Flashback Friday: Liverpool v Arsenal, Man Utd drama, huge Chelsea win

Quick Reads

Liverpool v Arsenal is the headline fixture in the Premier League this weekend – and the two teams already have history when it comes to matchweek three in past seasons.

We take a look back at significant moments which took place on matchweek three in the Premier League five, 10, 15 and 25 years ago.

Five years ago

– Sir Alex Ferguson’s 1,000 league match in charge of Manchester United ended quite fittingly as Robin Van Persie scored a stoppage-time winner to secure a 3-2 victory at Southampton.

Van Persie had left Arsenal for Old Trafford earlier that summer and his hat-trick downed newly-promoted Southampton, who thought they had done enough to secure their first point of the season with goals from Rickie Lambert and future United midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin.

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– In a fixture which will be repeated on Sunday, Arsenal travelled to Anfield with both teams searching for their first league victories of the season.

Arsenal left with all three points thanks to a superb midfield display from Abou Diaby, with summer signings Santi Cazorla and Lukas Podolski scoring their first goals for the club in a 2-0 win.

Brendan Rodgers, meanwhile, was left ruing FSG’s transfer business, admitting he wouldn’t have let Andy Carroll join West Ham on loan if he knew the club would bid no higher that £4million for Fulham’s Clint Dempsey, while he also suggested he was considering a move for free agent Michael Owen.

Despite failing to win any of his opening three league matches as Liverpool made their worst start since 1962, Rodgers remained typically philosophical, saying: “These are the hard yards you have to put in early on but I wouldn’t change it for anything.”

Ten years ago

– Gameweek three in the 2007-08 campaign featured a thrilling North East derby as Middlesbrough and Newcastle played out a 2-2 draw at the Riverside.

Charles N’Zogbia opened the scoring with a superb finish before Newcastle were pegged by Mido’s equaliser for the hosts.

Mark Viduka then scored his first goal for Newcastle against his former club, but Julio Arca salvaged a point for the hosts.

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– It would take until December before Liverpool were beaten in the Premier League, and a promising start to the season continued with a 2-0 success at Sunderland.

This was a season in which Fernando Torres was at the peak of his powers, but the goals came from two unlikely sources in Mohamed Sissoko and Andriy Voronin.

Fifteen years ago

– Something must have been in the air in the early stages of the 2002-03 season as four players were sent off on the same weekend across the Premier League.

At Stamford Bridge, Arsenal managed to salvaged a 1-1 draw despite having Patrick Vieira sent off as Kolo Toure cancelled out Gianfranco Zola’s opener, preserving an unbeaten run which dated all the way back to the previous Christmas.

– Ever the yin to Vieira’s yang, Roy Keane also saw red for elbowing Jason McAteer as Manchester United drew 1-1 at Sunderland, for whom Tore Andre Flo scored on his debut.

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– Joining the Premier League’s enforcers that weekend, Shaun Wright-Phillips was harshly giving his marching orders, but Manchester City still beat Everton 3-1 thanks to Nicolas Anelka’s hat-trick, in a performance described as “kamikaze football” by The Guardian.

– Finally, Teddy Sheringham struck a late penalty to fire Tottenham to the top of the league with a 2-1 success over Southampton, the spot-kick having been awarded after Michael Svensson was sent off for handling on the line.

Twenty years ago

– In 1997-98, Gianluca Vialli produced a memorable performance with four goals as Chelsea thrashed Barnsley 6-0 at Oakwell.

Dan Petrescu and Gus Poyet also got among the goals, and Barnsley would unsurprisingly go on to be relegated from the Premier League with the worst defensive record in the division, conceding 82 times.

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READ: The story of Hoddle, Gullit, Zola and a thrilling Chelsea era, from Scott Minto

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– One of the most significant figures of Arsenal’s memorable Double-winning side opened his account for the club in a 3-1 win at Southampton.

Dennis Bergkamp scored twice, but the clash was significant for his compatriot Marc Overmars bagging his first goal for the Gunners.

Twenty-five years ago

– As the third fixture rolled around in the inaugural Premier League season, plenty of teams were playing their third match in a week, which perhaps led to some defensive fatigue as there were goals galore.

At Middlesbrough, reigning champions Leeds were thumped 4-1, with Eric Cantona scoring one of his final goals for the Whites before he would transform the fortunes of fierce rivals Manchester United later that year.

– Elsehwere, eight goals were scored at Boundary Park as Oldham beat Nottingham Forest 5-3 Forest, while QPR triumphed 3-2 against Sheffield United, and Sheffield Wednesday played out a 3-3 draw with Chelsea.


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