On This Day in Football History – May 11: Chelsea’s Billion-Pound Goal, Spice Boys’ Suits, Boro Thrash Man City

It’s cup final season, baybeeeee.

11 May has brought us some huge European and domestic finals in the past, as well as some record-breaking wins and some of the most shocking results of all time. There’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at what went down on this day in history, 11 May.

1983 – Fergie’s Aberdeen Stun Real Madrid

Sir Alex Ferguson (briefly) turned Aberdeen into one of Europe’s elite sides. His finest moment in charge of the team came as he led the Dons to a 2-1 win over Real Madrid in the European Cup Winners’ Cup final in 1983.

The result saw plenty of English sides take an interest in Ferguson, with Wolverhampton Wanderers and Liverpool both tipped to lure him across the border, but it was, of course, Manchester United who ultimately won the race for his signature. And the rest, as they say, was history.

1984 – Andrés Iniesta’s Birthday

Barcelona will be wishing a very happy birthday to club legend Andrés Iniesta, who was born on this day in 1984.

Iniesta spent 16 years as part of the first team at Camp Nou, winning nine La Liga titles and lifting the Champions League no less than four times in a period of unprecedented success for Barça built on homegrown stars.

Iniesta left for Vissel Kobe in 2018 as one of Barça’s greatest ever players.

Oh and he also scored the winner in a World Cup final…

1985 – Bradford Stadium Fire

One of the darkest days in English football, the Valley Parade stadium fire tragically took the lives of 56 fans in 1985.

The disaster – one of the worst in England’s sporting history – prompted mass redevelopments of stadiums across the country to try and ensure nothing like this ever happens again.

1996 – Manchester United Pip Liverpool to FA Cup

An 86th minute volley from Eric Cantona saw Manchester United lift the 1996 FA Cup at Liverpool’s expense, allowing the Red Devils to become the first English side to win the double twice.

The goal was memorable enough, but one of the most famous images of the game has to be Liverpool’s ‘Spice Boys’ rocking up in luxury (yet hideous) white Armani suits, looking more like a failed boy band than a football team. Iconic.

2001 – AC Milan Run Riot in Derby

Perhaps the most famous Milan derby came on this day in 2001 as AC Milan roared to an astonishing 6-0 win over rivals Inter.

Gianni Comandini bagged two of his three Milan goals to give I Rossoneri a solid lead at the break, but Milan ran riot in the second half and added another four. Federico Giunti and Serginho both got themselves on the score sheet, and an Andriy Shevchenko double helped seal the biggest victory on Derby della Madonnina history.

2003 – Jesper Grønkjær Scores Chelsea’s Most Important Goal

Jesper Grønkjær netted the winner for Chelsea in a 2-1 victory over Liverpool which saw the Blues qualify for the Champions League, but that’s not even half of the reason why this goal was so important.

Now sitting at Europe’s biggest table, Chelsea became a whole lot more attractive to a certain Russian billionaire by the name of Roman Abramovich, who bought the club and ushered in a reign of dominance at Stamford Bridge.

2003 – David Beckham Says Goodbye to Manchester United

A 2-1 win over Everton in May 2003 was David Beckham’s final appearance for Manchester United, and he signed off with a free kick before sealing his €37m move to Real Madrid.

On the topic of United departures, there’s a whole host of players who played their final game for the Red Devils on this day.

Eric Cantona (1997), Denis Irwin (2002), Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidi? (both 2014) all walked away from the Red Devils on 11 May.

2003 – Man City’s Final Game at Maine Road

Saying goodbye to Maine Road didn’t go according to plan for Manchester City, who fell 1-0 to Southampton in the stadium’s final game.

City were perhaps the better side, but a goal from Michael Svensson earned all three points for Southampton, who leapfrogged City into eighth in the Premier League table as a result.

2005 – Dennis Bergkamp Torments Everton

Dennis Bergkamp was past his peak by the time 2005 arrived, but you wouldn’t have guessed it during Arsenal’s 7-0 mauling of Everton.

The Dutchman finished with two assists and was heavily involved in a third, and he bagged his own goal for good measure to cap off what was one of his finest performances in an Arsenal shirt.

2008 – Middlesbrough Thrash Manchester City

One of the most iconic results in world history, Middlesbrough stormed to an outrageous 8-1 victory over Manchester City on this day in 2008.

It was the final game of the pre-Abu Dhabi United Group era as City soon embarked on an enormous shopping spree and became one of the world’s best teams. Unfortunately for Middlesbrough, they went in the opposite direction.

2013 – Wigan Stun Man City in FA Cup Final

Everyone loves an underdog story, and that’s exactly what we got in 2013 as Wigan Athletic lifted the FA Cup at Manchester City’s expense.

A stoppage-time header from Ben Watson saw Wigan seal one of the biggest upsets in FA Cup final history, and the victory was made even more amazing by the fact that the Latics ended up getting relegated from the Premier League too – the only team to manage both in the same season.

2013 – Frank Lampard Becomes Chelsea’s Top Scorer

Frank Lampard scored twice to fire Chelsea to a 2-1 win over Aston Villa, taking his tally for the club to 203 and making him the club’s record goalscorer.

The midfielder made it up to 211 goals before leaving Stamford Bridge, and he now spends his time in the dugout at the Bridge instead.

2014 – Man City Seal the Title

Liverpool pushed Manchester City to the limit in the 2013/14 season, but just as they did in 1968, the Cityzens came out on top and lifted the league title.

Goals from Samir Nasri and Vincent Kompany sealed a 2-0 win over West Ham United, allowing City to finish two points ahead of Liverpool and keep the Reds waiting for that elusive trophy.

2017 – Manchester United Reach Europa League Final

Manchester United’s dreams of winning the most underwhelming treble of all time were kept alive as a Marouane Fellaini goal earned José Mourinho’s side a 1-1 draw with Celta Vigo, which was enough to book a spot in the Europa League final.

A 2-0 win over Ajax was enough to win the trophy, and United danced around holding up three fingers to celebrate their earlier triumphs in the Community Shield and League Cup, and literally nobody cared.

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