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Sunday 05 May 2013

On this day: Man City down after miscalculation

Looking back at Premier League history, we recall the final day of the 1995/96 season

  • Man City's Niall Quinn has a shot on the Liverpool goal

  • The City players trudge off the pitch having failed to realise their predicament

  • City's relegation was confirmed to the players in the tunnel after the match

  • The fans at Maine Road were distraught

  • Alan Ball called it "the greatest disappointment of my career" rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.

On this day: 5 May 1996 Man City 2-2 Liverpool

Manchester City went into the final match of the 1995/96 season knowing that they had to better the results of Southampton and Coventry City in order to stay in the Barclays Premier League.

Things started badly at Maine Road and at half-time they were two-down through an own goal by Steve Lomas and Ian Rush strike. With 19 minutes to go, Uwe Rosler gave the fans hope with a penalty and eight minutes later Kit Symons levelled the scores.

When word got to the City manager Alan Ball that one of their opponents were losing he told his players to play out time. But the information was wrong because Coventry were drawing 0-0 at home to Leeds United, as were Southampton at home to Wimbledon.

Lomas started to keep the ball by the corner flag when Niall Quinn, who had been substituted, rushed out of the tunnel to tell his team-mates to go for a winner. It was too late and City went down on goal difference.

"This is the greatest disappointment of my career," said a teary Ball after the match.

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Key Points

  • looks back through the annals of history of the competition
  • A memorable event or match from each day of the year will be selected
  • We remember the match in 1996 when Man City were relegated