5th May 1996, one of the darkest days in Manchester City’s long history.
Before all of the glamorous superstars such as Kevin De Bruyne, Erling Haaland, and Bernardo Silva, there were the likes of Steve Lomas, Niall Quinn, and Uwe Rosler. They were very good players but compared to City’s current squad, there is a massive quality difference.
Man City had their own superstar in 1996, the Georgian Georgi Kindladze who would have fitted into a modern-day Pep Guardiola side with his on-the-ball trickery and quick feet, like a Bernardo Silva of that era.
Before we talk about the DRAMATIC final day which saw Man City RELEGATED to the Football League, we will quickly summarise the key moments of the action-packed 1995/96 Premiership season.
1995/96 key highlights
Alan Ball is named the new City manager
In 1995, Alan Ball was named the new Manchester City manager, and big things were expected of him and the current young squad in transition.
Unfortunately, Alan Ball’s City side got off to the worst start imaginable, failing to win any of their first 11 Premiership games.
The under-pressure City manager managed to turn things around and scrape 4 wins out of the next 5 games which saw the Blues lifted out of the relegation zone.
Alan Hansen – “You can’t win anything with kids”
The infamous quote from ex-Liverpool defender and BBC pundit at the time, Alan Hansen, on Match of The Day after Man United suffered a 3-1 opening day loss at Aston Villa.
That quote will be revisited for generations to come as Man United’s ‘kids’ went on to become eventual winners of the Premiership that season.
Kevin Keegan – “I would love it if we beat them”
Another quote that was lived on for generations is the famous Kevin Keegan post-match interview after his side’s 1-0 win at Leeds, Keegan said, “I would love it if we beat them”.
The title slightly edged away from Newcastle United after Man United’s solid form continued and Newcastle slumped to a 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest which meant Manchester United won the title by 4 points.
The goal of the season – Tony Yeboah
Leeds United striker Tony Yeboah scored what was one of the most famous goals in Leeds United’s history books.
WATCH footage of the SCREAMER below:
5th May 1996: Manchester City v Liverpool
Going into the final game of the season, Manchester City were 18th and stuck in the relegation zone on 37 points, knowing that a better result than Southampton and Coventry City could ensure their survival as they were all stuck on the same points.
|16. Coventry City||37||37|
|18. Manchester City||37||37|
With 18 losses in 37 games, Man City were going into this game as massive underdogs. Liverpool on the other hand were huge favourites, they were sitting comfortably 3rd in the table.
Manchester City got off to the worst start possible, going 0-1 down in 6 minutes thanks to a Steve Lomas own goal followed by a goal not long before halftime from Liverpool legend Ian Rush.
The Citizens came fighting back in the second half and were awarded a penalty which was converted by Uwe Rosler.
Man City bagged another goal in the 78th minute thanks to Kit Symons which meant at the time, City were safe and staying in the Premiership, or so they thought…
The news was spreading fast around Maine Road that they just needed to hold on to a draw to ensure Premier League survival, little did the players know that it was in fact false and they needed an extra goal.
City were knocking the ball up to the opposite corner flag to count down the minutes, then the news broke out to a very frustrated Maine Road that they needed ONE MORE GOAL.
Unfortunately, for the Sky Blues, it was just too little too late and their fate was sealed after they were relegated meaning Coventry City and Southampton were to stay up.
All thanks to a dodgy radio call blunder, Manchester City had to settle for life in the Football League.
Thankfully, for Manchester City fans, times have changed for the better.
They are now the football team of the year and have won many Premier League titles since that fateful day.