Tag Archives: September

Premier League Rewind: 15th-17th September 2017

Results: AFC Bournemouth 2-1 Brighton & Hove Albion, Crystal Palace 0-1 Southampton, Huddersfield Town 1-1 Leicester City, Liverpool FC 1-1 Burnley, Newcastle United 2-1 Stoke City, Watford 0-6 Manchester City, West Bromwich Albion 0-0 West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur 0-0 Swansea City, Chelsea 0-0 Arsenal, Manchester United 4-0 Everton

The weekend of the 15th-17th September 2017 was the fifth round of fixtures in the 2017-2018 season and already, a pattern was starting to develop at the top of the table. The two Manchester clubs were dismissing their opponents with consummate ease. There was no change on this weekend.

Having thrashed 10-man Liverpool FC 5-0 on the previous Saturday, Pep Guardiola’s all-conquering Citizens went one better at Vicarage Road. Watford went into the match unbeaten with two wins and two draws to their name but they simply had no answer for the visitors who were in ruthless form. Sergio Aguero scored the first hat-trick of the season as he closed in on becoming the club’s record all-time goalscorer. The 6-0 final scoreline simply didn’t flatter Manchester City. Their goalscoring glut in September already had the other challengers quaking with fear.

Manchester United were doing their best to keep up though. Like West Ham United and Swansea City in August, Everton were on the wrong end of a 4-0 beating from Jose Mourinho’s men. It was Wayne Rooney’s first return to Old Trafford since his summer departure back to Merseyside and he was given a warm reception on his reunion with his former club. However, Everton fell behind early on to September’s Goal of the Month; a screamer from distance in the fourth minute by converted full-back Antonio Valencia. There was also a goal for Romelu Lukaku against his former club in the closing moments as Everton fell to a third successive heavy defeat in all competitions in just eight days. The pressure was growing on Ronald Koeman.

The weekend actually got underway with a Friday Night Football on the south coast and a local derby between AFC Bournemouth and Brighton & Hove Albion. Bournemouth were pointless going into the match and trailed early in the second half to Solly March’s header. However, the Cherries rallied and goals from Andrew Surman and Jermain Defoe helped them defeat the Seagulls 2-1 in an enthralling contest. It was their first points and win of the season.

Bournemouth were off the mark but Crystal Palace remained on zero points and also, zero goals. Southampton left Selhurst Park with all three points in the Saturday lunchtime kick-off. Saints’ skipper Steven Davis scored the only goal in the opening five minutes to ensure a losing start for Roy Hodgson in his first managerial match since being in-charge on that fateful night in Nice when England were knocked out of the 2016 European Championships by Iceland.

Chelsea lost ground on the top two after being held to a goalless draw by a battling Arsenal side at Stamford Bridge, with David Luiz seeing red for the hosts. It was the first of four meetings between the sides during the season and Arsenal remained undefeated in all four encounters. This was one of three goalless draws during the weekend. Another took place at The Hawthorns, where Gareth Barry equalled Ryan Giggs’ all-time Premier League appearance record, levelling up on 632 appearances in the drab stalemate between West Bromwich Albion and West Ham United.

The third game without a goal on the weekend was at Wembley Stadium as Swansea City held Tottenham Hotspur to keep Spurs’ winless streak at their temporary home going, whilst Newcastle United climbed into the dizzying heights of fourth spot in the table after beating Stoke City 2-1 to achieve a third successive victory. For the second successive match, it was skipper Jamaal Lascelles who powered home the winner from a set-piece.

What else happened in September 2017?

  • A blast and fire at Parsons Green train station is treated as a terrorist attack. This time, there are no fatalities, but 29 injuries in-total. It is the fourth attack on the UK in 2017 alone.
  • Kensington Palace announces that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child.
  • Weeks after Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma strikes The Caribbean and the United States. The Category 5 hurricane causes $64.2 billion in damage and claims the lives of 146 people.
  • In response to recent sanctions put in place by the United States, Russian President Vladimir Putin expelled 755 diplomats from his country.
  • North Korea conducts its sixth and most powerful nuclear test.
  • Paris and Los Angeles are chosen as the hosts of the 2024 and 2028 Olympic Games.
  • A new £10 polymer banknote enters circulation in the UK, with Jane Austen featured.
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Premier League Rewind: 28th-30th September 2002

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What else happened in September 2002?

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

Premier League Rewind: 14th-16th September 2013

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

The 2013-2014 Premier League campaign was a year where plenty of change was happening at the top clubs. This was the first season since 1986 that Manchester United were experiencing a campaign without Sir Alex Ferguson as their manager. Manchester City also had a new boss with Manuel Pellegrini in charge and Jose Mourinho was back at Chelsea for his second spell.

