2011–12 in English football

Last updated

Football in England
Season2011–12
Men's football
Premier League Manchester City
Championship Reading
League One Charlton Athletic
League Two Swindon Town
FA Cup Chelsea
League Cup Liverpool
Community Shield Manchester United
2010–11 Flag of England.svg 2012–13

The 2011–12 season was the 132nd season of competitive football in England.

Contents

The season began on 5 August 2011 for the Football League, [1] on 12 August for the Football Conference and 13 August for the Premier League. The Championship ended on 28 April 2012, [1] whilst League One, and League Two ended on 5 May 2012. [1] The Premier League ended on 13 May 2012.

Promotion and relegation (pre-season)

Teams relegated from the Premier League

Teams promoted to the Premier League

Teams relegated from the Championship

Teams promoted to Championship

Teams relegated from League One

Teams promoted to League One

Teams relegated from League Two

Teams promoted to League Two

Honours

Trophy and League Champions

CompetitionWinnerDetailsAtMatch Report
FA Cup Chelsea 2011–12 FA Cup
beat Liverpool 2–1
Wembley Report
League Cup Liverpool 2011–12 Football League Cup
beat Cardiff City 3–2 on penalties
(2–2 after extra time)
Wembley Report
Premier League Manchester City 2011–12 Premier League
beat QPR 3–2
City of Manchester Stadium Report
Football League Championship Reading 2011–12 Football League Championship Madejski Stadium Report
Football League One Charlton Athletic 2011–12 Football League One The Valley Report
Football League Two Swindon Town 2011–12 Football League Two County Ground Report
FA Community Shield Manchester United 2011 FA Community Shield
beat Manchester City 3–2
Wembley Report
Football League Trophy Chesterfield 2011–12 Football League Trophy
beat Swindon Town 2–0
Wembley Report
FA Trophy York City 2011–12 FA Trophy
beat Newport County 2–0
Wembley Report

Promotion winners

CompetitionWinnerDetails
Football League Championship Southampton 2nd in Championship
Football League One Sheffield Wednesday 2nd in League One
Football League Two Shrewsbury Town and Crawley Town 2nd and 3rd in League Two

Playoff winners

CompetitionWinnerDetails
Football League Championship West Ham United 2011–12 Football League Championship
Beat Blackpool 2–1
Football League One Huddersfield Town 2011–12 Football League One
Beat Sheffield United 8–7 on Penalties
(0–0 after extra time)
Football League Two Crewe Alexandra 2011–12 Football League Two
Beat Cheltenham Town 2–0
Conference National York City 2011–12 Conference National
Beat Luton Town 2–1
Conference North Nuneaton Town 2011–12 Conference North
Beat Gainsborough Trinity 1–0
Conference South Dartford 2011–12 Conference South
Beat Welling United 1–0

Diary of the season

June 2011

17th: Former Birmingham City manager Alex McLeish is appointed manager of Aston Villa. [2]

July 2011

4th: Manchester City sign full-back Gaël Clichy from Arsenal for £7 million. [3]

6th: Rushden & Diamonds, who were members of the Football League from to 2001 to 2006, are expelled from the Conference National due to financial problems. [4]

11th: Arsenal make their second summer signing, Gervinho from French champions Lille for £11 million. [5]

13th: Wolverhampton Wanderers sign defender Roger Johnson from Birmingham City for an undisclosed fee, believed to have surpassed the £7 million the Black Country club paid for Steven Fletcher last summer. [6]

30th: Brighton & Hove Albion finally move into their Amex Stadium at Falmer, first planned in 1999, and open their new home with a 3–2 friendly defeat by Tottenham Hotspur. [7]

August 2011

5th: Football League action kicks off at the KC Stadium, where Hull City lose 1–0 at home to Blackpool in the Championship. [8]

6th: The bulk of the opening Football League fixtures are played. Michael Chopra scores twice on his Ipswich Town debut in the Championship as the Suffolk side win 3–0 at Bristol City. [9] Brighton's first competitive match at their new stadium sees them beat Doncaster Rovers 2–1 with two late goals from Will Buckley overturning a Doncaster lead. [10] League Cup holders Birmingham City lose 2–1 at Derby County. [11] Steve McClaren's first game in charge of Nottingham Forest sees them draw 0–0 at home to Barnsley. [12] Newly promoted Southampton beat Leeds United 3–1 at St Mary's Stadium. [13] In League One, Charlton Athletic triumph 3–0 at home to Bournemouth. [14] Sheffield United get off to a winning start in their quest for a return to the Championship by beating Oldham Athletic 2–0 at Boundary Park. [15] In League Two, Paolo Di Canio gets off to a winning start as Swindon Town manager as he guides the Wiltshire club to a 3–0 home win over Crewe Alexandra. [16] Crawley Town's first Football League game sees them draw 2–2 with Port Vale at Vale Park. [17] AFC Wimbledon, formed nine years ago in response to the relocation of the old Wimbledon club (rebranded as Milton Keynes Dons in June 2004) to Milton Keynes, start their Football League career with a 3–2 home defeat by Bristol Rovers. [18]

7th: Manchester United win the FA Community Shield, beating neighbours City 3–2 at Wembley after going 2–0 down. [19]

8th: Arsenal sign 17-year-old winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from Southampton for £12 million, which could eventually rise to £15 million. [20]

