setback in west London and dismissed Aston Villa and Leeds United very comfortably. The Villa game saw the first Premier League appearance from young defender Jamie Carragher and he scored the opening goal too in the 3-0 triumph.

The first signs of a faltering title bid came towards the end of February against Blackburn Rovers on home soil. Despite dominating possession and creating a host of chances, Liverpool’s finishing let them down with Fowler especially guilty of missing glorious openings. The 0-0 draw was the third stalemate at home in the season for Liverpool and this was an omen of things to come.

A week later, a late Ian Taylor goal sent Liverpool to defeat at Villa Park and gave reigning champions Manchester United a four-point lead at the top of the table. Liverpool dropped further points away at The City Ground, drawing 1-1 when Ian Woan punished a dreadful goalkeeping error from David James.

James was starting to cost Liverpool crucial points, earning himself the unfortunate nickname of ‘Calamity James.’ In early April, he was at fault for both goals to allow 20th place Coventry City to come from behind to pull off a stunning 2-1 victory at Anfield. The title dream was ebbing away and the supporters knew it.

A catastrophe against Manchester United

In that period, Liverpool did beat both Newcastle United and Arsenal. In the latter game, Fowler won a UEFA Fair Play Award for attempting to overturn Gerald Ashby’s decision to give the Reds a penalty after Fowler went down without any contact from Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman.

There were serious question marks about Liverpool’s hunger and mentality. Some of the young players – particularly Fowler, McManaman, Jamie Redknapp and Jason McAteer were criticised for partying too much and not focusing completely on football. Another unfortunate tag was dished out with this group being referred too as ‘The Spice Boys.’

The final nail in Liverpool’s title coffin came when league leaders Manchester United arrived at Anfield on 19th April. This was the Reds last chance and they put in a deeply disappointing display. They conceded two sloppy set-piece goals to Gary Pallister and James had another catastrophe, failing to catch a cross and allowing Andy Cole to score one of the simplest goals of his career. The Red Devils won 3-1 and it was all over.

Title hopes officially ended on 6th May when Liverpool lost 2-1 to Wimbledon which ended their mathematical hopes of catching Manchester United. The only plus point of a thoroughly frustrating evening at Selhurst Park was the emergence of young prodigy Michael Owen. Owen came off the bench and scored with virtually his first chance in the senior side. Having impressed greatly at youth level, this was Owen’s big moment and a goalscoring star was well and truly born.

Second place was still up for grabs on the final day but Liverpool could only draw 1-1 at Sheffield Wednesday. Rivals Newcastle United and Arsenal both won which saw them overtake Liverpool on the final day on goal difference. Newcastle grabbed second spot which meant they would compete in the following season’s UEFA Champions League.

Despite having been considered as the best team for much of the season, Liverpool FC had nothing to show for their efforts. Fourth place and two cup semi-finals was seen as a major underachievement for this emerging team and they wouldn’t get a better opportunity to end the league famine for the remainder of the 1990s.

FINAL 1996-1997 TABLE – FIRST TO SIXTH

POS TABLE P W D L F A GD PTS
1 Manchester United 38 21 12 5 76 44 +32 75
2 Newcastle United 38 19 11 8 73 40 +33 68
3 Arsenal 38 19 11 8 62 32 +30 68
4 LIVERPOOL FC 38 19 11 8 62 37 +25 68
5 Aston Villa 38 17 10 11 47 34 +13 61
6 Chelsea 38 16 11 11 58 55 +3 59

Premier League Rewind: 2nd-3rd April 1999

Results: Aston Villa 0-0 West Ham United, Blackburn Rovers 0-0 Middlesbrough, Charlton Athletic 0-1 Chelsea, Derby County 3-4 Newcastle United, Leeds United 3-1 Nottingham Forest, Liverpool FC 3-2 Everton, Sheffield Wednesday 1-2 Coventry City, Southampton 0-0 Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur 0-2 Leicester City, Wimbledon 1-1 Manchester United

The three-way title battle in the 1998-1999 Premier League season closed up further after this weekend of action which ended with just five points covering Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea.

