Premier League – Biggest Ever Defeats

After Manchester City ran riot against Watford at the weekend there was a lot of talk of what might have been had Aguero, De Bruyne and co took more of the opportunities created at The Etihad.

5 goals up inside the opening 18 minutes set everyone calculators going and must have had the Watford board frantically making calls to every ex-Manager they still had in their contact book.

69% possession and 28 efforts on Ben Foster’s goal throughout the 90mins. The stats suggest that the side from Hertfordshire were lucky to escape the North West with just single figures in the goals against column.

As the Man City fans so creatively put it during the 2nd half “who put the ball in the Watford net? Half the f*****g team did”

City have now beaten the Hornets in their last 12 meetings stretching back to 2013, scoring a ridiculous 46 goals in the process.

Imagine seeing your team played off the park in a cup final losing 6-0 only to face the same side a few months later and it turn out to be a more embarrassing situation.

Seeing all of the goal updates come through thick and fast on Saturday afternoon got us thinking where the final score ranked in terms of defeats in the top English division. So just where does the 8-0 drubbing handed out by Pep Guardiola’s men sit in the list of the biggest ever Premier League defeats?

Man Utd 9-0 Ipswich (March 1995)

Man-Utd-9-1-Score

5 goals for Andy Cole secured the Premier League’s biggest ever win over a dismal Ipswich side at Old Trafford back in the 94/95 season.

29 defeats in the campaign for Town as Utd went onto finish runners up behind Blackburn Rovers.

Mark Hughes, Paul Ince and Roy Keane also added their names to the scoresheet.

Tottenham 9-1 Wigan (November 2009)

Wigan at least managed a consolation goal in this game to keep them off joint top spot with Ipswich.

Jermain Defoe equalled Andy Cole’s record of 5 goals in a single game during this demolition.

Crouch, Lennon, Bentley and Kranjcar completed the rout. Austrian Paul Scharner netted for Athletic in case you were wondering.

Man City 8-0 Watford (September 2019)

As recent as the weekend just passed so will be fresh in the mind.

David Silva opened the scoring in the 1st minutes before an Aguero penalty finished the game as the early as the 7th minute.

Bernardo Silva helped himself to a hat-trick with Mahrez, Otamendi and a late De Bruyne strike made it a shocker for Quique Sánchez Flores’ and his backroom staff.

City could even leave the likes of Sterling on the bench, it could have been worse Hornets’ fans.

Newcastle 8-0 Sheff Wed (September 1999)

There seems to be a pattern of a seasoned England striker scoring 5 in these types of games, Alan Shearer was deadly in front of goal this time around.

Aaron Hughes, Kieron Dyer and the late Gary Speed were the other scorers as Wednesday capitulated at St James’ Park.

Sir Bobby’s opening home match in charge of the club he loved and they made it a special one.

Chelsea 8-0 Wigan (May 2010)

Look away now Wigan fans, you’re on the receiving end once more.

Chelsea kicked off knowing a victory would seal top spot and end Man Utd’s title dominance.

An early strike from Anelka set the tone before Lampard, Kalou, Drogba got in on the act. Even Ashley Cole scored at the death to condemn the Latics to another heavy defeat in London.

They did however to survive relegation despite looking favourites for the drop in the week previous.

Chelsea 8-0 Aston Villa (December 2012)

A 2nd appearance on the list for the blues, this time Aston Villa were on the receiving end of result to forget when departing Stamford Bridge.

Torres, David Luiz, Ivanovic, Lampard, Ramires, Oscar and Hazard did the damage to Brad Guzan’s back as the American spent most of the day collecting the ball from his net.

A star-studded Chelsea side led by now manager Frank Lampard demolished the side from the Midlands.

23rd December made it a tough Christmas dinner to swallow for Villa fans.

Southampton 8-0 Sunderland (October 2014)

The one that escaped our memory.

Three (yes three) own goals in this one.

Vergini, Bridcutt and Van Aanholt all put through their own net

Saints Pelle x 2, Cork, Tadic and Wanyama increased the pressure on Gus Poyet on what would have been a long journey home.

Dutchman Dick Advocaat was brought in later in the season to complete the great escape with the Mackems.

Do you remember any of these games?

With Man City and Liverpool looking in fine form once again this season it’s fair to expect another few hidings handed out before now and the end of May.

Image sourced from; www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk

Premier League – European Nights Proving too much?