11th: Tottenham Hotspur's opening Premier League game of the season, against Everton on 13 August, is postponed due to recent rioting in and near the Tottenham area. [21]

12th: Kenny Dalglish makes his fifth signing of the close season for Liverpool with a £6 million move for Newcastle United defender José Enrique. [22]

15th: Cesc Fàbregas leaves Arsenal to return to his former club Barcelona for £35 million. [23]

16th: Emmanuel Eboué leaves Arsenal to join Turkish side Galatasaray for £3 million. [24]

24th: Samir Nasri joins Manchester City from Arsenal for £25 million. [25] Juan Mata joins Chelsea from Valencia for £23.5 million. [26]

29th: Edin Džeko scores four goals as Manchester City briefly go top of the Premier League with a 5–1 thrashing of Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane, [27] though they are soon usurped at the top of the table on goal difference by their rivals Manchester United, who demolish Arsenal 8–2 at Old Trafford. The result is Arsenal's worst for 116 years and United biggest goal haul in a league game since February 1999. [28]

31st: August ends with reigning champions Manchester United top of the table on goal difference, ahead of Manchester City. Liverpool. Chelsea, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Newcastle United and Aston Villa complete the top seven, with West Bromwich Albion, Blackburn Rovers and Tottenham Hotspur (all without a point) in the relegation zone. [29] In the Championship, newly promoted Brighton and Hove Albion and Southampton occupy the automatic promotion places, with Derby County, Middlesbrough, West Ham United and Crystal Palace in the playoff places. [30]

September 2011

1st: The transfer window closes with Mikel Arteta ending six years at Everton to sign for Arsenal in a £10 million deal. [31] Arsène Wenger also brings Chelsea's Yossi Benayoun to the Emirates Stadium, on a loan deal for the rest of the season. [32] These acquisitions come 24 hours after Wenger bolsters his defence with a £6.2 million move for Fenerbahçe and Brazil left-back André Santos. [33] Another big money move on deadline day includes Raul Meireles leaving Liverpool in a £10 million move to Chelsea. [34] Having left Manchester United at the end of last season after four injury-plagued seasons, Owen Hargreaves signs for neighbours Manchester City on a one-year contract, [35] after weeks of speculation that he would join West Bromwich Albion. [36] Blackburn Rovers terminate the contract of striker El Hadji Diouf after two years at Ewood Park, [37] where the attack was strengthened the previous day by the arrival of Everton's out-of-favour striker Yakubu. [38]

8th: Dagenham & Redbridge contest a Football League Trophy Round One match against Leyton Orient at The Matchroom Stadium. With the scores level at 1–1 after 90 minutes, the match goes to penalties and as a result become the longest penalty shoot out with consecutive goalscorers in the history of English football and what is believed to be the world. The final score ended as 14–13 to Dagenham on penalties, with Ben Chorley missing the 28th spot kick for Orient which sent the Daggers through to a second round clash with Southend United.

30th: September ends with Manchester United still leading the Premier League, ahead of rivals Manchester City on goal difference. Chelsea remain in third, while Newcastle United are maintaining their European push in fourth place. The top seven is rounded out by Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Stoke City. Blackburn Rovers, West Bromwich Albion and Bolton Wanderers are still suffering from their early season form and make up the relegation zone. [39] In the Championship, newly promoted Southampton are continuing their bid for successive promotions, leading Middlesbrough and Derby County on goal difference. West Ham United, Brighton & Hove Albion and Cardiff City complete the top six, while Millwall, Bristol City and Doncaster Rovers stand at the foot of the table. [40]

October 2011

23rd: Manchester City extend their lead over Manchester United at the top of the Premier League with a 6–1 win over their local rivals at Old Trafford. It was Manchester United's worst loss at Old Trafford since 1955 and the first time they had conceded six goals at home since 1930. [41] Fellow title contenders Chelsea suffer a 1–0 setback against Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road.

29th: Robin van Persie scores a hat-trick as Arsenal gain a first away league win of the season, beating Chelsea 5–3 at Stamford Bridge.

31st: October ends with Manchester City five points clear of second-placed Manchester United. Newcastle United continue to defy critics who tipped them to struggle this season and stand in third place, while the top seven is rounded out by Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and an ever-improving Arsenal side who appear to have put their poor start to the season behind them. At the other end of the table, Wigan Athletic stand bottom after six successive losses; they are joined in the relegation zone by Blackburn Rovers and Bolton Wanderers. [42] In the Championship, Southampton are continuing their bid to become the second team in two seasons to achieve two successive promotion to the Premier League, standing three points clear of second-placed West Ham United. Crystal Palace, expected by many to struggle this season, are three points behind West Ham in third, while the play-off places are completed by Middlesbrough, Derby County and Hull City. Coventry City, Doncaster Rovers and Bristol City make up the relegation zone. [43]

November 2011

18th: League One side Carlisle United announce plans to relocate from Brunton Park, their home since 1909, to a new 12,000-seat stadium. [44]

27th: Football mourns the death of Wales manager Gary Speed, 42, who was found dead at his home in Chester. Speed, who had managed the Welsh side for nearly a year following a brief spell as manager of Sheffield United, was a player in the English leagues for more than 20 years, during which time he won a league title with Leeds United and was an FA Cup runner-up twice with Newcastle United. [45]

