During the enforced break from John’s regular column, English Premier League Predictions For Saturday, it is with great pleasure that we publish his Greatest Premier League Football Games of All Time! There will be plenty more to come from John, as the hiatus continues, so check back regularly.
Scroll down for all…
Sunday, 7 November 1993
MAN CITY 2 v MANCHESTER UNITED 3
The first of four, Manchester derbies that finished in a scoreline of 3-2 in favour of the Red side, in the Premier League era, however, in the interest of safety, only this game is reviewed.
The first thing the Blue side will be thinking is ‘booo’ the second thing is unprintable in this family column.
This game was played at Maine Rd which was the home of Man City prior to their move to the City of Manchester Stadium for the start of the 2003/04 season.
Maine Rd was a very old fashioned football ground situated in the Moss Side area of Manchester, which is fair to say, isn’t the most lucrative part of the suburb.
Back in the day, on visits to Maine Rd, following Barnsley FC, the local youths would often come up and offer their services in looking after the motor that the fans had crossed the Pennines in.
Usually, a couple of quid or a fiver was given to the kids in the hope that on returning to the said motor, it wasn’t stood on bricks.
There were instances where the youngsters would be told in no uncertain terms to ‘do one’, however, on returning to the car, it often had the side window smashed and the radio missing.
On one occasion, a Red fans reply when asked if they wanted the car watching for the 90-minutes, was,
“It’s ok youth, there’s a Rottweiler in the back”
To which the retort from the scallywag was,
“Can the dog put out fires Mister?”
A fiver was produced, quicker than a Dynamo magic trick.
City’s new home after they moved out of Maine Rd is a stadium that was built for the 2002 Commonwealth Games.
Once the games finished, the City owners (not the Billionaire ones in at the moment) took over the new stadium and converted it into a 55,000 capacity football home, still owned by the Manchester Council.
The younger fans now know the City of Manchester stadium as the Etihad, or as the mischievous United faithful, name it, the Emptyhad.
This game back in November 1993 was an original Premier League classic with Man City’s big Number 9, Niall Quinn scoring 2, 1st-half goals to take the Blues in at the break, with a healthy 2-0 lead.
In the City team, that day along with big Niall was ex-Liverpool midfielder Steve McMahon, David White and ex-Barnsley legend Mike Sheron, who is fondly remembered in Yorkshire and scored some vital goals in his spell at Oakwell.
The goalkeeper for City was Tony Coton, who had protection from a back-5 of Richard Edghill, Alan Kernaghan, Michel Vonk, Keith Curle and Terry Phelan.
Gary Flitcroft partnered Steve Macca in the midfield with Niall, Mike and David upfront.
Both of Niall’s goals were headers from crosses by Mike Sheron and Steve McMahon.
Manager Brian Horton used an unusual 5-2-3 formation to try and quell Sir Alex’s title winners.
At half-time, Brian must have been cock-a-hoop in the dressing room thinking that his innovative line-up had got the better of Mr Ferguson.
In the away dressing room, Sir Alex was giving his boys the legendary hair-dryer treatment that set his charges up for a brilliant 2nd-half revival.
If the offering of a Manchester United eleven debate was put up, arguments would ensue, ‘so-and-so is better than so-and-so’
On the 7th of November 1993, which by the way was a certain Joan Davies’s 50th Birthday, the eleven that took the field against City, are up there with the best Manchester United players ever and certainly, 4 that Sir Alex chose to start against City would definitely make United’s all-star Premier League team (watch this space!)
In goal for the Red Devil’s was the Danish legend that is Peter Schmeichel.
Sir Alex’s formation against City was the traditional 4-4-2 with Peter’s back-4 being Paul Parker, Steve Bruce, Gary Pallister and Dennis Irwin.
The 4-midfielders matched up against City’s 2, were Paul Ince, Andrei Kanchelskis, Roy Keane and Lee Sharpe, with Mark Hughes and Eric Cantona up top.
The millennials who are of the FIFA ‘20 generation won’t remember United of the ‘90s.
It’s thought that Pep Guardiola’s method of playing football is innovative and new.
Not so, Sir Alex Ferguson’s style of football was the fore-runner to Pepster’s style of today.
United defended stoutly, then broke quickly with Paul Ince and Roy Keane simply passing the ball to the flying wingers that were Andrei and Lee who were as rapid as Pep’s Leroy Sane or Raheem Sterling.
After the break, in which Sir Alex, tweaked his tactics slightly, following a mistake from Michel Vonk, Eric Cantona pulled a goal back for United to give the away fans hope.
