The year Portsmouth last played in the top-flight, but also claimed the FA Cup. Avram Grant was an unlikely hero where his stoicism, humour and, not least, his coaching skills had shone through Portsmouth’s despair.How Portsmouth had four owners in a season, plus an administrator, no wages, a nine‑point deduction from the Premier League and still reached the FA Cup final.
Emmanuel Adebayor had inflammatory celebrations after scoring against Arsenal at Eastlands which were considered staggeringly ill‑conceived. Robinho continued his snipes about Manchester City in the Brazilian media.
Alex McLeish & Mick McCarthy received the plaudits for keeping Birmingham City and Wolverhampton Wanderers up in the premier league.
Aaron Ramsey, who was enjoying an excellent season, in such agony after suffering a double fracture of his leg at Stoke City.
Fernando Torres’s career dropped off a cliff when he left Liverpool for Chelsea in January 2011. The poor bloke couldn’t buy a goal after moving to Stamford Bridge and produced one of the worst open-goal misses ever at Old Trafford of all places nine months after becoming the most expensive player in British football history.
Scoring an overhead kick against anyone is the stuff of dreams. So imagine the feeling if you do it against your local rivals when game is deadlocked at 1-1 with just over 10 minutes to go. It is little wonder Wayne Rooney has since described the February 2011 strike as his “most important Manchester United goal”.
The lowest Liverpool could go under new ownership as Roy Hodgson and Kenny Daglish tried to steady them. Famous quote from Roy Hodgson summed up the club’s ambitions and state at that time – “Liverpool are not too big for relegation”
Relegation battle was at it’s best this season as on the last day, five teams – Wolves, Blackburn Rovers, Birmingham City, Blackpool and Wigan – battled to avoid the two open relegation spots. West Ham were the team already assured of relegation to the Championship. The survival Sunday saw all five teams separated by just one point, and was poised to be a dramatic dogfight to see who retains their Premier League status. The only teams to have won were Blackburn – who beat Wolves 3-2 – and Wigan who overcame Stoke in a 1-0 win. This meant Birmingham and Blackpool’s defeats saw them take up the final two relegation spots, joining West Ham, in a truly dramatic final day of the season
The damning victory over Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United at the Old Trafford had ensured that the ‘Blue Moon’ was on the rise. But this was the moment the Blue Moon finally arrived. The echoes of Martin Tyler screaming Aguero’s name still ring around the Etihad stadium because of the intensity of the greatest moment in the Premier League history. Sergio Aguero finished clinically and handed Manchester City their first-ever Premier League title, which they won on goal difference over their local rivals, Manchester United.
But never forget that Joey Barton was also sent off in this match for elbowing Carlos Tevez. After Mike Dean (more on him later) showed the hotheaded midfielder a red card, Barton reacted by kneeing Sergio Aguero in the back before trying get his hands on Mario Balotelli. Scenes!
Ah, Mario Balotelli. What a character he was. Over 24 hours before the Manchester derby at Old Trafford in October 2011, the news broke that the Italian striker had been setting off fireworks in his bathroom. Completely normal, right? After giving Manchester City the lead, Balotelli revealed a T-shirt bearing the phrase: “Why always me?” Roberto Mancini’s side, who went on to win the title that season, then capitalised on Jonny Evans’ red card to run in five second-half goals and condemn United to their heaviest Premier League defeat. Why always you, Mario? Why always you?
Luis Suarez bites Branislav Ivanovic…and scores a 97th-Minute Equalizer! The Uruguayan became involved in a tussle with Chelsea centre-back Branislav Ivanovic, although the Serb appeared to do nothing to provoke his opponent as the 26-year-old striker set about committing his savage act of stupidity. As the ball was cleared from danger, Suarez held onto Ivanovic’s arm and opted to—in the words of Sky Sports pundit Alan Smith—”sink his gnashers” into his arm. Unfortunately for Chelsea, the talented forward stayed on the pitch, and as the game went past the seven minutes allotted for added time, Daniel Sturridge’s wonderful cross found Suarez unmarked as he headed home to deny the Blues all three points.