28th: Queens Park Rangers chairman Tony Fernandes announces his intention to relocate the club from Loftus Road to a new, bigger stadium elsewhere in West London. [46]

30th: Sunderland manager Steve Bruce becomes the first Premiership manager to be sacked during the season, leaving the north-east club after two-and-a-half years in charge with the Wearside club only two points clear of the relegation zone. The month ends with Manchester City still five points clear of Manchester United. Tottenham Hotspur have put their poor start firmly behind and stand two points behind United with a game in hand. Newcastle occupy the crucial fourth place, while Chelsea have slipped out of the top four after losing three of their last five matches. Liverpool and Arsenal complete the top seven. The relegation zone remains unchanged, except that Wigan Athletic have moved off the bottom of the table at the expense of Blackburn Rovers. [47] Southampton and West Ham United continue to occupy the automatic promotion places in the Championship, while Cardiff City, Middlesbrough, Leeds United and Leicester City (ahead of seventh-placed Brighton on goal difference) make up the playoff zone. Doncaster Rovers and Coventry City remain joint bottom of the Championship, while Nottingham Forest have dropped back into the relegation zone, behind Portsmouth, Bristol City and Ipswich Town on goal difference. [48]

December 2011

6th: Chelsea join Arsenal in the knockout stages of the Champions League with a 3–0 home win over Valencia in their final group game, to ease the pressure on under-fire manager André Villas-Boas after four wins from the previous 10 games in all competitions led to increased speculation about his future as manager. [49]

7th: Manchester United's 2–1 defeat at Basel in Switzerland knocks them out of the Champions League and puts them into the Europa League. [50] Their neighbours Manchester City suffer a similar fate despite their 2–0 home win over Bayern Munich in their final group game. [51]

31st: The year ends with Manchester United joint top of the Premier League after having overcome City's five-point lead, although City have a game in hand. Tottenham Hotspur remain in third, six points adrift of United but with a game in hand, while Arsenal have moved into the crucial fourth place for the first time this season, at the expense of Chelsea. Liverpool and Newcastle complete the top seven. Bolton Wanderers end the year bottom of the Premier League; Blackburn Rovers (who were bottom on Christmas) and Wigan Athletic remain in the relegation zone, although the pressure is building up on Wolverhampton Wanderers and QPR. [52] In the Championship, Southampton remain top and still well placed for a second successive promotion. Middlesbrough now occupy second, while West Ham United, Cardiff City, Reading and Hull City complete the top six. The relegation zone remains unchanged from end of November. [53]

January 2012

31st: January ends with Manchester City still top of the Premier League, but with United now level on points with them, five points ahead of third-place Tottenham. Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and Newcastle complete the top seven. Wigan are bottom of the table, four points adrift of safety, while Wolves and Blackburn are just a single point adrift. [54] West Ham are now top of the Championship, with Southampton, Cardiff, Birmingham, Hull and Blackpool completing the top six. Coventry (last), Nottingham Forest and Doncaster Rovers remain in the relegation zone. [55]

February 2012

3rd: Chelsea and England captain John Terry, awaiting trial on a charge of racially abusing QPR's Anton Ferdinand in a league game on 21 December, is stripped of the England captaincy. [56]

6th: England coach Fabio Capello criticises the decision of the Football Association to strip John Terry of the England captaincy. [57]

8th: Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp and the former Portsmouth chairman Milan Mandarić are cleared of tax evasion after a trial at Southwark Crown Court. [58] Hours after the verdicts are delivered, England coach Fabio Capello announces his immediate resignation [59] and almost immediately there are widespread calls across football for Redknapp to be installed as Capello's successor. [60]

12th: The Black Country derby sees West Bromwich Albion crush Wolverhampton Wanderers 5–1 at the Molineux.

13th: Less than 24 hours after the Black Country derby humiliation, Wolverhampton Wanderers sack manager Mick McCarthy, their manager for five-and-a-half years. [61]

24th: After Alan Curbishley and Walter Smith both rejected the chance to manage Wolverhampton Wanderers, coach Terry Connor is put in charge of the first team until the end of the season. [62]

26th: Kenny Dalglish wins the first trophy of his second spell as Liverpool manager, as they defeat Cardiff City on penalties after a 2–2 draw in the League Cup final – the first time they have won the trophy under the management of Dalglish, who guided them to three league titles and two FA Cups in his first spell as manager. [63]

29th: February ends with Manchester City two points clear of Manchester United in second and ten points clear of Tottenham Hotspur, whose title charge now appears to be over following a 5–2 defeat at rival Arsenal, who end the month in the crucial fourth place. Chelsea, Newcastle and Liverpool remain in the top seven. Although they remain bottom, Wigan are now only one point adrift of safety, joined in the bottom three by Bolton and Blackburn, with Wolves and QPR both within a point of the relegation zone. [64] Southampton are back on top of the Championship, but West Ham are a point behind with a game in hand. Reading, Blackpool, Birmingham and Cardiff make up the play-off zone. Nottingham Forest have now climbed clear of the relegation zone at the expense of a Portsmouth side deduced ten points after entering administration; the South Coast club are sandwiched by Coventry and bottom side Doncaster. [65]

March 2012

4th: Chelsea sack manager André Villas-Boas after nine months in charge, the day after they lost 1–0 in the league at West Bromwich Albion. It is the second time in three weeks that the Black Country side have inflicted a defeat upon a team whose manager has then been sacked. In another twist, Chelsea appoint their assistant manager Roberto Di Matteo, who was sacked as Albion manager last season, in charge until the end of the season. [66]

11th: Manchester United moved to first position in the Premier League for the first time since early October 2011 with ten games remaining after United defeated West Bromwich Albion 2–0 and previous leaders Manchester City loss 0–1 to Swansea. [67]

17th: The FA Cup quarter-final tie between Tottenham Hotspur and Bolton Wanderers at White Hart Lane is postponed after 41 minutes when the visiting team's midfielder Fabrice Muamba is taken seriously ill on the pitch after collapsing. [68]

29th: Aston Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov is diagnosed with acute leukaemia after complaining of a fever following the club's game against Arsenal.

