Premier League complete for next season
Fulham beat Aston Villa two days ago to win the play-off final at Wembley and complete the line up for next season’s Premier League as they join already promoted Wolverhampton Wanderers and Cardiff City who have replaced Swansea City, Stoke City and West Bromwich Albion.
It’s as recent as the 2015/16 season since we played the three promoted clubs. They were all in the Championship alongside us that season and two of them proved tough nuts to crack although none of them were able to beat us.
Both Wolves and Cardiff twice held us to draws. It was 0-0 at Molineux against Wolves with the return fixture ending 1-1 when Danny Batth scored a stoppage time equaliser after Sam Vokes had given us the lead.
As for Cardiff, there was a 0-0 draw there too, at the Turf, with the first clash ending 2-2 in South Wales earlier in the season. We should have had a penalty in the first half but things turned against us just before half time when Aron Gunnarsson gave them the lead. It went worse just past the hour when Sean Morrison scored to double their advantage. A defeat looked certain but Rouwen Hennings, with his only league goal for us, pulled one back five minutes from time and three minutes into stoppage time we got an equaliser courtesy of a Matthew Connolly own goal.
It was better news against Fulham. Two Andre Gray goals gave us a 2-0 lead at home with Ross McCormack pulling one back early in the second half. Matt Taylor scored in stoppage time to give us a 3-1 lead.
At Craven Cottage, Vokes gave us an early lead but we found ourselves 2-1 behind midway through the first half. Two more Gray goals, one from the penalty spot, won it for us in the second half.
Those were the last meetings, but what about our last top flight meetings? We only have to go back to the 2009/10 season for Wolves and Fulham, but we’ve not met Cardiff at the highest level since the 1961/62 season.
The two games against Wolves in 2009/10 weren’t good. We lost 2-0 at Molineux and 2-1 at home when Clarke Carlisle had a personal nightmare. Nenad Milijas and Kevin Doyle scored the goals at Molineux just days after Mick McCarthy had played a weakened team at Old Trafford to help prepare for the game against us.
It was a bad day for Burnley, just five days before Christmas. Carlisle went off injured just past the half hour and he was followed by Steven Caldwell with just over twenty minutes remaining; Caldwell wouldn’t be fit again until May.
Matt Jarvis gave Wolves the lead on the Turf with a Carlisle own goal doubling their advantage just two minutes into the second half. Steven Thompson scored his first Premier League goal to pull one back against a team that included both Stephen Ward and David Jones in their team with Vokes on the bench.
We did take a point from Fulham in a 1-1 draw on the Turf, when Wade Elliott scored, but the 3-0 defeat at Craven Cottage was an awful performance. Elliott’s goal came on the hour, ten minutes after Bobby Zamora had given them the lead, and Zamora, who has made a habit of scoring goals against Burnley, bullied us into submission at Craven Cottage and I’m sure David Edgar is still having nightmares. Roy Hodgson’s team won 3-0 that night with goals from Danny Murphy, David Elm and, of course, Zamora on a night when Jack Cork made his Burnley debut as a substitute.
Cardiff were in the Premier League for the 2013/14 season whilst we were winning promotion from the Championship. Prior to that, they hadn’t been at the top table since that 1961/62 season. We beat them at home that season 2-1 and drew 1-1 at Ninian Park.
At home we led 1-0 at half time with a Gordon Harris goal and Jimmy Robson scored the winner after Cardiff had equalised. It was two goals in the first four minutes of the second half at Ninian Park. Brian Miller gave us the lead within seconds of the restart but the home side were quickly level.
Cardiff went down that season in 21st place, one point behind Fulham. They went down with bottom club Chelsea.
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