Match Of The Past: Southampton
Continuing our summer series of highlights of matches from days gone by, this morning we turn our attention to one of this years newcomers to the Premier League, Southampton. Well, we say “newcomers,” but Southampton FC have spent plenty of time in the top division of English football, most notably a lengthy unbroken spell in the top division which lasted from 1978 until 2005. Today, we have seven matches from Southamptons past, ranging from the start of the 1970s, right the way through to the end of an era, and the clubs departure from The Dell in 2001.
First up, we have a trip to Highbury to play Arsenal in 1970, on a snow-bound pitch in front of a slightly hysterical Brian Moore and with Arsenal, somewhat usually, breaking their habit of only wearing white shorts with their red and white home shirts. Our next game is from 1976 and is, surprise surprise, that years FA Cup final at Wembley against Manchester United, a match which started with United odds-on favourites to win against a Southampton side that was by this time in the Second Division. The Saints, however, had a surprise up their sleeve that day.
Back in the First Division, our next match comes from 1979 and is a home league match against Brighton & Hove Albion. A mutual antipathy towards Portsmouth means that Brighton and Southampton never really became rivals while playing in the same division, but this day brought a handsome win for Southampton – note the “Chocolate Boxes” behind the goal to the right. By the middle of the 1980s, Southampton were well established back in the top flight, and our next match sees them travelling to London to play Orient – not Leyton Orient at the time – in the Fourth Round of the FA Cup. Rounding off the 1980s, Liverpool visit The Dell for a First Division match. Finally, we have two matches from a slightly more recent era – a look at a thrashing handed out to Manchester United in October 1996, and finally the very last league game played at The Dell, against Arsenal in May 2001.
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