The leaders going into this weekend were Liverpool FC. Brendan Rodgers’ side had won their first three matches by a scoreline of 1-0. They would remain top at the end of the weekend but forfeited their 100% record in the process. The Reds travelled to Swansea City on a night in the Sky studios when Jamie Carragher revealed in a tactical discussion about full-backs that “no-one wants to grow up to be a Gary Neville” right infront of his fellow pundit!

In the match itself, Jonjo Shelvey had an eventful night. Playing in his first game against the Merseysiders since leaving them for the Welsh club in the summer, Shelvey put Swansea ahead inside the opening two minutes, before making two careless mistakes to allow Liverpool FC to take the lead, through Daniel Sturridge and new on-loan arrival, Victor Moses. The midfielder made amends with a neat header to tee-up Michu for the equaliser in the second half. The match finished 2-2.

After losing on the opening day to Aston Villa, Arsenal fans had lost patience with Arsene Wenger, urging him to spend some money in the transfer window on new players. On deadline day, he broke their club-record fee to sign Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid. He made his debut at The Stadium of Light against Sunderland and immediately set-up the opening goal of the game for Olivier Giroud. Arsenal won 3-1 to go just a point behind Liverpool. Sunderland had boss Paolo di Canio sent to the stands as they tumbled to a third defeat in four games.

Manchester United bounced back from their recent loss at Anfield. David Moyes’ side won 2-0 in the lunchtime kick-off against newly-promoted Crystal Palace. Robin van Persie’s penalty and a Wayne Rooney free-kick helped United to three points but it was a match overshadowed by accusations that were made about diving from winger Ashley Young. Even Moyes had to warn his midfielder on his future conduct afterwards.

Chelsea suffered their first defeat in the second Mourinho reign, going down 1-0 to Everton at Goodison Park. Steven Naismith’s header in first half injury-time was enough to give Roberto Martinez his first win since being appointed Everton boss in the summer. It was a frustrating afternoon also for Manchester City as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium.

Elsewhere, Gareth McAuley’s injury-time equaliser earned West Bromwich Albion a late point in a 1-1 draw with Fulham at Craven Cottage. It was West Brom’s first goal of the 2013-2014 season. Also, Newcastle United recorded an excellent 2-1 away win at Aston Villa.

What else happened in September 2013?

  • The Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya is attacked by Islamic militants. At least 62 people are killed and 170 others injured.
  • The IOC awards the 2020 Summer Olympics to the Japanese capital, Tokyo.
  • Following a trial in Manchester, Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell, who plays Kevin Webster in the ITV soap, is cleared of child sex allegations.
  • The Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, Nigel Evans resigns after being charged with sexual offences.
  • Prime Minister David Cameron rejects an invitation for a head-to-head TV debate on Scottish independence with Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond.
  • The UK’s largest public library is opened in Birmingham.
  • The founder of Dolby Laboratories, Ray Dolby, dies from leukaemia at the age of 80.

Premier League Rewind: 26th-28th September 2003

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

The week leading up to the action on 26th-28th September 2003 had been dominated by the spectacular fallout from ‘The Battle of Old Trafford.’ Following the unsavoury scenes after the 0-0 draw between Manchester United and Arsenal, eight players were charged by the Football Association and Arsenal were seen by many experts and neutrals as the public enemies for picking on Ruud van Nistelrooy.

It was time for the Gunners’ to get people drooling over their football again rather than the fighting bulldog spirit they’d shown in Manchester. They kicked off the weekend with an entertaining Friday night encounter at home to Newcastle United. The teams shared five goals and only a clumsy Jermaine Jenas handball allowed a Thierry Henry penalty to end up separating the sides. Henry scored twice in the 3-2 victory. It was game seven of Arsenal’s historic ‘The Invincibles’ season. Newcastle were yet to win in the campaign.

They were one of two sides still awaiting that winning feeling by the time September ended. The other were the Premier League rookies Wolverhampton Wanderers. However, they had a contender for the Goal of the Weekend. Alex Rae’s stunning volley gave them the lead away to Bolton Wanderers. Unfortunately for all Wolves fans, their first top-flight victory in 20 years would have to wait. Kevin Davies scored a late equaliser with five minutes left to ensure the match ended 1-1.

