1995–96 FA Premier League

Premier League
Season 1995 (1995)–96
Champions Manchester United
3rd Premier League title
10th English title
Relegated Bolton Wanderers
QPR
Manchester City
Champions League Manchester United
Cup Winners' Cup Liverpool
UEFA Cup Newcastle United
Aston Villa
Arsenal
Matches played 380
Goals scored 988 (2.6 per match)
Top goalscorer Alan Shearer (31 goals)
Biggest home win Blackburn Rovers 7–0 Nottingham Forest
(18 November 1995)
Biggest away win Bolton Wanderers 0–6 Manchester United
(25 February 1996)
Highest scoring Sheffield Wednesday 6–2 Leeds United
(16 December 1995)
Longest winning run 6 games[1]
Manchester United
Longest unbeaten run 15 games[1]
Liverpool
Longest winless run 14 games[1]
Coventry City
Wimbledon
Longest losing run 8 games[1]
Manchester City
Middlesbrough
Highest attendance 53,926[2]
Manchester United v Nottingham Forest
(28 April 1996)
Lowest attendance 6,352[2]
Wimbledon v Sheffield Wednesday
(30 August 1995)

The 1995–96 FA Premier League (known as the FA Carling Premiership for sponsorship reasons) was the fourth season of the competition, since its formation in 1992. Due to the decision to reduce the number of clubs in the Premier League from 22 to 20, only two clubs were promoted instead of the usual three, Middlesbrough and Bolton Wanderers.[3]

Manchester United won the Premier League and qualified for the UEFA Champions League, while Arsenal, Aston Villa, and Newcastle United qualified for the UEFA Cup. Liverpool also qualified for the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup as runners-up of the FA Cup which was won by Manchester United.

Transfers

Before the season began, the English transfer record was broken for the third time in 12 months when Liverpool paid £8.4 million for the Nottingham Forest striker Stan Collymore. The record fee for a defender was broken when Newcastle United paid £4 million for Wimbledon's Warren Barton. Arsenal paid a club record £7.5 million for Internazionale's 26-year-old Dutch striker Dennis Bergkamp. Newcastle spent £6 million for 28-year-old Queens Park Rangers striker Les Ferdinand.

English performance in European competition

Blackburn Rovers, the 1994–95 Premier League champions, finished bottom of their group in the UEFA Champions League.[4] Manchester United were knocked out of the UEFA Cup in the first round, with Liverpool and Leeds United both being knocked out at the second round.[5] Everton were beaten in the second round of the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup.[6] The only English team still in European competition after Christmas were Nottingham Forest, who reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup.[5]

Summary

Manchester United and Newcastle United emerged as the primary title contenders for the 1995–96 season. The two sides played on 27 December 1995, with Newcastle 10 points ahead in the league. A 2–0 home win for Manchester United cut the gap to seven points, and two days later they beat Queens Park Rangers 2–1 to reduce the gap to just four points. But Manchester United then lost 4–1 at Tottenham on New Year's Day and drew 0–0 with Aston Villa, allowing Newcastle to establish a 12-point lead in January 1996.

Manchester United and Newcastle met again in early March, and a goal by Eric Cantona gave Manchester United a 1–0 away win and cut the gap to a single point. With one game left of the season, Manchester United led the Premier League by two points, having taken lead of the league halfway through March and stayed on top ever since. In case of the two clubs being tied for first place, the Premier League made preliminary preparations for a championship play-off match at Wembley.[7] For Newcastle to win their first title since 1927, they had to win against Tottenham and hope that Middlesbrough beat their Mancunian rivals. But the Premier League title went to Old Trafford as Manchester United won 3–0 and Newcastle could only manage a 1–1 draw with Tottenham.

Liverpool and Aston Villa emerged as possible title contenders early in the season, but for most of the campaign it was a two-horse race between Manchester United and Newcastle United. Middlesbrough's early promise, which saw them occupy fourth place in late October, was wiped away by an injury crisis which saw their league form slump, and they could only manage a 12th-place finish.

Despite the arrival of Dennis Bergkamp, Arsenal never looked like serious title challengers, their best chance of success coming in the League Cup, where they reached the semi-finals, losing on away goals to Aston Villa. However, the North London side still qualified for the UEFA Cup by finishing fifth.