Ryan Giggs was introduced midway through the 2nd-half in place of Andrei and within a minute of stepping on the Manic Maine Rd pitch, produced a sublime first-time cross for Eric to equalise for the Red Devil’s.
With 4-minutes left on the clock, Roy Keane scored the winner for United to knock the stuffing out of the Citizens.
Liverpool’s dominance of the 2019/20 season is remarkable, no question about it, however, Manchester United’s dominance in the ‘90s is over a long period of time, not just 1-season.
Prior to the victory against City back in November 1993, United had won 18 out of the previous 20 games, drew-1 and lost-1, gaining 55-points from a possible 60.
United went on to win the Premier League title again in the 1993/94 season following their title victory in the inaugural Premier League season, the previous year.
Rest in Peace Joan.
Saturday 4 March 1995
MANCHESTER UNITED 9 v IPSWICH 0
Although these two teams were at the opposite ends of the Premier League table with United at the top and Ipswich at the bottom, Ipswich did actually beat United by a 3-2 scoreline at Portman Rd earlier on in the 1994/95 season, so despite United being favourites at home, no one expected Sir Alex’s Red Devil’s to beat George Burley’s Ipswich by 9 (nine) goals to nil.
Ipswich had Lee Chapman upfront who at the time must have been 48 to a day.
Lee was a top striker in his day and won the 1991/92 Division One title with Leeds United in the season prior to the inaugural Premier League start of 1992/93.
As well as a footballer, Lee is also famous for marrying Men Behaving Badly actress (it’s an actress, not actor!) Lesley Ash.
Lee had a stellar career which started in 1978 and finished shortly after this drubbing by United.
In the Ipswich starting eleven back in March 1996 was a certain Neil Thompson who played at Left-Back.
Neil had been at Portman Rd since 1989 and had appeared over 200-times for the Suffolk club.
When the season finished and despite the reoccurring nightmares from the United-9, which sounds like a group of Manc Scally’s on trial, Neil joined Barnsley FC and with 27-appearances for the Yorkshiremen, gained promotion to the Premier League playing in the historic game against Bradford that sealed the Reds promotion to the Promised Land.
Neil started 3-times in the Premier League for Barnsley before moving on but will be always welcome at Oakwell and is a legend to the faithful.
The game against Manchester United, however, is one Neil will probably want to forget.
In October 2019, Leicester beat Southampton by the scoreline of 9-0.
Prior to that, it was this game at Old Trafford, exactly 25-years ago that held the record for the highest Premier League victory.
Roy Keane got the goals going by scoring the opener after just 16-minutes.
‘Andy Cole, Andy Cole, Andy, Andy Cole, when he gets the ball he scores a goal, Andy, Andy Cole’ scored United’s 2nd in the 24th-minute and the 1st of his 5-goals in the match.
So clearly Andy scores goals.
Mr Cole the goal scored his 2nd and United’s 3rd before the break, to take the Red Devil’s in 3-0 up at the interval.
Andy rounded off his hat-trick in the 53rd-minute, a minute before Mark Hughes got in on the act and scored United’s 5th.
Ipswich were now reeling with not even an hour played.
Big Hughesy scored his 2nd and the Red Devil’s 6th, 5-minutes after his opener.
Cole the goal decided that he had gone too long without netting, 12-minutes to be correct and scored his 4th and United’s 1,2,3-7th, with still half an hour or so to go.
Seven Nil was great for the United faithful, yet Paul Ince decided that wasn’t enough and made it 8-in favour of Sir Alex’s boys.
With seconds remaining Ipswich thought they had got away with just an 8-0 thrashing.
Not so, Andy Cole, Andy Cole, Andy scored his 5th and United’s history-making 9th to record the biggest Premier League victory which took nearly 25-years to match.
What was interesting in the game, not that the 9-0 scoreline wasn’t interesting, was Roy Keane actually played as a Right-Back, however, not much defending was needed from Big Roy who didn’t need to wash his shirt afterwards.
Another interesting fact from back in the day of the 9-0 victory was only 2-substitutions were allowed in 1995, from 3-chosen on the bench.
Nowadays, 3-can be used from 7-named in a match-day squad of 18.
The youths will be scratching their heads thinking ‘only 2-subs??’
In the near future, if Football reconvenes, there will be 4-substitutes brought in, with 1-being used in the event of a head injury.
Let’s hope that rule doesn’t get abused.