Van Nistelrooy showed no after-effects from being the centre of attention during the Old Trafford fracas a week earlier. The Dutchman did his talking by scoring goals and he chalked up another hat-trick in Manchester United’s routine 4-1 victory away to Leicester City. Sir Alex Ferguson’s defending champions had lost only once all campaign but were sitting in third spot only in the table. That was because Chelsea’s unbeaten start continued. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink scored the only goal of a narrow 1-0 success at home to Aston Villa. However, the Blues’ were fortunate to win this match. Villa striker Juan Pablo Angel spurned a couple of fantastic opportunities to deny the visitors’ the chance of a point.

The other side that were currently unbeaten in the Premier League were Birmingham City. Steve Bruce’s side were tough to breakdown and had enough on the counter-attack to hurt teams. Portsmouth were the latest victims – losing 2-0 in the Midlands. Birmingham boasted the best defensive record, conceding just twice and keeping five clean sheets  in their opening six matches.

Van Nistelrooy might have been a regular when it came to scoring hat-tricks but there were two other players who scored trebles that weekend and they certainly rank among the Premier League’s most surprising hat-trick heroes. Defender Steve Watson made the most of Leeds United’s fragile defence to score a treble in Everton’s 4-0 victory over the penniless Yorkshire side. Leeds were abject throughout and conceded 10 goals in three September matches, without scoring. It was a painful return to Goodison Park for Peter Reid.

On the same Sunday afternoon, Kevin Lisbie enjoyed the day of his life as Charlton Athletic welcomed Liverpool FC to The Valley. Lisbie scored an incredible hat-trick including a wonderful solo effort as Charlton won 3-2. It was their second successive home victory over Liverpool, who were now sitting in the unfamiliar positon of eighth spot. The one crumb of comfort for Liverpool fans was the form of Michael Owen. After a slow start to the season, Owen had now scored six goals in four matches. He struck a penalty in this defeat.

In the weekend’s other three matches, Middlesbrough claimed a surprising 1-0 victory away at Southampton. This was the Saints’ first defeat of the season. Fulham enjoyed their away trip to Ewood Park, beating Blackburn Rovers 2-0 whilst Super Sunday viewers were treated to a goalless game between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur. Unfortunately for Sky viewers, this was a period where Sunday 4pm matches introduced a lack of goalmouth activity. In five 4pm kick-offs between September 21st and October 26th, just two goals were scored!

There was still only six points between the top eight at the end of September but it was already clear that Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United had the three strongest squads and would be the three sides likely to scrap it out for the 2003-2004 Premier League title.

What else happened in September 2003?

  • Estonia & Latvia join the European Union following a referendum but the people of Sweden reject the chance to take the Euro currency following their own vote.
  • “Dirty Den” returns to EastEnders – 14 years after appearing to have been killed off.
  • The Bull Ring shopping centre in Birmingham is officially opened.
  • Starring Matt Lucas and David Walliams, Little Britain makes its first appearance on UK TV screens.
  • Andy Roddick beats Juan Carlos Ferrero in straight sets to win the men’s singles at the US Open; his sole Grand Slam victory.
  • Europe’s first mission to the moon is launched through SMART-1, a European Space Agency satellite.
  • Labour loses the Brent East seat in a by-election to the Liberal Democrats after 29 years in control.

Premier League Rewind: 18th-20th September 1993

Results: Blackburn Rovers 0-2 West Ham United, Coventry City 1-1 Chelsea, Everton 2-0 Liverpool FC, Ipswich Town 1-2 Aston Villa, Leeds United 2-1 Sheffield United, Queens Park Rangers 2-2 Norwich City, Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 Southampton, Swindon Town 2-2 Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur 5-0 Oldham Athletic, Manchester United 1-0 Arsenal, Wimbledon 1-0 Manchester City

The 1993-1994 Premier League season was starting to slowly take shape in September 1993. There were some big games on the weekend of 18th-20th September which produced some interesting stories.

The biggest match-up was the latest in the rivalry of the Merseyside derby between Everton and Liverpool FC. Both sides had made positive starts to the campaign and were in the chasing pack behind early season pacesetters Manchester United and Arsenal. In the 27th minute, the home side took the lead which led to some extraordinary scenes afterwards. Andy Hinchcliffe’s corner was cleared at the near post by Steve McManaman. It only managed to find Mark Ward, who rifled a shot into the bottom corner of the net. As he went off celebrating, Liverpool goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar got into a heated confrontation with McManaman which saw handbags thrown and luckily no more than that. Tony Cottee’s goal five minutes from time ensured Howard Kendall’s men would finish the weekend inside the top four.