The Red Devils were still busy chasing ‘The Treble’ and experiencing a careless moment at Selhurst Park where an error by Gary Neville allowed Jason Euell to put Wimbledon infront after only five minutes. David Beckham equalised to earn the visitors a point that kept them top of the table.

That was because second-placed Arsenal were unable to breakdown a stubborn Southampton side at The Dell. The Saints were still scrapping for points themselves to keep their top-flight status and frustrated Arsene Wenger’s side in a nervy match which saw defenders finish completely dominant over attackers.

This meant Chelsea could close in further and their fourth win in five games arrived in a London Derby against another team needing points at the wrong end of the table in Charlton Athletic. It was the softest of goals that won the game for the Blues at The Valley. Charlton goalkeeper Sasa Ilic failed to judge a cross correctly and Roberto Di Matteo had a simple finish in the 11th minute. Chelsea were now just a point behind Arsenal in the table and had a game in-hand on the reigning champions too.

Fourth-placed Leeds United maintained their winning sequence, equalling a mark set by Don Revie’s all-conquering side in the 1970s. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink continued his quest for the Golden Boot, powering Leeds into a 43rd minute lead against bottom club Nottingham Forest. Further goals from Ian Harte and Alan Smith helped Leeds to a 3-1 victory which saw them stretch 10 points clear of the chasing pack. Forest had Carlton Palmer sent off and were now 11 points adrift of safety. Relegation was virtually guaranteed for the club for the third time in their Premier League history.

Another manager feeling the pressure was Walter Smith. In his first season as Everton manager, he was experiencing the pressures of a relegation dogfight for the first time after his glowing success in Scottish football with Rangers. Despite Olivier Dacourt’s spectacular strike in the opening minute at Anfield, Everton lost the latest edition of The Merseyside Derby 3-2 to Liverpool FC, leaving the Toffees in 17th place and only one point clear of the relegation zone. Liverpool’s win was overshadowed by Robbie Fowler’s controversial goal celebration after he scored a penalty. He used the white line of the penalty area to simulate cocaine use. The FA took a dim view, fining him £32,000 and gave him a six-match ban for this incident and another episode earlier in the season with Chelsea defender Graeme Le Saux which had seen the striker wave his backside in Le Saux’s direction. Liverpool fined the player too for bringing the game into disrepute.

Elsewhere, Derby County’s European hopes took a knock when they lost a goal-filled match with Newcastle United. Five goals were scored in the first half with Gary Speed getting two of them and the Magpies eventually prevailed 4-3 winners with the decisive goal coming from Nolberto Solano. There was also some personal joy for Leicester City forward Tony Cottee. He scored the 200th goal of his professional career in the Foxes’ 2-0 victory at White Hart Lane as Leicester exacted some quick revenge for their League Cup final defeat to Tottenham 13 days earlier.

What else happened in April 1999?

  • British television is left in mourning when popular presenter, Jill Dando is shot dead on the doorstep of her home in Fulham, west London.
  • David Copeland plants three nail bombs in three weeks across the capital. The third in The Admiral Duncan pub in Soho kills a pregnant woman and injures 70 others.
  • Two teenagers open fire in Colorado in the Columbine High School massacre. 12 students and 1 teacher are killed, before they kill themselves.
  • Former EastEnders actress Martine McCutcheon reaches number one in the UK Singles Chart with her debut single,“Perfect Moment”
  • A minimum wage is introduced in the UK for the first time, set at £3.60 an hour for workers over 21 and £3 for workers under 21.
  • The UN suspends sanctions against Libya after two Libyans suspected of being behind the Lockerbie bombing of 1988 are handed over to Scottish authorities for trial in The Hague.
  • BSkyB Chief Executive Mark Booth announces his resignation after 18 months in the role.

Premier League Rewind: 22nd-24th March 1997

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

Having experienced a bad run in the early autumn of 1996 which included a three-game losing sequence, Manchester United had now embarked on a lengthy run of good form which had seen them lose just one of their previous 18 Premier League matches.