Following the 9-0 drubbing of Ipswich, United went on to finish 2nd-in the 1994/95 Premier League table, pipped by a single point on the final day by Kenny Dalglish’s Blackburn.
Pipped because Blackburn actually lost their final fixture and United just needed to score a winner against West Ham to claim their 3rd-successive Premier League title.
Unfortunately, West Ham held out for a 1-1 draw against United and despite the loss against Liverpool, Blackburn won the Premier League title.
United won back the title in the following 1995/96 season to make it 3-titles from 4.
Even winning the 1996/97 title making it 4 from 5, however, again couldn’t make it 3-in a row when Arsenal sealed the title in 1997/98, the year Barnsley FC ended their one and only stint in the top flight by being relegated back to the Championship.
The 9-0 victory against Ipswich is still a Premier League record with Leicester only managing to match that this season.
Andy Cole, Andy Cole, Andy, Andy Cole.
Wednesday 3 April 1996
LIVERPOOL 4 v NEWCASTLE 3
It would be remiss of anyone doing a Top-10 Best Premier League Game Review to not include, possibly, the best game of them all, over the 27-years or so.
On a beautiful Spring Wednesday evening back in April 1996, Liverpool legend, Kevin Keegan, now manager of Newcastle, took his chargers down to Anfield and took part in an extraordinary game against Roy Evans’ Liverpool.
Robbie Fowler opened the scoring after just 2-minutes getting his head on the end of a superb cross from Stan Collymore.
Stan was a superb footballer who was very underrated.
If given a chance and under the current situation regarding the World, there will be plenty of chances, take the time to Google Stan Collymore and watch the lad over his career that started at Crystal Palace, then Southend.
Frank Clark, who had just taken over the hot seat at Nottingham Forest after the legend that was Brian Clough retired, signed Stan for Forest, where his sublime skills really began to shine.
Whilst not prolific in front of goal at Palace or Southend, Big Stan ran amok scoring plenty in a Forest side that suited his play. Forest had been relegated at the end of the inaugural 1992/93 Premier League season and Sir Brian had earned his retirement.
Frank brought Stan in to score goals in Division 1, what is now known as the Championship and Stan did just that, helping Forest gain automatic promotion back to the Premier League after the 1-season hiatus.
Stan continued to score goals in the Premier League and it was rumoured Sir Alex Ferguson wanted to bring Collymore to Old Trafford.
That move didn’t materialise but at the end of the 1994/95 season, the goals earned Collymore a move to Liverpool to join the Spice Boys, in what was, at the time, at £8 Million, an English Transfer Record.
Watch Stan with the ball, he is one of the dying breeds that can comfortably kick with both feet as shown in the cross that leads to Robbie Fowler’s opener.
Les Ferdinand quickly got Newcastle back on level terms after 10-minutes before David Ginola gave the Magpies the lead soon after Les’ goal.
With no more 1st-half goals the teams went into the dressing rooms with Newcastle having the advantage and although 3-goals scored in the first 14-minutes, there weren’t many other signs that this was to turn into a classic.
Liverpool’s faithful nicknamed Robbie Fowler ‘God’ due to his goal-scoring prowess.
God equalised for the Reds soon after the restart, however, the equality didn’t last long as the Columbian sensation Faustino ‘Tino’ Asprilla immediately restored Newcastle’s lead, with a beautiful goal.
After providing the assist for Robbie Fowler’s 1st, Stan decided he wanted to get in on the goal-scoring act and equalised in the 68th-minute.
With time up on the clock, the Game of the Decade was decided by Stan the Man who latched onto a pass from John Barnes and smashed the ball past the Newcastle ‘keeper Pavel Srnicek.
The game was live on Sky Sports with the cameras quickly panning to Kevin Keegan who was slumped over the advertising hoarding in dismay.
On show at Anfield that Wednesday night, was, for Liverpool, David James, Mark Wright, John Scales, Neil Ruddock, Jason McAteer, Jamie Redknapp, John Barnes, Rob Jones, Steve McManaman, Stan Collymore and Robbie Fowler, with Ian Rush coming on as a substitute late on in the proceedings.
For Newcastle, Kevin chose, Pavel Srnicek, Steve Watson, Steve Howey, Philippe Albert, John Beresford, Peter Beardsley, David Batty, Robert Lee, David Ginola, Tino Asprilla and Les Ferdinand.
Bearing in mind, Newcastle were Top of the Premier League table and clear by 12-points in the February of 1996.
