Tag Archives: Steven Gerrard

Premier League Files: Graham Dorrans

Premier League Career: West Bromwich Albion (2008-2009), (2010-2015), Norwich City (2015-2016)

Graham Dorrans has divided his career between the English and Scottish leagues. He started his professional journey at Livingston and has also played for Partick Thistle north of the border. In England, he represented West Bromwich Albion and Norwich City before returning to Scottish football, signing for Rangers in 2017. Dorrans has won 12 international caps for Scotland, making his senior debut for the Scots in October 2009.

Graham came through the ranks at Livingston alongside a fellow colleague who would move into the Premier League later in his career in Robert Snodgrass. During this time, he also had a 15-game loan stint at Partick Thistle, recording five goals for the Glasgow side. After impressing at Livingston and winning the Scottish First Division Player’s Player of the Year award in 2007-2008, Dorrans agreed to move down south, linking up with West Bromwich Albion in a move that was initially agreed for £200,000 in January 2008.

Dorrans joined up with his new teammates that summer but had to wait until December for his Premier League bow, arriving as a half-time substitute in a victory over Manchester City. His 30-minute cameo was impressive, playing a big role in Luke Moore opening the scoring and he received praise from his manager afterwards who said: “He’s outstanding on the pitch with his ability to manipulate the ball, create and play clever disguised passes.”

He made another seven appearances that season in the Premier League but West Brom were relegated and he broke his metatarsal towards the end of the season in a fixture against Liverpool FC.

He was outstanding on West Brom’s return to second-tier football, scoring 13 times and ensuring it was a swift return back to the Premier League. Widely praised for his control, skill and readership of the game, Dorrans signed two new contract extensions during the 2010 calendar year to stave off interest from a number of interested suitors, including West Ham United who saw bids rejected for the Scotsman.

Dorrans was voted into the Championship Team of the Year but couldn’t sustain the goalscoring form he’s shown in the Championship on West Brom’s return to the football elite. Nevertheless, he still made 52 Premier League appearances combined in 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 as Albion became a consistent finisher in the mid-table positions.

After being left out of a matchday squad by Steve Clarke for the New Year’s Day clash with Fulham in January 2013, he was made available for transfer. Clarke insisted that discussions between manager and player were still cordial and he would only leave if there was an interested party willing to pay a respectable fee. No offers were forthcoming and Dorrans actually stayed with the Baggies through the rest of Clarke’s reign, plus that of Pepe Mel and Alan Irvine.

He signed a three-year contract extension in July 2014 and made 21 appearances in 2014-2015, scoring in a commanding victory over Burnley. However, he left West Brom on the final day of the 2015 winter transfer window and moved on-loan to Norwich City for the remainder of the season. He helped guide rookie manager Alex Neil through the navigation of a competitive division and the Canaries triumphed via the play-offs to return to the Premier League at the first attempt of asking. With promotion secured, Dorrans’ move to Carrow Road became a permanent one.

He made 21 Premier League appearances in 2015-2016 but failed to score and Norwich were relegated at the end of the season. After another season in East Anglia, he was attracted to the revival Rangers have embarked on in Scottish football. Dorrans has currently scored five goals and created four others for teammates but has only managed 23 games due to persistent injuries in his first two campaigns at Ibrox. Often on the sidelines because of this, it remains doubtful if he is going to be part of Steven Gerrard’s long-term plans as the Gers look to close the gap on Glasgow rivals Celtic.

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The Managers: Brendan Rodgers

Premier League Clubs Managed: Swansea City (2011-2012), Liverpool FC (2012-2015), Leicester City (2019-PRESENT)

Brendan Rodgers is back in the Premier League having just been confirmed as Claude Puel’s successor at Leicester City. This is after he broke records and new grounds in the Scottish Premiership with Celtic. Back-to-back trebles and an unbeaten campaign with the Bhoys in 2016-2017, Rodgers was on-course to win more honours in this campaign, eight points clear of Rangers, led by his former Liverpool FC captain, Steven Gerrard. However, the lure of managing again in the Premier League has been too much for Rodgers to resist.

Previously in England, Rodgers learned his trade under the wing of Jose Mourinho at Chelsea before going onto great success with Swansea City. This earned him the huge opportunity to manage Liverpool FC and he came within an inch of ending the Reds’ league championship drought in 2013-2014.

Enforced retirement

Growing up as a supporter of Celtic and Sheffield Wednesday, Rodgers began his playing career as a defender at Ballymena United. He was signed by Reading at the age of 18 but he never made a first-team appearance and a genetic knee condition meant he was forced to stop playing at just 20. Reading kept him on the books as a youth coach and academy director for several years.

He decided to travel around Spain to study coaching methods and in 2004, was invited by new Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho to become the club’s new youth manager. He received the recommendation to join the Blues by Mourinho’s assistant, Steve Clarke – who is now also a Premiership manager rival of Rodgers’ up in Scotland with Kilmarnock.

In 2006, he earned the promotion to manage the reserve team and even after Mourinho’s departure, Avram Grant and Luiz Felipe Scolari kept him in that particular role. However, his first senior management opportunity was about to follow in Hertfordshire.

The Royal return doesn’t work out

In November 2008, Aidy Boothroyd left Watford with the club in relegation trouble in the Championship. They were 21st in the table and turned to rookie Rodgers to try and revive their fortunes.

His first experience of management at first-team level didn’t start well. The Hornets dropped into the relegation zone by the end of January and suffered a League Cup exit at the quarter-final stage to holders, Tottenham Hotspur. However, Rodgers stuck to his principles and he guided the club away from danger from February onwards. A run of five wins in six matches saw them finish a creditable 13th in the table.

A few weeks later, his former club Reading were looking for a new boss after Steve Coppell resigned following their failure to earn promotion via the play-offs. Although he initially distanced himself to the job, the lure of returning to Berkshire couldn’t be ignored and a compensation package was eventually agreed which saw Brendan leave Watford and take the vacancy at Reading.

The return didn’t work out. Reading managed just an average of one point per game and won just once at home during his tenure in the Championship. In December 2009, days after conceding a late equaliser at home to fellow strugglers, Scunthorpe United, he parted company with the club by mutual consent after just over six months in-charge. He managed only five victories in an unsuccessful stint at The Madejski Stadium.

Achieving history with Swansea

In July 2010, Rodgers returned to full-time management with Swansea City, succeeding Paolo Sousa. Prior to this appointment, it had looked like he would take up a first-team coaching position alongside Roberto Mancini at Manchester City but the lure of management on his own was simply too much. The Swans played some of the best football in the 2010-2011 Championship season and comfortably finished in the top six.

They made the play-off final and incredibly, it was Reading – the club who had ditched him when the going was tough who were the opponents in the battle to reach the holy grail of the Premier League. Swansea prevailed, winning 4-2 thanks to a Scott Sinclair hat-trick. Rodgers had achieved history by guiding Swansea to the Premier League, becoming the first Welsh club to play at this level.

The experts immediately tipped Swansea for an instant return to the Championship but despite failing to score in their first four matches, he stuck to his principles and prevailed. A strong home record which included victories over Arsenal, eventual champions Manchester City and Liverpool FC saw the Swans finish an exceptional 11th in their debut Premier League campaign. During the season, he signed a contract extension to remain as the club’s manager but when Liverpool FC sacked Kenny Dalglish days after the 2011-2012 season concluded, Rodgers name was immediately linked with the vacancy on Merseyside.

So close with Liverpool

Initially, it seemed like Wigan boss Roberto Martinez was the favourite with the bookmakers but the American owners of Liverpool, The Fenway Sports Group, had earmarked Rodgers as their preferred candidate. In June 2012, compensation was agreed with Swansea and the Northern Irishman was unveiled as Liverpool’s new manager.