Title holders Blackburn set a record of lowest finish in Premier League title-defense season by finishing 7th, only to be equalled by Manchester United in 2013–14 before being broken by Chelsea in 2015–16 and again by Leicester City in 2016–17.

Six days after clinching their third league title in four seasons, Manchester United became the first team to complete a second league championship and FA Cup double when a Cantona goal gave them a 1–0 win over Liverpool in the FA Cup final.[8]

Relegated teams

The Premier League relegation places went to Bolton, Queens Park Rangers and Manchester City. Bolton had spent a large proportion of their first Premier League season bottom of the table. Manchester City failed to beat Liverpool on the final day of the season, consigning them to the final relegation place on goal difference behind Southampton and Coventry City.

Player and managerial awards

Managerial changes

Personnel and kits

(as of 5 May 1996)

Team Manager Captain Kit manufacturer Shirt sponsor
Arsenal Bruce Rioch Tony Adams Nike JVC
Aston Villa Brian Little Andy Townsend Reebok AST Research
Blackburn Rovers Ray Harford Tim Sherwood Asics CIS
Bolton Wanderers Colin Todd Alan Stubbs Reebok Reebok
Chelsea Glenn Hoddle Dennis Wise Umbro Coors
Coventry City Ron Atkinson Brian Borrows Pony Peugeot
Everton Joe Royle Dave Watson Umbro Danka
Leeds United Howard Wilkinson Gary McAllister Asics Thistle Hotels
Liverpool Roy Evans Ian Rush Adidas Carlsberg
Manchester City Alan Ball Keith Curle Umbro Brother
Manchester United Alex Ferguson Steve Bruce Umbro Sharp
Middlesbrough Bryan Robson Nigel Pearson Erreà Cellnet
Newcastle United Kevin Keegan Peter Beardsley Adidas Newcastle Brown Ale
Nottingham Forest Frank Clark Stuart Pearce Umbro Labatt's
Queens Park Rangers Ray Wilkins David Bardsley View From Compaq
Sheffield Wednesday David Pleat Peter Atherton Puma Sanderson
Southampton Dave Merrington Matt Le Tissier Pony Sanderson
Tottenham Hotspur Gerry Francis Gary Mabbutt Pony Hewlett-Packard
West Ham United Harry Redknapp Steve Potts Pony Dagenham Motors
Wimbledon Joe Kinnear Vinnie Jones Core Elonex

Final league table

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification or relegation
1 Manchester United (C) 38 25 7 6 73 35 +38 82 1996–97 UEFA Champions League Group stage
2 Newcastle United 38 24 6 8 66 37 +29 78 1996–97 UEFA Cup First round
3 Liverpool 38 20 11 7 70 34 +36 71 1996–97 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup First round[lower-alpha 1]
4 Aston Villa 38 18 9 11 52 35 +17 63 1996–97 UEFA Cup First round
5 Arsenal 38 17 12 9 49 32 +17 63
6 Everton 38 17 10 11 64 44 +20 61
7 Blackburn Rovers 38 18 7 13 61 47 +14 61
8 Tottenham Hotspur 38 16 13 9 50 38 +12 61
9 Nottingham Forest 38 15 13 10 50 54 4 58
10 West Ham United 38 14 9 15 43 52 9 51
11 Chelsea 38 12 14 12 46 44 +2 50
12 Middlesbrough 38 11 10 17 35 50 15 43
13 Leeds United 38 12 7 19 40 57 17 43
14 Wimbledon 38 10 11 17 55 70 15 41
15 Sheffield Wednesday 38 10 10 18 48 61 13 40
16 Coventry City 38 8 14 16 42 60 18 38
17 Southampton 38 9 11 18 34 52 18 38
18 Manchester City (R) 38 9 11 18 33 58 25 38 Relegation to 1996–97 Football League First Division
19 Queens Park Rangers (R) 38 9 6 23 38 57 19 33
20 Bolton Wanderers (R) 38 8 5 25 39 71 32 29
Source: Premier League
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored.
(C) Champion; (R) Relegated.
Notes:
  1. Liverpool qualified for the Cup Winners' Cup as FA Cup runners-up, as winners Manchester United already qualified for the Champions League. They defaulted their UEFA Cup spot to Arsenal.

