Results: Arsenal 1-0 West Ham United, Aston Villa 2-0 Wimbledon, Chelsea 3-0 Southampton, Leeds United 1-3 Queens Park Rangers, Liverpool FC 3-0 Blackburn Rovers, Manchester United 3-0 Bolton Wanderers, Middlesbrough 2-1 Coventry City, Newcastle United 3-1 Manchester City, Sheffield Wednesday 1-3 Tottenham Hotspur, Nottingham Forest 3-2 Everton
There were early signs in the 1995-1996 title race that Newcastle United and Manchester United were destined to be involved in a huge two-way scrap for the championship. Six games into the season and they were equal on points, victories and defeats. Those records were maintained in this round of action in mid-September.
Newcastle bounced back from a disappointing defeat in their previous fixture away to Southampton. The Geordies were far too strong for a hapless Manchester City side at St James’ Park, losing 3-1 to remain at the foot of the table with just one point to their name so far. The visitors’ cause wasn’t helped by Richard Edghill’s cheap dismissal and Les Ferdinand added another two goals to his tally. Ferdinand had made a brilliant start to his Newcastle career and had now scored six goals in his first six games for the club.
After their own slack opening to the season at Villa Park, Manchester United were starting to find their form. Alex Ferguson’s team made it five successive victories as newly-promoted Bolton Wanderers were simply no match for the Red Devils at Old Trafford. Paul Scholes scored twice and Ryan Giggs added his name to the scoresheet. United were still missing Eric Cantona who was a fortnight away from completing his eight-month suspension for a kung-fu kick at a Crystal Palace supporter.
The defending champions were Blackburn Rovers but they were well off the pace and looking more like relegation candidates. They returned to Anfield just four months after lifting the title there in the previous season and were crushed by Liverpool FC. Liverpool scored three times in the first 29 minutes, courtesy of Robbie Fowler’s diving header and long-range efforts by Jamie Redknapp and Stan Collymore. Henning Berg’s second half dismissal compounded to a miserable afternoon for the champions who had just four points to their name from six games and were only outside the relegation zone on goal difference.
Liverpool FC finished the weekend in fourth place, one point adrift of Aston Villa. Villa had struggled throughout the previous season but were keen for this to be an anomaly. Mark Draper and Ian Taylor scored the goals in their 2-0 home victory over an inconsistent Wimbledon.
Only two sides were unbeaten at this stage of the season and they sitting pretty in the top six. The sides in question were Arsenal and Nottingham Forest. The Gunners hadn’t really sparkled under new manager Bruce Rioch so far and Dennis Bergkamp was still goalless since his summer arrival from Inter Milan. It was Ian Wright’s penalty that was good enough to edge out West Ham United 1-0 at Highbury.
A day later, Nottingham Forest beat Everton 3-2 on Super Sunday. Ian Woan’s long-range effort was the pick of the goals as Forest recorded their first win since the opening day of the season. Everton were about to embark on a seven-match winless run that would prove damaging to their chances of launching a top three challenge. Having achieved 10 points from four matches in August, Leeds United lost back-to-back games in September. They were surprisingly beaten 3-1 at home by Queens Park Rangers.
What else happened in September 1995?
- Frank Bruno defeats Oliver McCall on points to finally win the WBC World Heavyweight Championship.
- Regular DAB radio broadcasting begins courtesy of the BBC from the Crystal Palace transmitting station.
- Led by Bernard Gallacher, Europe regain The Ryder Cup, beating USA at Oak Hill 14 ½ to 13 ½.
- Despite attempts to bring an end to the conflict, the Bosnian War continues with NATO air strikes against Bosnian Serb forces.
- Accused of Mafia connections, the trial begins of former Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti.
- British racing driver Kieth O’dor, who won the 1993 British Touring Car Championship race that supported the British Grand Prix, is killed in a touring car race in Berlin. He is just 33-years-old.