Throwback: Salako’s brace at Highbury, City’s week of Anfield horror, Old Firm in 1928

As an irregular feature on our Facebook page, we’ve run throwbacks to earlier meetings of upcoming match-ups. Say Manchester United are facing Juventus on the day, we’ll dig up memorable, odd or interesting matches between the teams. [‘member Keano?]

We’re moving the series over to the website and are extending it to a handful of upcoming match-ups on the day or the weekend. First up it’s Arsenal vs Palace, Liverpool vs Man City and the Old Firm.

Arsenal 1:2 Crystal Palace, Oct. 1st 1994

Palace are without a league win against Arsenal for more than two decades now. In other words, they never tasted triumph over Arsene Wenger. Their last win came on October 1st 1994, Palace’s side captained by Gareth Southgate. George Graham was still at the helm for the Gunners, presiding over the oldest defence in the world. Tony Adams, at least, always looked to me ten years older than he actually was. Here he’s just 28, Andy Linighan next to him is 32, but they’re made to look 40+ by Chris Armstrong.

Armstrong teed up two easy tap-ins for John Salako, one with the help of the post. Ian Wright managed to pull one back twenty minutes before the end, making it a century of goals for Arsenal. But it proved to be to little on the day. Coming on the eigth matchday it was Palace’s first win of the season. To be fair it was also Arsenal’s fourth loss, league leaders Newcastle were already 14 points ahead. Arsenal finished the 94/95 season in 12th place, Palace were relegated in 19th. But hey, they’ll always have Salako’s brace at Highbury.

Liverpool 6:0 Manchester City, Oct. 28th 1995

Within four days at the end of October 1995, Liverpool hosted Manchester City twice: first in the League Cup then in the Premier League. The combined scoreline: 10:0. John Scales, Robbie Fowler, Ian Rush and Steve Harkness had sent the Citizens packing with a 4:0 drubbing on Wednesday. Come Saturday, straight back onto the horse City climbed; only to be thrown off again. Liverpool picked up where they had left off, establishing a 2:0 lead within five minutes.

That 2:0 held until half-time, but whatever City’s manager Alan Ball told his side at the interval, his side fell apart once the game re-started. Liverpool’s play, on the day, was easy on the eye, but all too easily cutting through City’s defence. Rush and Fowler each helped themselves to a brace, Jamie Redknapp and Neil Ruddock chipped in as well, putting six in total past Eike Immel at the hour mark. City’s stats made for awful reading after 11 matches: two points, 3:21 goals; needless to say it left them bottom of the table. Even though their form improved in the second half of the season, City were eventually relegated on goal difference.

Rangers 4:0 Celtic, April 14th 1928

Wikipedia knows of 403 Old Firm matches. Surely that means Rangers vs Celtic predates football in Scotland and even football itself. A bit of rummaging for the oldest known footage of the match-up produced a British Pathé clip of the Scottish Cup final 1928. Celtic won their admission to the final by beating Queen’s Park FC 2:1, Rangers trounced Hibernian 3:0. 118.000 were supposedly in attendance for the final at Hampden Park. Judging by the sea of people in the video, it can’t be far off.

1927/28 proved to be Rangers’ season: Not only did they win the Cup by beating Celtic 4:0 on the day; Sandy Archibald (2x), David Meiklejohn (P) and Bob McPhail provided the goals. They also won the league, finishing five points ahead of, naturally, Celtic.

About Sebastian

Sebastian writes and talks about football of all eras in German and English. His series of Retro Match Reports focus on British, German and Italian football history. For YYFP he is currently working his way through the late '70s and early '80s. Follow Sebastian on Twitter: @maltacalcio.

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