Monday 19 August 2013
Premierleague.com rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.
The opening day of the Premier League season is always an exciting day in the sporting calendar, but in 1995 Southampton and Nottingham Forest opened their campaigns with a spectacular seven-goal thriller at The Dell.
Forest lost striker Stan Collymore to Liverpool in the summer’s stand-out transfer, but new frontline pairing Bryan Roy and Kevin Campbell, who joined from Arsenal, showed that Frank Clark’s side might survive the summer’s departures.
For Southampton, Dave Merrington was taking charge of his first game, but it was a club stalwart that kept the home side in contention.After Colin Cooper had put Forest ahead, Matt Le Tissier equalised, all within the first 10 minutes. Forest went into a three-goal lead through goals from Ian Woan and a brace from Roy. But Le Tissier scored twice to seal his hat-trick and set up a frantic end as Forest battled to preserve their lead.
It was the second time in his career the Saints forward had scored three goals but Southampton lost 4-3; before it was to a relegation-threatened Oldham on the final day of the inaugural Premier League season.
Le Tissier had one of his least prolific season in front of goal in 1995/96, but his seven goals in total were more vital than he could have known. Southampton finished the season in 17th, avoiding relegation by virtue of having scored seven goals more than Manchester City.