31st: March ends with Manchester United now holding a two-point advantage over City, with a game in hand. The rest of the top seven remains unchanged, except that Everton have now moved ahead of their Merseyside rivals Liverpool, who are in eighth place with a game in hand. Wolves have only managed to pick up one point following the sacking of Mick McCarthy and look doomed for relegation as they stand six points adrift of safety with seven games left to play. Blackburn Rovers, with a game in hand, are ahead of QPR and Wigan only by virtue of goals scored; Bolton are a point ahead of Blackburn, having played the same number of games as their Lancashire rivals. [69] In the Championship, Southampton look certain for promotion as they are six points clear of third-placed West Ham with six games left, although their challenge for the Football League title is coming under threat from Reading, who stand two points behind. Birmingham (with a game in hand), Blackpool and Brighton make up the play-off places, with Middlesbrough only outside on goal difference. At the opposite end of the table, Coventry have climbed out of the drop zone at the expense of Bristol City, although Doncaster and Portsmouth look doomed for the drop. [70]

April 2012

14th: Charlton Athletic become the first League side to gain promotion after a 1–0 win at Carlisle United meant that Charlton were promoted and would be playing Championship football in 2012/13 after a three-year exile. On the same day Fleetwood Town were confirmed as champions of the Football Conference meaning that as from next season they'll be playing League Football for the first time in their history.

17th: Reading are promoted back to the Premier League after a four-year exile by beating Nottingham Forest 1–0 at home. [71]

21st: Already-relegated Doncaster Rovers drag Coventry City down to League One with them by winning 2–0 in the Championship clash at the Ricoh Arena, meaning that the midlanders will be playing third tier football next season for the first time in nearly 50 years. [72] Portsmouth's relegation is also confirmed by a 2–1 home defeat by Derby County, a mere two years after being in the Premier League and four years after winning the FA Cup. [73] Rochdale become the first League One side of the season to suffer relegation, after losing 2–1 at Chesterfield, whose victory keeps their own survival hopes alive. [74] Swindon Town seal promotion from League Two despite a 3–1 defeat at Gillingham, [75] Shrewsbury's chances of sealing promotion are put on hold by a 1–1 draw at Accrington. [76]

22nd: Wolves are relegated from the Premier League after a three-year stay with a 2–0 home defeat by Manchester City, whose title hopes are kept alive by Manchester United being held to a 4–4 draw at Old Trafford by Everton. [77]

28th: Southampton are promoted to the Premier League after a seven-year exile, achieving promotion for the second year running. [78] Shrewsbury Town secure automatic promotion to League One. [79] Macclesfield Town drop back into the Conference after 15 years in the Football League. [80]

30th: April ends with Manchester City top of the Premier League after a 1–0 home win over rivals Manchester United, who are level on point with City but wield an inferior goal difference – both have two games left to play. The race for the last two Champions League places is reaching its climax, with five points separating Arsenal, Tottenham, Newcastle and Chelsea, although Arsenal have played one game more. However, should Chelsea beat Bayern Munich in the Champions League final the West London side will automatically qualify for the Champions League regardless of their final place in the table. Everton's belated challenge for European qualification is over; the sole remaining aim of the season is to finish above archrivals Liverpool, who are two points behind in eighth. Wolves have already been mathematically relegated, while Blackburn and Bolton (the latter with a game in hand) remain in the bottom three, but QPR, Wigan and Aston Villa are not yet certain of safety. [81] In the Championship, Reading and Southampton have achieved promotion to the Premier League. West Ham, Birmingham, Blackpool and Cardiff will compete in the play-offs, while Portsmouth, Coventry and Doncaster are relegated. [82]

May 2012

1st: Roy Hodgson of West Bromwich Albion is confirmed as the next England Manager. [83] Manchester City go top of the Premier League on goal difference with two games remaining with a 1–0 home win over United. [84]

5th: Chelsea win the FA Cup with a 2–1 victory over Liverpool. [85] On the Final Day of the season for League One Sheffield Wednesday pipped Sheffield United to the second automatic promotion slot beating already relegated Wycombe Wanderers 2–0, [86] whilst Stevenage cemented their place in the Play-offs with a 3–0 victory over Bury (Huddersfield Town and Milton Keynes Dons make up the rest of Play-off positions). In League Two Crawley Town won back to back promotions to League One with a 2–1 victory at Accrington Stanley. [87] Southend United, Torquay United, Cheltenham Town and Crewe Alexandra make up the Play-offs. At the other end of the table Barnet survived to fight another season in League Two after beating Burton Albion, this result condemned Hereford United to Conference Football next season. [88]