Fabrice Muamba returned to White Hart Lane After Miraculous Recovery. On March 17, a young and increasingly popular footballer who goes by the name of Fabrice Muamba suffered a cardiac arrest while playing for Bolton against Tottenham in an FA Cup tie. Thankfully, due to the excellent work by the club’s doctor, medical staff on the pitch and at the hospital, Muamba remarkably survived and was kept in intensive care. After completing his recovery period, it was advised to the midfielder that he retire from professional football and seemingly thankful just to be alive, Muamba obliged, ending his association with football after 167 Premier League games. He made an emotional return to the pitch just eight months after his miraculous revival and was brought to tears by the reception the fans gave him.
Wigan become the first Side to win the FA Cup and suffer Relegation. Wigan had one of the biggest weeks in the club’s history last week, and it definitely bordered on the horizon of a bittersweet end to the season. Wigan faced Manchester City in the FA Cup final at Wembley. Despite being massive underdogs with their opponents winning the trophy back in 2011, they gave their all, and with the game locked at 0-0 heading towards extra time, Ben Watson headed home a superb corner from Shaun Maloney to send the Latics fans wild. It turned out to be the winner as they secured their first FA Cup in the club’s 81-year history. But the celebrations had to be kept to a minimum as Wigan’s crunch clash against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium four days later, condemned them to relegation and subsequently ending an eight-year association with the top flight..
After the inevitable news of Alex Ferguson retiring hit the news, fans were shocked when it was announced that David Moyes will be the one to succeed the legendary manager. On top of that, it was the fact that he was offered a six-year contract, which left fans baffled. The Scot came under pressure immediately as Manchester United suffered their worst start ever to a season in his first year. This was the beginning of the end for Moyes as he was sacked in April 2014, with United in 7th place. This officially marked the beginning of a painful period for Manchester United.
The English Premier League trophy had eluded Liverpool for over 25 years. However, it looked like that streak was coming to an end in 2014. After a string of stunning performances under Brendan Rogers, captain Steven Gerrard had ensured his team had a hand and four fingers on the trophy. They were faced with the task of defeating Chelsea to cement their position on the top of the table. Right before halftime, Gerrard was ready to pile the pressure on Chelsea with a stunning pass if it wasn’t for the zippy surface underneath. Steven Gerrard slipped, and the ball zipped through to Demba Ba, who ran clear to score. Chelsea won that match, and Liverpool finished second in the league.
It’s not really a tangible piece of their own history. But it was a moment that endeared Crystal Palace to the nation. Liverpool squandered a three-goal lead in the last 11 minutes, which ultimately cost them their first Premier League title. Luis Suarez was left in tears on the pitch at full-time.
Whilst increasingly-rare in the modern game, fights between players always grab the headlines, and have provided some of the most memorable and shocking moments. A fight between a manager and a player was never heard. In March of 2014, Newcastle claimed a vital 4-1 win over rivals Hull at their KC Stadium, but the game is remembered more for something that happened of the field in the second half. As Hull’s David Meyler chased a ball that was running harmlessly out of play, he collided with Newcastle manager Alan Pardew, who took the contact extremely poorly and squared up to the Irish midfielder. Replays clearly showed Pardew leading into the contact with his head, and screaming obscenities in the face of Meyler, who also shoved the manager back in return. Pardew was eventually hit with a £100,000 fine, and a seven-match managerial ban – the longest and most severe punishment ever handed out to a manager in the Football Association’s history.
Liverpool hero Steven Gerrard was sent off after just 38 seconds after coming off the bench against Manchester United in March 2015. Tweets showing his ‘heat map’ in the aftermath of the match are still funny now.
The game of the season has to be Manchester United’s 5-3 loss to Leicester. They had led 3-1 against their newly promoted opponents — Angel Di Maria scored with a remarkable chip — before an England international in the making in Jamie Vardy announced himself to the premier league world by leading a remarkable comeback.
Straight forward title winning season for Chelsea where the winners were decided early in season without any challenge from other teams. Arsenal’s hopes were hit by an injury crisis and some dreadful defending. Louis van Gaal injected some charisma back into Manchester United, but stuttered through a transitional season at times. Liverpool, meanwhile, failed to recover from the sale of Luis Suarez or recreate the magic of the previous campaign.
