2004/05 Premier League Champions: Chelsea
Champions League places: Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United, Everton, Liverpool.
UEFA Cup places: Bolton Wanderers, Middlesbrough (League Cup)
Promoted (from 2003/04): Norwich City, West Bromwich Albion, Crystal Palace
Relegated: Southampton, Norwich City, Crystal Palace
Leading Scorer: Thierry Henry (Arsenal) 25 goals
Premier League Table 2004 – 2005
|17||West Bromwich Albion||38||6||16||16||36||61||-25||34|
2004/05 Season Review
Barclays began their sponsorship of the English Premier League. In his first season in charge, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho splashed the cash, with the Blues finally ending Manchester United and Arsenal’s stranglehold on the trophy when they finished on top of the 2004/05 Premier League table.
And the most expensive team ever created in England (costing over £250 million) did it in style, taking the title with a Premier League record of 95 points. Other records they broke in their centenary year were: most clean sheets, fewest goals conceded and most victories.
Even before the season had started, Jose Mourinho announced his arrival in England by claiming, “We have top players and, sorry if I’m arrogant, we have a top manager.”
Arjen Robben’s first Premier League goal sent the Blues top after beating Everton 1-0 on 6th November, and they were to remain there for the rest of the season. However, the title had seemed destined to stay at Highbury as Arsenal continued their astonishing unbeaten run.
But the Gunners’ charge halted at Old Trafford as Manchester United beat them 2-0. And their season came further unstuck as they won only two of their next seven matches. That result kick-started Manchester United’s season as they were to lose only one match until April. The run included a 4-2 defeat of Arsenal at Highbury.
Chelsea swept all before them as they stormed to the title. Manchester City was the only club to beat them, thanks to a Nicolas Anelka penalty. The Blues were confirmed as Champions on 30th April after a 2-0 win at Bolton Wanderers.
The Relegation Dogfight
The relegation dogfight was one of the closest in years. On the final match day, not a single club had been relegated. West Bromwich Albion beat Portsmouth 2-0 to become the first club to be bottom at Christmas and stay up. Norwich City had staged a mini-revival after their shock 2-0 victory over Manchester United, losing only one of their previous six matches.
But a 6-0 capitulation to Fulham sent them down. Southampton joined them after losing 2-1 to Manchester United. And Charlton’s late equalizer against Crystal Palace saw the Eagles occupy the final spot on the 2004/05 Premier League table.
After only narrowly avoiding relegation the previous year, Everton was the season’s surprise team. Despite the unpopular sale of Wayne Rooney to Manchester United, they had only lost three matches by Christmas. And a 1-0 victory over Merseyside rivals Liverpool sent them into second place.
They ended the season a highly credible fourth, ensuring Champions League qualification. Their 7-0 loss to Arsenal in the penultimate match saw them finish the season with a negative goal difference – remarkable for a fourth-placed club.
Liverpool’s Dramatic Comeback
Liverpool finished fifth but dramatically won the Champions League. 3-0 down at half-time, they leveled the scores and took the match to extra time – eventually winning on penalties. They were allowed to defend their crown, which meant that the Barclays Premiership had five representatives in the following season’s competition.
Elsewhere, Jonathon Woodgate and Michael Owen became some of the select few English footballers to ply their trade abroad, joining David Beckham at Real Madrid before the beginning of the season. In addition, American businessman Malcolm Glazer completed his takeover of Manchester United, despite loud and widespread protest.
2004/05 Cup Results
2004/05 FA Cup Winners: Arsenal [Final – Arsenal 0 v 0 Manchester United (aet) Arsenal win 5-4 on penalties]
2004/05 League Cup Winners: Chelsea [Final – Chelsea 3 v 2 Liverpool (aet)]
2004/05 Champions League Winners: Liverpool [Final – Liverpool 3 v 3 AC Milan (aet) Liverpool win 3-2 on penalties]
2004/05 UEFA Cup Winners: CSKA Moscow [Final – CSKA Moscow 3 v 1 Sporting Lisbon (aet)]
2004/05 Managerial Changes
Blackburn Rovers: Graeme Souness out, Mark Hughes in
Chelsea: Claudio Ranieri out, Jose Mourinho in
Leeds United: Eddie Gray out, Kevin Blackwell in
Liverpool: Gerard Houllier out, Rafa Benitez in
Manchester City: Kevin Keegan out, Stuart Pearce in
Newcastle United: Bobby Robson out, Graeme Souness in
Portsmouth: Harry Redknapp out, Velimir Zajec in, Velimir Zajec out, Alain Perrin in
Southampton: Paul Sturrock out, Steve Wigley in, Steve Wigley out, Harry Redknapp in
Tottenham Hotspur: David Pleat out, Jacques Santini in, Jacques Santini out, Martin Jol in
Rhett is an Australian-born, globe trotter who is a UEFA ‘A’ Licence Soccer Coach. With his family, he has traveled and coached soccer in more than 30 countries, while attending World Cups, European Championships, and some of the biggest local derbies in the world!