At the time of this game, Manchester United has overhauled the 12-point deficit and were now 3-points ahead of Keegan’s Magpies, however, Newcastle had played 2-games less than United so it was still in Kevin’s hands.
Following this defeat against Liverpool and subsequent losses in April ‘96, Kevin Keegan provided one of the most explosive post-match interviews ever following Newcastle’s 1-0 victory against Leeds United in Sky Sports Monday Night Football.
Let’s just say ‘I would love it, love it!’
Manchester United went on to win the 1995/96 Premier League despite being 12-points adrift of Newcastle in February.
It’s fair to say that Sir Alex Ferguson got the better of Kevin Keegan that particular year, however Double K did get revenge over Sir Alex a year later.
Liverpool 4 v Newcastle 3 will be remembered forever.
Sunday 20 October 1996
NEWCASTLE 5 v MANCHESTER UNITED 0
This was a poignant game for this EveryTip contributor as 2-days before this brilliant victory for the Magpies, he lost his faithful dog after 15-years.
Mac was brought into the Newsome family on the 29th of September 1981.
The elder sister of the Newsome clan was allowed to get a puppy but being 16, her doggy-attention span lasted barely a week, when a 12-year old football fanatic took over the role of puppy walker.
The good thing about dogs in the 1980s was that dogs were dogs.
When you threw a stick the dog would run away for four hours, nowadays dogs get treat like children in England.
Thing is, they are not children, they are dogs, the clues in the title.
They look like dogs.
When you take them on the park, all they do is sniff other dogs bits.
Sometimes a dog walker will be on the park chatting some sort up and the dog is sniffing their dogs bum.
Then the dog does its business in the middle of the football field, not in the wood bit, no the dog has to go in the middle of the field.
So then the modern dog owner has to go over with his bag and pick it up.
The reason England are not producing good Young footballers is that the business is now picked up.
In the ‘80s the youths used to dribble round the said dog business in the middle of the park.
Paul Gascoigne was the player he was because he lived on a Newcastle housing estate where dogs were everywhere.
So Gazza honed his skills dribbling around the dog’s doo-doo.
Nowadays, with the owner picking up the stuff with his or her bag, it’s becoming detrimental to the English game.
Macca Doobs was 9-years old before he understood ‘come here’ by that time, this contributor was 21-years old.
On many occasions, the boy had to ring his mates up, on the landline and say that he would be late to the boozer because he couldn’t find the dog.
For 15-years Mac was the best pal ever, 23-years later, he’s still in a box, in a cabinet and is spoken to every day.
Rest in Peace Macca Doobs.
Having had to have the old fella put to sleep, 2-days before, it was a Sunday afternoon on the sofa watching Newcastle wipe the floor with the then Premier League Champions, Manchester United.
Defender Darren Peacock opened the scoring for the Magpies after 12-minutes, which in today’s game may not have been allowed with Goal-line Technology.
The referee Steve Dunn, had no hesitation in awarding the goal to Darren.
David Ginola added a 2nd on the half-hour mark and with no further goals, Newcastle went in at the break, leading 2-0.
In the 2nd-half, Les Ferdinand made it 3-0 before the Newcastle legend that is Alan Shearer scored the Magpies 4th.
The final goal in the 5-0 victory was a superb, sublime chip from the Centre-Back Philippe Albert which in Belgium is a sexy name but in Newcastle, it’s just Phil Albert who could be a butcher.
Kevin Keegan was still at the helm after the previous season’s capitulation that allowed Sir Alex the victory in the mind games, so this was a very sweet moment for the Doncaster born legend gaining a little victory against Sir Alex.
In life, little victories are priceless, everyone gets a little victory every now and again and once the occurrence happens, rightly celebrate.
Kevin Keegan celebrated in October 1997.
Hope Macca Doobs has a few doggy treats up in heaven with Joanie.
Saturday 9 August 1997
BARNSLEY 1 v WEST HAM 2
Barnsley FC played their first-ever game in the Premier League against the Hammers, on August 9th 1997.
The West Ham team, on the opening day, included the legends that are Rio Ferdinand, John Hartson and Frank Lampard.
Frank was only a substitute that day and came on in the 76th-minute, making an instant impact for the Hammers, scoring the winner for West Ham within seconds of his introduction.
Neil Redfearn had scored Barnsley’s maiden Premier League goal to give the Reds a 1-0 lead at half-time.
Just after the break, Big John Hartson equalised for the Hammers and then the now Chelsea legend, Frank Lampard came on and scored the winner.
