Exciting Endings To The Premier League
Most Emphatic Endings To The Premier League
The Premier League title race between Man City and Liverpool will go down to the wire after the Reds beat Southampton on Tuesday night. Just one point separates those heavyweights as we head into the final day of the season, setting up a nerve-wracking afternoon for fans. Tottenham still need a point at Norwich to seize a top-four place ahead of Arsenal too, while the relegation fight is still alive and kicking.
That inspired us to look back on the most emphatic denouements to Premier League seasons since the competition began:
A Last-Gasp Winner from Aguero in 2013
Local rivals Man City and Man Utd went into the final day of the 2012-13 season level on points after one of the closest title races in history. Roberto Mancini’s City team had the better goal difference, so they knew that victory over QPR would hand them the title. Pablo Zabaleta steadied the nerves by handing Man City an early lead, but the relegation imperilled team turned things around via goals from Djibril Cisse and Jamie Mackie.
Meanwhile, Man Utd were cruising to a comfortable victory over Sunderland, meaning that the noisy neighbours were in danger of blowing their chance to win a first title in decades. QPR went down to 10 men after Joey Barton was show a red card, but the Hoops still defended doggedly. It went into stoppage time, and Man Utd fans were preparing to lord it over their rivals. However, a thumping header from Edin D¿eko restored parity, leading to a tense final siege on the QPR goal. In the 95th minute, Sergio Aguero played a one-two with Mario Balotelli, shimmied past the last defender and fired the ball into the net, as Martin Tyler in the Sky Sports studio roared his famous: “Agueroooooooooooooo!”
Man City Hold Off Liverpool in 2019
History could repeat itself on Sunday. Three years ago, Man City went into the final day of the campaign with a one-point lead over Liverpool. The Reds were the heavy favourites in the as winter turned to spring, but City embarked upon a 13-game winning streak to seize the initiative. Liverpool eased to a 2-0 win against Wolves on the last day, but Pep Guardiola’s Man City team beat Brighton 4-1. The Reds secured the third-highest points tally in Premier League history that season, but it was still not enough to beat City.
This time around, they have already won the FA Cup and the EFL Cup, and they also have the Champions League final to look forward to, but they need a massive favour from former captain Steven Gerrard to keep their quadruple dreams alive. Liverpool, who trail City by a point once again, must beat Wolves on the final day and hope that City fail to beat Gerrard’s Aston Villa side. Check out the Premier League odds and Premier League spreads to make your plays.
West Brom Stage a Great Escape in 2005
The 2004-05 season witnessed the most gripping relegation battle in Premier League history. It was so tight that any team sitting in the bottom four on the final day of the campaign could have beaten the drop. However, it was highly unlikely to be West Brom, as they were rock bottom of the standings, one point behind Southampton and Crystal Palace and two points behind Norwich.
The Canaries were the favourites to avoid relegation, but they were thrashed 6-0 in their game against Fulham on the final day. Southampton suffered a 2-1 defeat to Man Utd, killing off their dreams of salvation. Crystal Palace were on the brink of survival, as they led Charlton 2-0, but an 82nd-minute equaliser from Jonathan Fortune meant they only earned a draw. West Brom beat Portsmouth and ended up finishing 17th, sparking a pitch invasion at The Hawthorns.
A Tevez Masterclass Has the Hammers Blowing Bubbles in 2007
West Ham and Sheff Utd went into the final day of the 2006-07 season level on points. The Blades occupied 17th place, as they had a superior goal difference. They simply required Man Utd to beat the Hammers on the final day of the season to ensure they avoided relegation. However, West Ham were surging with momentum after superstar striker Carlos Tevez had banged in seven goals in his last nine games. Meanwhile, Man Utd had nothing left to play for, as they had already wrapped up the Premier League title.
Sheff Utd fans were pleased to see an attacking triumvirate of Wayne Rooney, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Alan Smith lining up for Man Utd, suggesting that the Red Devils were taking the game seriously. However, Sir Alex Ferguson’s team simply could not live with Tevez, who scored the only goal of the game to hand the Hammers a dramatic victory. Sheff Utd lost 2-1 to Wigan and went down. It was hugely controversial, as West Ham had breached third-party ownership rules by signing Tevez and compatriot Javier Mascherano earlier that season. They were fined, and they eventually had to pay the Blades £18 million in an out-of-court settlement after supporters marched on the Houses of Parliament in protest.
Blackburn Left Indebted to Ludek Milosko in 1995
Blackburn should forever be indebted to West Ham goalkeeper Ludek Miklosko after coming within a whisker of blowing the Premier League title in 1995. Rovers enjoyed a fairy-tale campaign, bankrolled by local businessman Jack Walker, and they were on the brink of glory thanks to the goals of Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton. Blackburn were two points clear of Man Utd on the final day of the season, and they just had to beat Liverpool.
Everything went to plan in the early stages of the game, as Shearer put Rovers 1-0 up, but John Barnes hit an equaliser and then Jamie Redknapp scored a free-kick in stoppage time to leave the fans in shock. Man Utd simply needed to beat the Hammers to clinch an unlikely title triumph, but they did not reckon with Miklosko. He pulled off stunning saves to deny Lee Sharpe, Mark Hughes and Andy Cole to repel the Man Utd onslaught, earning his team a 1-1 draw and condemning the Red Devils to a second-place finish. Over at Anfield, Liverpool fans joined Blackburn supporters in celebrating Man Utd’s misfortune.
Tottenham Fall Victims to Lasagne in 2006
Spurs were all set to finish above Arsenal for the first time since the mid-1990s on the final day of the 2005-06 season. They were fourth in the standings, a point clear of Arsenal, and they appeared poised to put an end to Arsene Wenger’s proud record of always earning Champions League qualification. However, disaster struck. The Tottenham players were served a tray of dodgy lasagne at their hotel, and they went down with food poisoning on the day of their final game.
They ended up losing 2-1 to West Ham. Thierry Henry scored a hat-trick to lead Arsenal to a 4-2 win against Wigan in the last ever game held at Highbury, allowing Arsenal to finish two points clear of their North London rivals. Spurs did not finish higher than the Gunners in the standings for another 11 years. It is now a regular occurrence for Tottenham to peer down on Arsenal at the end of the season, and they are two points clear of Mikel Arteta’s men as the last game of the 2021-22 campaign beckons. There will be one clear instruction to the caterers on the eve of their final game against Norwich: keep the lasagne off the menu.