His first campaign seemed to be slightly underwhelming. Liverpool finished seventh in the Premier League, below Merseyside rivals Everton and were eliminated from the FA Cup at the fourth round stage by League One strugglers, Oldham Athletic. However, he was building for the future and form improved in the second half of the campaign following the January arrivals of Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge, whilst Luis Suarez was in sensational form and seemed to improve under the coaching of Rodgers.

In 2013-2014, Liverpool’s minimum target was to challenge for a top four finish. Without any distractions from a European campaign, the Reds could focus on this goal but they well and truly exceeded expectations. They won their first three matches to top the Premier League table and were still sitting top on Christmas Day of a thrilling title battle against Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City.

Back-to-back defeats to City and Chelsea dropped Liverpool to fifth by the turn of the year and he was fined £8,000 by the FA for making comments about Lee Mason’s performance during Liverpool’s 2-1 Boxing Day defeat to the Citizens. However, Liverpool remained firmly in the title race, helped by the emergence of Raheem Sterling as a prosperous talent, the goals from the ‘SAS’ partnership between Sturridge and Suarez and some stunning displays from Gerrard at the heart of the midfield.

An 11-game winning sequence, which included a highly-charged and poignant 3-2 victory over Manchester City in April, had the fans dreaming of a first league championship in 24 years. However, it was not to be. Two weeks later, Gerrard slipped against Chelsea, allowing Demba Ba through on-goal to put the Blues ahead. Mourinho’s side won 2-0 and handed the title advantage to Manchester City. A dramatic collapse at Selhurst Park a week later at Crystal Palace ended the dream. It was a missed opportunity but Liverpool had never come so close to landing the Premier League prize. They scored 101 goals and thrilled spectators throughout the country but conceding 50 goals were one of the detrimental factors to their title tilt.

In the summer of 2014, Suarez left for Barcelona and Sturridge spent much of the campaign on the sidelines thanks to injury. Rodgers spent big but failed to find an adequate replacement for the Uruguayan forward. Mario Balotelli was a gamble that backfired whilst Lazar Markovic proved to be an expensive flop and Dejan Lovren struggled with his £20 million price tag. Back in the UEFA Champions League, Liverpool struggled to make an impact, achieving just one victory from their six group games and exiting the competition at the first hurdle. Rodgers’ decision to rest his star names at The Bernabeu, including Gerrard, caused a rift between the boss and his captain and that turned out to be the catalyst for Gerrard’s summer departure to LA Galaxy.

Liverpool finished a distant sixth, losing 6-1 on the final day at Stoke City and lost in domestic cup semi-finals to Chelsea and Aston Villa respectively. The campaign had been a real disappointment but the owners continued to have faith in Rodgers and stuck by him in the summer, providing further funds to allow Christian Benteke, Roberto Firmino and Nathaniel Clyne to join the club.

By now, the patience of the supporters with Rodgers had run out. The frailties that had persisted through the title near-miss of 2013-2014 hadn’t been fixed nearly 18 months on. They limped past Carlisle United on penalties in the League Cup third round and couldn’t even beat Swiss part-timers FC Sion in the UEFA Europa League group stages. Speculation was rife that his time was up at Anfield.

Hours after a 1-1 draw with Merseyside neighbours Everton in the 225th Merseyside Derby, Rodgers was sacked by the owners – his fate had been sealed before the match after a run of just one win in nine matches in all competitions. He left with Liverpool sitting a distant 10th in the table.

It was a chastening end to what had been an initial promising start to his Liverpool reign.

Celtic joy

In May 2016, he was appointed as Celtic’s new manager on a 12-month rolling contract and immediately set to work on one of the clubs he supported as a boy. Celtic had been winning titles comfortably under the previous regime but had been failing to win the domestic cup competitions and made little impact in Europe either. The aim was to make the Bhoys stronger in European competition and to leave nothing on the table in terms of silverware for the other Scottish clubs.

In 2016-2017, he achieved history by guiding Celtic to a domestic treble for the fourth time in their history and ending the season unbeaten in all domestic competitions. They became the first Scottish top-flight side to complete an unbeaten league campaign since 1899, finishing with 106 points and a whopping 30 points clear of runners-up Aberdeen. The Dons were beaten in the Scottish Cup final and the Scottish League Cup final too as Celtic managed their 100th major trophy in their history.

They went 69 games unbeaten domestically before losing 4-0 to Hearts at Tynecastle in December 2017. Nevertheless, they once again cruised to the Premiership title and beat Motherwell in both domestic cup finals, becoming the first manager to win a ‘Double Treble’ in the history of Scottish football.

His success at Celtic wasn’t ignored and it meant his name was often linked with vacant Premier League jobs when they came up. In February 2019, he decided to cut his ties at Parkhead and return down south to the Premier League, taking over a Leicester City side sitting 12th in the table and having lost six on their last seven matches in all competitions. He definitely has a point to prove, both to Leicester supporters and the Premier League in general.

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.

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: 22nd-23rd September 2012

Results: Swansea City 0-3 Everton, Chelsea 1-0 Stoke City, Southampton 4-1 Aston Villa, West Bromwich Albion 1-0 Reading, West Ham United 1-1 Sunderland, Wigan Athletic 1-2 Fulham, Liverpool FC 1-2 Manchester United, Newcastle United 1-0 Norwich City, Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Queens Park Rangers, Manchester City 1-1 Arsenal

It was still early days in the 2012-2013 season but even at this stage, it was intriguing to see who was setting the early pace and who had radical improvements to make.

One team who had the latter feeling were Liverpool FC. New manager Brendan Rodgers was still awaiting his first Premier League victory as Reds’ boss and it wasn’t going to get any easier with Manchester United the visitors to Anfield. It was a highly-charged atmosphere as this was the first game since the findings of the Hillsborough Independent Panel which had cleared the Liverpool supporters of any blame whatsoever from the 1989 tragedy where 96 supporters went to an FA Cup semi-final and never came home. Both managers pleaded pre-match for the two sets of fans to put aside rivalries on this day and unite together in the wake of these groundbreaking and emotional revelations from the panel’s findings.

Jonjo Shelvey wasn’t listening. A rash challenge on Jonny Evans saw the Liverpool midfielder sent off before half-time and his foul-mouthed tirade in the direction of Sir Alex Ferguson as he left the field won him no fans. Despite playing with 10 men, Liverpool FC took the lead early in the second half through the inspirational Steven Gerrard. They were quickly pegged back by Rafael’s effort before Robin van Persie’s well-placed penalty nine minutes from time ensured United left with all three points. Liverpool were now in the bottom three and remained one of six sides without a victory so far.

The win kept Manchester United in second spot and just a single point behind early league leaders Chelsea. The Blues required an 85th minute winner from Ashley Cole to beat a plucky Stoke City side 1-0 at Stamford Bridge. Arsenal came into the weekend in third spot but dropped out of the top four after drawing 1-1 at reigning champions Manchester City. Laurent Koscielny equalised in the 82nd minute after another centre-back in Joleon Lescott opened the scoring.

Unlike their Merseyside rivals, Everton were in brilliant form. The Toffees were traditional slow-starters but not in 2012-2013. They took apart Swansea City at The Liberty Stadium, winning 3-0. With one goal and one assist, Marouane Fellaini was once again the star man. Completing the top four were a surprise package in West Bromwich Albion. Romelu Lukaku’s 71st minute goal was the difference between the Baggies and Reading. They won 1-0 to sit fourth and leave Reading second-bottom and struggling to find their feet back in the top-flight.

Fellow Premier League returnees Southampton had made a wretched start, losing their first four games but they tasted victory for the first time in the campaign against Aston Villa. They trailed 1-0 at half-time but enjoyed a sensational second half display to win 4-1. Rickie Lambert scored twice and there were also first goals of the season for Nathaniel Clyne and Jason Puncheon. The other newly-promoted side were West Ham United and they had been doing better. However, they did require a Kevin Nolan injury-time equaliser to salvage a 1-1 home draw with Sunderland. The Black Cats had drawn their first four matches and Steven Fletcher had scored all of their four goals so far.