Even though this was a 2-1 defeat for the Barnsley faithful, they still had the best season ever in their one and only appearance in the Premier League.
One of Barnsley FC’s biggest fans and current EveryTip contributor, who was only 27 at the time, had a baby girl 5-days after this opener against West Ham.
What a week for the Reds super fan.
That little bundle of joy, Charlotte North is 23 on the 14th of August this time around.
She is literally the life of the Reds Fan who is not only proud to have her as his daughter but also as his best friend.
22-and a bit years gone in a flash with Barnsley FC now at the bottom of the Championship and heading back to League 1, or Division 3, unless a miracle happens when the current season restarts.
Nowadays it’s rare that a home-grown lad, helps get his hometown club, promoted to the Promised Land.
Back in 1997, Barnsley FC had 1-home-grown boy in the promotion team and a couple born a few miles outside the town.
Goalkeeper David Watson hails from Royston, a very working-class village in Barnsley that produces Men! Real Men, even some of the women are Men.
David, who now helps out at Southampton and has worked with England, the lad from Royston, hasn’t done too bad for himself. Barnsley’s Right-Back Nicky Eaden comes from close to the town, as does Centre-Back Adie Moses, again born within spitting distance of Oakwell.
All played in the promotion-winning side and all started in this 1st-game in the Premier League.
One downside that the Barnsley faithful had to contend with was that they couldn’t see the talent of Eric Cantona up close and personal.
Eric decided to retire at the end of Manchester United’s Premier League-winning 1996/97 season so never graced the hallowed Oakwell Turf.
Saturday 22 November 1997
LIVERPOOL 0 v BARNSLEY 1
This feature could easily be a ‘Top-10’ review of Barnsley FC’s one and only stint in the Premier League, however, that would just be a bias towards the Reds from Oakwell.
In November 1997, Barnsley had found out just how tough the Premier League is and were sitting in the relegation places when the team and the faithful travelled to Anfield to face a Liverpool side that included David James, Steve McManaman, Jamie Redknapp and Michael Owen.
The Barnsley manager Danny Wilson decided to change his goalkeeper for the trip to Liverpool after the ever-present regular stopper David Watson had suffered a back-injury, picking the ball out of the net some 25-times when the Yorkshire club went on the road in the Premier League.
Danny chose a very big German ‘keeper called Lars Leese.
The Barnsley fans had an inspirational tune for the lad,
‘Lars Leese as big as trees’ ‘Lars Leese as big as trees’ then repeat until bored.
The faithful are renowned for their originality.
Another new boy thrown into the starting eleven by Danny Wilson was a Swedish Centre-Back called Peter Markstetd.
Swede Pete was bought by Barnsley for a mere £250,000 from Vasteras FC, a small club in Sweden which was also the hometown club of Peter.
In 1997, there wasn’t a selected Transfer Window which is part of the modern Premier League process of today, so transfers could be made well into the season and Barnsley FC took advantage of that by bringing in Peter Markstedt just before the trip to Anfield.
Pete must have thought his birthday’s had all come at once, not only moving from Sweden to gods own country Yorkshire but also making his debut for the Reds against Liverpool at Anfield.
Despite being at Barnsley for about 18-months or so, Big Pete only played 9-times for the Reds, however, is remembered fondly at Oakwell and the faithful wish him well in his life at present.
The 9-appearances did include this great victory against Liverpool and a famous FA Cup victory against Manchester United when Barnsley FC upset the odds and knocked United out of the 1997/98 cup.
Not a bad 9-games Peter, respect!
The match-day programme had printed that if Liverpool scored 3-goals today then it would be the 4000th time the Anfield crowd had seen their beloved team score at home.
That had to inspire the Reds of Barnsley who along with a bit of luck, managed a famous 1-0 victory over Roy Evans’ Liverpool team.
Words like ‘humiliated’ and ‘humbled’ may not have been too strong to describe Liverpool’s feeling after the game, which all of the Anfield faithful expected their team to win at a canter.
Ashley Ward scored the solitary goal to give the Reds of Barnsley a great victory against the Reds of Liverpool.
Ashley is another legend that is fondly remembered by the Oakwell faithful, who often had a punt on Big Ash to score the 1st-goal and were often rewarded when Ashley duly obliged.
As in this game at Anfield, where Mr Ward was a steady 9/1 to get the opener.
A 28-year old Barnsley FC fan who contributes to this EveryTip column had his day out to Merseyside paid for when Ash netted against Liverpool not only celebrating the great 1-0 victory but also trousering a cool £100.