With Manchester United and Arsenal playing each other on the Sunday afternoon, Blackburn Rovers had the opportunity to take top spot briefly. They missed their chance at home to newly-promoted West Ham United. A goal in each half from Lee Chapman and Trevor Morley spearheaded the Hammers’ to an unlikely 2-0 victory at Ewood Park. It was already Blackburn’s second home loss of the campaign.

It was a miserable weekend for Oldham Athletic, who took a pasting at free-flowing Tottenham Hotspur. Ossie Ardiles loved his sides to attack and they did this at White Hart Lane to devastating effect. Inside nine minutes, Oldham were 3-0 down and ended up losing 5-0. Teddy Sheringham continued his fine start to the season, scoring twice. Sheringham’s goals kept Tottenham in the early season mix. Unfortunately, injury would strike a month later which seriously hurt his side’s form afterwards.

Fresh from scoring the winning goal a week earlier to beat the reigning champions, Gavin Peacock was at it again at Highfield Road. He opened the scoring in Chelsea’s 1-1 draw with Coventry City. Steve Morgan equalised for a share of the spoils. The points were also shared in games involving Swindon Town and Newcastle United at the County Ground and Queens Park Rangers vs. Norwich City at Loftus Road. Les Ferdinand rescued a point for QPR in their 2-2 draw with the Canaries. His 83rd minute goal denied Norwich another impressive success away from home.

On Super Sunday, the top two met at Old Trafford. Manchester United bounced back to winning ways with a stunning free-kick from Eric Cantona good enough to beat Arsenal 1-0. It took the Red Devils’ three points clear at the top of the table. The action ended with Wimbledon beating Manchester City by the same scoreline on Monday Night Football. Robbie Earle scored the only goal to inflict a first defeat on Brian Horton as City manager.

What else happened in September 1993?

  • The 1,000th Boeing 747 jumbo jet is produced.
  • Sci-Fi drama “The X-Files” makes its debut on American television, launching the careers of Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny.
  • Pete Sampras and Steffi Graf are the men’s and women’s singles champions at the US Open at Flushing Meadows.
  • The USA beat Europe 15-13 to win the 30th Ryder Cup at The Belfry.
  • Nearly 10,000 people are killed when an earthquake strikes the region of Latur, India which measures 6.4 on the Richter scale.
  • In Washington, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestine Leader Yasser Arafat famously shake hands after signing the Oslo I Accord; temporarily bringing peace to the Middle East.

Iconic Moments: Wenger marks two decades (October 2016)

In September 1996, Arsenal confirmed the appointment of the relatively unknown Frenchman Arsene Wenger as their new manager. Wenger had guided AS Monaco to the UEFA Champions League semi-finals in 1994 but had most recently spent time coaching in the Japanese J-League.

It is fair to say there were plenty of sceptics about the appointment but he is still going strong two decades on. Possibly slightly less fresh-faced when he took the dugout for the first time at Ewood Park on 12 October 1996 but Wenger’s legacy at Arsenal and the Premier League should not be tarnished.

He revolutionised the Gunners. Training methods improved, stricter and better diet regimes were brought in under his guidance and the way football was played by the club even changed. Gone was the ‘1-0 to the Arsenal tag.’ In his first full season with the club (1997-1998), they won the league and cup double. In the process, Wenger became the first foreign manager to lift the Premier League prize.

Another double followed four seasons later when Arsenal scored in every single Premier League game and went through the entire campaign undefeated away from Highbury. Even better came in 2003-2004 when they went through the whole season unbeaten. ‘The Invincibles’ of 2004 has to be considered as one of the greatest teams to have played the English game.

Trophies have dried out since and criticism is often aimed in Wenger’s direction over his reluctance to sign players in the transfer market but he also oversaw the club’s move to the Emirates Stadium. Before finishing fifth in 2016-2017, he managed to get the Londoners into the top four for the previous 20 seasons. It was a remarkable achievement in a period where Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool FC all had spells outside the top six, let alone top four.

In October 2016, Wenger celebrated 20 years as Arsenal manager with a scrappy 1-0 away win at Burnley, courtesy of a stoppage-time goal from Laurent Koscielny. He left Turf Moor with a huge smile on his face and at the end of the season, ended with a record seventh FA Cup victory, defeating champions Chelsea in the final. Four days later, it was confirmed that he has signed a two-year contract extension to remain Arsenal manager after a season where supporters’ loyalty towards the Frenchman was definitely split.

Supporters of the club have to step back and think where they would be if Arsene Wenger hadn’t taken over. His time will eventually end at some point but we will never see the likes of this unflappable Frenchman again – nor his longevity in the game.