What else happened in September 2012?

  • Andy Murray becomes the first British male tennis player to win a Grand Slam since 1936 when he beats Novak Djokovic in five sets to win the US Open at Flushing Meadows.
  • Maria Miller is appointed Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, replacing Jeremy Hunt.
  • Chris Moyles hosts his final breakfast show on BBC Radio 1 and is replaced by Nick Grimshaw.
  • The updated version of the US soap opera Dallas makes its British television debut on Channel 5.
  • Neurosurgeon and Formula One medical delegate Professor Sid Watkins passes away aged 84 after a heart attack.
  • Iran’s support for Syria and nuclear plans sees Canada officially cuts diplomatic ties with them. The Canadians close their embassy in Tehran and orders the expulsion of Iranian diplomats from Ottawa.

Seasonal Records: 2008-2009

For all the statistical fans out there, here are some of the season’s records from the 2008-2009 Premier League campaign. Liverpool FC put in a mighty challenge for the championship but for the third successive year, Manchester United prevailed to make it 18 league championships, levelling the scores with their North West rivals.

FINAL TABLE

Position Team P W D L F A GD PTS
1 Manchester United 38 28 6 4 68 24 +44 90
2 Liverpool FC 38 25 11 2 77 27 +50 86
3 Chelsea 38 25 8 5 68 24 +44 83
4 Arsenal 38 20 12 6 68 37 +31 72
5 Everton 38 17 12 9 55 37 +18 63
6 Aston Villa 38 17 11 10 54 48 +6 62
7 Fulham 38 14 11 13 39 34 +5 53
8 Tottenham Hotspur 38 14 9 15 45 45 0 51
9 West Ham United 38 14 9 15 42 45 -3 51
10 Manchester City 38 15 5 18 58 50 +8 50
11 Wigan Athletic 38 12 9 17 34 45 -11 45
12 Stoke City 38 12 9 17 38 55 -17 45
13 Bolton Wanderers 38 11 8 19 41 53 -12 41
14 Portsmouth 38 10 11 17 38 57 -19 41
15 Blackburn Rovers 38 10 11 17 40 60 -20 41
16 Sunderland 38 9 9 20 34 54 -20 36
17 Hull City 38 8 11 19 39 64 -25 35
18 Newcastle United 38 7 13 18 40 59 -19 34
19 Middlesbrough 38 7 11 20 28 57 -29 32
20 West Bromwich Albion 38 8 8 22 36 67 -31 32

 

THE BASIC STATS

Goals Scored 942
European qualifiers Manchester United (UEFA Champions League)

Liverpool FC (UEFA Champions League)

Chelsea (UEFA Champions League)

Arsenal (UEFA Champions League)

Everton (UEFA Europa League)

Aston Villa (UEFA Europa League)

Fulham (UEFA Europa League)

Longest winning run 11 games (Manchester United)
Longest unbeaten run 21 games (Arsenal)
Longest winless run 14 games (Middlesbrough)
Longest losing run 6 games (Blackburn Rovers & Hull City)
Highest attendance 75,569 (Manchester United vs. Liverpool FC)
Lowest attendance 14,169 (Wigan Athletic vs. West Ham United)

 

AWARDS

PFA Players’ Player of the Year Ryan Giggs (Manchester United)
PFA Young Player of the Year Ashley Young (Aston Villa)
Football Writers’ Award Steven Gerrard (Liverpool FC)
PFA Team of the Year Edwin van der Sar, Patrice Evra, Rio Ferdinand, Glen Johnson, Nemanja Vidic, Steven Gerrard, Ryan Giggs, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ashley Young, Nicolas Anelka, Fernando Torres
Manager of the Year David Moyes (Everton)
Premier League Goal of the Season Glen Johnson (PORTSMOUTH vs. Hull City)

 

HAT-TRICK HEROES

Player Teams Score Date
Gabriel Agbonlahor Aston Villa vs. Manchester City 4-2 17th August 2008
Emmanuel Adebayor Blackburn Rovers vs. Arsenal 0-4 13th September 2008
Robinho Manchester City vs. Stoke City 3-0 26th October 2008
Nicolas Anelka Chelsea vs. Sunderland 5-0 1st November 2008
Steven Gerrard Liverpool FC vs. Aston Villa 5-0 22nd March 2009
Andrey Arshavin (4) Liverpool FC vs. Arsenal 4-4 21st April 2009

 

TOP SCORERS

Position Player Teams No of Goals
1 Nicolas Anelka Chelsea 19
2 Cristiano Ronaldo Manchester United 18
3 Steven Gerrard Liverpool FC 16
4= Robinho Manchester City 14
4= Fernando Torres Liverpool FC 14
6= Wayne Rooney Manchester United 12
6= Dirk Kuyt Liverpool FC 12
6= Frank Lampard Chelsea 12
6= Darren Bent Tottenham Hotspur 12
10= Gabriel Agbonlahor Aston Villa 11
10= Robin van Persie Arsenal 11
10= Jermain Defoe Portsmouth & Tottenham Hotspur 11
10= Ricardo Fuller Stoke City 11
10= Kevin Davies Bolton Wanderers 11
10= John Carew Aston Villa 11
16= Robbie Keane Liverpool FC & Tottenham Hotspur 10
16= Emmanuel Adebayor Arsenal 10
16= Kenwyne Jones Sunderland 10
16= Carlton Cole West Ham United 10
16= Amr Zaki Wigan Athletic 10
16= Matt Taylor Bolton Wanderers 10
16= Peter Crouch Portsmouth 10
16= Benni McCarthy Blackburn Rovers 10
16= Djibril Cisse Sunderland 10
25 Dimitar Berbatov Manchester United 9

BIGGEST VICTORIES

Manchester City 6-0 Portsmouth 21st September 2008
Manchester United 5-0 Stoke City 15th November 2008
West Bromwich Albion 0-5 Manchester United 27th January 2009
Liverpool FC 5-0 Aston Villa 22nd March 2009
Middlesbrough 0-5 Chelsea 18th October 2008
Chelsea 5-0 Sunderland 1st November 2008
Hull City 0-5 Wigan Athletic 30th August 2008
Newcastle United 1-5 Liverpool FC 28th December 2008
Manchester City 5-1 Hull City 26th December 2008
Manchester United 4-0 West Bromwich Albion 18th October 2008

 

HIGHEST SCORING GAMES

No of Goals Teams Date
8 Arsenal 4-4 Tottenham Hotspur 29th October 2008
8 Liverpool FC 4-4 Arsenal 21st April 2009
7 Manchester United 5-2 Tottenham Hotspur 25th April 2009
7 Manchester United 4-3 Hull City 1st November 2008
7 Chelsea 4-3 Bolton Wanderers 11th April 2009
6 Manchester City 6-0 Portsmouth 21st September 2008
6 Newcastle United 1-5 Liverpool FC 28th December 2008
6 Manchester City 5-1 Hull City 26th December 2008
6 Aston Villa 4-2 Manchester City 17th August 2008
6 Aston Villa 4-2 Bolton Wanderers 13th December 2008
6 Manchester City 4-2 West Bromwich Albion 19th April 2009
6 Aston Villa 3-3 Everton 12th April 2009
5 Manchester United 5-0 Stoke City 15th November 2008
5 West Bromwich Albion 0-5 Manchester United 27th January 2009
5 Liverpool FC 5-0 Aston Villa 22nd March 2009
5 Middlesbrough 0-5 Chelsea 18th October 2008
5 Chelsea 5-0 Sunderland 1st November 2008
5 Hull City 0-5 Wigan Athletic 30th August 2008
5 Manchester United 1-4 Liverpool FC 14th March 2009
5 Arsenal 1-4 Chelsea 10th May 2009

