To many the Premier League is seen as the best league in the world, with iconic moments constantly keeping us on the edge of our seats. In this article, we provide our opinion on what we think are the 5 best moments in the Premier League era.
5 – Newcastle’s 4-4 comeback vs Arsenal
On the 5th February 2011, the Geordies hosted an Arsenal side that were hoping to secure 3 points in order to help them in their race to win their first Premier League title since their infamous invincible season. The Gunners got off to a fantastic start, going 4-0 up inside 30 minutes through goals from Johan Djourou and Theo Walcott, as well as a Robin van Persie brace. The game appeared to be over after 30 minutes, and even after being reduced to 10 men after an Abou Diaby red card on the 50th minute, no one would have foreseen Arsenal going back to London without the 3 points. The Gunners started to feel uneasy after a Leon Best goal and 2 penalties scored by Joey Barton pegged the game back to 4-3 with roughly 10 minutes still to play. On the 87th minute, a wonderful volley from the late Cheick Tiote saw the Magpies equalise and secure a point, signalling one of the best, if not the best, comebacks in Premier League history.
4 – Kompany’s 30-yard strike vs Leicester in 2018/19 season
The 2018/19 season was heavily contested, with Liverpool looking to secure their first league title in 29 years and City looking to win back-to-back titles under Pep Guardiola. Both City and Liverpool were in immaculate form the whole season, with Liverpool on 94 points and City on 92 going into this game on Monday Night Football after a late goal from Divock Origi against Newcastle saw Liverpool win at the weekend. It would take something special to be the difference between these two exceptional sides in winning the title. City now had a must-win game in hand against a rejuvenated Leicester team under the new management of Brendan Rodgers, who were full of confidence after just beating Arsenal 3-0 in the previous game. This would be a challenging game for the champions, and they appeared to be out of ideas in the first half. Skipper Vincent Kompany, who would eventually end up leaving the club at the end of the season, took matters into his own hands and leathered the ball from 30 yards into the top corner, scoring one of the goals of the season. Kompany wasn’t known for his long-range shooting, and his team mate Sergio Aguero even told him not to shoot when he was about to take the shot! City would go on to win this game and then win the title, with Kompany’s iconic goal being the difference.
3 – Leicester winning the Premier League title
It seemed like the whole world was rooting for Leicester in their pursuit of the Premier League title in the 2015/16 season. The Foxes would end up comfortably winning the title, with their team built on a strong spine of Kasper Schmeichel, Wes Morgan, N’Golo Kante and Jamie Vardy, paired with the trickery of Riyad Mahrez on the wing, proving too much for the rest of the league to handle. Not only was Leicester winning the league a massive shock, with the Foxes being huge underdogs as they nearly got relegated the prior season and were even 5000/1 to win the league with the bookmakers at the start of the season, but they also won it in dramatic fashion. Chelsea hosted their London rivals and Leicester’s title challengers Tottenham Hotspur in what was called “The Battle of the Bridge”. Leicester knew that if Spurs failed to win this game, the Premier League title would be coming home to the Midlands, but had a right to be pessimistic as the reigning champions Chelsea had had an awful season, and would go on to finish 10th in the 2015/16 season. One of the key reasons for Chelsea’s poor season was how ineffective their star man Eden Hazard had been, as Hazard only scored 4 goals in 31 appearances that season, compared to a tally of 14 in 38 games the prior season. Regardless of their poor form, this was the chance for Chelsea to stop their arch rivals from winning their first Premier League title, which motivated the team in what was a heated game.
Spurs seemed to be going back to White Hart Lane with the 3 points after goals from Heung-Min Son and Harry Kane saw them lead 2-0 at half time. Chelsea were given some hope of preventing their rivals from staying in the title race after Gary Cahill pulled one back for the Blues on the 58th minute. The man who had been missing the whole season, Eden Hazard, equalised with a one-two pass followed by a spectacular curling strike from outside the box. The Foxes, who were all together at Jamie Vardy’s house watching the game, could now sense they were on the brink of something special. Spurs lost all discipline and composure after Hazard’s goal, and ended up tallying 9 yellow cards in the game, a Premier League record. The game ended 2-2 and Leicester were crowned champions, an iconic story not just for Premier League football, but for sport as a whole.
2 – Jonas Gutierrez beating cancer and returning to keep Newcastle in the Premier League
Newcastle player Jonas Gutierrez beat testicular cancer and returned to the Newcastle squad late in the 2014/15 season. Newcastle were in deep trouble, with their status in the Premier League at risk in a contested relegation battle with the likes of their arch rivals Sunderland. Newcastle hosted West Ham on the final game of the season, knowing a win would secure Premier League football for another season. Jonas Gutierrez started this game, and the Geordies were starting to get nervous after going into half-time with the game at 0-0. However, an exceptional second half performance from Gutierrez inspired the Magpies to stay up. The winger floated a brilliant cross in, which was headed in by Moussa Sissoko to put them 1-0 up. He then scored the decisive goal in the 85th minute, striking the ball from outside the box which ended up in the back of the net with the help of a deflection, his first goal for over 2 years, and a truly inspirational story. Unfortunately, his spell at the Geordies ended on a sour note, as he was released a week after securing the club’s safety in the Premier League.
1) Aguero’s last minute winner vs QPR to secure the 2011/12 Premier League title
The race for the 2011/12 Premier League title would be decided on the last day of the season, with local rivals Manchester United and City battling it out. City were looking to secure their first league title since 1968 and their first under the ownership of Sheikh Mansour. City’s hopes of this looked to be crushed as United were comfortably top of the league with 6 games to go. However, after United only won 2 of their 5 games going into the last game of the season, including a loss to City, City were given a lifeline in their pursuit of the title. City went into the last game of the season knowing that a win against relegation battling Queens Park Rangers would see them secure the title, as they were level on points with United but had a superior goal difference of 8. United were away to Sunderland on the last game of the season. United put the pressure on City by going 1-0 up against Sunderland in the 20th minute through a goal by Wayne Rooney. City responded and also went 1-0 up against QPR, with Zabaleta breaking the deadlock just before half-time.
QPR started the second half well and equalised through their January signing Djibril Cissé. Controversial midfielder and former City player Joey Barton lost his head shortly after and was sent off, which gave City hope that they could turn the game around and come out with the title. However, Jamie Mackie had other ideas and put QPR 2-1 up through a diving header. QPR held onto this lead for some time, with City struggling to break them down and their title hopes seemed to be over. Man United’s game at Sunderland had ended 1-0, so City needed to score 2 goals in injury time to win the title. Dzeko bagged an equaliser in the 92nd minute, so City needed just one more goal to win the title. In the 94th minute, Balotelli played the ball to Aguero, who skipped past the QPR defenders in the box and slotted the ball past Paddy Kenny to win City their first title in nearly 45 years. This was an emotional rollercoaster for City, but nothing would have made it sweeter for them than knowing that they pipped their arch rivals to the title in the dying seconds of the game. No one would have ever anticipated this end to the season, and commentator Martin Tyler screamed “I swear you’ll never see anything like this ever again!” when the goal was scored.
With the constant excitement in the Premier League, it can be difficult to narrow down the moments into a top 5. Please let us know if there’s any moments in the Premier League that you think we should have included, and also follow us on Twitter and Instagram, as well as like our Facebook page, for more regular high-quality content.
By Ryan Mcgarry – Twitter – @Ryan__Mcgarry