Jose’s Blues Retain Their Crown
At the end of the 2005-06 Premier League campaign, Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea retained their title in fine fashion. The Portuguese was starting to turn the London club into a real powerhouse, and the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool could only watch on and admire the Blues this season. The Londoners picked up 29 wins and went on to seal a superb 91 points, conceding just 22 goals along the way. Interestingly Mourinho did not win the Manager of the Month award at all this season, whilst Frank Lampard was the only Pensioners player to get his hand on the player’s equivalent. Who needs monthly awards though when you have the title?
Man United made a late surge after a string of wins but finished eight points behind the champions in the end. The Red Devils qualified for the UEFA Champions League group stage as a result. Liverpool finished third, while Arsenal were well off the pace in fourth. Eight of the 20 Premier League teams secured European football for the following season, while Sunderland, West Bromwich Albion and Birmingham City were relegated to the Championship.
Half Time / Full Time Result
|Score||Home Count||Away Count||Total||Percentage|
Over / Under
Dominant Chelsea Win Title No. 2
Chelsea were the real deal in the 2004-05 season, with new boss Mourinho taking the Blues to 95 points. Although Chelsea were not quite as dominant this season, the Londoners still surpassed the 90-point mark and won the Premier League title at a canter. Chelsea picked up 29 wins, drew four times and suffered five defeats.
A 3-0 win over Man United in late April made sure of the title with two games to spare. The Blues were outstanding on the day, with William Gallas, Joe Cole and Ricard Carvalho getting the goals. Chelsea suffered back-to-back 1-0 away defeats at Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United after that, but the job was already done and dusted and the 3-0 margin made it clear who was the superior team.
Prior to that game Man United had a late push and kept Chelsea honest at the top. From February to April, the Red Devils picked up nine straight Premier League wins to close the gap from a massive 16 points to just seven. However, a home draw with Sunderland and the loss at Stamford Bridge put paid to their title hopes. Still, the Manchester giants pipped rivals Liverpool to second with a thumping 4-0 victory over Charlton Athletic at Old Trafford on the final day. They also won the League Cup, beating Wigan Athletic 4-0 in Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.
Gunners Beat Spurs To Fourth On Final Day
The last year at Highbury was a memorable one for Arsenal. The Gunners kissed goodbye to their famous home, moving into the 60,000 Emirates Stadium for the start of the 2006-07 season. Wenger’s men would have wanted to challenge for the title this term, but pipping fierce rivals Tottenham Hotspur to the fourth and final Champions League place on the last day was a sweet way to close the Highbury chapter.
The Gunners took on a decent Wigan outfit in the last ever league game at Highbury on 7th May. It was an eventful day, with the Latics taking a 2-1 lead after 33 minutes. However, inspired by the incredible Thierry Henry, Arsenal went on to win 4-2. Tottenham were beaten 2-1 at West Ham, which handed fourth to Wenger’s team by a two-point margin.
10 days later, Arsenal took on Barcelona in the 2006 Champions League final. Despite the 10-man Gunners taking a lead through Sol Campbell, late goals from Samuel Eto’o and Juliano Belletti won the match for the Spanish giants. This was Arsenal’s first and only appearance in the final of the showpiece at the time of writing.
Black Cats Go Down On 15 Points
On the same day that Chelsea were crowned champions, West Brom and Birmingham were relegated to the second tier. The Midlands duo joined Sunderland, who were relegated well before. The Black Cats had a season to forget in the Premier League, picking up a mere 15 points in one of the poorest top flight showings ever (only Derby with 11 in 2007-08 have ever done worse in fact).
Mick McCarthy was sacked in March, with Kevin Ball taking over on a caretaker basis for the remainder of the campaign. Sunderland managed just three wins all season and suffered a staggering 29 defeats to end with a goal difference of minus 43. They started with five consecutive losses and ended the campaign with four defeats from five. The 15-point tally was the worst in Premier League history at the time, although Sunderland’s unwanted record did not last long.
Fantastic Frenchman Tops The Scoring Charts
Arsenal’s Thierry Henry won the Premier League Golden Boot for the fourth and final time this year. The prolific Frenchman scored 27 times for the Gunners, netting a hat-trick in the last ever match at Highbury in the process. Henry was also named Premier League Player of the Season. Shortly after, he made the move to Barcelona, the side who beat Arsenal in the 2006 Champions League final.
Man United’s Ruud van Nistelrooy was a relatively distant second in the scoring charts, registering 21 goals in what turned out to be his final campaign at Old Trafford. Darren Bent took the bronze medal, scoring an impressive 18 times for Charlton and Bent was Player of the Month in August after a fast start to the campaign. Four Englishman finished in the top 10, including a young Wayne Rooney and, more surprisingly, Marlon Harewood, with Wales ace Craig Bellamy ending eighth on the list after netting 13 times for Blackburn.
Relegations & European Qualifications
As said, Sunderland had one of the poorest seasons in Premier League history and were the first team to be relegated to the second tier. Midlands duo West Brom and Birmingham joined them in late April. Portsmouth pulled off a great escape under Harry Redknapp, winning six of their last 10 to stay up by four points.
Chelsea, Man Utd, Liverpool and Arsenal qualified for the Champions League. Tottenham, Blackburn and West Ham entered the UEFA Cup, while Newcastle qualified for the Intertoto Cup third round.
Which Teams Were Relegated?
Sunderland finished on just 15 points and were relegated with a whimper. They won the Championship the season before but managed just three Premier League wins and suffered an instant return to the second division. They were cut adrift at the bottom quite quickly and never showed any real fight.
West Brom, who had survived on the last day of the 2004-05 season, could not pull off another escape, and the Baggies were relegated in April this year. Bryan Robson’s troops struggled for wins all season and lost 22 times. In the end, they were eight points away from safety.
Birmingham finished in 18th with 34 points to their name, meaning the lowly total of 35 would have been enough to survive this year. Manchester City, who finished 15th, suffered more defeats, but only Sunderland and West Brom won fewer games. City’s season ended with a 1-0 loss at Bolton Wanderers.
Which Teams Qualified For Europe?
Chelsea booked their spot in the Champions League group stage after retaining the Premier League title. Runners-up Man United also qualified directly to the group stage of Europe’s elite club competition. Liverpool and Arsenal sealed their places in the Champions League third qualifying round after finishing in third and fourth, respectively.
Tottenham were pipped by rivals Arsenal to Champions League football on the final day, so Martin Jol’s boys had to settle for a place in the UEFA Cup. Blackburn finished sixth and also qualified for the UEFA Cup, as the Europa League was then known. West Ham were losing FA Cup finalists. Liverpool had already qualified for the Champions League, so the final UEFA Cup place went to the Hammers. Glenn Roeder took Newcastle into the Intertoto Cup third round.