 

YOUNGEST PLAYERS USED

Player Teams Age at the time Date
Jose Baxter Everton 2-3 Blackburn Rovers 16 years, 6 months, 9 days 16th August 2008
Jack Wilshere Blackburn Rovers 0-4 Arsenal 16 years, 8 months, 12 days 13th September 2008
Jack Rodwell Everton 2-3 Blackburn Rovers 17 years, 5 months, 5 days 16th August 2008
Chris Wood Blackburn Rovers 0-0 West Bromwich Albion 17 years, 5 months, 17 days 24th May 2009
Federico Macheda Manchester United 3-2 Aston Villa 17 years, 7 months, 14 days 5th April 2009
Aaron Ramsey Blackburn Rovers 0-4 Arsenal 17 years, 8 months, 18 days 13th September 2008
Aaron Doran Liverpool FC 4-0 Blackburn Rovers 17 years, 10 months, 29 days 11th April 2009
Danny Welbeck Manchester United 5-0 Stoke City 17 years, 11 months, 20 days 15th November 2008
Kazenga Lualua Newcastle United 1-5 Liverpool FC 18 years, 18 days 28th December 2008
Callum McManaman Wigan Athletic 1-0 Portsmouth 18 years, 29 days 24th May 2009

 

OLDEST PLAYERS USED

Player Teams Age at the time Date
Dean Windass Manchester City 5-1 Hull City 39 years, 8 months, 24 days 26th December 2008
David James Blackburn Rovers 2-0 Portsmouth 38 years, 9 months, 7 days 9th May 2009
Tugay Blackburn Rovers 0-0 West Bromwich Albion 38 years, 9 months 24th May 2009
Dean Kiely Blackburn Rovers 0-0 West Bromwich Albion 38 years, 7 months, 14 days 24th May 2009
Edwin van der Sar Manchester United 0-0 Arsenal 38 years, 6 months, 17 days 16th May 2009
Brad Friedel Aston Villa 1-0 Newcastle United 38 years, 6 days 24th May 2009
Dwight Yorke Sunderland 1-2 Manchester United 37 years, 5 months, 8 days 11th April 2009
Mike Pollitt Wigan Athletic 1-1 Liverpool FC 36 years, 10 months, 30 days 28th January 2009
Mark Schwarzer Fulham 0-2 Everton 36 years, 7 months, 18 days 24th May 2009
Linvoy Primus Portsmouth 3-1 Sunderland 35 years, 8 months, 4 days 18th May 2009

 

CLEAN SHEETS

Position Player Teams No of Clean Sheets
1 Edwin van der Sar Manchester United 22
2 Pepe Reina Liverpool FC 20
3 Petr Cech Chelsea 19
4 Tim Howard Everton 17
5= Manuel Almunia Arsenal 15
5= Mark Schwarzer Fulham 15
7 Brad Friedel Aston Villa 13
8 Heurelho Gomes Tottenham Hotspur 12
9= Chris Kirkland Wigan Athletic 11
9= Thomas Sorensen Stoke City 11

Premier League Rewind: 4th-6th December 1999

Results: Aston Villa 0-1 Newcastle United, Bradford City 1-1 Middlesbrough, Leicester City 0-3 Arsenal, Manchester United 5-1 Everton, Southampton 0-0 Coventry City, Sunderland 4-1 Chelsea, Wimbledon 5-0 Watford, Derby County 0-1 Leeds United, Liverpool FC 4-1 Sheffield Wednesday, Tottenham Hotspur 0-0 West Ham United

December 1999 was the final month of the 20th century and the 1999-2000 season was a campaign that was seeing plenty of goals and a lot of drama too. On this particular weekend, fans at Premier League grounds up-and-down the country would see either no goals at all or a host of efforts hitting the back of the net.

The league leaders going into the weekend were David O’Leary young, exciting Leeds United side. Leeds had lost just one of their last 12 matches and been top of the table since early October. They travelled to Derby County looking to protect their narrow advantage over Manchester United. This was the repeat round of fixtures from the opening weekend of the season and for the second time in the campaign; it looked like Derby were going to get a goalless draw.

Then, referee Paul Alcock gave a slightly fortuitous penalty to the away side and Ian Harte dispatched the spot-kick to give the visitors a narrow 1-0 win and regain their two-point cushion at the head of the Premier League table.

Manchester United had spent a day at the summit after thumping Everton 5-1 at Old Trafford. For the second time in 1999, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer scored four times in a match as Sir Alex Ferguson’s side turned on the style in their first game back since winning the Intercontinental Cup in Tokyo.

Arsenal and Sunderland kept their challenges going with convincing wins. Arsenal enjoyed a good victory at Filbert Street; a ground which had caused them trouble in previous seasons. Marc Overmars was among the scorers in the 3-0 victory, although Leicester would later get revenge by knocking Arsene Wenger’s side out of the FA Cup two months later.

Sunderland’s season had been built around a deadly strike partnership and they tore Chelsea apart at The Stadium of Light. Both Niall Quinn and Kevin Phillips scored twice as they raced into a 4-0 lead before half-time. Gianluca Vialli’s side were eventually beaten 4-1 and were miles off the pace. Since beating Manchester United 5-0 in early October, Chelsea had won just one of their last seven matches, slipped to ninth in the table and were now 14 points off the pace.

Liverpool FC recovered from conceding an early goal to Niclas Alexandersson of Sheffield Wednesday, eventually overcoming the league’s bottom side 4-1. This game was notable for the first goal in a Liverpool shirt for a youngster by the name of Steven Gerrard. He would score another 185 goals in all competitions for the club he cared about the most. With just one win from 16 games, Sheffield Wednesday’s situation already looked rather desperate.

They were joined in the bottom three by Derby County and Watford. Graham Taylor’s men were on the receiving end of a 5-0 thrashing by Wimbledon at Selhurst Park. This scoreline was Wimbledon’s biggest victory in their Premier League career and had them closer to mid-table than the drop zone at this stage of the season. Their downward plight would only begin in the new millennium.

What else happened in December 1999?

  • Celebrations take place across the world to herald the millennium. In the UK, this sees the unveiling of the London Eye and the opening of the Millennium Dome.
  • After eight years in power, Boris Yeltsin resigns as President of Russia.
  • Former Beatles singer George Harrison is attacked in his home in Oxfordshire, suffering minor stab wounds.
  • After 442 years of Portuguese settlement, the sovereignty of Macau is transferred to the People’s Republic of China.
  • Tori Murden became the first woman to cross the Atlantic Ocean by rowboat alone, when she reached Guadeloupe from the Canary Islands. She had been rowing for 81 days.
  • 137 people are killed by Storm Lothar which sweeps through southern parts of Germany, France and Switzerland.
  • Torrential rains cause catastrophic floods and mudslides in coastal regions of Venezuela, killing an estimated 25,000 people and leaving 100,000 others homeless.

Seasonal Records: 2005-2006

For all the statistical fans out there, here are some of the season’s records from the 2005-2006 Premier League campaign. Chelsea became only the second side in Premier League history to successfully defend the Premier League title as they threatened to dominate the first decade of the new millennium under the guidance of Jose Mourinho.

