The Premier League was introduced to English football in 1992-93 with Manchester United claiming the first two titles but then a determined Blackburn Rovers came along to prevent a hat trick. Together with a moment of madness from cult hero Eric Cantona at Crystal Palace, a third successive title was narrowly prevented by a big spending Rovers side managed by former Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish.
If previous meetings between Manchester United and West Ham are any indication, there should be plenty of goals put away on Saturday. The two clubs have often turned on the entertainment with scorelines of 5-3 at Upton Park and 6-0 at Old Trafford but the 7-1 on the first April Fools day of the ‘noughties’ stands out as the biggest defeat the Hammers ever suffered at the hands of United. One of the highlights was Paul Scholes’ first hat trick for the club but a young Rio Ferdinand lining up in the West Ham defence must have wondered what hit him. Perhaps the biggest sympathy must go to Hammers goalkeeper Craig Forrest who was on the receiving end of the heaviest Premiership defeat in history when Ipswich went down 9-0 to United five years earlier.
Four 6-0 defeats in just 20 Premier League matches! So what’s going on? Could there have been such a yawning gap created between the top and bottom of the league? Manchester United could have easily made it five 6-0 scorelines had they taken even half the hatful of chances that went begging in the 3-0 defeat of Newcastle in their opening game. Yet the newly promoted Magpies came back themselves to inflict a six goal hammering of Aston Villa a few days later.