Cheers ITV’s ‘Real Housewives of Cheshire’ star, who due to visiting the same face surgeon as Simon Cowell, looks exactly the same as he did when he scored at Anfield in November 1997.
Saturday, 29 September 2001
TOTTENHAM 3 v MANCHESTER UNITED 5
Firstly, before this column moves on, a tremendous amount of respect must be paid to Tottenham’s opening goalscorer against United, Dean Richards.
Dean was an outstanding player for not only Spurs but his first club Bradford City.
Tottenham signed the influential defender from Southampton in 2001.
After leaving Bradford in 1995, Deano spent 4-years at Wolves, before the big defender, who had an England Under-21 cap, gained whilst at Molineux, joined Tottenham.
The big lad scored the opener against Manchester United back in 2001 on his Spurs debut.
Les Ferdinand and Christian Ziege made it 3-0 at the break.
At half-time Dean must have thought he’d joined the best team in the world.
However, when the game finished, he was asking the then Tottenham gaffer, Glenn Hoddle,
“What time is the last bus to Wolves Glenn?’
Respect to Big Dean.
Keep on keeping on!
His goal against United will always be remembered, despite the comeback from the Red Devil’s.
United, doubtless motivated by a typically forthright half-time reprimand from Sir Alex, were sensational in the 2nd-half.
Mikael Silvestre came on to inject pace down the left side, in place of Denis Irwin and the current gaffer Ole, took Nicky Butt’s place, as Sir Alex went for it and shoved 3-up front.
Andy Cole got United back into the game soon after the break with a neat header from David Beckham’s cross.
From another corner, Mr Beckham‘a sublime right-peg, planted the ball onto the head of Larry White, aka Laurent Blanc, whose header found the net, making it 3-2 in favour of Spurs.
The World Cup winner only scored 1-goal in his time at Old Trafford but will be remembered by the United faithful forever.
Tottenham, so assured in the 1st-half, were now jittery.
It then went beyond hope when forgotten man Juan Sebastian Veron, scored to make it 4-3 to United.
King Beckham rounded off the comeback in the 87th-minute to give United the comeback of all comebacks and a great 5-3 victory against Tottenham.
The strange anomaly about the 8-goals scored between the 2-clubs is 5 of them were headers.
Although a great comeback from United, at the time it wasn’t a surprise that the Red Devil’s conceded 3-goals as Sir Alex’s men were useless at defending away from Old Trafford.
A great game for the neutrals but it must have been hard to take for the watching Tottenham fans who had seen their beloved Lilywhites take a 3-0 lead against the Premier League Champions then concede 5, 2nd-half goals to ultimately snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
Rest in Peace Dean Richards.
Saturday 29 September 2007
PORTSMOUTH 7 v READING 4
One game out of the thousands played over the 27-years or so of the Premier League as probably slipped under the radar but is a classic.
Fratton Park saw the most goals ever in a Premier League game with 11-in total, 7-for the home side and 4-for the visitors.
Harry Redknapp was at the Pompey helm and the faithful probably couldn’t envisage that at the end of this season, their beloved Portsmouth would win the FA Cup.
Prior to that brilliant cup-run, Harry oversaw a great 7-4 victory against Steve Coppell’s Reading.
The Portsmouth line-up started with David James in goal, a back-4 of Glen Johnson, Sol Campbell, Sylvain Distin and Hermann Hreidarsson.
In midfield, there was Papa Bouba Diop, Sean Davis, Sulley Muntari and John Utaka, with Mwaruwari Benjani and Niko Kranjcar as the attacking option.
For Reading, Steve chose Marcus Hahnemann as his stopper, Graeme Murty, Michael Duberry, Ivar Ingimarsson and Nicky Shorey, in front of Marcus with a midfield of Liam Rosenior, Brynjar Gunnarsson, James Harper and Stephen Hunt.
The forward line for Reading was Kevin Doyle and Dave Kitson.
As expected, with 11-goals, the scoring was sporadic.
Benjani got the goals started after just 7-minutes, the 1st of the Zimbabwean’s hat-trick.
The Big Lads 2nd came half an hour later to give Pompey a 2-0 lead.
Stephen Hunt pulled a goal back for Reading right on the half-time whistle.
Dave Kitson equalised for the Royals just after the break to give the travelling fans something to sing about.
The Portsmouth ‘keeper, David James was culpable for Kitson’s equaliser.