6th: Manchester City remain top of the Premier League with a 2–0 win at Newcastle United, but their neighbours remain level on points with them by beating Swansea 2–0 at Old Trafford. [89]

7th: Blackburn are relegated from the Premier League after a 1–0 home defeat by Wigan Athletic, ending an 11-year stint in the top flight – the result confirms Wigan's Premier League status for an eighth successive season. Bolton Wanderers occupy the final remaining relegation place and need to win their final game of the season to stand any chance of survival. The only other team in real danger of relegation are QPR, as Aston Villa's much better goal difference means that they will almost certainly stay up. [90]

13th: Manchester City scored twice in stoppage time to be crowned champions for the first time in 44 years as they beat Queens Park Rangers to win the Premier League on goal difference from Manchester United. In scenes of near bedlam, City looked to be suffering a dramatic collapse as QPR – safe after Stoke City drew with Bolton – held on to an unlikely advantage with United leading at Sunderland. Edin Džeko equalised in the second of five minutes of stoppage time before Sergio Agüero scored the goal that won the title. [90]

19th: West Ham United are promoted to the Premier League after beating Blackpool 2–1 at the 2012 Championship Play-Off final at Wembley Stadium. Chelsea won the UEFA Champions League after beating Bayern Munich 4–3 at penalties following a 1–1 draw.

New clubs

Clubs removed

Retirements

Deaths

England national football team

Euro 2012 qualification

2 September 2011 Bulgaria  Flag of Bulgaria.svg0–3Flag of England.svg  England Vasil Levski National Stadium, Sofia
21:15 UTC+3 Report Cahill Soccerball shade.svg 13'
Rooney Soccerball shade.svg 21', 90+4'
Attendance: 36,521
Referee: Frank De Bleeckere (Belgium)
6 September 2011 England  Flag of England.svg1–0Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales Wembley Stadium, London
19:45 UTC+1 Young Soccerball shade.svg 35' Report Attendance: 77,128
Referee: Robert Schörgenhofer (Austria)
7 October 2011 Montenegro  Flag of Montenegro.svg2–2Flag of England.svg  England Podgorica City Stadium, Podgorica
21:00 UTC+2 Zverotić Soccerball shade.svg 45'
Delibašić Soccerball shade.svg 90+1'
Report Young Soccerball shade.svg 11'
Bent Soccerball shade.svg 31'
Attendance: 15,000
Referee: Wolfgang Stark (Germany)

Friendlies

10 August 2011 England  Flag of England.svgP – PFlag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands Wembley Stadium, London
20:00 BST
Note: Due to riots in London, the friendly against the Netherlands scheduled for 10 August was called off. [95]
12 November 2011 England  Flag of England.svg1–0Flag of Spain.svg  Spain Wembley Stadium, London
17:15 GMT Lampard Soccerball shade.svg 49' Report Attendance: 87,189
Referee: Frank De Bleeckere (Belgium)
15 November 2011 England  Flag of England.svg1–0Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden Wembley Stadium, London
20:00 GMT Barry Soccerball shade.svg 22' Report Attendance: 48,876
Referee: Pavel Královec (Czech Republic)
29 February 2012 England  Flag of England.svg2–3Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands Wembley Stadium, London
20:00 GMT Cahill Soccerball shade.svg 85'
Young Soccerball shade.svg 90+2'
Report Robben Soccerball shade.svg 57', 90+2'
Huntelaar Soccerball shade.svg 59'
Attendance: 76,283
Referee: Felix Brych (Germany)
Note: The match against the Netherlands, originally scheduled for 10 August 2011, was rescheduled to 29 February 2012 due to the riots in London.
26 May 2012 Norway  Flag of Norway.svg0–1Flag of England.svg  England Ullevaal Stadion, Oslo
20:45 CEST Report Young Soccerball shade.svg 9'Attendance: 21,496
Referee: Michael Weiner (Germany)
1 June 2012 England  Flag of England.svg1–0Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium Wembley Stadium, London
17:15 BST Welbeck Soccerball shade.svg 36' Report Attendance: 85,091
Referee: Peter Rasmussen (Denmark)

League tables

Premier League

In one of the most memorable finishes to a season in recent memory, Manchester City ended a 44-year wait to win their first Premier League title on goal difference, with Sergio Agüero scoring in the last minute of stoppage time during their dramatic 3–2 win over Queens Park Rangers on the final day. Despite being pushed all the way, they won their final six games, while cross-city neighbours Manchester United squandered an eight-point lead in what was largely a trophyless season for Sir Alex Ferguson's men for the first time in six years. Arsenal recovered from a poor start to the season to take third place, while striker Robin van Persie won the Players' Player of the Year Award by scoring 30 goals.

Newcastle finished fifth to qualify for the Europa League, recording their first top-six finish in eight years under Alan Pardew, who won the Manager of the Year award. Chelsea suffered their worst season in ten years, finishing sixth with 64 points; André Villas-Boas, the personal choice for owner Roman Abramovich, was sacked after just nine months with automatic qualification for the Champions League at risk. Under caretaker manager Roberto Di Matteo, however, they excelled in the cup competitions, winning the FA Cup for the fourth time in six seasons. It was the Champions League, though, in which they stunned everyone, storming their way through each round to reach the final against Bayern Munich. Pushing the German powerhouse to penalties, they kept the advantage and ultimately won 4–3, giving them their first European Cup victory and ensuring they qualified for the elite competition once again; their victory meant that fourth-placed Tottenham had to enter the Europa League and caused Harry Redknapp to lose his job after three-and-a-half years in charge.