Favourites for a fourth championship in five seasons, the Red Devils extended that sequence with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Everton at Goodison Park. The goals came in each half. One from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the second from Eric Cantona which briefly gave Alex Ferguson’s side a five-point lead at the top of the table. It turned out to be Joe Royle’s last match as Everton manager. He resigned days later after just over two-and-a-half years in the role having led the Toffees to victory in the 1995 FA Cup final over Manchester United.

Title rivals Arsenal and Liverpool FC met each other two nights later in what always looked like being a decisive game in the title race. The match centred on a controversial incident midway through the second half. Liverpool were 1-0 up through Stan Collymore’s goal when Robbie Fowler was played through by Mark Wright and hurdled over David Seaman’s challenge in the penalty area. Referee Gerald Ashby gave a penalty despite Fowler’s persistence that there had been no contact and Ashby should change his mind. He didn’t and although the forward went on to have his spot-kick saved by Seaman, Jason McAteer scored the rebound and Liverpool held off a late Arsenal surge to win 2-1 and emerge as Manchester United’s closest challengers for the championship. Fowler later won a Fair Play award for his honesty in the incident with Seaman.

Newcastle United fell eight points behind Liverpool and therefore, an automatic UEFA Champions League qualification spot after being held to a 1-1 draw by Wimbledon at Selhurst Park. They remained narrowly ahead of the chasing pack which was now being led by Aston Villa. They moved up two positions to fifth in the table after recording a 2-0 away victory at Blackburn Rovers, courtesy of second half goals from Tommy Johnson and Dwight Yorke.

At the wrong end of the table, just six points covered the bottom six clubs. Southampton remained at the foot of the table after squandering an advantage twice to draw 2-2 at home with League Cup finalists Leicester City. Alan Neilson’s 70th minute own goal ensured a share of the spoils. Coventry City dropped into the relegation zone as their winless month continued against fellow strugglers West Ham United. Despite taking the lead through a Marc Rieper own goal, the Sky Blues were no match for the Hammers. Two goals from new signing John Hartson and a first-ever senior goal by Rio Ferdinand helped West Ham to a 3-1 victory. They had now lost just one of their last six matches.

Despite their three-point deduction being in-place, Middlesbrough climbed out of the relegation positions after gaining four points from two home matches, drawing 1-1 with Nottingham Forest two days after Juninho’s header saw them beat Chelsea 1-0. However, Boro’s demanding schedule with their deep involvement in the cup competitions would ultimately catch up with their players in the final reckoning.

What else happened in March 1997?

  • Prime Minister John Major announces the 1997 General Election will be held on 1st May.
  • Unemployment levels continue to drop to 1.8 million which is the lowest level since December 1990.
  • After declaring the Conservative Party as “tired, divided and rudderless,” The Sun newspaper decides to back Labour and Tony Blair ahead of the General Election.
  • Channel 5 begins broadcasting in the UK as the fifth major terrestrial station.
  • The English Patient wins Best Picture at the 69th Academy Awards.
  • Julius Chan resigns as Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea.
  • A pile-up on the M42 motorway in Bromsgrove involves 160 vehicles. Three people die and 60 are injured.

Iconic Moments: Delia’s half-time speech (February 2005)

Delia Smith is one of the most well-known celebrity chefs in British popular culture. She is also the joint majority shareholder of current Championship club Norwich City. A season ticket holder alongside her husband Michael Wynn-Jones, she was invited to invest in the club in the late 1990s that had fallen on hard times after their Premier League relegation in 1995.

A decade later and the Canaries were back in the top-flight but as expected, were locked in a tight relegation battle alongside Crystal Palace, West Bromwich Albion and Southampton. They were playing Manchester City in a televised match in February 2005 and made a searing start. Goals from Dean Ashton and Leon McKenzie had fired them into a 2-0 lead inside the first quarter of an hour. The visitors though were level by half-time and Delia decided she needed to lift the Carrow Road crowd, which had gone awfully quiet.

It would turn out to be one of the most famous soundbites in Premier League history. Grabbing the microphone from the club’s announcer, she yells: “A message for the best football supporters in the world: we need a 12th man here. Where are you? Where are you? Let’s be ‘avin’ you! Come on!”