Straight forward relegation as two teams were already relegated before the final day of the season. The final team Hull City were still having mathematical chances also went down after drawing 0-0 with 10-man Manchester United at the KC Stadium on the final day of the season.
If fans had left stadium at Loftus Road by 87th minute thinking Liverpool have a fairly unmemorable 1-0 victory courtesy of a Richard Dunne own goal, they could be forgiven. But the final score was Queens Park Rangers 2 Liverpool 3. All hell broke loose after 87th minute. First, Chile forward Eduardo Vargas equalised with his first goal for QPR, then Philippe Coutinho restored Liverpool’s lead in the 90th minute. There was still just enough time left for a sensational twist in the tale when Vargas levelled deep into stoppage time, only for Steven Caulker’s own goal to hand Liverpool the points with virtually the last touch of a breathless finale.
In terms of memories, it had to be the farewell to the Boleyn Ground or Upton Park after 112 years in order to move over to the Olympic Stadium.The Hammers beat Manchester United 3-2 and celebrated everything that is grand about this famous old club with a ceremony afterwards. After this match, there was a closing ceremony, which was beautified by light shows and fireworks.
No one had foreseen Leicester City winning the Premier League title. Amid the presence of top teams with transfer budgets of hundreds of millions of pounds, the thought of a small team winning the league was incomprehensible. However, Leicester City achieved that in just their second season in top flight football. Overcoming the odds of 5000-1, Leicester City went on to finish first in the English top division in their entire history. A moment of genius by Eden Hazard at the Stamford Bridge meant Spurs drew 2-2, handing Claudio Ranieri’s team the title.
Ah, Louis van Gaal. What a character! The football Man Utd produced under his management may have been awful but at least he provided some entertainment during his two seasons in English football. Arguably his funniest moment came during a match against Arsenal when he theatrically fell to the deck in order to make a point. But one of the findings of Louis Van Gaal was Marcus Rashford. Locally born and brought up in Wythenshawe, he scored two times in his debut football game for United in opposition to FC Midtylland. After three days, he again won in a match against Arsenal in a 3 to 2 win.After this, a lot of searches were made on the internet regarding Rashford and his background. Soon, the world learned about this debutante, who is now considered one of the brightest future celebrities of England.
In February 2016, a couple of months before their relegation to the Championship was confirmed, Aston Villa were hammered 6-0 by Liverpool. Shortly after full-time, Villa defender Joleon Lescott tweeted a photo of an expensive Mercedes-Benz to his 823,000 followers. His excuse is an all-time classic. Joleon Lescott said “The tweet sent out from my account involving a picture of a car was totally accidental it happened whilst driving and my phone was in my pocket”
Lastly, it will be remembered for demise of Jose Mourinho “Special One” or transformation into a “grumpy one”. Mourinho’s hopes of a smooth transition into Chelsea’s title defence were derailed from the opening game against Swansea City at Stamford Bridge and a disagreement with team doctor Eva Carneiro that has provided an acrimonious backdrop to the season. As the cracks appeared in both his and his team’s make-up that season, his interviews and press conferences turned into desperation and delusion.
Scorpion kicks, super flicks and no-look goals. It was a scoring season where Harry Kane and Lukaku set the scorer’s chart on fire. Zlatan Ibrahimovic took us all on an A-Z ride in his world. And while Claudio Bravo was teaching all the true definition of a ‘sweeper keeper,’ Tom Heaton and Hugo Lloris reminded the world of what good goalkeeping looked like. Out of the 1,064 goals scored during that campaign, there were good goals, but there were some amazing ones. From Dimitri Payet’s special goal against Middlesbrough to Gaston Ramirez’s 70-yard run and cool finish against Bournemouth to Jordan Henderson’s 30-yard beauty that flew past Thibaut Courtois, the season was littered with amazing goals. You remember Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s acrobatic goal against Sunderland; the one that defied logic and sent the world into a frenzy? What about Olivier Giroud’s scorpion-kick goal against Crystal Palace during the festive period? Then, there was Andy Carroll’s sensational strike against Crystal Palace and Emre Can’s outrageous bicycle-kick goal which he scored with his back to the goal. Phew. What a season!