Liverpool were similar to Chelsea for parts of the league, but ultimately worse as they recorded their lowest league finish for 18 years, finishing in eighth place and only edging ninth-placed Fulham on a higher goal difference; their season was marred by striker Luis Suárez being convicted of racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra in October. They put this controversy behind them by winning the League Cup, ending five consecutive seasons without winning a trophy. Kenny Dalglish, fabled for his earlier Liverpool managerial reign in the late 1980s, was sacked after just 16 months following a poor finish to the season that saw them pick up just 13 points from 14 games.

For only the second time in Premier League history, all three promoted teams survived, though all finished in the bottom half. Swansea City were the pundit's choice to be relegated, but they defied their critics with their own unique style of football and claimed shock victories over the likes of Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool to finish a respectable 11th; by the season's end, Brendan Rodgers was starting to attract the attention of other Premier League teams. Norwich City finished just below them in 12th, impressing on their return to the top flight and also had manager Paul Lambert attracting the attention of other Premier League clubs. Queens Park Rangers were left needing to rely on other results on the last day to help them survive, though a run of 19 points from their last nine home fixtures played a major part in their survival.

The sacking of Mick McCarthy after nearly six years and the appointment of first team coach Terry Connor effectively ended Wolverhampton Wanderers' three-year spell in the top-flight. With just four points and no wins taken from Connor's final 13 games in charge, they finished bottom of the table. Having been clear of the relegation zone at the start of April, Blackburn Rovers were also undone by poor late-season form; losing eight of their last nine games as growing anger from the supporters toward owners Venky's and manager Steve Kean continued. Bolton Wanderers, who coincidentally had been promoted alongside Blackburn in 2001, went down on the last day of the season after a horrible start to the year that saw them bottom for most of the campaign.

PosTeamPldWDLGFGAGDPtsQualification or relegation
1 Manchester City (C)3828559329+6489Qualification for the Champions League group stage
2 Manchester United 3828558933+5689
3 Arsenal 38217107449+2570
4 Tottenham Hotspur 3820996641+2569Qualification for the Europa League group stage [lower-alpha 1]
5 Newcastle United 38198115651+565Qualification for the Europa League play-off round [lower-alpha 1]
6 Chelsea 381810106546+1964Qualification for the Champions League group stage [lower-alpha 1]
7 Everton 381511125040+1056
8 Liverpool 381410144740+752Qualification for the Europa League third qualifying round [lower-alpha 2]
9 Fulham 381410144851352
10 West Bromwich Albion 38138174552747
11 Swansea City 381211154451747
12 Norwich City 3812111552661447
13 Sunderland 381112154546145
14 Stoke City 3811121536531745
15 Wigan Athletic 3811101742622043
16 Aston Villa 387171437531638
17 Queens Park Rangers 381072143662337
18 Bolton Wanderers (R)381062246773136Relegation to the Football League Championship
19 Blackburn Rovers (R)38872348783031
20 Wolverhampton Wanderers (R)385102340824225
Source: Premier League
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored.
(C) Champion; (R) Relegated.
Notes:
  1. 1 2 3 Chelsea won the Champions League and thus qualified for the group stage as defending champions, forfeiting their spot in the Europa League as the FA Cup winners. This meant that Tottenham were to compete in the Europa League group stage, since, pursuant to the rules in effect at the time, only four clubs from the Premier League could play in the Champions League.
  2. Liverpool won the League Cup and thus qualified for the Europa League third qualifying round.

Leading goalscorer: Robin van Persie (Arsenal) – 30

Championship

A year after suffering heartbreak in the play-off final, an excellent run of 50 points from their remaining 21 games saw Reading crowned divisional champions, earning promotion to the top flight for only the second time in their history. Having been in the top two for the majority of the season, Southampton finished in the runners-up spot to claim their second successive promotion, returning to the Premier League after a seven-year absence as their revival under Nigel Adkins continued, one year after Norwich won a second successive promotion. West Ham United, who lost out to Southampton on the last day of the season, won promotion via the play-offs, with manager Sam Allardyce passing his former clubs Blackburn and Bolton on the way up.

Doncaster Rovers' luck finally ran out after four years of operating on the division's lowest budget, and they were relegated in bottom place. 11 years after dropping out of the Premier League, Coventry City finally hit rock bottom as they suffered from an ongoing financial crisis and the loss of several key players pre-season, their never-ending downward spiral culminating in relegation to the third tier for the first time since 1964. Portsmouth fell back into financial difficulties and went into administration for the second time in three seasons, with the resulting ten-point deduction dealing a fatal blow to their survival hopes and sending them down to League One (had it not been for Portsmouth's points deduction, Barnsley would have been the third relegated side).