The pep talk didn’t work for the spectators or the players. In the 90th minute, Robbie Fowler pinched a last-minute winner for Manchester City in what turned out to be Kevin Keegan’s penultimate match in-charge of the Citizens. Despite a late season rally, Norwich would end the season with relegation but Delia had left her indelible mark on the history of famous Premier League quotes.

Great Goals: Steven Gerrard – LIVERPOOL FC vs. Manchester United (March 2001)

The 2000-2001 season was Steven Gerrard’s second full season in the Liverpool FC first-team and it was a breakthrough campaign for the midfielder who would go on to be one the club’s greatest-ever players. This goal was a breakthrough moment too for his career against bitter North West rivals, Manchester United.

In the 15th minute of this encounter at Anfield, Fabien Barthez’s slip which led to a scruffy clearance began a chain of events that ended with the ball in the top corner of his net. Robbie Fowler played his part, laying the ball off into the path of Gerrard. He drove forward and as two United defenders started to advance on him, he unleashed a spectacular shot which was unstoppable. His eighth goal of the season was one of the best of the entire campaign.

Liverpool won the game 2-0 as they recorded their first-ever Premier League double against the reigning champions and Gerrard was voted PFA Young Player of the Year at the season’s end.

Iconic Moments: Robbie returns to Anfield (January 2006)

At half-time of a Premier League match at home to Sunderland in November 2001, Robbie Fowler was substituted at half-time by Phil Thompson. Two days later and much to the dissatisfaction of Liverpool supporters, Fowler was sold to Premier League rivals Leeds United for £11 million.

Injuries started to take their toll on Fowler who never looked the same player at Elland Road and after an indifferent period at Manchester City from 2003 to 2006, it looked like his career would fade into obscurity. Then, he got the chance of a lifetime to come home to his boyhood club.

Fowler remained a supporter during his years away from the Liverpool playing staff and he was in Istanbul in 2005 – not as a VIP, or a TV pundit but as a fan cheering the Reds on during their incredible comeback to defeat AC Milan and lift the UEFA Champions League.

In January 2006, Rafa Benitez believed Fowler could offer him more competition in the striking berths and along with corporation from Manchester City, one of the more surprising transfer moves of recent times went through. ‘God’ was coming home.

Fowler scored five times in the run-in and earned himself a new contract in the process before leaving for the second time in May 2007, this time receiving a huge round of applause when he departed against Charlton Athletic – something fans had been deprived of six years earlier.

In total, Fowler scored 128 league goals for Liverpool FC in 266 appearances and remains one of the club’s finest products to have come through their academy.

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: 26th-27th August 1994

Results: Aston Villa 1-1 Crystal Palace, Blackburn Rovers 4-0 Coventry City, Leeds United 2-3 Chelsea, Manchester City 4-0 Everton, Newcastle United 5-1 Southampton, Norwich City 1-0 West Ham United, Nottingham Forest 1-0 Leicester City, Queens Park Rangers 1-2 Ipswich Town, Tottenham Hotspur 0-1 Manchester United, Wimbledon 0-1 Sheffield Wednesday, Liverpool FC 3-0 Arsenal

Going into the third set of fixtures in the 1994-1995 Premier League, 20 teams had played two games each and just two sides had 100% records. They were Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur. The Magpies had already scored seven goals in their opening two victories over Leicester City and Coventry City. They were about to add five more to that tally in a 5-1 destruction of Southampton.

The rout against the Saints was set-up by three goals in a 10-minute period. Defender Steve Watson, who was playing in a wide midfield position, benefited from a more attacking approach by scoring the first two goals of the afternoon. Andy Cole added another brace to his growing collection as Kevin Keegan’s side consolidated top spot in the early season table.

Tottenham’s maximum start to the season disappeared as they were beaten 1-0 by champions Manchester United at White Hart Lane. United skipper Steve Bruce scored the only goal, heading home after Ian Walker came for a Ryan Giggs corner and got nowhere near it. Bruce then blotted his copybook by giving away a penalty for body checking Ilie Dumitrescu. However, Teddy Sheringham couldn’t convert the spot-kick. He was denied by Peter Schmeichel. It was a second failure from the penalty spot for Sheringham in four days.