Results

Home \ Away[1] ARS AST BLBBOLCHECOVEVELEELIVMCIMUNMIDNEWNOTQPRSHWSOUTOTWHUWDN
Arsenal 20 00 21 11 11 12 21 00 31 10 11 20 11 30 42 42 00 10 13
Aston Villa 11 20 10 01 41 10 30 02 01 31 00 11 11 42 32 30 21 11 20
Blackburn Rovers 11 11 31 30 51 03 10 23 20 12 10 21 70 10 30 21 21 42 32
Bolton Wanderers 10 02 21 21 12 11 02 01 11 06 11 13 11 01 21 01 23 03 10
Chelsea 10 12 23 32 22 00 41 22 11 14 50 10 10 11 00 30 00 12 12
Coventry City 00 03 50 02 10 21 00 10 21 04 00 01 11 10 01 11 23 22 33
Everton 02 10 10 30 11 22 20 11 20 23 40 13 30 20 22 20 11 30 24
Leeds United 03 20 00 01 10 31 22 10 01 31 01 01 13 13 20 10 13 20 11
Liverpool 31 30 30 52 20 00 12 50 60 20 10 43 42 10 10 11 00 20 22
Manchester City 01 10 11 10 01 11 02 00 22 23 01 33 11 20 10 21 11 21 10
Manchester United 10 00 10 30 11 10 20 10 22 10 20 20 50 21 22 41 10 21 31
Middlesbrough 23 02 20 14 20 21 02 11 21 41 03 12 11 10 31 00 01 42 12
Newcastle United 20 10 10 21 20 30 10 21 21 31 01 10 31 21 20 10 11 30 61
Nottingham Forest 01 11 15 32 00 00 32 21 10 30 11 10 11 30 10 10 21 11 41
Queens Park Rangers 11 10 01 21 12 11 31 12 12 10 11 11 23 11 03 30 23 30 03
Sheffield Wednesday 10 20 21 42 00 43 25 62 11 11 00 01 02 13 13 22 13 01 21
Southampton 00 01 10 10 23 10 22 11 13 11 31 21 10 34 20 01 00 00 00
Tottenham Hotspur 21 01 23 22 11 31 00 21 13 10 41 11 11 01 10 10 10 01 31
West Ham United 01 14 11 10 13 32 21 12 00 42 01 20 20 10 10 11 21 11 11
Wimbledon 03 33 11 32 11 02 23 24 10 30 24 00 33 10 21 22 12 01 01

Source:
1 ^ The home team is listed in the left-hand column.
Colours: Blue = home team win; Yellow = draw; Red = away team win.

Season statistics

  • Total goals: 988
  • Average goals per game: 2.6

Top scorers

Rank Scorer Club Goals
1 Alan Shearer Blackburn Rovers 31
2 Robbie Fowler Liverpool 28
3 Les Ferdinand Newcastle United 25
4 Dwight Yorke Aston Villa 17
5 Teddy Sheringham Tottenham Hotspur 16
6 Chris Armstrong Tottenham Hotspur 15
Andrei Kanchelskis Everton 15
Ian Wright Arsenal 15
9 Eric Cantona Manchester United 14
Stan Collymore Liverpool 14
Dion Dublin Coventry City 14

Monthly awards

Month Manager of the Month Player of the Month
Manager Club Player Club
August Kevin Keegan Newcastle United David Ginola Newcastle United
September Kevin Keegan Newcastle United Tony Yeboah Leeds United
October Frank Clark Nottingham Forest Trevor Sinclair Queens Park Rangers
November Alan Ball Manchester City Rob Lee Newcastle United
December Roy Evans Liverpool Robbie Fowler Liverpool
January Roy Evans Liverpool Stan Collymore Liverpool
Robbie Fowler
February Alex Ferguson Manchester United Dwight Yorke Aston Villa
March Alex Ferguson Manchester United Eric Cantona Manchester United
April Dave Merrington Southampton Andrei Kanchelskis Everton

See also

References and notes

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