PosTeamPldWDLGFGAGDPtsPromotion or relegation
1 Reading (C, P)46278116941+2889Promotion to the Premier League
2 Southampton (P)462610108546+3988
3 West Ham United (O, P)46241488148+3386Qualification for Championship play-offs
4 Birmingham City 462016107851+2776
5 Blackpool 462015117959+2075
6 Cardiff City 46191896653+1375
7 Middlesbrough 461816125251+170
8 Hull City 461911164744+368
9 Leicester City 461812166655+1166
10 Brighton & Hove Albion 461715145252066
11 Watford 461616145664864
12 Derby County 461810185058864
13 Burnley 461711186158+362
14 Leeds United 461710196568361
15 Ipswich Town 461710196977861
16 Millwall 461512195557257
17 Crystal Palace 461317164651556
18 Peterborough United 4613112267771050
19 Nottingham Forest 461482448631550
20 Bristol City 4612132144682449
21 Barnsley 461392449742548
22 Portsmouth (R)461311225059940 [lower-alpha 1] Relegation to League One
23 Coventry City (R)469132441652440
24 Doncaster Rovers (R)468122643803736
Updated to match(es) played on 28 April 2012. Source: BBC Sport
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored.
(C) Champion; (O) Play-off winner; (P) Promoted; (R) Relegated.
Notes:
  1. Portsmouth were deducted 10 points for entering administration. [96]

Leading goalscorer Rickie Lambert (Southampton) – 27

League One

Chris Powell's first full season in charge of Charlton earned the Addicks promotion at the third time of asking, leading the division for virtually the entire season to win the title with a club record of 101 points. The two Sheffield clubs contested the second automatic promotion spot; United were in the top two for most of the season, but struggled with form after top scorer Ched Evans was imprisoned for rape, allowing Wednesday to claim second place and a return to the Championship after a two-year absence. It was ultimately to be another Yorkshire side, Huddersfield Town, who were victorious over United in the play-offs, meaning they would be playing in the second tier for the first time since 2001.

After equalling their highest league finish last season, the departure of Keith Hill to Barnsley during the summer meant that Rochdale finished bottom, bringing their long-awaited spell in League One to an end after just two years. Exeter City also failed to build on their near-miss of the previous season's play-offs and finished second bottom, returning to League Two after three years. Chesterfield couldn't adjust to life in the third tier and they too were relegated, despite winning the Football League Trophy. Wycombe Wanderers, who finished six points behind the Spireites last season, didn't last long either, and they also suffered immediate relegation back to League Two.

PosTeamPldWDLGFGAGDPtsPromotion, qualification or relegation
1 Charlton Athletic (C, P)46301158236+46101Promotion to Football League Championship
2 Sheffield Wednesday (P)4628998148+3393
3 Sheffield United 46279109251+4190Qualification for League One play-offs [lower-alpha 1]
4 Huddersfield Town (O, P)46211877947+3281
5 Milton Keynes Dons 462214108447+3780
6 Stevenage 46181996944+2573
7 Notts County 462110157563+1273
8 Carlisle United 461815136566169
9 Brentford 461813156352+1167
10 Colchester United 461320136166559
11 Bournemouth 461513184852458
12 Tranmere Rovers 461414184953456
13 Hartlepool United 461414185055556
14 Bury 4615112060791956
15 Preston North End 4613151854681454
16 Oldham Athletic 4614122050661654
17 Yeovil Town 4614122059802154
18 Scunthorpe United 461022145559452
19 Walsall 461020165157650
20 Leyton Orient 4613112248752750
21 Wycombe Wanderers (R)4611102565882343Relegation to Football League Two
22 Chesterfield (R)4610122456812542
23 Exeter City (R)4610122446752942
24 Rochdale (R)468142447813438
Updated to match(es) played on 5 May 2012. Source: BBC Sport
Rules for classification: 1) Points; 2) Goal difference; 3) Number of goals scored
(C) Champion; (O) Play-off winner; (P) Promoted; (R) Relegated.
Notes:
  1. Four teams play for one spot and promotion to Football League Championship.

Leading goalscorer: Jordan Rhodes (Huddersfield) – 36

League Two

Swindon Town made an immediate return to League One, as Paolo Di Canio won the League Two title in his first season as a manager. Shrewsbury took the runners-up spot, going the entire season unbeaten at home and earning veteran manager Graham Turner his second promotion with the club 33 years after his first. Crawley Town were the third automatically promoted team, and earned their second successive promotion. Despite the resignation of legendary manager Dario Gradi early in the season, Crewe Alexandra rallied under new manager Steve Davis and won promotion via the play-offs.

Macclesfield Town dropped out of the Football League after fifteen years, ultimately being undone by a horrific second half of the season in which they didn't win a single game after the turn of the year. Hereford United suffered their second relegation from the League on the last day of the season, with Barnet securing last-day survival for the third season in a row.

Joining the League for the following season were newcomers Fleetwood Town, and York City, who returned to the League after an eight-year absence.

PosTeamPldWDLGFGAGDPtsPromotion, qualification or relegation
1 Swindon Town (C, P)46296117532+4393Promotion to Football League One
2 Shrewsbury Town (P)462610106641+2588
3 Crawley Town (P)46231587654+2284
4 Southend United 46258137748+2983Qualification for League Two play-offs [lower-alpha 1]
5 Torquay United 462312116350+1381
6 Cheltenham Town 46238156650+1677
7 Crewe Alexandra (O, P)462012146759+872
8 Gillingham 462010167962+1770
9 Oxford United 461717125948+1168
10 Rotherham United 461813156763+467
11 Aldershot Town 46199185452+266
12 Port Vale 46209176860+859 [lower-alpha 2]
13 Bristol Rovers 4615121960701057
14 Accrington Stanley 4614151754661257
15 Morecambe 461414186357+656
16 AFC Wimbledon 461592262781654
17 Burton Albion 4614122054812754
18 Bradford City 461214205459550
19 Dagenham & Redbridge 461482450722250
20 Northampton Town 4612122256792348
21 Plymouth Argyle 4610162047641746
22 Barnet 4612102452792746
23 Hereford United (R)4610142250702044Relegation to the Conference Premier
24 Macclesfield Town (R)468132539642537
Updated to match(es) played on 5 May 2012. Source: BBC Sport
Rules for classification: 1) Points; 2) Goal difference; 3) Number of goals scored
(C) Champion; (O) Play-off winner; (P) Promoted; (R) Relegated.
Notes:
  1. Four teams play for one spot and promotion to Football League One.
  2. On 9 March Port Vale were deducted ten points for entering administration. [97]

