Six dramatic final days ahead of Premier League finale
Ahead of further potential Premier League final day drama with Hull City (odds-on 1/6 favourites) and Newcastle United (4/1 chances) still battling to avoid relegation, Coral football experts have decided to take a stroll down memory lane at some great escapes and frenetic finishes.
1999/00: Bradford beat the drop
With five games to go, the Bantams looked dead and buried sitting six points from safety. A thrilling 4-4 draw against Derby County where cult hero Dean Windass hit a hat-trick sparked an end of season revival, though, which took their hopes of a great escape to the final day.
Bradford had to beat Liverpool and hope Wimbledon slipped up to secure safety, and a captain’s goal from David Wetherall helped them defy the odds and send the Dons down instead.
2004/05: Baggies bounce back from bottom
West Bromwich Albion still propped up the Premier League table going into the last day, despite back-to-back wins over Everton and Charlton Athletic. Bryan Robson’s boys were still in with a chance of staying up, but needed to beat Portsmouth and hope other results went their way. Relive highlights below:
Norwich City and the Baggies effectively swapped places with the Canaries getting hammered by Fulham, Crystal Palace contentiously drawing with the Addicks and Southampton losing at home to Manchester United. Albion’s great escape came courtesy of Geoff Horsfield and Kieran Richardson strikes, and the latter earned England caps because of his survival scrap exploits.
2006/07: Bye bye Blades
Sheffield United thought they were sitting pretty in 16th ahead of a crunch clash with Wigan Athletic, who needed to win at Bramall Lane to have any hope of staying up. It was a painful day for boyhood Blades fan and boss Neil Warnock as his former player David Unsworth netted a decisive penalty to give the visiting Latics a 2-1 win.
The only way the Steel City side could slump to relegation was if West Ham United won at Old Trafford. Man Utd were not counting on Carlos Tevez, though, and he scored his seventh in 10 games to pull off a famous victory. Sheffield United have not been seen in the top-flight since.
2007/08: Hodgson stops Fulham from falling
It’s not very often three teams in trouble all win on the final day, but they did here with Roy Hodgson’s Fulham edging to safety after Danny Murphy gave the Londoners victory at Portsmouth. Reading hammered already relegated Derby County 4-0 in vain, while Birmingham City join them in going down, despite beating Blackburn Rovers by the same scoreline.
2008/09: Northeast nadir as Newcastle and Boro down
To contrast completely with the above season, all of Hull City, Middlesbrough and Newcastle United lost, meaning the Tyne and Tees teams lost their top-flight status, while the Tigers survived by the skin of their teeth. This prompted then-manager Phil Brown into a little sing-song:
2010/11: Wigan and Wolves safe, Birmingham and Blackpool beleaguered
Once again, Wigan found themselves in trouble and League Cup winners Birmingham seemed in little peril. The Blues lost at Spurs, while Roberto Martinez masterminded a Latics win at Stoke City.
Ian Holloway suffered real heartache as, at one stage, his Blackpool side were 2-1 ahead at Old Trafford, but succumbed to the Red Devils and lost 4-2. Wolverhampton Wanderers just survived under Mick McCarthy, despite losing 3-2 at home to Blackburn.