On This Day in Football History – April 19: Maradona’s Warm-Up, Chelsea’s 78-Game Run Ends & More

?Another day, another trip down memory lane. This time, we’ve got some memorable moments that happened before a football match actually started, something that occurred as a result of a football match, and Kylian Mbappe doing what Kylian Mbappe does best.

Oh, and we’ve got one of the Championship’s finest thunderb******s to show you as well?

Kicking off with a classic…

Rangers Beat Bayern Munich in Cup Winners’ Cup

Having won all there is to win domestically, Rangers’ finest moment came back in 1972, when the club would secure their only European trophy to date.

Taking part in the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, they battled their way through to the semi-final stage where none other than footballing heavyweights ?Bayern Munich awaited them. A strong first-leg showing in Bavaria resulted in a 1-1 draw, meaning the tie was theirs for the taking at Ibrox.

Backed by an immense crowd of 80,000, Sandy Jardine put the hosts in front with just 45 seconds on the clock before Derek Parlane doubled Rangers’ advantage 20 minutes later. Unfazed by Die Roten’s star-studded lineup, the Scottish side held on to record a spectacular victory.

That wasn’t to be the end, though, as a 3-2 win in the final over Dynamo Moscow at Camp Nou would mark the best day in the club’s European history.

Diego Maradona’s Memorable Warm-Up

Picture the scene, it’s the build-up to a crucial UEFA Cup semi-final clash with Bayern, where you know nothing other than a committed, flawless performance will suffice.

Unless, of course, you’re Diego Maradona, in which case you’re too damn good to be worried about how you’ll perform. No need for stern faces, tactical run-throughs or shooting practice. Instead, you dance. Duh.

With ?Napoli hosting the German giants back in 1989, Opus’ Live if Life was simply too inviting to ignore, so the Argentine proceeded to dance his way across the pitch, effortlessly matching the rhythm of the beat. His dance partner was, naturally, a ball, who joined him every step of the way. He looked so unfazed and without a care in the world, anyone would be forgiven for thinking the match had ended.

It’s glorious viewing.

Fernando Forestieri’s Outrageous Screamer

We’re moving away from the world’s greatest ever player and into English football’s second tier. But don’t let that put you off, as Fernando Forestieri’s goal against ?Norwich is worthy of gracing any level of football.

After failing to dribble his way past the opposing midfielder, the Argentine refused to relinquish possession to either his teammates or Norwich, keeping hold of the ball and trying to open up enough space for himself to shoot.

The tracking midfielder was happy for this to happen. I mean, of course, as nobody in their right mind should try and hit one from 35+ yards. And even if they did, they aren’t scoring…unless you’re Fernando Forestieri, that is.

Say what you want about the connection and just how cleanly he struck the ball, but the commentator’s utter disbelief will tell you all you need to know about how sublime that goal was.

Rivaldo Celebrates 48th Birthday

When you put aside some of his less admirable moments (theatrics against Turkey, for example), we need to remember just how magnificent Rivaldo was during his playing career.

Best remembered for his five-year stint at ?Barcelona, the Brazilian embodied all the best attributes that players from his nation had. Trickery, close control, creativity and flair were just a few, so it’s little wonder he scooped the Ballon d’Or in 1999.

He also claimed two ?La Liga titles, a Champions League and the World Cup, as well as scoring one of the best hat-tricks ever against Valencia in 2001. A truly special footballer.

Kylian Mbappé Makes Champions League History

The sheer volume of records that ?Kylian Mbappé has already broken is something you’d expect of a four-time Ballon d’Or winning 30-year-old. So the fact he’s still only 21 makes his achievements all the more remarkable.

Back in his Monaco days, he began earning himself the reputation he still holds by becoming the first player in history to score in each of their first four Champions League knockout games. 

He did so in both clashes against ?Manchester City in the round of 16, before following that up in the quarter-finals against ?Borussia Dortmund. In doing so, he also became the youngest to score in both legs of a quarter-final. 

Sunderland End Jose Mourinho’s 78-Game Unbeaten Chelsea Home Run

The most common response when people ask ‘why is the Premier League the best league in the world?’ goes somewhere along the lines of ‘ because of its unpredictability’. 

But even sometimes, certain results happen that defy belief. Sunderland’s trip to Chelsea in 2014 was one such occasion. ?

Rooted to the foot of the table and without a win in nine matches, the Black Cats’ status as a top-flight side looked all but certain to end. The Blues, on the other hand, were chasing the title that season and boasted an unbeaten home run under Jose Mourinho that stretched to an incredible 78 matches.

Just 12 minutes in and it appeared as if it were to be business as usual, with Samuel Eto’o earning the home side an early lead. Conor Wickham had other ideas, though, levelling matters six minutes later. An onslaught on the Sunderland goal followed for the remainder of the match, with no less than 31 shots (15 on target) laying siege on Vito Mannone in net. Could they hold on? You bet they could. And more.

Cesar Azpilicueta fouled Jozy Altidore in the box with just eight minutes left to play, leaving Fabio Borini to tuck home form the spot and send the away end into raptures. Four wins from their last five games followed for Gus Poyet’s side, who miraculously dodged relegation.

Chelsea’s title hopes suffered a crushing blow, one that Liverpool didn’t capitalise on, and the Blues eventually finished third as Manchester City finished top of the pile.

For more from Ross Kennerley, follow him on Twitter!  


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.