With work still being done to the new Kop all-seater stand, Liverpool FC hadn’t played in the first midweek round of the season but the new era at the ground began on Super Sunday with Arsenal the visitors to Anfield. It would produce one of the most groundbreaking historical records that would stand for over two decades. Young forward Robbie Fowler was already making a name for himself. On this day, he scored the fastest hat-trick in Premier League history – a record that would last for 21 years. The 19-year-old found the net three times in just four minutes and 33 seconds. It was a record that would stand until Sadio Mane managed a quicker treble for Southampton against Aston Villa in May 2015. Liverpool won the game 3-0 and a star was well and truly born.

That meant Liverpool had won two games from two and so too had Chelsea, who produced the comeback of the round. They went 2-0 down to Leeds United inside 18 minutes, courtesy of goals from South African Phil Masinga and Leeds’ own young talent in Noel Whelan. The fightback was inspired by Dennis Wise, who scored from the penalty spot before half-time. Then, his free-kick in the 61st minute was saved by John Lukic but only into the path of John Spencer to equalise. Spencer scored the winner with two minutes left with his shot from outside the area squirming underneath Lukic’s body to complete a great turnaround from the Londoners.

After three sets of games, eight clubs were still awaiting their first victory of the campaign. Among them were Aston Villa, who were pegged back at home in the closing stages for the second successive match. Newly-promoted Crystal Palace earned a 1-1 draw thanks to Gareth Southgate’s 87th minute equaliser. Coventry City were another side without a victory and they took a second consecutive 4-0 beating on their travels. This time, it was Blackburn Rovers dishing out a thrashing, with their new striker, Chris Sutton scoring a hat-trick. Coventry had Mick Quinn sent off.

There were worrying signs too for Mike Walker at Everton whose side caved in dramatically in the second half at Maine Road. Uwe Rosler and Paul Walsh both scored twice as Manchester City eased to a 4-0 victory and Walker would only win one match in the league before being dismissed in early November by the Toffees hierarchy.

What else happened in August 1994?

  • The IRA announces a “complete cessation of military operations.”
  • The 1994 Sunday Trading Act comes into force, permitting retailers to start trading in six-hour slots on Sundays.
  • Britpop band Oasis releases their debut album Definitely Maybe; and it becomes the fastest selling debut album in the United Kingdom.
  • Sky Sports launch their second television channel, as Sky Sports 2 is born.
  • Norwich Central Library is destroyed by a huge fire, with most of the city’s historical records lost in the blaze.
  • The last traces of Eastern Europe’s Soviet occupation disappear as the Russian army vacates Estonia and Latvia.

Iconic Moments: Fowler’s sportsmanship (March 1997)

Arsenal and Liverpool FC were among the title challengers to Manchester United in the 1996-1997 Premier League season. They went head-to-head in March 1997 with the loser of the game at Highbury likely to be knocked out of the title race.

Liverpool were already 1-0 ahead through Stan Collymore’s strike when the controversial moment in this game occurred and also, remarkable sportsmanship at the heat of battle. Liverpool defender Mark Wright played a long-ball through for Robbie Fowler. Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman came charging out of his goal and Fowler went over under his challenge. Referee Gerald Ashby gave a penalty.

Amazingly, Fowler tried to challenge the referee’s decision, insisting no contact had been made by Seaman and he simply skipped over the attempted tackle and his momentum saw him fall over. Despite his pleas, Ashby insisted he wasn’t changing his mind. Fowler did take the resultant spot-kick which was saved by Seaman. Unfortunately for the England no.1 goalkeeper, Jason McAteer hammered home the rebound and Liverpool went home with all three points, winning 2-1.

Fowler received a UEFA Fair Play certificate for his sportsmanship approach. In 2017, he told the Liverpool Echo: “It wasn’t a penalty and because he was my mate from the England side, I just said it wasn’t a pen.”