FINAL TABLE

Position Team P W D L F A GD PTS
1 Chelsea 38 29 4 5 72 22 +50 91
2 Manchester United 38 25 8 5 72 34 +38 83
3 Liverpool FC 38 25 7 6 57 25 +32 82
4 Arsenal 38 20 7 11 68 31 +37 67
5 Tottenham Hotspur 38 18 11 9 53 38 +15 65
6 Blackburn Rovers 38 19 6 13 51 42 +9 63
7 Newcastle United 38 17 7 14 47 42 +5 58
8 Bolton Wanderers 38 15 11 12 49 41 +8 56
9 West Ham United 38 16 7 15 52 55 -3 55
10 Wigan Athletic 38 15 6 17 45 52 -7 51
11 Everton 38 14 8 16 34 49 -15 50
12 Fulham 38 14 6 18 48 58 -10 48
13 Charlton Athletic 38 13 8 17 41 55 -14 47
14 Middlesbrough 38 12 9 17 48 58 -10 45
15 Manchester City 38 13 4 21 43 48 -5 43
16 Aston Villa 38 10 12 16 42 55 -13 42
17 Portsmouth 38 10 8 20 37 62 -25 38
18 Birmingham City 38 8 10 20 28 50 -22 34
19 West Bromwich Albion 38 7 9 22 31 58 -27 30
20 Sunderland 38 3 6 29 26 69 -43 15

 

THE BASIC STATS

Goals Scored 944
European qualifiers Chelsea (UEFA Champions League)

Manchester United (UEFA Champions League)

Liverpool FC (UEFA Champions League)

Arsenal (UEFA Champions League)

Tottenham Hotspur (UEFA Cup)

Blackburn Rovers (UEFA Cup)

West Ham United (UEFA Cup)

Newcastle United (UEFA Intertoto Cup)

Longest winning run 10 games (Chelsea & Liverpool FC)
Longest unbeaten run 13 games (Chelsea)
Longest winless run 14 games (Sunderland)
Longest losing run 9 games (Sunderland)
Highest attendance 73,006 (Manchester United vs. Charlton Athletic)
Lowest attendance 16,550 (Fulham vs. Birmingham City)

 

AWARDS

PFA Players’ Player of the Year Steven Gerrard (Liverpool FC)
PFA Young Player of the Year Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)
Football Writers’ Award Thierry Henry (Arsenal)
PFA Team of the Year Shay Given, Jamie Carragher, Pascal Chimbonda, William Gallas, John Terry, Joe Cole, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Cristiano Ronaldo, Thierry Henry, Wayne Rooney
Manager of the Year Jose Mourinho (Chelsea)
Premier League Goal of the Season Matt Taylor (Sunderland vs. PORTSMOUTH)

 

HAT-TRICK HEROES

Player Teams Score Date
Marlon Harewood West Ham United vs. Aston Villa 4-0 12th September 2005
Henri Camara Wigan Athletic vs. Charlton Athletic 3-0 17th December 2005
Michael Owen West Ham United vs. Newcastle United 2-4 17th December 2005
Thierry Henry Arsenal vs. Middlesbrough 7-0 14th January 2006
David Bentley Blackburn Rovers vs. Manchester United 4-3 1st February 2006
Luke Moore Middlesbrough vs. Aston Villa 0-4 4th February 2006
Thierry Henry Arsenal vs. Wigan Athletic 4-2 7th May 2006

 

TOP SCORERS

Position Player Teams No of Goals
1 Thierry Henry Arsenal 27
2 Ruud van Nistelrooy Manchester United 21
3 Darren Bent Charlton Athletic 18
4= Frank Lampard Chelsea 16
4= Wayne Rooney Manchester United 16
4= Robbie Keane Tottenham Hotspur 16
7 Marlon Harewood West Ham United 14
8 Craig Bellamy Blackburn Rovers 13
9= Didier Drogba Chelsea 12
9= Henri Camara Wigan Athletic 12
9= Yakubu Middlesbrough 12
12= Mido Tottenham Hotspur 11
12= Collins John Fulham 11
14= Hernan Crespo Chelsea 10
14= Steven Gerrard Liverpool FC 10
14= Alan Shearer Newcastle United 10
14= James Beattie Everton 10
14= Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink Middlesbrough 10
19= Cristiano Ronaldo Manchester United 9
19= Djibril Cisse Liverpool FC 9
19= Jermain Defoe Tottenham Hotspur 9
19= Morten Gamst Pedersen Blackburn Rovers 9
19= Shola Ameobi Newcastle United 9
19= Stelios Giannakopoulos Bolton Wanderers 9
19= Brian McBride Fulham 9

BIGGEST VICTORIES

Arsenal 7-0 Middlesbrough 14th January 2006
Fulham 6-1 West Bromwich Albion 11th February 2006
Arsenal 5-0 Aston Villa 1st April 2006
Birmingham City 5-0 Portsmouth 21st January 2006
Chelsea 5-1 Bolton Wanderers 15th October 2005
Liverpool FC 5-1 Fulham 15th March 2006
Chelsea 4-0 West Bromwich Albion 24th August 2005
Manchester United 4-0 Wigan Athletic 14th December 2005
Arsenal 4-0 Portsmouth 28th December 2005
Everton 0-4 Bolton Wanderers 17th December 2005

 

HIGHEST SCORING GAMES

No of Goals Teams Date
7 Arsenal 7-0 Middlesbrough 14th January 2006
7 Fulham 6-1 West Bromwich Albion 11th February 2006
7 Charlton Athletic 2-5 Manchester City 4th December 2005
7 Blackburn Rovers 4-3 Manchester United 1st February 2006
7 Wigan Athletic 4-3 Manchester City 26th December 2005
7 Middlesbrough 4-3 Bolton Wanderers 26th March 2006
6 Chelsea 5-1 Bolton Wanderers 15th October 2005
6 Liverpool FC 5-1 Fulham 15th March 2006
6 Chelsea 4-2 Blackburn Rovers 29th October 2005
6 Manchester United 4-2 Fulham 4th February 2006
6 Arsenal 4-2 Wigan Athletic 7th May 2006
6 West Ham United 2-4 Newcastle United 17th December 2005
6 West Ham United 2-4 Portsmouth 18th March 2006
6 Middlesbrough 3-3 Tottenham Hotspur 18th December 2005
6 Fulham 3-3 Aston Villa 28th December 2005
5 Arsenal 5-0 Aston Villa 1st April 2006
5 Birmingham City 5-0 Portsmouth 21st January 2006
5 Liverpool FC 1-4 Chelsea 2nd October 2005
5 Manchester United 4-1 Bolton Wanderers 31st December 2005
5 Arsenal 4-1 Fulham 24th August 2005

 

YOUNGEST PLAYERS USED

Player Teams Age at the time Date
James Vaughan Fulham 1-0 Everton 17 years, 1 month, 13 days 27th August 2005
Josh Walker Fulham 1-0 Middlesbrough 17 years, 2 months, 16 days 7th May 2006
Micah Richards Arsenal 1-0 Manchester City 17 years, 3 months, 28 days 22nd October 2005
Lee Cattermole Newcastle United 2-2 Middlesbrough 17 years, 9 months, 12 days 2nd January 2006
Victor Anichebe Everton 0-0 Birmingham City 17 years, 11 months, 30 days 22nd April 2006
Alex Song Arsenal 2-0 Everton 18 years, 10 days 19th September 2005
Adam Johnson Middlesbrough 2-1 Arsenal 18 years, 1 month, 27 days 10th September 2005
Mark Noble West Ham United 3-1 Blackburn Rovers 18 years, 3 months, 5 days 13th August 2005
Cesc Fabregas Arsenal 2-0 Newcastle United 18 years, 3 months, 10 days 14th August 2005
Jaroslaw Fojut Portsmouth 1-1 Bolton Wanderers 18 years, 3 months, 14 days 31st January 2006

 

