September 13 – a date where the results are in inconsequential and bare no significance to the overall outcome of the season. Right?
Wrong. Today’s trip down memory lane showcases some significant steps being taken towards end of season glory, we just didn’t know it at the time.
So sit back, get your nostalgia cap on and enjoy your run through this day in footballing history.
Chelsea Rise to See Off City
The 2008/09 ?Premier League campaign had it’s fair share of ups and downs for those connected to ?Chelsea.
Expectations were high following the appointment of Luiz Felipe Scolari as head coach, but things didn’t pan out the way many thought they would for the former Brazil boss.
One bright spot in his brief tenure was the Blues’ 3-1 victory over emerging force ?Manchester City at the Etihad. Robinho’s goal gave the hosts an early lead, but it was all change in the second half as Ricardo Carvalho, Frank Lampard and Nicolas Anelka turned the game around for Scolari’s men.
Not even John Terry’s last minute sending off could dampen Chelsea’s spirits, as they celebrated a job well done on the road.
Barcelona Teach Leeds Champions League Lesson
Taking you back to the start of the century now, and a Champions League group stage between La Liga heavyweights ?Barcelona and rising stars (or so we thought) ?Leeds.
Sadly for the Whites, Barça were in a class of their own as they tore David O’Leary’s side apart from minute one at Camp Nou. Former Ballon d’Or winner Rivaldo was instrumental in the Catalans dominant performance, opening the scoring early in the first half.
Frank De Boer then netted a superb free-kick, before Patrick Kluivert’s brace sealed an emphatic win over a Leeds side containing the likes of Lee Bowyer, Ian Harte and Alan Smith.
Saints March Past Hapless Newcastle
It was a day to remember down at St. Mary’s four years ago as rampant ?Southampton tore apart Alan Pardew’s ?Newcastle.
The Saints were handed an early two goal initiative by Graziano Pelle, with the Italian striker thankful to Mike Williamson’s dreadful misjudgment for his second. The game was put out of sight by Jack Cork early in the second half, before Morgan Schneiderlin wrapped up proceedings with a stoppage time fourth.
The result proved too much for some in the away end, with several disgruntled Newcastle fans storming the pitch after the game following vociferous chanting against under-fire manager Alan Pardew – something which Saints fans were only too happy to join in with.
Busquets Makes Barcelona Debut
It’s now been a decade since Barcelona defender Sergio Busquets made his debut for the club, playing the full 90 minutes again Racing Santander in a 1-1 draw.
The then 20-year-old quickly established in the first-team setup, going on to formidable midfield partnership alongside legendary figures Xavi and Andres Iniesta. He has gone to make 486 appearances, forging one of the most successful trophy laden careers of modern times.
He now operates as Barcelona’s vice captain, and has gone on earn over 100 caps for Spain – winning the World Cup and European Championships in the process.
Leicester Show What is to Come
We all love an underdog and we all love feel good stories in football. But did anybody really think that a team outside of the ‘top six’ were capable of winning the Premier League? Absolutely not.
?Leicester clearly didn’t get the memo though during the 2015/16 season, taking advantage of some serious underperforming from England’s elite to earn a quite sensational maiden Premier League title.
Their success was in part down to their never-say-die attitude, which was perhaps displayed for the first time on this day three years ago against ?Aston Villa. Trailing after 72 minutes to goals from Jack Grealish and Carlos Gil, the Foxes looked dead and buried.
Enter Ritchie de Laet, Jamie Vardy and Nathan Dyer to turn the game on its head, breaking Villa hearts whilst planting the seed of something seriously special.
Ajax See Off Real Madrid En Route to Champions League Glory
These days, you can count the number of sides in with a realistic chance of winning the Champions League on one hand.
Throwback 23 years ago though, and Dutch heavyweights Ajax were among the greats of European football. They had a side filled with untapped talent, including Marc Overmars, Patrick Kluivert, the De Boer brothers and Edgar Davids.
That talented troupe of players would eventually prove their worth, winning the Champions League in 1995 – beating the great ?Real Madrid on this day in the process, thanks to a first half goal from future Arsenal and Barcelona star Overmars.
Berbatov Bow Ends in Misery
It was 10 years ago that Dimitar Berbatov joined ?Manchester United from ?Tottenham for a fee of £30.75m. 10 years! Where has that time gone?
In any event, the Bulgarian made his debut for the Red Devils on this fateful day, travelling to Anfield to take on fierce rivals Liverpool. He started alongside Carlos Tevez up front, and was soon celebrating as the Argentinian striker put the visitors a goal to the good after just three minutes.
That’s about as good as it got though – with Wes Brown’s own goal and Ryan Babel’s late winner giving Reds boss Rafa Benitez his first win over Sir Alex Ferguson’s side.
Milan Triumph in Nine-Goal Classic
What better way to finish off a trip down memory lane then recalling an absolute goalfest between Pescara and ?Milan.
What’s better is that it features some iconic figures – both players and managers. The opening goal was scored for Pescara in the first minute by none other than Massimiliano Allegri (yes, Juventus’ manager), before Paolo Maldini equalised two minutes later.
20 minutes later and it was absolute carnage – legendary Milan defender Franco Baresi netted two goals and suddenly I Rossoneri were 4-2 down after just 23 minutes.