Our rewind of past Premier League seasons brings us to the 2005/06 campaign, a season which saw Jose Mourinho’s first Chelsea side secure back-to-back league titles in style.
The west London side’s record-breaking start to the campaign laid the foundation for a second successive Premier League title under ‘The Special One’, whilst at the opposite end of the table relegated Sunderland set a new record low for points – winning just three games all season in a miserable campaign on Wearside.
Elsewhere Arsenal pipped north London rivals Tottenham to Champions League football following lasagne-gate, several of the Spurs stars suffering food poisoning ahead of their crucial final day meeting at West Ham.
We’re continuing our look at the greatest goalscorers from each Premier League season, here are the six leading scorers from the 2005/06 season:
Wayne Rooney – Manchester United (16 goals)
Wayne Rooney enjoyed the most prolific season of his career to date with a 16-goal league haul for runners-up Manchester United, the performances of the young forward seeing him named as the PFA Young Player of the Year for the second successive season.
Rooney opened the season with a goal at former side Everton and continued to strike up a fine understanding with strike partner Ruud van Nistelrooy, the duo dove-tailing superbly and firing Sir Alex Ferguson’s side to a run of nine consecutive victories between February-April.
Whilst United ultimately fell short in their pursuit of Mourinho’s Chelsea, the club secured silverware in the form of the League Cup, Rooney scoring twice in the club’s 4-0 final victory over Wigan in Cardiff.
Named as the PFA Fans’ Player of the Season alongside his Young Player award, Rooney suffered a broken metatarsal in an April defeat to champions Chelsea, which left the star facing a race against time to prove his fitness ahead of the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
Frank Lampard – Chelsea (16 goals)
The reigning FWA Footballer of the Year was once again pivotal to Chelsea’s championship success, Lampard finishing as the leading league scorer for Jose Mourinho’s back-to-back champions.
The midfielder opened his account for the season with a brace against West Brom in the Blues’ third fixture, netting further goals in victories over Aston Villa, Liverpool and Bolton as Chelsea began the campaign with nine consecutive wins.
Lampard’s unerring consistency saw the England international set a new landmark of 164 consecutive Premier League appearances in December 2005, a month which also saw the star named as runner-up to Ronaldinho for both the Ballon d’Or and FIFA World Player of the Year awards.
He finished the season having scored a career-best 20 goals in all competitions, earning a third consecutive inclusion in the PFA Team of the Year.
Robbie Keane – Tottenham (16 goals)
Robbie Keane enjoyed the most prolific campaign of his Premier League career in 2005/06, a rollercoaster season which involved returning to favour, a punch-up with teammate Edgar Davids and a much publicised final day sickness for the Irishman and many of the Spurs squad.
Keane began the season amongst the substitutes with Mido and Jermain Defoe preferred in attack, but after being handed a chance by Martin Jol began to score regularly, including a run of four goals in five fixtures over the festive period.
Vital winners late in the season against West Brom and Everton kept Spurs firmly in the race to secure Champions League qualification for the first time, only for the most famous lasagne in Premier League history to curtail the club’s hopes – Keane’s side failing to match Arsenal’s final day result and dropping into the UEFA Cup places.
#HappyBirthday to the former Tottenham Hotspur striker Robbie Keane:
• 4th All-Time Top Scorer For Spurs
• Appearances: 306
• Premier League Goals: 91
• FA Cup Goals: 12
• League Cup Goals: 10
• Cartwheels: 43
— Last Word On Spurs🎙 (@LastWordOnSpurs) July 8, 2019
Darren Bent – Charlton (18 goals)
Darren Bent made a huge impact in his first full season in the Premier League with Charlton, the summer signing from second tier Ipswich finishing as the leading English scorer in the top flight.
Bent marked his debut for The Addicks with two goals in a 3-1 victory at Sunderland, before scoring in each of his first four appearances for the club – one of just six players in Premier League history to achieve the feat – as Alan Curbishley’s side spent the opening two months of the campaign in the Champions League places.
Named as the Premier League’s Player of the Month for August, Bent’s fine form continued throughout the campaign despite Charlton dropping into mid-table, scoring in all but one of the club’s league victories.
18 league goals saw Bent named as Charlton’s Player of the Season and nominated for the PFA Young Player of the Year award, though it was not enough to earn the 22-year-old inclusion in England’s World Cup squad – the forward surprisingly overlooked in favour of untested teenager Theo Walcott.
Ruud van Nistelrooy – Manchester United (21 goals)
Ruud van Nistelrooy finished as the runner-up for the Premier League’s Golden Boot in what proved to be the Dutchman’s final season of a prolific spell at Manchester United, the forward hitting 21 league goals for the campaign.
Van Nistelrooy began the season in fine form with eight goals in his first eight appearances, but the second half of his campaign saw rumours of a rift between the goal-poacher and Sir Alex Ferguson begin to circulate.
A rumoured training ground bust-up with Cristiano Ronaldo saw the Netherlands international dropped for six successive matches by Ferguson, whilst he was also left out of the club’s League Cup final side in favour of Louis Saha.
Van Nistelrooy returned to the side and finished the season with an impressive 24 goals in all competitions, before departing at the end of the season to join Real Madrid.
Thierry Henry – Arsenal (27 goals)
Thierry Henry secured a record-breaking fourth Premier League Golden Boot courtesy of another vintage campaign for Arsenal, scoring 27 Premier League goals to finish as the division’s leading scorer for the third season in succession.
In what was the Gunners final season at Highbury, Henry was once again the outstanding forward in English football, scoring prolifically throughout the campaign including a match-winning brace against Liverpool and hat-tricks against Middlesbrough and Wigan.
The latter of those trebles came on the final day of the season to secure Champions League qualification for the north London side, the final fixture at the club’s famous old ground signed of in style by arguably their greatest ever player.
Henry finished the season with 33 goals in all competitions and inspired Arsene Wenger’s side to the final of the Champions League – losing to Barcelona in Paris – his performances recognised with a third FWA Footballer of the Year award in four seasons.