On This Day in Football History – 19 May: Fergie’s Final Game, Chelsea’s Champions League Triumph & More

19 May has really had it all. You want Champions League success? Maybe some emotional retirements? How about some match fixing controversy?

Well, you’ve come to the right place. This day in history has had something for everyone to enjoy, and enjoying it is exactly what we’re going to do.

Let’s open the memory bank and take a look at all the excitement of 19 May.

1965 – Bobby Moore Leads West Ham to European Glory

A dominant West Ham United side lit up Wembley Stadium as they won the Cup Winners’ Cup at the expense of 1860 Munich.

In what was a precursor to the 1966 World Cup final, a team featuring Bobby Moore and Geoff Hurst picked up a 2-0 victory over the Germans thanks to two goals (and an iconic celebration) from Alan Sealey.

1977 – The Relegation Controversy

Story time.

The end of the 1976/77 season is one of the most controversial finales to any season. On the final day, Sunderland, Coventry City and Bristol City were all level on points, and any one of them could have taken up the final relegation spot, but Coventry had the worst goal difference.

Coventry and Bristol were facing each other, while Sunderland were up against Everton. Both matches were supposed to be played at the same time, but the first was delayed by 15 minutes because of traffic.

Sunderland, who were playing earlier, fell to a 2-0 defeat and dropped into the relegation zone, whereas Coventry and Bristol City were tied at 2-2. When news of that result filtered through and was broadcast over the speakers, the two teams proceeded to have a casual kick-about and gave up trying to score, safe in the knowledge that a draw was enough for both, prompting investigations over potential match fixing.

1979 – Diego Forlán and Andrea Pirlo’s Birthdays

19 May 1979 was a big date for football as both Diego Forlán and Andrea Pirlo were born on the same day.

The pair won countless major honours between them across multiple different countries and continents, so being born on 19 May must be pretty lucky.

2000 – Deportivo Finally Win La Liga

After years of second and third-placed finishes, Deportivo La Coruña finally got their hands on the La Liga title on this day in 2000.

They finished the season with 69 points – the lowest tally in the ‘three points for a win’ era – with Barcelona and Valencia both five points behind.

2001 – Man Utd Make it 3 in a Row

Manchester United celebrate

Manchester United fell 3-1 to Tottenham Hotspur on the final day of the season, but it’s a result which meant very little to the Red Devils as they had already sealed their third consecutive Premier League title.

Sir Alex Ferguson became the first manager to win three in a row with the same club, while Arsenal had the unfortunate honour of finishing second in all three of those seasons.

2001 – Southampton Leave The Dell

The end of the same season also saw Southampton saw goodbye to The Dell after 103 years of calling the stadium home.

Southampton twice came from behind to draw level against Arsenal, before a stunning 89th-minute winner from Matt Le Tissier (who else?) earned the Saints a dramatic 3-2 victory to keep the party going for a little while longer.

2007 – Didier Drogba Christens New Wembley

The 2006/07 FA Cup final was the first to be played at the new Wembley and saw Chelsea come face-to-face with Manchester United.

The pair played out a goalless draw during normal time, before Didier Drogba stepped up and poked Chelsea ahead in the 116th minute to earn José Mourinho his first taste of FA Cup glory.

2012 – The Greatest Night in the History of Chelsea Football Club

Having somehow overcome Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final, Chelsea rocked up to Munich to contest the final against Bayern Munich and ended the night lifting the grandest prize in football.

Thomas Müller looked to have given Bayern a late victory, only for Drogba to once again step up and drag his side level. In the ensuing penalty shoot-out, it was the Ivorian who bagged the winner with his final kick for the club (at the time). Written in the stars.

2012 – West Ham Return to the Premier League

West Ham United made it back to the Premier League at the first time of asking as they came out on top against Blackpool in the final of the Championship playoffs.

With the score tied at 1-1 in the 87th minute, Ricardo Vaz Tê pounced on a loose ball and fired home from close range to send fans wild and ensure the Hammers would soon be back in the top flight.

2013 – Ferguson’s Finale

Sir Alex Ferguson waltzed into retirement after guiding United to another title, but only after seeing his side play out a ridiculous 5-5 draw with West Bromwich Albion on the final day.

The spotlight was stolen by then-Baggies loanee Romelu Lukaku, who bagged a hat-trick to deny Ferguson one last win.

That game was also the final league appearance of Paul Scholes, while current boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer also played his final game for the Red Devils on this day in 2007.

2013 – Norwich Stun Man City

Norwich City’s 3-2 win over Manchester City from the 2019/20 season will live long in the memory, but it’s often forgotten that the Canaries also won by the same scoreline in 2013.

City had just sacked manager Roberto Mancini after losing the FA Cup final against Wigan a few days earlier, but Norwich were in no mood to give City a break and stormed to a stunning victory.

2013 – Jamie Carragher’s Final Game

After 17 years as part of the furniture at Anfield, Jamie Carragher said goodbye to Liverpool on this day in 2013.

In a 1-0 win over Queens Park Rangers, Carragher nearly stole the show with an incredible 30-yard strike, only for his effort to cannon back off the post. Having netted just three league goals in 508 appearances, almost everyone wanted to see it go in.

2014 – Ryan Giggs Retires to Join Louis van Gaal

Manchester United v Crystal Palace – The Emirates FA Cup Final

Louis van Gaal arrived at Manchester United to replace David Moyes on this day in 2014, with interim player-manager Ryan Giggs calling time on his career to join the Dutchman’s backroom staff.

Van Gaal had… mixed results during his time at Old Trafford. He won one bit of silverware – the 2015/16 FA Cup – only to be sacked two days later. Charming.

2018 – Chelsea Pip Man Utd to FA Cup (Again)

What is it about 19 May and Chelsea beating United?

In the 2018 FA Cup final, the Blues again came out on top with a 1-0 win, but this time, it was thanks to a first-half penalty from Eden Hazard. The defeat was Mourinho’s first in an English final, as well as Antonio Conte’s first cup victory.

2018 – Celtic Complete the Double Treble

Having won the treble in the 2016/17 season, Celtic completed an unprecedented double treble one year later by lifting all three trophies yet again thanks to a 2-0 win over Motherwell in the Scottish Cup final.

The Bhoys went on to replicate that feat the following season as well, and they were on track for a ridiculous quadruple double this year before the coronavirus outbreak stopped football in its tracks.

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