There were 3-Icelandic players on show that afternoon in 2007, with the Pompey Cold-Boy Hermann Hreidarsson restoring Harry’s Blues lead.
Reading were then gifted the opportunity to restore the status quo when awarded a penalty, however, Nicky Shorey had his spot-kick saved by David James, atoning for his earlier error.
It was then time for Big Ben to get his hat-trick, restoring Portsmouth’s 2-goal advantage in the 70th-minute.
The Croatian star Niko Kranjcar made it 5-2 just after Benjy’s 3rd.
5-2 after 75-minutes with a quarter of the game to go, anything could happen.
Shane Long who had only been on the pitch for 2-minutes having been a substitute pulled a goal back for Reading in the 79th.
Another Icelandic player on the Royal side restored Portsmouth’s 3-goal cushion when Invar Ingimarssson scored the 1st of 2-own goals in the game, with only 10-minutes remaining.
Sully Muntari made it 7-3 to Pompey in the 92nd-minute, however, that wasn’t the end of the goals with Portsmouth’s Sol Campbell putting past his own ‘keeper David James a couple of minutes later to make it an astonishing 7-4 to the Pompey boys.
As well as the biggest goal-scoring game of the Premier League history, it was also the record for the most goal-scorers with 9-different players notching, as only Big Ben was a multiple scorer.
Eight months later after the bizarre 7-4 victory, Harry Redknapp and his Pompey Boys won the FA Cup beating Cardiff by a single Kanu goal.
Cardiff had defeated the mighty Barnsley FC in their FA Cup Semi-Final.
In the Cardiff starting eleven at Wembley in the Semi-Final and Final against Barnsley and Portsmouth was Peter Whittingham.
Last week, in the midst of the Coronavirus outbreak, Peter fell down in a pub in the Welsh town of Barry.
Peter was out with mates watching the Rugby 6-Nations game between England and Wales and fell down the stairs of the pub in the seaside town made famous by the popular BBC programme Gavin and Stacey.
A bizarre freak incident that no one was connected with.
Unfortunately, the injury sustained by Peter resulted in the Cardiff legend dying.
Aged just 35, Peter lost his life from something that simply is hard to comprehend.
Thoughts go out to Peters family and the upmost respect to the Cardiff legend.
Rest in Peace Peter Whittingham.
Monday 5 May 2014
CRYSTAL PALACE 3 v LIVERPOOL 3
Back in May 2014, Brendan Rodgers was at the Anfield helm who were sitting pretty with 80-points at the top end of the Premier League table prior to this trip to Selhurst Park for a Bank Holiday Monday Night fixture against Crystal Palace and knew a convincing victory would keep their title challenge going.
Man City also had 80-points but were at the summit on goal-difference so Brendan had been hoping for a convincing victory to go 3-points ahead of City and try and reduce the goal-difference.
The Liverpool starting eleven that night included Raheem Sterling (yes!), Steven Gerrard, Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez before he took his biting over to Barcelona.
Philippe Coutinho was a substitute and replaced Raheem in the 78th-minute.
When Raheem left the field of play, his Liverpool boys were leading Palace 3-0 so job done as far as Mr Sterling was concerned.
Joe Allen had opened the scoring for Brendan’s Wonderful Scousers just before the 20-minute mark.
After the break, the unfortunate Damien Delaney deflected a Daniel Sturridge effort past Julian Speroni in the Palace goal.
Within minutes of Damien’s own-goal, Mr Teeth, Luis Suarez scored Liverpool’s 3rd to comfortably give the Reds (or Whites as Liverpool were wearing their away kit) a 3-0 cushion.
Raheem was taken off with just over 10-minutes to go but before he had time to put on his tracksuit top and take a sip of his energy drink, Crystal Palace had pulled a goal back.
Big Damo Delaney made up for his earlier error by scoring a superb goal from a 25-yard shot, albeit similar to him with the Sturridge effort, took a wicked deflection past Simon Mignolet.
Current Newcastle striker, Dwight Gayle, then plying his trade for Tony Pulis, who was the manager of Crystal Palace at the time, scored 2-late goals to send the Eagle Ultras wild and dent Liverpool’s title challenge.
The Premier League is a 38-game competition so to win a title, or to be relegated isn’t defined by just one game but all connected with Liverpool will feel, that game away at Selhurst Park, on a May Day Bank Holiday Monday, when they let slip a 3-0 lead to ultimately come away with just a point, did go along way in costing them the title.
City fans will argue that they would have still won the Premier League even if Liverpool had been victorious against Palace.