Leading goalscorers: Jack Midson (AFC Wimbledon), Izale McLeod (Barnet), Lewis Grabban (Rotherham United), and Adebayo Akinfenwa (Northampton Town) – 18

Managerial changes

NameClubDate of departureReplacementDate of appointment
Peter Jackson Bradford City 25 August 2011 Phil Parkinson 29 August 2011
Peter Reid Plymouth Argyle 18 September 2011 Carl Fletcher 1 November 2011
Sean O'Driscoll Doncaster Rovers 23 September 2011 Dean Saunders 23 September 2011
Steve McClaren Nottingham Forest 2 October 2011 Steve Cotterill 14 October 2011
Keith Millen Bristol City 3 October 2011 Derek McInnes 19 October 2011
Steve Cotterill Portsmouth 14 October 2011 Michael Appleton 10 November 2011
Sven-Göran Eriksson Leicester City 24 October 2011 Nigel Pearson 15 November 2011
Dario Gradi Crewe Alexanda 10 November 2011 Steve Davis 10 November 2011
Gary Johnson Northampton Town 14 November 2011 Adrian Boothroyd 30 November 2011
Nigel Pearson Hull City 15 November 2011 Nick Barmby 10 January 2012
Steve Bruce Sunderland 30 November 2011 Martin O'Neill 3 December 2011
Mick Wadsworth Hartlepool United 6 December 2011 Neale Cooper 28 December 2011
Phil Brown Preston North End 14 December 2011 Graham Westley 13 January 2012
Steve Eyre Rochdale 19 December 2011 John Coleman 24 January 2012
Paul Buckle Bristol Rovers 4 January 2012 Mark McGhee 18 January 2012
Neil Warnock Queens Park Rangers 8 January 2012 Mark Hughes 10 January 2012
Terry Skiverton Yeovil Town 9 January 2012 Gary Johnson 9 January 2012
Graham Westley Stevenage 13 January 2012 Gary Smith 25 January 2012
John Coleman Accrington Stanley 24 January 2012 Paul Cook 13 February 2012
Simon Grayson Leeds United 1 February 2012 Neil Warnock 18 February 2012
Mick McCarthy Wolverhampton Wanderers 13 February 2012 Terry Connor 24 February 2012
Lee Clark Huddersfield Town 16 February 2012 Simon Grayson 20 February 2012
Martin Allen Notts County 18 February 2012 Keith Curle 20 February 2012
Gary Megson Sheffield Wednesday 29 February 2012 Dave Jones 1 March 2012
André Villas-Boas Chelsea 4 March 2012 Roberto Di Matteo 4 March 2012
Les Parry Tranmere Rovers 4 March 2012 Ronnie Moore 4 March 2012
Jamie Pitman Hereford United 5 March 2012 Richard O'Kelly 5 March 2012
Paul Peschisolido Burton Albion 17 March 2012 Gary Rowett 10 May 2012
Gary Simpson Macclesfield Town 18 March 2012 Brian Horton 19 March 2012
Andy Scott Rotherham United 19 March 2012 Steve Evans 9 April 2012
Lee Bradbury Bournemouth 25 March 2012 Paul Groves 11 May 2012
Steve Evans Crawley Town 9 April 2012 Sean O'Driscoll 16 May 2012
Lawrie Sanchez Barnet 16 April 2012 Martin Allen 16 April 2012
Brian Horton Macclesfield Town 30 April 2012Steve King21 May 2012
Nick Barmby Hull City 8 May 2012 Steve Bruce 8 June 2012
Andy Hessenthaler Gillingham 8 May 2012 Martin Allen 5 July 2012
Terry Connor Wolverhampton Wanderers 11 May 2012 Ståle Solbakken 1 July 2012
Richard O'Kelly Hereford United 12 May 2012 Martin Foyle 30 May 2012
Roy Hodgson West Bromwich Albion 14 May 2012 Steve Clarke 8 June 2012
Alex McLeish Aston Villa 14 May 2012 Paul Lambert 2 June 2012
Kenny Dalglish Liverpool 16 May 2012 Brendan Rodgers 30 May 2012
Martin Allen Barnet 25 May 2012 Mark Robson 11 June 2012
Brendan Rodgers Swansea City 30 May 2012 Michael Laudrup 15 June 2012
Paul Lambert Norwich City 2 June 2012 Chris Hughton 7 June 2012
Chris Hughton Birmingham City 7 June 2012 Lee Clark 26 June 2012
Harry Redknapp Tottenham Hotspur 13 June 2012Andre Villas Boas3 July 2012

Transfers

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