On This Day in Football History – 21 May: John Terry Slips, Manchester United Celebrate, Alan Pardew Dances & More

21 May is a great day to look back on not only some iconic football matches, but also a selection of culturally significant moments.

And by culturally significant moments we mean the release ofWorld in Motion and Alan Pardew’s dance moves.

So sit back, relax and feast your eyes on an equal serving of football and culture.


1983 – Brighton Almost Make FA Cup History

Brighton suffered relegation from the top flight at the end of the 1982/83 season, but softened the blow by reaching their first ever FA Cup final.

Had the Seagulls beaten Manchester United at Wembley, they would have become the first relegated side to win the FA Cup. And they came so close.

With the score 2-2, in the dying seconds of extra time Brighton’s Gordon Smith was put clean through on goal, but his effort was saved by United keeper Gary Bailey – a moment that still haunts Brighton fans to this day.

Remarkably, the teams met in a replay five days later and Smith redeemed himself by scoring a 95th minute winner. Only joking, this isn’t Jimmy Grimble. United won 4-0 and Brighton are still yet to win the FA Cup.


1990 – World in Motion Released

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Arguably the finest football song of all time (sorry Petr Cech) was released on 21 May 1990 ahead of England’s Italia 90 World Cup campaign.

Iconic 80s electro synth-pop band New Order combined with rapping sensation John Barnes to create World in Motion. It is absolutely no coincidence the Three Lions went on to turn in their greatest World Cup showing since 1966.


1997 – Last Two-Legged UEFA Cup Final

Since the competition’s inception in 1971/72, the UEFA Cup final had always been a two-legged affair.

This tradition came to an end in 1997, with Schalke and Inter meeting in the last two-legged final. The sides drew 1-1 at San Siro, with Schalke winning on penalties, before recording a 1-0 victory in the home leg to win the competition for the first time in the club’s history.


2002 – England Stutter Against South Korea in Pre-World Cup Friendly

In their penultimate friendly before the 2002 World Cup, the Three Lions could only muster a 1-1 draw with co-hosts South Korea.

Michael Owen had given England the lead, only for Sven-Goran Eriksson’s side to be pegged back by Park Ji-Sung.

England would go on to reach the World Cup last eight, while South Korea made it all the way to the semi finals. They must have had a better World Cup song than England. No offence, Ant and Dec.


2003 – Celtic Lose Thrilling UEFA Cup Final

Having knocked Liverpool out in the quarter finals, Celtic reached their first European final since 1970, and 80,000 Hoops fans travelled to Seville for the occasion.

The Scottish giants met Porto, coming from behind twice through Henrik Larsson to send the game to extra time.

However, Brazilian striker Derlei struck in the 115th minute to secure a 3-2 victory for Porto.


2005 – Arsenal Beat Manchester United in FA Cup Final

The 2005 FA Cup final marked the end of the intense rivalry between Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger; Chelsea had just won the Premier League, Arsenal moved to the Emirates the following season and Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira left that summer. The rivalry hasn’t been quite as bitter and heightened since then.

Despite United’s dominance and Jose Antonio Reyes seeing red in extra time, the two sides played at a 0-0 draw at the Millennium Stadium, sending the FA Cup final to penalties for the first time in the competition’s history.

Paul Scholes was the man to miss from 12 yards for United, leaving Vieira to bury the winning spot kick for the Gunners.


2006 – Watford Beat Leeds in Playoff Final

Coca-Cola Championship Playoff Final: Leeds United v Watford

Leeds’ hiatus from the top flight could have been cut considerably shorter had things gone their way in the 2006 playoff final.

However, Watford recorded a comfortable 3-0 victory thanks to a Jay DeMerit header, a Neill Sullivan own goal and a Darius Henderson penalty.

The defeat had huge ramifications for Leeds, who were relegated from the Championship the following season and dealt a hefty points deduction for their debut League One season, leaving the 2001 Champions League semi finalists in the third tier for three years.


2008 – Manchester United Beat Chelsea in Champions League final

The 2008 Champions League saw an all English final for the first time in the competition’s history, and provided the noughties’ answer to the Gerrard slip.

United had led through a towering Cristiano Ronaldo header, and Frank Lampard levelled the scores on the stroke of half time. Didier Drogba was sent off for slapping Nemanja Vidic in extra time, before sheer chaos ensued in the penalty shootout.

Ronaldo missed his spot kick, giving Chelsea captain John Terry the opportunity to win the competition for his boyhood club. Unfortunately, this isn’t Jimmy Grimble; Terry slipped as he struck his penalty and it cannoned off the post. Nicolas Anelka (who really gets off the hook thanks to Terry) missed in sudden death, and United were crowned European champions for the third time.


2011 – Emmanuel Adebayor Hits Real Madrid Hat-Trick

Seeing Emmanuel Adebayor in a Real Madrid shirt was bizarre enough, but the weirdness was cranked up a further few notches when he scored an actual hat-trick for Los Blancos on the final day of 2010/11 season.

The former Arsenal and Manchester City striker hit a treble as Real recorded an emphatic 8-1 victory over Almeria.

Cristiano Ronaldo also grabbed a brace, taking him to 40 La Liga goals in a single season – a new record for the Spanish top tier.


2016 – Manchester United Win FA Cup Final & Alan Pardew Happens

Manchester United v Crystal Palace – The Emirates FA Cup Final

Some may remember 21 May 2016 as the day Manchester United won their 12th FA Cup, and their first for 12 years. Most people remember it as the day Alan Pardew inflicted his outrageous dance moves on the world.

When Jason Puncheon gave Palace a 78th minute lead, any neutrals backing the underdog swiftly switched allegiances upon seeing Pardew’s celebratory shuffle.

United fought back through Juan Mata, before Jesse Lingard hit the winner in extra time. And Pardew has not danced since.


2016 – Hibs Win Dramatic Scottish Cup Final

Rangers – still in the Championship in 2016 – had famously beaten Celtic in the semi finals to book their place in the Scottish Cup final against Hibernian.

Despite falling behind inside three minutes to an Anthony Stokes strike, the Gers looked on course to secure their first piece of silverware since their 2012 administration thanks to goals from Kenny Miller and Andrew Halliday.

But Stokes equalised ten minutes from time, before David Gray popped up with a 92nd minute winner, crowning Hibs Scottish Cup winners for the first time in 114 years. Cue incredible scenes of Hibs fans booming out Proclaimers anthem Sunshine on Leith in celebration.


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