On This Day in Football History – 29 April: Keegan’s Rant, Scholes Stunner, Fulham’s Run in Europe & More

Sure, there may be no live football right now, but there have been some truly iconic moments on 29 April down the years.

Screamers from outside the box, title wins, underdogs carrying the fight, the list goes on. So why not get our daily dose in by taking a trip down memory lane to relive some of these majestical moments?!

Here’s a look back at some of the best…

1989 – Deschamps makes France debut

France v Moldova – UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifier

Didier Deschamps may not have been as extravagant or glamorous as some of the players he played alongside, but the Frenchman’s medal collection speaks for itself.

And it was on 29 April that Michel Platini handed Deschamps his France debut in a 0-0 draw with Yugoslavia. Replacing Daniel Xuereb, Deschamps played the final 14 minutes of the stalemate. It was a tough time for France, who failed to qualify for the World Cup in 1990 and 1994.

Deschamps was chosen to lead the new ‘Golden Generation’, and with him as captain, Les Bleus went on to win the World Cup in 1998 on home turf, while they also became European Champions just two years later.

1990 – Maradona-Inspired Napoli win Scudetto

29 April 2020 marks 30 years since a Napoli team featuring none other than Diego Maradona won the league in Italy.

After earning their first ever European success by lifting the UEFA Cup in 1989, with the world’s greatest ever footballer at the heart of it all, Napoli continued their fine form into the 1989/90 season. Indeed, they went the first 16 league games undefeated before being swept aside by Lazio.

Following a number of twists and turns, it was far from clear who would be crowned champions. But Napoli’s charge towards the title was majorly boosted by the decision to hand them a 2-0 win, despite their game with Atalanta ending 0-0, because a coin struck midfielder Alemao.

A controversial decision, but there was no denying the brilliance of the Napoli team, led by the Argentine maverick himself – Maradona.

1996 – Kevin Keegan’s ‘I Will Love it’ Rant

One of the most iconic moments in Premier League history – and it didn’t even take place on the football field.

After Newcastle overcame Leeds 1-0, Kevin Keegan’s explosion in his post-match interview was unexpected. Initially laughing at the beginning, Keegan soon turned irate, with his finger pointing and stuttering of words due to his levels of rage.

Sir Alex Ferguson had attempted to play some mind games on Keegan, who seemingly wasn’t best pleased by it – at all. Prior to the Leeds game, Sir Alex suggested that Leeds and Nottingham Forest, who were due to take on the Magpies, may not try as hard against Keegan’s men as they did against United.

That season, Newcastle let slip a 12-point lead over Man Utd, with the Red Devils ending up finishing four points ahead of them.

2008 – Scholes’ Piledriver vs Barcelona

On the biggest stage, the biggest names are called upon to step up and deliver.

On 29 April 2008, it was Paul Scholes who stepped up and delivered for Manchester United. Wayne Rooney and Nemanja Vidic were both ruled out of the clash with Barcelona through injury, but the Red Devils overcame La Blaugrana 1-0 on the night to progress to the Champions League final.

As the ball fell into the path of Scholes 25 yards out, the midfielder took one touch before setting himself and unleashing a venomous strike into the top corner. Victor Valdes tried to get there, but he was nowhere near it.

You. Simply. Don’t. Save. Them.

2010 – Fulham Overcome Hamburg to Reach Europa League final

When Roy Hodgson took over at Fulham in 2007, the boss was solely focused on keeping his side in the top flight of English football. The Englishman was able to help the Cottagers climb out of the relegation zone and stay in the Premier League, before then deciding to bring in reinforcements.

The 2008/09 season saw Fulham go on to finish seventh in the league, therefore claiming a place in Europe for the following campaign. After progressing through the qualifying rounds, they also did enough to book their place in the knockout stages.

But then came the tough task of beating Shakhtar Donetsk, the holders of the competition. But they were more than up to the ask, overcoming the Ukrainians 3-2. Fulham went on secure a simply stunning win over Juventus before getting past Wolfsburg. They were then drawn against Hamburg in the semi-finals, where they staged yet another comeback to book their place in the final. While they were defeated in the final, it was a remarkable run and will live long in the memory of Fulham fans.

2012 – Rayo Vallecano 0-7 Barcelona

It was a rampant display from Barcelona on 29 April in 2012 which saw them run out 7-0 winners over Rayo Vallecano. The hosts, who had a certain Diego Costa leading the line, were barely able to get hold of the ball. Instead, the Barça players were intricately playing one-twos, giving and going before working their way around the Vallecano defence and finding the net.

Lionel Messi, of course, ran the show, grabbing a brace, while Pedro also netted twice. Elsewhere, now-Man Utd flop Alexis Sanchez also claimed a goal (although it was an own goal), Seydou Keita got in on the act as well and as did Thiago. It was a breathtaking display.

2014 – Ramos and Ronaldo Shine in 4-0 Drubbing of Bayern

Real Madrid came into the second leg of their Champions League semi-final clash holding a 1-0 lead. However, Los Blancos turned on the style to embarrass Bayern Munich. First, Sergio Ramos powered home from a set piece, before the Spaniard grabbed his second of the game with another header.

And then Cristiano Ronaldo, who was scoring for fun in the competition, got in on the act. The Portuguese finished off a quick counter-attack before cheekily sliding the ball under the wall from a free kick to make it four. This took his tally for the competition to 16 – but he wasn’t done there…

2015 – Drogba Nets Final Chelsea Goal in Win at Leicester

Leicester City v Chelsea – Premier League

Didier Drogba netted his 164th – and final – goal for Chelsea on 29 April 2015. And as he usually did during his time in west London, he stepped up for his side when they most needed it. 1-0 down at half time, Drogba levelled the score with some clever movement to get away from his man before slotting the ball into the far corner.

The comeback was complete when John Terry and Ramires got their names on the score sheet. It was a hugely important three points for the Blues as it put them within one win of the Premier League crown, and it was Drogba who started the comeback. A club legend, who will be remembered as one of the great strikers.

2018 – Fellaini Strikes Late to Sink Arsenal

Manchester United v Arsenal – Premier League

Marouane Fellaini wasn’t loved by a large majority of the Man Utd fanbase because he was blessed with great skill and scintillating pace, but because he always gave his all for the club.

United took the lead against Arsenal through Paul Pogba, before Henrikh Mkhitaryan struck the leveller against his former club. As a result, Jose Mourinho turned to Anthony Martial and Fellaini in the hope they could find a winner.

And with just moments left, Martial whipped in a cross which Fellaini bundled over the line. United thought they had won it until the linesman’s flag was noticed. However, in the dying seconds, as another cross came into the box, the big Belgian climbed highest to steer the ball home, sparking wild celebrations.

The win ensured United qualified for the Champions League.