5 Classic relegation D-Days

Whichever way you look at it you can’t deny that the final day of the Premier League was somewhat of a damp squib particularly in terms of the relegation battle, afterall we didn’t even get that wonderful last day episode of Match of the Day that takes us through the 90 minutes in a story like manner from around all the relevant grounds. With that in mind we remember six of the most thrilling final day relegation battles:-


This was about as remarkable of last day relegation scraps get as four sides competed for the three relegation spots. When play began West Brom, Norwich, Southamptonand Crystal Palace all had visions of survival; however it was the Baggies who clinched safet following two second half goals against Portsmouth. Southampton for a brief spell had looked like achieving the impossible and beating Manchester United to stay up whilst Palace were in contention right until the final twenty minutes however that win for West Brom saw them relegated at bitter rivals Charlton.


Few relegation scraps have seen so many teams sweating come the final fixture as this campaign, with just one point the difference between Blackburn in 15th and Wigan in 19th. This was a day where the situation twisted and turned on a remarkable level of regularity, however when the roulette wheel had been rolled for the final time it was League Cup winners Birmingham and Ian Holloway’s entertainers Blackpool who were sent packing with Wolves possibly breathing the biggest sigh of relief having looked in a real predicament on several occasions during the afternoon as they were beaten by Blackburn.


This was a closing day of thrilling proportion both at the top and bottom, with Fulham, Reading and Birmingham all fighting for 17th spot and separated by just a point. Incredibly all three won their respective games, however it was Fulham who survived following a win over Portsmouth and in the process clinching safety from a position of looking dead and buried just a few months prior to this.


There was once upon a time when Coventry were the escapology experts of English football’s top flight and 1997 was a perfect example of their work. After 37 games they sat in 19th and two points from safety, therefore leaving them needed to win their fixtures at White Hart Lane and hope that both Sunderland and Middlesbrough would lose. Coventry held their end of the bargain as goals from Dion Dublin and Paul Williams helped them to a 2-1 win, whilst Middlesbrough could only draw at Leeds and a late Wimbledon goal resigned Sunderland to defeat and therefore sealed a dramatic rescue act for Coventry.


It is hard to imagine Bradford City and Wimbledon fighting it out for Premier League survival but that is exactly what happened in 2000. The pair started level on points although the Don’s superior goal difference meant Bradford had to better their result, that though is exactly what they did as a solitary David Weatherall goal sealed a famous win over Liverpool. Wimbledon failed to match that as they were beaten at Southampton and therefore slipped through the relegation trapdoor.