OLDEST PLAYERS USED

Player Teams Age at the time Date
Teddy Sheringham West Ham United 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur 40 years, 1 month, 5 days 7th May 2006
Nigel Martyn Everton 1-0 Arsenal 39 years, 5 months, 10 days 21st January 2006
Colin Cooper Fulham 1-0 Middlesbrough 39 years, 2 months, 9 days 7th May 2006
Shaka Hislop West Ham United 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur 37 years, 2 months, 15 days 7th May 2006
Dennis Bergkamp Arsenal 4-2 Wigan Athletic 36 years, 11 months, 27 days 7th May 2006
Mark Crossley Sunderland 2-1 Fulham 36 years, 10 months, 18 days 4th May 2006
Gary Speed Bolton Wanderers 1-0 Birmingham City 36 years, 7 months, 29 days 7th May 2006
Chris Powell Manchester United 4-0 Charlton Athletic 36 years, 7 months, 29 days 7th May 2006
Jens Lehmann Arsenal 4-2 Wigan Athletic 36 years, 5 months, 27 days 7th May 2006
Nico Vaesen Manchester City 4-1 Birmingham City 36 years, 2 months, 19 days 17th December 2005

 

CLEAN SHEETS

Position Player Teams No of Clean Sheets
1 Pepe Reina Liverpool FC 20
2 Edwin van der Sar Manchester United 19
3 Petr Cech Chelsea 18
4= Jens Lehmann Arsenal 16
4= Brad Friedel Blackburn Rovers 16
6 Jussi Jaaskelainen Bolton Wanderers 15
7= Paul Robinson Tottenham Hotspur 13
7= Shay Given Newcastle United 13
9 Thomas Sorensen Aston Villa 11
10 Thomas Myhre Charlton Athletic 9

Referees in the Middle: Rob Styles

Premier League Career: 2000-2009

First Premier League Match: West Ham United 0-1 Leicester City (23 August 2000)

Final Premier League Match: Chelsea 2-0 Blackburn Rovers (17 May 2009)

In nine seasons of top-flight officiating, Rob Styles took charge of 212 Premier League matches. He was one of the most controversial officials in the Premier League era and never shied away from annoying supporters and managers with some of his key decisions.

Styles began refereeing in 1987 and nine years later, was appointed to the National list. He started to make his breakthrough at the start of the millennium, taking charge of the Second Division play-off final between Gillingham and Wigan Athletic. He was also the fourth official in 2000 at both the FA Trophy and LDV Vans Trophy finals.

In the same year, he was promoted to the Premier League officiating list and his first game came in the second round of matches in the 2000-2001 season. For the record, Darren Eadie scored the only goal as Leicester City won 1-0 at Upton Park against West Ham United. In the same game, West Ham’s Igor Stimac was sent off.

He became a FIFA referee in 2002 and three years later, was in-charge for the 2005 FA Cup final between Arsenal and Manchester United. He sent off Jose Antonio Reyes in the closing stages of extra-time before the match went to penalties, won ultimately by Arsenal.

Based in Waterlooville, Styles showed the yellow card to offending players a whopping 689 times. He gave 57 penalties, including 11 in the 2007-2008 campaign alone. The lowest moment of his career came in August 2007 when he put in a comical display at Anfield. He awarded Chelsea a penalty in the second half when adjudging Steve Finnan had fouled Florent Malouda, even though the ball was nowhere near Malouda and replays showed no contact between the players. Frank Lampard converted the spot-kick, earning Chelsea a point and leaving Liverpool FC manager Rafa Benitez generally baffled by the decision.

He booked nine players on that afternoon and was at the centre of another talking point when he appeared to show a yellow card to both John Terry and Michael Essien, who had been cautioned earlier in the match. He later clarified that only Terry was booked in the incident (shown below).

Liverpool FC captain Steven Gerrard piled the pressure on the embattled ref afterwards, telling the Evening Standard: “The referee didn’t play well. There was a lot of pressure from the Chelsea players and I thought he eventually cracked. I hope he apologises. When players make mistakes they have to come out and say sorry so we’ll see what he has to say.”

Styles later telephoned Benitez to apologise for his cock-up but Keith Hackett confirmed shortly afterwards that he would be dropped for the next round of Premier League matches. Ultimately, it would be the beginning of the end for his career.

In January 2009, he dismissed West Bromwich Albion’s Paul Robinson against Manchester United in a game where the visitors’ cruised to a 5-0 victory. However, the FA elected to rescind the red card given in the match for a challenge on Ji-Sung Park. He felt any support from the governing body was gone after this escapade and although he carried on until the end of the season, the zest was gone.

In the summer of 2009, Styles decided enough was enough and quit refereeing. Graham Poll wrote in his Daily Mail column: “He cared deeply about his refereeing; dedicating himself to serving the game he loves. However, the fact that the majority of the football-watching public will merely shrug their shoulders in indifference at this news or say ‘Good’ proves the lack of understanding of the modern referee.”

Shock Results: Stoke City 6-1 Liverpool FC (May 2015)

Goalscorers: Mame Biram Diouf 22, 26, Jonathan Walters 30, Charlie Adam 41, Steven N’Zonzi 45, Steven Gerrard 70, Peter Crouch 86

Teams:

Stoke City: Asmir Begovic, Geoff Cameron, Marc Muniesa (Marc Wilson 71), Ryan Shawcross, Erik Pieters, Glenn Whelan, Steven N’Zonzi, Charlie Adam, Jonathan Walters (Peter Odemwingie 67), Mame Biram Diouf, Marko Arnautovic (Peter Crouch 81)

Liverpool FC: Simon Mignolet, Mamadou Sakho, Martin Skrtel, Emre Can (Kolo Toure 45), Alberto Moreno (Jordon Ibe 45), Lucas, Joe Allen (Rickie Lambert 69), Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana, Philippe Coutinho

Referee: Mark Halsey, Attendance: 38,216

The final day of the 2014-2015 season is a day Stoke City fans will never forget and a day that goes down as Liverpool FC’s darkest in Premier League history. It was one of those scorelines where you have to read it again and check it wasn’t a misprint.

It was meant to be a fond farewell for Liverpool FC skipper Steven Gerrard. Gerrard had announced five months earlier that he was going to leave Merseyside and finish his career in the United States with LA Galaxy. His 710th and final appearance for his boyhood club is one he will want to erase from his memory.

Manager Brendan Rodgers was already under pressure after an underwhelming campaign that had seen the Reds slip from a title near-miss in 2013-2014 to a distant fifth place coming into the match. The club were also caught up in a contract wrangling mess with young starlet Raheem Sterling, who had submitted a transfer request earlier in the week. Rodgers wanted to show who was boss. Sterling sat all afternoon on the bench as an unused substitute. He would never play for the club again.

However, after a pitiful first 45 minutes, Rodgers probably wanted a hole to open up inside the Britannia Stadium and for him to jump into it. Liverpool caved in spectacularly and became the first side to trail by five goals at half-time in a Premier League game since Burnley went into the dressing room 5-0 down against Manchester City in April 2010.

Mame Biram Diouf opened the scoring on 22 minutes. He was quickest to react after Charlie Adam’s shot had been parried by Simon Mignolet. Four minutes later, he was given lots of space and tried his luck – successfully to put Stoke in a commanding position. Mark Hughes’ side had the game all but wrapped up by the half-hour mark. Lax defending from emergency centre-back Emre Can allowed Jonathan Walters to pounce and score his first goal since a hat-trick against Queens Park Rangers at the end of January. Defeat for Liverpool was turning into annihilation. Adam made it 4-0; cashing in on sloppy play from Lucas to smash the ball past Mignolet from 20-yards out. Just before half-time, Steven N’Zonzi scored his fourth goal of the season with a thumping drive that no goalkeeper would have saved. Stoke supporters were on cloud nine.

Rodgers sent Can and the hapless Alberto Moreno packing at half-time and there was a slender improvement in the second half. Gerrard raced clear in the 70th minute and scored his 186th and final goal for the club but he had little to celebrate. There was still enough time for former Reds striker Peter Crouch to score a trademark header and make it 6-1. It was Crouch’s 47th headed goal in the Premier League, breaking a record previously set by Alan Shearer.

