2007/08 Premier League Champions: Manchester United
Champions League places: Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool
UEFA Cup places: Everton, Portsmouth (FA Cup), Tottenham Hotspur (Carling Cup), Manchester City (Fair Play table)
Promoted (from 2006/07): Sunderland, Birmingham City, Derby County
Relegated: Derby County, Birmingham City, Reading
Leading Scorer: Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United) 31 goals
Premier League Table 2007 – 2008
|10||West Ham United||38||13||10||15||42||50||-8||49|
2007/08 Season Review
It was a Manchester United and Chelsea one-two for the second season running, but this time it went down to the season’s final day as to who would end of top of the 2007/08 Premier League table. United signaled their intentions for an assault on the Barclays Premier League and Champions League by spending over £50 million on Carlos Tevez, Owen Hargreaves, Anderson, and Nani.
Elsewhere, Liverpool parted with over £20 million on Fernando Torres. He rewarded them with 24 Barclays Premier League goals, while Blackburn Rovers’ signing of Roque Santa Cruz for £3.5million proved inspired, the Paraguayan scoring 19 times to help them to a seventh-place finish on the 2007/08 Premier League table.
United started slowly, picking up just two points from their opening three matches. Arsenal set the early pace and spent most of the season at the league’s top until March when their form dipped dramatically.
New Chelsea Manager
Chelsea, who replaced manager Jose Mourinho with Avram Grant in September, were generally on the fringes of the title race until the last two months of the season. It would, though, transform into a two-horse race between United and Chelsea, the Blues emerging as genuine contenders when coming from behind to defeat Arsenal 2-1 at Stamford Bridge thanks to a Didier Drogba double.
Grant’s side would have been in control had they not conceded a late equalizer to Wigan Athletic’s Emile Heskey in a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge on 14th April. Wigan would play a vital role on the final day, as they needed to pick up a result at home to United to prevent Sir Alex Ferguson’s side from becoming champions.
Chelsea needed to beat Bolton Wanderers and hope for the best, knowing that they trailed United by -17 on goal difference, despite being on the same points.
However, it was not to be for the Blues, as a Cristiano Ronaldo penalty, the 31st goal of an incredible personal season, and a Ryan Giggs effort ensured the trophy would be heading back to Old Trafford. Chelsea only managed a 1-1 draw at home to Bolton.
Battle To Avoid Relegation
The battle to avoid relegation was just as enthralling as the title race. Going into the final day, two clubs from Birmingham City, Reading, and Fulham, would join Derby County in the Championship. However, Roy Hodgson had earned much praise for bringing Fulham back from the brink, and his side was in control of the situation on the final day, knowing that a win at Portsmouth would keep them up.
Birmingham and Reading did all they could to avoid relegation, beating Blackburn and Derby 4-1 and 4-0, respectively. Still, a 76th-minute header from Danny Murphy saw Fulham maintain their Barclays Premier League status at the expense of the Blues and the Royals, who finished in the bottom three positions of the 2007/08 Premier League table.
Champions League Final
Manchester United made a historic double by beating Chelsea 6-5 on penalties in the Champions League final after a 1-1 draw in Moscow. The match demonstrated the strength of the Barclays Premier League as both teams were at the top of the 2007/08 Premier League table throughout the season. The Champions League victory sealed a triumphant season for a United side that dazzled crowds weekly.
There were several managerial changes in the 2007/08 season. One of the most high-profile was Tottenham Hotspur’s decision to replace Martin Jol with Juande Ramos early in the campaign. The Spaniard delivered the White Hart Lane faithful a trophy in the form of the Carling Cup.
Portsmouth secured the FA Cup with a 1-0 win over Cardiff City thanks to a Kanu goal in front of 89,874 at Wembley Stadium.
2007/08 Cup Results
2007/08 FA Cup Winners: Portsmouth [Final – Portsmouth 1 v 0 Cardiff City]
2007/08 League Cup Winners: Tottenham Hotspur [Final – Tottenham Hotspur 2 v 1 Chelsea (aet)]
2007/08 Champions League Winners: Manchester United [Final – Manchester United 1 v 1 Chelsea (aet) Manchester United win 6-5 on penalties]
2007/08 UEFA Cup Winners: Zenit St Petersburg [Final – Zenit St Petersburg 2 v 0 Glasgow Rangers]
2007/08 Managerial Changes
Birmingham City: Steve Bruce out, Alex McLeish in
Blackburn Rovers: Mark Hughes out
Bolton Wanderers: Sammy Lee out, Gary Megson in
Chelsea: Jose Mourinho out, Avram Grant in, Avram Grant out
Derby County: Billy Davies out, Paul Jewell in
Fulham: Lawrie Sanchez out, Roy Hodgson in
Manchester City: Stuart Pearce out, Sven-Goran Eriksson in, Sven-Goran Eriksson out, Mark Hughes in
Newcastle United: Sam Allardyce out, Kevin Keegan in
Tottenham Hotspur: Martin Jol out, Juande Ramos in
Wigan Athletic: Chris Hutchings out, Steve Bruce in