Top 5 Unforgettable Premier League Matches
Packed with goals and loaded with drama, these are the gripping Premier League matches we’ll always remember:
1. Manchester City – QPR: 3-2, 2012
The dominant team for most of the season, City’s form had hit the brakes in spring. By the final day they needed to win to guarantee their first title since 1968, but things weren’t going to plan.
After taking the lead through Zabaleta, City hit the buffers when Djibril Cisse punished a mistake by Lescott. And then despite going down to ten men QPR made it 1-2 with a Jamie Mackie header.
City were still behind come injury time. Some fans were even leaving the ground in tears, but after a series of free kicks and corners Dzeko levelled the score in the first minute of injury time.
And then just two minutes later came the moment no City fan will ever forget. Aguero latched onto a Balotelli pass, tiptoed round the defender and scored at the near post and sent the Etihad into pandemonium.
2. Tottenham – Arsenal: 4-5, 2004
Arsenal’s Invincibles were always a team that played on the front foot. When they came up against a Spurs team rejuvenated by new manager Martin Jol, fireworks ensued.
In an ordinary first half, Naybet opened the scoring and Henry equalised after trapping a long-pass and side-footing past Robinson.
Then Lauren scored a penalty and Vieira seized on slack Spurs defending to make it 1-3. A supreme reverse pass by 17-year-old Fàbregas set Ljungberg up for the fourth. Spurs clawed two back to pull them one goal behind.
Then late on Pirès put the result beyond doubt with neat footwork from a tight angle. A final consolation goal by Freddie Kanouté rounded off a crazy game near the end of Arsenal’s unbeaten run.
3. Newcastle – Arsenal: 4-4, 2011
This was the comeback to end all comebacks. In this pulsating match Newcastle pegged Arsenal back from a four goal half-time lead.
Arsenal had gone one-nil up inside a minute through Walcott. Then Djourou and two goals from van Persie made it 0-4 after just 26 minutes.
As Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton said afterwards, the home team was just trying to avoid a cricket score, and Toon fans had already gone home.
But just after the break Arsenal started to wobble. Djourou got injured and was replaced by the hapless Squillaci, and then Diaby overreacted to a challenge by Joey Barton to get himself sent off.
If that gave the home team hope, Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny gave the Magpies even more reason to be optimistic when he felled Leon Best in the area and Barton scored the penalty.
Best then got another, and Barton scored again from the spot when Koscielny conceded another penalty when he fouled Mike Williamson.
But by now time was running out, and Newcastle would need something extraordinary to rescue a point. The man who conjured this moment of magic was none other than Cheick Tioté who blasted a 25-yard volley into the corner to level the game.
No Premier League team had ever rescued a four-goal deficit. It would also be the result that ended Arsenal’s title hopes.
4. Manchester United – Manchester City: 4-3, 2009
City had been in United’s shadows for decades, but after big investment were starting to threaten their derby rivals. In a seven goal nail-biter, United put their rivals in their place with a dramatic late goal by Michael Owen.
The teams were neck-and neck throughout. Great composure from Rooney put United in the lead early on, and then Gareth Barry guided the ball home from the edge of the box after Tevez had seized on a mistake by Ben Foster.
After the break Fletcher powered in a header from close range, just before Craig Bellamy fired a scorcher into the top corner from the angle of the area.
By now United were completely on top and capitalised on their superiority with another header by Fletcher. But even though his team was looking ragged, Bellamy popped up again to equalise with another fine solo goal.
The allotted injury time was already up when Ryan Giggs looked up from 40 yards out to see Michael Owen in space. The substitute controlled a laser-guided pass to curl past Shay Given at the very last gasp.
5. Liverpool – Newcastle: 4-3, 1996
In one of the all-time great Premier League matches, Liverpool dented high-flying Newcastle’s title hopes in a thriller at Anfield.
Fowler opened the scoring with a header from a Collymore cross. Newcastle then went up the other end and equalised when Les Ferdinand smashed Asprilla’s cut back home after great work by the Colombian.
The two teams swapped goals again: First David Ginola latched onto a fine pass by Ferdinand to loft the ball over David James, and Fowler arrived late to drill his second into the bottom corner.
By now the two teams were slugging it out toe-to-toe. Newcastle landed the next blow when Asprilla clipped a finish over the on-rushing James with half an hour left on the clock.
From then on Stan Collymore took over. He diverted Jason McAteer’s deep cross home from a few yards to make it 3-3.
And then at the death came the goal that sealed it: Liverpool drove forward and the play got cluttered inside the Newcastle area. Barnes looked up to see Collymore in space, and the forward advanced from the left, powering a left-footed strike past the despairing Srnicek.
Which Match Will You Never Forget?
Have we forgotten a more obscure great match? Could it be a Wigan’s last-day win at The Boleyn Ground to seal their survival and send West Ham down, or how about Newcastle’s shock 5-0 demolition of Manchester United in 1996?