1995–96 FA Premier League
|Dates||19 August 1995–05 May 1996|
3rd Premier League title
10th English title
Queens Park Rangers
|Champions League||Manchester United|
|Cup Winners' Cup||Liverpool|
|UEFA Cup||Newcastle United|
|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|
|Longest unbeaten run||15 games|
|Longest winless run||14 games|
|Longest losing run||8 games|
Manchester United v Nottingham Forest
(28 April 1996)
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.
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.
Liverpool and Aston Villa emerged as possible title contenders early in the season, while Middlesbrough's early promise saw them occupy fourth place in late October, but an injury crisis saw their league form slump, and they could only manage a 12th-place finish. Most of the campaign was a two-horse race between Manchester United and Newcastle United. The two sides played on 27 December, 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 a 4–1 defeat at Tottenham on New Year's Day and a 0–0 draw with Aston Villa allowed Newcastle to establish a 12-point lead in January.
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. 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.
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 recorded the lowest ever finish by a Premier League title-holder by finishing 7th. This record was matched by Manchester United in 2013–14 and 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.
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.
English performance in European competition
Blackburn Rovers, the 1994–95 Premier League champions, finished bottom of their group in the UEFA Champions League. 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. Everton were beaten in the second round of the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup. The only English team still in European competition after Christmas were Nottingham Forest, who reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup.
Twenty teams competed in the league – the top eighteen teams from the previous season and the two teams promoted from the First Division. The promoted teams were Middlesbrough and Bolton Wanderers, returning to the top flight after two and fifteen years respectively. This was also Bolton Wanderers's first season in the Premier League. They replaced Crystal Palace, Norwich City, Leicester City and Ipswich Town. Crystal Palace and Leicester took an immediate relegation to the First Division while Norwich City and Ipswich town ended their top flight spells of nine and three years respectively.
Stadiums and Locations
- Due to Wimbledon lacking a home stadium, they played their home games at Selhurst Park, which is the home stadium of Crystal Palace.
Personnel and kits
(as of 5 May 1996)
|Team||Outgoing manager||Manner of departure||Date of vacancy||Position in table||Incoming manager||Date of appointment|
|Manchester City||Brian Horton||Sacked||16 May 1995||Pre-season||Alan Ball||2 July 1995|
|Sheffield Wednesday||Trevor Francis||20 May 1995||David Pleat||14 June 1995|
|Arsenal||Stewart Houston||End of caretaker spell||8 June 1995||Bruce Rioch||8 June 1995|
|Bolton Wanderers||Bruce Rioch||Retired|| Roy McFarland
|20 June 1995|
|Blackburn Rovers||Kenny Dalglish||Retired||25 June 1995||Ray Harford||25 June 1995|
|Southampton||Alan Ball||Resigned||2 July 1995||David Merrington||14 July 1995|
|Bolton Wanderers||Roy McFarland||Sacked||2 January 1996||20th||Colin Todd[b]||2 January 1996|
- McFarland and Todd were co-managers.
- Assumed full managerial duties.
|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||Qualification for the Champions League group stage|
|2||Newcastle United||38||24||6||8||66||37||+29||78||Qualification for the UEFA Cup first round|
|3||Liverpool||38||20||11||7||70||34||+36||71||Qualification for the Cup Winners' Cup first round[a]|
|4||Aston Villa||38||18||9||11||52||35||+17||63||Qualification for the UEFA Cup first round|
|10||West Ham United||38||14||9||15||43||52||−9||51|
|18||Manchester City (R)||38||9||11||18||33||58||−25||38||Relegation to the 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|
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored.
(C) Champion; (R) Relegated.
|Home \ Away||ARS||AST||BLB||BOL||CHE||COV||EVE||LEE||LIV||MCI||MUN||MID||NEW||NOT||QPR||SHW||SOU||TOT||WHU||WDN|
|Queens Park Rangers||1–1||1–0||0–1||2–1||1–2||1–1||3–1||1–2||1–2||1–0||1–1||1–1||2–3||1–1||0–3||3–0||2–3||3–0||0–3|
|West Ham United||0–1||1–4||1–1||1–0||1–3||3–2||2–1||1–2||0–0||4–2||0–1||2–0||2–0||1–0||1–0||1–1||2–1||1–1||1–1|
Colours: Blue = home team win; Yellow = draw; Red = away team win.
Top goal scorers
|1||Alan Shearer||Blackburn Rovers||31|
|3||Les Ferdinand||Newcastle United||25|
|4||Dwight Yorke||Aston Villa||17|
|5||Teddy Sheringham||Tottenham Hotspur||16|
|6||Chris Armstrong||Tottenham Hotspur||15|
|9||Eric Cantona||Manchester United||14|
|Dion Dublin||Coventry City||14|
|Month||Manager of the Month||Player of the Month|
|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|
|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|
Player and managerial awards
- PFA Players' Player of the Year was Les Ferdinand of Newcastle.
- PFA Young Player of the Year was 21-year-old Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler, who won the award for the second consecutive season.
- FWA Footballer of the Year was Eric Cantona, who returned from his eight-month suspension to score 19 competitive goals for Manchester United.
- Premier League Manager of the Year was Alex Ferguson of Manchester United.
References and notes
- "English Premier League 1995–96". statto.com. Archived from the original on 19 February 2015. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
- "Premier League 1995/96 Attendances". worldfootball.net. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
- England 1994/95
- "Arsenal and Chelsea may face play-off". www.premierleague.com. Premier League. 15 May 2013. Archived from the original on 17 June 2015. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
- England – FA Challenge Cup 1995–1996
- European Competitions 1995–96 Archived 15 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine
- European Competitions 1995–96
- European Competitions 1995–96
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-22.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- England Player Honours – Professional Footballers' Association Players' Players of the Year
- England Player Honours – Professional Footballers' Association Young Players of the Year