It feels like it’s been a lot longer than 4 years since Chelsea lifted the Europa League, an English sides’ last triumph in any European competition. Whilst Man Utd have a reasonable opportunity to win the same competition this season, not many could have predicted such a sharp decline in the performance of the teams from the richest league in the world under the floodlights across the continent.

Allow me to explain…

Since the 1999-2000 season there have been 64 finalists spread over The Champions League & Europa League, the top representatives by country of origin: –

  • Spain – 23
  • Portugal – 7
  • England – 14
  • Italy – 6
  • Germany – 8

Are we accepting that a little over 20% of finalists being from the “money machine” that is the Barclays Premier league is acceptable?

Of the 14 English clubs who have made it to the various finals, only 4 have prevailed, Sevilla alone have won on 5 occasions and they would not usually be mentioned in the same breath.

It is also worth remembering that even the much maligned Scottish Premiership has provided 2 finalists within the same period (Celtic 2003 & Rangers 2008).

Tottenham-vs-Gent-Image

The afore mentioned Man Utd could break the recent trend this season and lift the Europa League, however loses to Feyenoord and Fenerbache accompanied by drab draws against FC Rostov and Anderlecht would hardly see them as worthy winners.

In fact, this season has seen English Premier League sides (Spurs & Man Utd) face opposition from Belgian First Division A (KAA Gent & Anderlecht) over four legs and only produce a solitary England win…A 2-1 extra time win.

Other such failings in recent seasons have included:-

  • FA Cup winners Wigan prop up their Europa League group
  • Hull City defeated by Lokeren in the qualifying rounds
  • Everton take 5 from Dynamo Kiev
  • Southampton 1-2 Midtylland
  • Liverpool losing out to Basel in 2014-15
  • Man Utd slipping to 3rd in a group of Wolfburg, PSV & CSKA
  • And who can ignore Arsenal’s recent meetings with Bayern…

Football is football and that’s why we love the game and yes the odd surprise defeat can occur, however these are over 2 legs, or in group stages containing multiple games, EPL sides should NOT be crashing out under these circumstances.

Are Stoke better than Schalke, could Bournemouth batter Bordeaux or would we see Everton ease past Espanyol?

I think the honest answer has to be a resounding no to all of the above.

The self-proclaimed “best league in the world” is being outshone by sides from divisions on which they look down on as being not worthy of sharing their pitches.

The EPL and its member clubs need to raise the bar to a whole new level to re-assert itself as a provider of dominant club sides when competing in European competitions or risk falling further behind.

Champions-League-Group-Stage

Tottenham vs Gent image sourced from; www.fourfourtwo.com
Champion’s League group stage image sourced from; www.goal.com

The Europa League just got Interesting!

Last week saw the draw for the last 16 of the Europa League and what a draw it was!

Europa-League-Draw

Of the remaining 16 teams, 3 have won European Cup / Champions League with 5 having contested finals.

With the Europa now offering a coveted place in the top competition it is more than worth winning.

Thursday’s look like they are about to provide a spectacle worthy of Europe’s 2nd competition. For too long the we have mostly ignored Coupe UEFA for a reason we actually can’t answer.

Perhaps the competition is too long? Maybe we don’t understand the 18:00 kick off times? You could argue there are too many teams we don’t know? Or are just blinded by the glamour of the Champions League?

We are looking at Liverpool v Man United for the 1st time in a non-domestic meeting. 180 minutes of packed European nights at 2 of the most iconic stadiums in world football. One of the most intense rivalries brought together on a stage we wouldn’t expect.

Throw in the bonus element of small travel time and a St Patrick’s day 2nd leg at Old Trafford, the Guinness will be flowing in the North West that’s for sure.

Add in high flying Tottenham v Borussia Dortmund, an all Spanish clash of Athletic Bilbao v Valencia and Sevilla going for a 3rd successive title…you have one hell of a competition remaining!

Realistically of the remaining sides who could honestly say they don’t want, or in some cases need, to win this trophy.

Which fan wouldn’t want to travel to a European final ?

Sevilla

We will be tuned into the latter stages with a keen eye on the outcomes of the afore mentioned ties.

Put aside the “Thursday – Sunday” debate and embrace it as an additional midweek game to watch.

So let’s all take a positive outlook into the remaining games, after all who knows…Mr Guardiola may just be strutting his stuff here next season if recent form continues.

Europa League draw image sourced from; http://www.uefa.com
Sevilla Europa Cup winners image sourced from; http://worldsoccertalk.com