Stoke finished ninth with a record points tally of 54 points. It was the first time Liverpool FC had let six goals in during a league match in 52 years. They dropped to sixth and after a poor start to the following campaign, Rodgers was sacked in early October.

It was a sorry end to Gerrard’s LFC career but a joyous day for everyone connected with Stoke City.

Seasonal Records: 2000-2001

For all the statistical fans out there, here are some of the season’s records from the 2000-2001 Premier League campaign, as two sides from the North West shared the major league and cup prizes between themselves.

FINAL TABLE

Position Team P W D L F A GD PTS
1 Manchester United 38 24 8 6 79 31 +48 80
2 Arsenal 38 20 10 8 63 38 +25 70
3 Liverpool FC 38 20 9 9 71 39 +32 69
4 Leeds United 38 20 8 10 64 43 +21 68
5 Ipswich Town 38 20 6 12 57 42 +15 66
6 Chelsea 38 17 10 11 68 45 +23 61
7 Sunderland 38 15 12 11 46 41 +5 57
8 Aston Villa 38 13 15 10 46 43 +3 54
9 Charlton Athletic 38 14 10 14 50 57 -7 52
10 Southampton 38 14 10 14 40 48 -8 52
11 Newcastle United 38 14 9 15 44 50 -6 51
12 Tottenham Hotspur 38 13 10 15 47 54 -7 49
13 Leicester City 38 14 6 18 39 51 -12 48
14 Middlesbrough 38 9 15 14 44 44 0 42
15 West Ham United 38 10 12 16 45 50 -5 42
16 Everton 38 11 9 18 45 59 -14 42
17 Derby County 38 10 12 16 37 59 -22 42
18 Manchester City 38 8 10 20 41 65 -24 34
19 Coventry City 38 8 10 20 36 63 -27 34
20 Bradford City 38 5 11 22 30 70 -40 26

 

THE BASIC STATS

Goals Scored 992
European qualifiers Manchester United (UEFA Champions League), Arsenal (UEFA Champions League), Liverpool FC (UEFA Champions League), Leeds United (UEFA Cup), Ipswich Town (UEFA Cup), Chelsea (UEFA Cup), Aston Villa (UEFA Intertoto Cup), Newcastle United (UEFA Intertoto Cup)
Longest winning run 8 games (Manchester United)
Longest unbeaten run 13 games (Leeds United)
Longest winless run 13 games (Bradford City & Derby County)
Longest losing run 8 games (Leicester City)
Highest attendance 67,637 (Manchester United vs. Coventry City)
Lowest attendance 15,523 (Bradford City vs. Coventry City)

 

AWARDS

PFA Players’ Player of the Year Teddy Sheringham (Manchester United)
PFA Young Player of the Year Steven Gerrard (Liverpool FC)
Football Writers’ Award Teddy Sheringham (Manchester United)
PFA Team of the Year Fabien Barthez, Wes Brown, Stephen Carr, Jaap Stam, Sylvinho, Roy Keane, Patrick Vieira, Steven Gerrard, Ryan Giggs, Thierry Henry, Teddy Sheringham
Manager of the Year George Burley (Ipswich Town)
Premier League Goal of the Season Shaun Bartlett (CHARLTON ATHLETIC vs. Leicester City)

 

HAT-TRICK HEROES

Player Teams Score Date
Paulo Wanchope Manchester City vs. Sunderland 4-2 23rd August 2000
Michael Owen Liverpool FC vs. Aston Villa 3-1 6th September 2000
Emile Heskey Derby County vs. Liverpool FC 0-4 15th October 2000
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (4) Chelsea vs. Coventry City 6-1 21st October 2000
Teddy Sheringham Manchester United vs. Southampton 5-0 28th October 2000
Mark Viduka (4) Leeds United vs. Liverpool FC 4-3 4th November 2000
Les Ferdinand Tottenham Hotspur vs. Leicester City 3-0 25th November 2000
Ray Parlour Arsenal vs. Newcastle United 5-0 10th December 2000
Thierry Henry Arsenal vs. Leicester City 6-1 26th December 2000
Kevin Phillips Bradford City vs. Sunderland 1-4 26th December 2000
Dwight Yorke Manchester United vs. Arsenal 6-1 25th February 2001
Sylvain Wiltord Arsenal vs. West Ham United 3-0 3rd March 2001
Marcus Stewart Southampton vs. Ipswich Town 0-3 7th April 2001
Michael Owen Liverpool FC vs. Newcastle United 3-0 5th May 2001

 

TOP SCORERS

Position Player Teams No of Goals
1 Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink Chelsea 23
2 Marcus Stewart Ipswich Town 19
3 Thierry Henry Arsenal 17
4 Mark Viduka Leeds United 17
5 Michael Owen Liverpool FC 16
6 Teddy Sheringham Manchester United 15
7 Emile Heskey Liverpool FC 14
8= Kevin Phillips Sunderland 14
8= Alen Boksic Middlesbrough 12
10= Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Manchester United 11
10= Alan Smith Leeds United 11
10= Jonatan Johansson Charlton Athletic 11
13= James Beattie Southampton 11
13= Freddie Kanoute West Ham United 11
13= Eidur Gudjohnsen Chelsea 10
13= Les Ferdinand Tottenham Hotspur 10
13= Gus Poyet Chelsea 10
13= David Beckham Manchester United 9
13= Lee Bowyer Leeds United 9
20= Gianfranco Zola Chelsea 9
20= Marian Pahars Southampton 9
22= Andy Cole Manchester United 9
22= Sergiy Rebrov Tottenham Hotspur 9
22= Ade Akinbiyi Leicester City 9
22= Paolo di Canio West Ham United 9

BIGGEST VICTORIES

Manchester United 6-0 Bradford City 5th September 2000
Manchester United 6-1 Arsenal 25th February 2001
Arsenal 6-1 Leicester City 26th December 2000
Leeds United 6-1 Bradford City 13th May 2001
Chelsea 6-1 Coventry City 21st October 2000
Manchester United 5-0 Southampton 28th October 2000
Arsenal 5-0 Manchester City 28th October 2000
Arsenal 5-0 Newcastle United 9th December 2000
West Ham United 5-0 Charlton Athletic 26th December 2000
Manchester City 5-0 Everton 9th December 2000

 

HIGHEST SCORING GAMES

No of Goals Teams Date
8 Arsenal 5-3 Charlton Athletic 26th August 2000
7 Manchester United 6-1 Arsenal 25th February 2001
7 Arsenal 6-1 Leicester City 26th December 2000
7 Leeds United 6-1 Bradford City 13th May 2001
7 Chelsea 6-1 Coventry City 21st October 2000
7 Leeds United 4-3 Liverpool FC 4th November 2000
7 Leeds United 4-3 Tottenham Hotspur 30th September 2000
6 Manchester United 6-0 Bradford City 5th September 2000
6 Manchester United 4-2 Coventry City 14th April 2001
6 Chelsea 4-2 West Ham United 19th August 2000
6 Chelsea 2-4 Sunderland 17th March 2001
6 Tottenham Hotspur 4-2 Newcastle United 2nd January 2001
6 Leicester City 4-2 Tottenham Hotspur 5th May 2001
6 Manchester City 4-2 Sunderland 23rd August 2000
6 Manchester United 3-3 Chelsea 23rd September 2000
6 Charlton Athletic 3-3 Manchester United 9th December 2000
6 Southampton 3-3 Liverpool FC 26th August 2000
6 Charlton Athletic 3-3 Aston Villa 17th April 2001
6 Bradford City 3-3 Tottenham Hotspur 9th December 2000
6 Derby County 3-3 Middlesbrough 6th September 2000

