THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

6 February ~ Ron Atkinson's third game as Nottingham Forest manager – he had replaced Dave Bassett in mid-January – ended in one of their worst ever defeats. Forest, the Division One champions the previous season, finished bottom of the Premier League and have yet to return. Their Dutch striker Pierre van Hooijdonk initially refused to play in protest at the club's summer transfer dealings but was persuaded to return and was the top marksman with six goals.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer scored four at the City Ground in the last ten minutes after coming on to replace Andy Cole. Another Man Utd sub, full-back John Curtis, later played for Forest in League One. Cole was one of three players finishing as the league’s joint leading scorer with 18 goals alongside Liverpool’s Michael Owen and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink of Leeds.

United clinched the title on the final day of the season, a 2-1 win over Spurs leaving them a point ahead of Arsenal. A week later they defeat Newcastle 2-0 to win the FA Cup; four days after that they completed a treble by scoring twice in injury time to beat Bayern Munich 2-1 in the Champions League final.

Chelsea’s third place was their highest League finish since 1969-70. Gianluca Vialli's team also had a run in Europe, defending their Cup-Winners Cup title to the semi finals where they lost to Real Mallorca. Their goal against Southampton was scored by Gianfranco Zola, one of four players in the side who later became managers, the others being Dennis Wise, Roberto di Matteo and Dan Petrescu. The Southampton team included 18-year-old left back Wayne Bridge playing in his first season.

In Walter Smith's first season in charge, Everton had seven goalless draws at home, a club record, but also won 5-0 and 6-0 against Middlesbrough and West Ham respectively. The latter match, in early May, included a hat-trick by Kevin Campbell who scored nine goals in eight games after signing from Trabzonspor – his departure from Forest in the close season had been a cause of strike partner Van Hooijdonk's dispute with the club.

A 2-0 win over Everton on the final day kept Southampton up, in 17th place, five points ahead of Charlton who lost their last match 1-0 to Sheffield Wednesday. Blackburn were the other relegated side, their fate sealed by a 0-0 draw with Man Utd in their penultimate fixture. Former United coach Brian Kidd had been manager since November 21, when Roy Hodgson was sacked with the team at the bottom of the table.

Jason Wilcox was the only member of Blackburn's title-wining squad of 1994-95 to play in the game that relegated them but five others featured for the club in both seasons: Tim Sherwood, Tim Flowers, Chris Sutton, Jeff Kenna and Kevin Gallacher.

 

Results & table from statto.com

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