Man City won both of their remaining games, gaining a total of 86-points, Liverpool won their one remaining game, giving them 84-points so in reality, the City fans were right as even with a victory against Crystal Palace, Liverpool would have had the same 86-points as Man City but with an inferior goal difference.
Probably the defining game that did cost Liverpool the title was the week before the Crystal Palace fixture when Liverpool suffered a 2-0 defeat at Anfield against Chelsea.
The game against Chelsea will be forever remembered for a slip, literally, by Steven Gerrard that allowed Demba Ba in to score late on for Chelsea.
There was a great song immediately composed by the football fraternity that went something like,
‘Steve Gerrard, Gerrard, he slipped on his Bloomin bum, he gave it Demba Ba, Steve Gerrard, Gerrard’
Well, that’s the clean version anyways.
Liverpool had sought the expertise of Mr Peters in the hope that he could give them the edge to win their 1st-Premier League title.
Another of Steve Peters’s clients is the Snooker legend, Ronnie O’Sullivan.
At the same time that Liverpool were capitulating at Selhurst Park, Big Ronnie was competing in the World Snooker Championship at the Crucible in Sheffield.
If ones not familiar with the Snooker World Championship, the final takes place over 2-days and is played over 35-frames.
The 2-days are usually the Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday at the beginning of May.
In the 1st-days session, Ronnie had taken a 10-5 lead against Mark Selby.
Missing the Yellow allowed Mark in to claim the 16th-frame and that missed opportunity from Ronnie literally knocked the stuffing out of him.
Mark won the final frame of the day, to trail 10-7 overnight.
Like Liverpool against Palace, Ronnie himself capitulated and blew the lead, only winning another 4-frames, whilst Mark won 13 out of 17 frames to take the title by a scoreline of 18-14.
It’s fair to say that Steve Peters had a very bad Bank Holiday Monday.
‘Steve Gerrard, Gerrard …’
Saturday 8 August 2015
LEICESTER 4 v SUNDERLAND 2
As Premier League matches go in the 27-years or so of its existence, Leicester versus Sunderland would not be the standout fixture to include in a ‘best of’ feature.
Even with a scoreline of 4-2 in favour of the Foxes, still, the football faithful would say ‘that’s not even a game in the Top 1000’.
The reason this game is featured in this column is that it was the opening game of the historic 2015/16 Premier League season that gave Claudio Ranieri’s Blues the first 3-points in their 5000/1 title-winning season.
Sheffield Superstar Jamie Vardy opened the scoring in the 11th-minute with a superb goal, if there weren’t the cameras about, in truth it was a glancing header from a free-kick taken by Marc Albrighton.
The 2nd Foxes goal, scored by Riyad Mahrez, was pretty much identical to Jamie’s goal, however, not a free-kick but from virtually the same blade of grass, Big Marco crossed the ball in for Riyad to head home showing Jamie that whatever’s made in Sheffield, is also made in Sarcelles.
Now, most will think ‘where in Algeria is Sarcelles?’
Sarcelles is a province of France where Riyad was born but chose to play International Football for Algeria.
Ironically, Riyad’s idol Zinedine Zidane, who is of similar Algerian roots, chose to play for France rather than Algeria, Riyad didn’t follow Zizu’s path but stayed true to his beliefs.
In life, there are many many situations or scenarios that an individual will come across.
Whoever, whatever or wherever that individual is at any point in his or her life, they have to believe in who they are and stay true to themselves.
It might not always be the best decision at that particular time in their lives but they have to stay true to themselves and ride the storm.
Sometimes you have to look in the mirror and face the truth, if you believe in yourself and your path, then no one can hurt you, whatever they do.
When the storm as passed, your beliefs will stand you in good stead for the future.
Always stay true to yourself.
Riyad was on the scoresheet again soon after when a neat bit of skill from the Algerian ace, bamboozled the Sunderland skipper, Lee Cattermole who upended Riyad in the penalty area to gift Leicester a spot-kick.
Mahrez got up and converted to give the Foxes a 3-0 lead at the break.
Jermain Defoe pulled a goal back for the Black Cats on the hour mark to give the travelling faithful hope of a comeback.
Unfortunately for the Sunderland fans, Marc Albrighton decided he’d had enough of the assists and scored Leicester’s 4th just after Jermain’s goal to put the game safe.
That wasn’t the end of the scoring as Steven Fletcher scored again for Sunderland but Leicester held on to register their 1st-victory of the historic Premier League title-winning season.
Believe in who you are.