 

YOUNGEST PLAYERS USED

Player Teams Age at the time Date
Calum Davenport Coventry City 0-0 Bradford City 18 years, 4 months, 17 days 19th May 2001
Jay Bothroyd Coventry City 1-2 Manchester United 18 years, 5 months, 30 days 4th November 2000
Carlos Marinelli Middlesbrough 1-1 Aston Villa 18 years, 6 months, 9 days 23rd September 2000
Nabil Abidallah Ipswich Town 2-0 Everton 18 years, 6 months, 19 days 24th February 2001
Jermain Defoe Middlesbrough 2-1 West Ham United 18 years, 7 months, 12 days 19th May 2001
Thomas Hitzlsperger Aston Villa 0-3 Liverpool FC 18 years, 9 months, 8 days 13th January 2001
Joe Cole Chelsea 4-2 West Ham United 18 years, 9 months, 11 days 19th August 2000
Shaun Wright-Phillips Charlton Athletic 4-0 Manchester City 18 years, 9 months, 25 days 19th August 2000
Brian Kerr Coventry City 0-2 Newcastle United 18 years, 10 months, 25 days 6th September 2000
Adam Murray Everton 2-2 Derby County 18 years, 10 months, 27 days 26th August 2000

 

OLDEST PLAYERS USED

Player Teams Age at the time Date
John Lukic Arsenal 0-0 Derby County 39 years, 11 months 11th November 2000
Stuart Pearce Middlesbrough 2-1 West Ham United 39 years, 25 days 19th May 2001
Richard Gough Everton 2-1 Bradford City 39 years, 23 days 28th April 2001
Raimond van der Gouw Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 Manchester United 38 years, 1 month, 25 days 19th May 2001
Steve Bould Manchester City 4-2 Sunderland 37 years, 9 months, 7 days 23rd August 2000
David Seaman Newcastle United 0-0 Arsenal 37 years, 7 months, 26 days 15th May 2001
Nigel Winterburn Manchester City 1-0 West Ham United 37 years, 4 months, 17 days 28th April 2001
Lee Dixon Newcastle United 0-0 Arsenal 37 years, 1 month, 28 days 15th May 2001
Andy Goram Southampton 2-1 Manchester United 37 years, 1 month 13th May 2001
Tommy Wright Manchester City 0-1 Newcastle United 37 years, 4 days 30th September 2000

 

CLEAN SHEETS

Position Player Teams No of Clean Sheets
1 Fabien Barthez Manchester United 15
2= Sander Westerveld Liverpool FC 14
2= Paul Jones Southampton 14
4 Thomas Sorensen Sunderland 13
5 Richard Wright Ipswich Town 12
6 David Seaman Arsenal 11
7 Mart Poom Derby County 10
8= Nigel Martyn Leeds United 9
8= David James Aston Villa 9
8= Dean Kiely Charlton Athletic 9

Premier League Rewind: 13th-14th April 2001

Results: Liverpool FC 1-2 Leeds United, Bradford City 2-0 Charlton Athletic, Manchester United 4-2 Coventry City, Arsenal 0-3 Middlesbrough, Aston Villa 2-1 Everton, Chelsea 1-0 Southampton, Ipswich Town 1-0 Newcastle United, Leicester City 1-2 Manchester City, Sunderland 2-3 Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United 3-1 Derby County

The Easter weekend in April 2001 would ultimately turn out to be the decisive weekend where the destiny of the Premier League title race would be settled. In reality, there wasn’t much of a title race. Manchester United had made sure of that. Six weeks earlier, they’d battered closest rivals Arsenal 6-1 at Old Trafford. It wasn’t if, but when they wrapped up a seventh title in nine seasons.

On Easter Saturday, they received their first opportunity to wrap up the championship by kicking off at lunchtime at home to Coventry City. The Sky Blues’ were five points adrift of safety and desperate to start picking up points if they wanted to maintain their excellent top-flight record. They pushed their more illustrious opponents all the way and the score was 2-2 at half-time. Dwight Yorke and John Hartson had exchanged goals. The match was only decided in the last nine minutes. A looping Ryan Giggs header and Paul Scholes curler sealed United’s 4-2 victory. It meant that Arsenal had to win later that afternoon against Middlesbrough to keep the mathematical solutions going.

Arsenal hadn’t conceded in their last four matches and Middlesbrough were still not entirely safe of relegation yet. Many would have had home banker on their betting slips that afternoon but it wouldn’t play to the formbook. Brazilian pair Edu and Silvinho scored two own goals for Middlesbrough in four crazy first half minutes. Hamilton Ricard’s 58th minute strike sealed an unbelievable 3-0 victory at Highbury for Boro. Incredibly, they managed just one shot on target all afternoon. Arsenal’s hopes were mathematically over and Manchester United were champions yet again, ending the weekend 16 points clear with five games left to play.

The race to finish in third position had actually begun 24 hours earlier when Liverpool FC and Leeds United locked horns on Good Friday at Anfield. It was a Good Friday for Leeds who claimed a priceless win to make it four consecutive victories. Rio Ferdinand scored his first goal for the club and Lee Bowyer cashed in on some static defending to double the visitors’ lead before half-time. Liverpool rallied in the second half and Steven Gerrard reduced the deficit before being harshly sent off for two bookable offences. Defeat left Gerard Houllier’s side in sixth spot and six points off third place. They had games in hand but no more errors could be afforded now.

Incredibly, it was newly-promoted Ipswich Town that were holding down third spot and they continued to defy their critics who kept maintaining that they would fade away. Another three points were racked up on their tally against Newcastle United. It was Sir Bobby Robson’s first return to Portman Road as a manager since his memorable stint with the East Anglian side in the early 1980s. However, it ended unhappily for Robson as Nolberto Solano was sent off and Marcus Stewart’s penalty settled a fairly timid match.

Sunderland had been in the shake-up for much of the season but for the second campaign running, their form was starting to elude them just when European football beckoned on Wearside. They made an electric start against Tottenham Hotspur. Goals by Kevin Phillips and Niall Quinn had the home side 2-0 ahead inside of 12 minutes. However, Tottenham had other ideas, particularly central defender Gary Doherty. Playing as an emergency forward, Doherty scored twice in the last 15 minutes as Tottenham stormed back to win 3-2. That meant new manager Glenn Hoddle had chalked up two victories in three matches since succeeding George Graham in the post.

By contrast, whilst Tottenham were finding a bit of consistency, Leicester City were beginning to consistently lose matches. They were fifth after beating Liverpool FC 2-0 in early March but since then lost five straight games and dropped out of the top half. The latest damaging reverse came to relegation candidates Manchester City. Paulo Wanchope scored the pick of the goals in the visitors’ 2-1 win at Filbert Street.

Elsewhere, Gus Poyet took Chelsea into the top five with the winner at home to Southampton and Bradford City just about kept their mathematical prospects of beating the drop alive by defeating Charlton Athletic 2-0. The goals came from Robbie Blake and Benito Carbone. The win was only the fourth achieved all season by the Bantams’ but relegation confirmation would follow just a fortnight later.

What else happened in April 2001?

  • The Netherlands becomes the first country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage.
  • Former Yugoslavia president Slobodan Milosevic is to be tried on charges of war crimes after surrendering to special police forces.
  • The ‘Who Shot Phil?’ storyline reaches its conclusion in EastEnders. Lisa Shaw is revealed as the character that shot Phil in an episode watched by 20 million viewers.
  • Red Marauder wins the 2001 Martell Grand National at Aintree. Only two horses from the 40 starters complete the course.
  • Tiger Woods wins the US Masters at Augusta.
  • Channel 4 teatime quiz show Countdown celebrates its 3000th episode.
  • Mariah Carey signs a blockbuster contract with Virgin Records, worth $80 million for four albums.