Sixy Time – Six best Premier League derby matches

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Fights, Camera, Action


If you’re not a fan of physical violence, it may be wise to avoid East Lancashire this weekend. Sunday sees the first top-division derby between Burnley and Blackburn since New Years Day 1966, and a bit of tear-up is sadly inevitable.

To get you in the mood, thespoiler lists its six favourite Premier League derbies of all time. Clicking ‘Read More’ should do the trick…

Ipswich Town 1 Norwich City 2
19th September 1994

The Premier League no longer hosts the East Anglian derby, but back in the day, it was a no-brainer for Sky Sports to televise live of a weekend. Real men like John Wark, Ian Marshall and Ian Crook ran around kicking each other, with the ball a secondary thought, and it was terrific stuff.

This particular meeting was played in extraordinary weather conditions, as torrential rain made the pitch markings all but impossible to see. Hence two controversial penalties, including Norwich’s winner. Seven minutes into the second half, Ian Crook was hacked down by Simon Milton, and the referee pointed to the spot, having had to estimate exactly where the penalty area began.

Ipswich lost their first three home matches of that season, and were to finish bottom of the table. Norwich lost Mike Walker in November, and seven months later, lost their Premier League status

Nottingham Forest 2 Derby County 2
16th November 1998

Having returned from France ‘98 as part of a Holland side that finished third, Pierre van Hooijdonk took a look around the Forest dressing room, spotted there was no Kluivert, Bergkamp or Overmars, and having expressed his surprise at this, opted to go on strike.

Forest couldn’t shift him, and by November, van Hooijdonk placed his tail between his legs, and requested to rejoin Harry Bassett’s squad. His first game back was this derby, and of course, he found himself on the scoresheet as well as clearing a header off the line. Note the lonely celebration however.

The game finished 2-2, a decent result for the Rams, who went on to record their highest league finish in a decade. Forest finished bottom in May, their season wrecked by a genuinely abhorrent character in van Hooijdonk.

Advocates of karma may be pleased to know that in May 2008, the striker lost £2m he invested in a Chinese carpet firm, who turned out not to exist.

Newcastle United 1 Sunderland 2
25th August 1999

Another match played in torrential rain, and it proved to be an acid test of Geordie tolerance levels. They will tolerate their chairman calling local women “ugly dogs,” and have no objections to watching their team fail to defend set pieces each week. But they will not sit still and observe the Messiah on the bench.

Ruud Gullit left Alan Shearer out of the first XI for this derby, and despite Kieron Dyer giving his side the lead, the Quinn/Phillips axis gave Sunderland all three points. Gullit, as resident cardiologist, had earlier declared that, “it was a night for big hearts”, leaving out both Shearer and Duncan Ferguson in favour of youth team striker Paul Robinson. Who was a Sunderland fan.

One point from five matches spelt the end for Gullit – Kevin Phillips stunning goal (above) had finished off the dreadlocked one’s managerial career for good. Yet there was still time for some quick shovelling to deepen the hole. Post-match, Ruud made it clear where the blame for the defeat lay:

“We were doing well until we brought Paul Robinson off. We put Alan Shearer on and we lost. What is the conclusion?”

Manchester United 1 Manchester City 1
21st April 2001

“I’d waited long enough. I hit him hard. Take that you c**t. And don’t ever stand over me again sneering about fake injuries.”

 Alfie Haaland was fortunate to ever stand again at all, following a revenge tackle by Keane in this otherwise anodyne Manchester derby. United, who were already champions, took the lead through Teddy Sheringham, only for Steve Howey to equalize with six minutes remaining. Keane only required two of those six, to end a fellow professional’s career.

Sir Alex claimed post-match he hadn’t seen it although he puzzlingly added, “the secretary said in his opinion it was right to send him off.”. Fortunately enough, we have it above for him to look at in his own time.

Birmingham City 3 Aston Villa 0
16th September 2002

The second city derby hadn’t been played in the league for fifteen years, and this was one that was well worth waiting for. A bizarre second goal, direct from a throw in, led to a City fan jubilantly offer the Nescafe handshake to Villa keeper Peter Enckelman, a moment that overshadowed the emphatic nature of the spanking.

Enckelman’s career never recovered, although he did manage to further darken the blot on his copybook by gifting Portsmouth the 2008 FA Cup too. Graham Taylor’s second spell as Villa boss likewise never picked up from this nadir.

Manchester United 4 Manchester City 3
20th September 2009

Well we were never going to leave this one out were we..

Have we missed your favorite Premier League derby match? Don’t get even, get angry and let us know below