To paraphrase a certain Mr Lineker, you could say Gaelic football is a simple game: 30 men chase a ball for 70 minutes and in the end the Dubs win.

Mayo fans could certainly be forgiven for feeling that way. It's been five and a half long years since the men from the west defeated Dublin - the three-point upset in the 2012 All-Ireland semi-final that marked the high point of James Horan's reign.

Jim Gavin succeeded Pat Gilroy as the Metropolitans' manager for the 2013 season and is unbeaten in 12 games against Mayo, getting the better of them in All-Ireland finals in his first year, 2016 and 2017.

The sides meet again at Elverys MacHale Park on Saturday night, with an injury and suspension-depleted Mayo facing a tough task to end Dublin's 100% start to the Allianz Football League. 

But if they can manage an unlikely win, it would end what has become a painful bogey fixture for the Green and Red.


NFL: Dublin 2-14 Mayo 0-16
Mayo couldn't take advantage of an early second-half red card for Ger Brennan at Croke Park as Bernard Brogan scored 1-10 and Kevin McManamon reprised his goal-scoring super sub role.
Misery meter: 3/10

NFL: semi-final Dublin 2-16 Mayo 0-16
The sides met again in the last four of the league but the scoreline was a similar one. This time the table-toppers started slowly and conceded the first three points before goals from Paul Mannion (1-04) and Jason Whelan turned the tide in their favour.
Misery meter: 2/10

All-Ireland final: Dublin 2-12 Mayo 1-14
Mayo had fought their way back to the final after losing to Donegal the year before. They had the better of the first half to lead 1-04 to 0-08 at the interval but needed a goal from captain Andy Moran to draw level in the 50th minute. Then Bernard Brogan popped up to raise a green flag for the second time and though Mayo chipped away at the Dubs' advantage they were never level.
Misery meter: 8/10


NFL: Dublin 3-14 Mayo 2-17
An incredible comeback by the Dubs as they overcame a six-point deficit despite having lost captain Stephen Cluxton to a red card. The goalkeeper saw red for a kick at Mayo goalscorer Kevin McLoughlin on the half hour but two goals in the final five minutes by substitute Eoghan O'Gara secured a dramatic draw.
Misery meter: 6/10


NFL: Mayo 0-10 Dublin 2-18
The most one-sided of the 12 meetings was a poor omen for what would follow later in the summer. Dublin had eased into 2-10 to 0-06 lead by the midway point following goals from Denis Bastick and Bernard Brogan and cruised to victory in Castlebar.
Misery meter: 4/10

AIl-Ireland semi-final: Dublin 2-12 Mayo 1-15
Mayo snapped the losing sequence with a draw that felt more like a victory in Croker. They conceded an early goal to Diarmuid Connolly (later sent off) and were six behind after 63 minutes. But a penalty goal from Cillian O'Connor and an injury-time equaliser from sub Moran (0-3) earned another shot at the final.
Misery meter: 0/10

All-Ireland semi-final replay: Dublin 3-15 Mayo 1-14
Mayo looked to have taken that momentum into the replay as they pulled four clear by the 55th minute. But Bernard Brogan and Philly McMahon found the net as Dublin hit them for 2-02 in four minutes before Kevin McManamon put the result beyond doubt.
Misery meter: 7/10


NFL: Mayo 0-07 Dublin 0-09
A defensive, tempestuous encounter in Castlebar that was most notable for black (McMahon, Johnny Cooper) and red cards (Colm Boyle, John Small) as signs the teams were becoming over-familiar emerged.
Misery meter: 3/10

All-Ireland final: Mayo 0-15 Dublin 2-09
Cillian O'Connor's equalising point in the seventh minute of injury time earned Mayo a second shot at Sam but there was also the feeling that they had spurned a great chance against the off-colour champions. Two first-half own goals by Colm Boyle and Kevin McLoughlin had Joe Brolly wondering whether the players felt they were in "The Twilight Zone" but they closed a three-point gap in the closing stages to force a replay. 
Misery meter: 2/10

Joe Brolly wants Mayo win an All-Ireland so we can all relax and get on with our lives

— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) September 18, 2016

AlI-Ireland final replay: Mayo 1-14 Dublin 1-15
Stephen Rochford changed his goalkeeper but he couldn't change the outcome. Cooper and goalscorer Lee Keegan had departed on black cards by half-time when Dublin were 0-10 to 1-06 in front. Mayo edged ahead upon the resumption but keeper Rob Hennelly was black-carded for a fumble that ended in him dragging down Paddy Andrews and Connolly buried the resulting penalty. Yet again, Mayo fought till the very end but Cillian O'Connor's free deep in stoppage time missed the mark and Cluxton lifted Sam once more.
Misery meter: 9/10


NFL: Dublin 1-16 Mayo 0-07
An ominous reminder of Dublin's superiority on a day when none of Mayo's starting or substitute forwards managed to score from play. Conor McHugh scored 1-03 as Mayo posed little threat at HQ.

All-Ireland final: Dublin 1-17 Mayo 1-16
For the second successive year, Mayo battled their way through the qualifiers to the final - this time on an epic nine-game journey that featured replay wins over Roscommon and Kerry. After battling back from a Con O'Callaghan goal in just the second minute, they had steadied the ship to lead by 0-09 to 1-05 at the break.

The sides were level when John Small clattered Colm Boyle to pick up his second yellow but Donal Vaughan's retaliation on Small deprived Mayo of a man advantage for the closing 20 minutes. That looked like it might not matter when Keegan hit the net and then Mayo pullled two clear with seven to play but Dublin finished the stronger and Dean Rock kept his nerve to kick a 77th-minute winning free to secure three in a row for Dublin.

A third All-Ireland final defeat by just a single point to Dublin in five seasons and perhaps the most heartbreaking of them all.
Misery meter: 10/10

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