Another day and another date filled with footballing history. Hey, there may not be any fixtures taking place at the moment, but at least there’s a big ol’ archive to steam through while we’re all in lockdown, right?
As it would turn out, 27 April has had its fair share of legendary football moments. Steven Gerrard, Lionel Messi and, er, Michail Antonio have all made the headlines for their performances on this particular date. Most are good, but some are pretty bad.
Alright, enough foreplay, let’s get into it!
Denis Law Relegates Man Utd With Man City – 1974
“Let’s get it right, they didn’t go down because they got beat by Manchester City that day, they went down because Birmingham beat Norwich the same day, so don’t give me that. I know who put them down.”
To be fair, Denis has a point. A team doesn’t get relegated by losing to another team on one given day. They get relegated because they’re rubbish throughout the course of an entire season. United were sat second bottom in the 22-team First Division in April of the 1973/74 season, and needed to beat Manchester City and hope Birmingham lost to Norwich to stay up.
Neither of those results happened. Instead, Birmingham beat the Canaries and Law scored the winner in a 1-0 victory for the Citizens. But seeing as Law was already a Manchester United legend by the time he joined local rivals City, ‘Law Relegates United’ was simply too good a headline for newspaper bosses to turn their noses up at.
Ivica Olic Scores the Second Ever Champions League Semi-Final Hat Trick – 2010
It’s 2010, and Lyon are a few years removed from being the dominant side that ruled Ligue 1 during the mid-2000s. However, they’ve still got a few tasty players in their squad, with stars like Hugo Lloris, Michel Bastos and Lisandro Lopez guiding Les Gones to a Champions League semi-final.
However, Bayern Munich teams never go out of fashion for too long and were formidable opponents for the French side during that semi-final tie, winning the first leg 1-0 courtesy of Arjen Robben’s winner.
One goal is obviously not that large a deficit, but Lyon came up against an unstoppable Ivica Olic during the second leg, the Croatian scoring a hat trick and becoming just the second person ever after Alessandro Del Piero to do so in a Champions League semi-final. He has since been joined in that club by Robert Lewandowski, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lucas Moura. Pretty good company, that.
Bayern wouldn’t win the competition that season, though. Jose Mourinho and Diego Milito ensured it was Inter’s year with a 2-0 win at the Bernabeu in the final.
Lionel Messi’s Solo Goal vs Real Madrid in the Champions League – 2011
We like that Lionel Messi. He always seems to be able to do really good stuff with his feet and the ball. And the above is a perfect illustration of what makes the Argentina international such a joy to watch.
After Pepe had been sent off, Messi scored his first by connecting with Stoke legend Ibrahim Afellay’s cross in the 76th minute. 11 minutes later, the shaggy-haired forward took the ball of Sergio Busquets’ toes and surged towards goal, beating four Real Madrid defenders before slotting past Iker Casillas.
The second leg would end in a 1-1 draw, booking Barça’s spot in the final where they would take on Manchester United. That game proved to relatively simple for the Catalan giants, as goals from Pedro, Messi and David Villa ensured Wayne Rooney’s brilliant equaliser counted for little.
Brentford and Doncaster’s Winner-Takes-All Clash for League 1 Promotion – 2013
We’ll just set the scene with some context before letting you enjoy the above piece of madness.
Doncaster and Brentford were going head to head on the final day of the 2012/13 season, with a spot in the Championship up for grabs. Rovers went into the game knowing a draw would be enough to deny the Bees and secure a top-two spot.
Watched the video yet? Yeah, pretty crazy stuff.
In the end, James Coppinger’s winner sealed the title at the expense of Bournemouth, who clinched second after failing to win at Tranmere. Brentford reached the playoff final but were defeated 2-1 by Yeovil. They’re doing alright nowadays, sitting fourth in the Championship.
Newcastle 0-6 Liverpool, Featuring a Fabio Borini Goal – 2013
Liverpool were an interesting beast during the second half of the 2012/13 season. They were pretty much out of the picture for Champions League qualification but the attacking trio of Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho were starting to show the Premier League what they could do.
Suarez didn’t play in this fixture at St James’ Park, so instead Brendan Rodgers chose Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing on the wings with Coutinho behind Sturridge. The thought of those wide men might make you chuckle, but Henderson scored twice and set up one of Sturridge’s strikes, while Downing also helped himself to two assists. Hell, even Fabio Borini scored.
All of that being said, Newcastle were pretty shockingly bad during the 2012/13 season, eventually finishing 16th, which was a surprise because Alan Pardew had masterminded a fifth place finish the campaign before, with Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse scoring 16 and 13 league goals respectively.
However, Steven Taylor, Mathieu Debuchy and Rob Elliot phoned it in that day, resulting in a pretty damaging defeat for the Magpies.
THAT Slip – 2014
What’s left to say about this moment that hasn’t already been said?
Liverpool, truly in the driving seat to secure their first ever Premier League title, are hosting Chelsea, knowing three wins from three games will get the job done.
The game started off a little nervy, with Mourinho’s Blues frustrating the hosts with a low block, before Demba Ba capitalised on Steven Gerrard’s infamous slip to race through and slide the ball past goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.
Liverpool continued to toil to no avail, and eventually they had so many players forward that Chelsea were able to nick the ball and stroll towards Mignolet’s goal, Fernando Torres squaring for Willian to secure a classic Mourinho win. The title was no longer in Liverpool’s hands and Manchester City refused to blink, winning their second Premier League title on the final day.
West Ham Become First Team to Win at Tottenham’s New Stadium – 2019
West Ham love a good win against Tottenham. They come relatively regularly, having won two of their last six games against Spurs, but this one from April 2019 probably meant the most in recent years.
Spurs were yet to lose or even concede a goal at their new stadium when the Hammers came to town, but there were enough clinks in their armour to suggest West Ham had a pretty good chance of coming away with a positive result.
That they did, as Michail Antonio’s second-half strike saw Spurs lose for the first time ever at their new ground. Antonio’s celebration was pretty funny and weird, later revealing he saw someone perform a similar dance move on Instagram.
Cristiano Ronaldo Scores His 600th Club Goal – 2019
Oof, does Cristiano Ronaldo love a goal or what? Yes, yes he does.
So much so, in fact, that he scored his 600th club strike in April last year as Juventus, who had already secured the Serie A title, drew 1-1 with Inter at San Siro.
Currently he’s on 626, with 450 of those coming at Real Madrid. Whoof.