Premier League Rewind: 16th-18th January 1999

Results: Chelsea 2-1 Coventry City, Derby County 1-0 Blackburn Rovers, Leeds United 2-0 Middlesbrough, Leicester City 2-6 Manchester United, Liverpool FC 7-1 Southampton, Nottingham Forest 0-1 Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur 0-0 Wimbledon, West Ham United 0-4 Sheffield Wednesday, Charlton Athletic 2-2 Newcastle United, Aston Villa 3-0 Everton

The final year of the 20th century provided plenty of entertaining action in the Premier League and an intense scrap for the championship title was shaping up very nicely in January 1999. The usual suspects, Manchester United and reigning champions Arsenal were being challenged for supremacy by early season pacesetters Aston Villa and Chelsea, who were finally beginning to launch a sustained title challenge for the first time in the Premier League era.

All four sides would ultimately win on the 16th-18th January weekend but with very differing results. The leaders going into the weekend were Chelsea and Gianluca Vialli’s side held onto that advantage after a narrow and fortunate 2-1 victory over Coventry City. The Sky Blues had defeated Chelsea on the opening weekend of the season and were looking at a surprising league double when Darren Huckerby put them infront after only nine minutes.

Franck Leboeuf equalised just before half-time before the match turned into a heated battle which even saw a confrontation involving both sets of coaching staff. Jeff Winter sent Gordon Strachan to the stands although he claimed to have no part in the scuffle. Without their manager, Coventry lost their hard-earned point in stoppage-time. Roberto Di Matteo scored the winner to keep Chelsea top and extended their unbeaten run to 21 Premier League matches.

Aston Villa sat just below Chelsea on goal difference. They cruised to a 3-0 victory over Everton on the Monday Night Football. Villa were helped by an early red card for Everton defender Alex Cleland. He saw red from referee Neale Barry after just 11 minutes and from then on, John Gregory’s side didn’t look back. There were two goals for Julian Joachim and one from Paul Merson. However, this would be their last domestic victory until early April as their challenge faded dramatically.

Like Chelsea, Arsenal had to work incredibly hard to earn three points. Martin Keown’s header was enough to defeat a plucky Nottingham Forest 1-0 at The City Ground. Forest had a new manager as Ron Atkinson was appointed to try and save their precarious position. Atkinson made headlines almost instantly by sitting in the wrong dugout before kick-off! It pretty much summed up Forest’s season; calamitous!

Still, at least they weren’t thrashed on this weekend. That happened to both Leicester City and Southampton. Leicester were well-beaten, 6-2 at home by a goal-hungry Manchester United. Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole were in imperious form. Yorke scored a hat-trick and Cole helped himself to two goals. There was also time for a first Red Devils goal for centre-back Jaap Stam. Leicester did score the goal of the game from Theo Zagorakis. However, they simply couldn’t handle United’s red-hot attack. Sir Alex Ferguson’s side were handily placed in third, just two points shy of league leaders Chelsea.

It was worse still for Southampton who caved in 7-1 at Anfield to Liverpool FC. Robbie Fowler scored a hat-trick. In the process, he made it to a century of Premier League goals. Jamie Carragher and Dominic Matteo also scored rare goals as Southampton’s defenders simply wilted on Merseyside. The win took Liverpool up to sixth spot with four wins now from their last five games.

Southampton and Forest were joined in the relegation zone by Charlton Athletic. They did though manage to end their eight-game losing streak by earning a 2-2 home draw with Newcastle United. Martin Pringle scored his first goal for the club in the 90th minute.

What else happened in January 1999?

  • In an interview with The Times newspaper, England manager Glenn Hoddle suggests people born with disabilities are paying for sins in a previous life. His comments prove to be very damaging for his job prospects.
  • After fourteen years of playing NBA basketball, superstar Michael Jordan announces his second retirement.
  • The Denver Broncos win their second consecutive Super Bowl, defeating the Atlanta Falcons, 34-19, in Super Bowl XXXIII.
  • Fernando Henrique Cardoso takes office as President of Brazil for the second time.
  • Britney Spears releases her debut album.
  • Unemployment in the UK falls to just over 1.3 million. This is the lowest total in 20 years.
  • Channel 5 airs an episode of their soap opera Family Affairs, which sees one of the original families – the Hart clan killed in a dramatic boat explosion in a desperate bid to improve falling ratings.