Premier League debutant manager Antonio Conte would be remembered for his dives into the crowd, fist pumping and some unusual press conferences. Hurled together on the hoof a wonderfully well-grooved champion team, Conte eased John Terry out of the picture without the slightest friction and on match days remains the most ludicrously excited man about anything ever. Chelsea became champions that season with most memorable being a 4 – 0 win at Stamford Bridge over ex Chelsea Manager Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United.
Season was memorable for relegation as perennial survivors Sunderland finally went down as they finished bottom. A Sunderland’s 10-year stay in the Premier League came to an end as they finished bottom, while Middlesbrough were unable to extend their first PL campaign since 2008/09. At the bottom, Swansea City, who were at the foot of the table at Christmas, won 3-2 at Liverpool under new manager Paul Clement before finishing with a five-match unbeaten run to secure safety. Hull started the campaign with back-to-back victories with a squad depleted by injuries, but slid into the relegation zone and Mike Phelan was replaced as manager by Marco Silva in January. Silva led an impressive revival with six wins in his first 14 matches, but a 4-0 defeat at Crystal Palace on the penultimate weekend of the season consigned Hull to a return to the Championship.
If the entire population of Burnley went to Wembley, they still couldn’t fill the national stadium. That should put into perspective what a phenomenal achievement it was when the Clarets qualified for the Europa League, embarking on their first continental tour in 51 years. The Clarets had their rearguard to thank for their excellent league campaign, having conceded only 39 goals all season. If they had a better forward line, they could have even been fighting higher up the table and caused a few upsets. Manager Sean Dyche and his players deserve all the credit for this incredible achievement and they would be looking to build on this next season.
All three clubs that got promoted from the Championship previous season – Brighton & Hove Albion, Newcastle United and Huddersfield Town – defied the odds and avoided relegation that season. It was the first time since the 2001/02 season that this happened. Back then, it was Fulham, Blackburn Rovers and Bolton Wanderers that stayed up the season after being promoted. The managers of the trio, Chris Hughton, Rafael Benitez and David Wagner, worked miracles with meagre transfer budgets as they used their resources wisely, playing to their players’ strengths and ensuring another year in the Premier League for their sides.
Arsene Wenger announced he was stepping down as Arsenal manager at the end of the season which prompted a lot of adulatory messages for all the great work he did at the club and to him as a person. The North London club gave the perfect send-off to one their greatest ever managers, and along with a guard of honour, they also gifted him the golden trophy that was presented to the club following their unbeaten season of 2003/04.
And everything else was about Pep Guardiola and his methods transforming Premier League completely. After Pep Guardiola’s side finished 15 points behind Chelsea in his first season in English football, it was not guaranteed to be that way. Pep Guardiola’s amazing smile after winning at Southampton was not for winning the title but reaching 100 points and setting new records. He had made Manchester City raise the bar by playing amazing football with many games to spare.
Not to forget the near humiliation they may have caused to cross town neighbors Manchester United. When Manchester United visited their city rivals, Manchester City could smell the Premier League title and a win in that encounter would have given the Citizens the trophy. So, it was not much of a surprise when the league leaders raced to a two-goal lead in the first 30 minutes. But, a stunning second half performance from United saw the Red Devils not only claw back the lead but also do one better and get all three points. A brace from Paul Pogba and the winner from Chris Smalling were enough to do the job. It was one of the highlights of the season and showed that despite everything that’s gone on, the United team still had players who could fight for their badge’s honor.
When a rampant Liverpool visited the Etihad in January, City’s captain Vincent Kompany escaped what looked a certain red card, after hammering Liverpool talisman Mohamed Salah with a controversial last-man challenge. Replays showed the Belgian to be both high and late with his challenge, with both feet also being off the ground, but the decision to award only a yellow card stood – to the disbelief and fury of Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, and fans of the Reds all around the world. The title race of 2018/2019 will live long in the memory of almost every Premier League fan but more shall be the escape of red card which led to single defeat of Liverpool that eventually caused final day single point defeat to Manchester City for championship title.
The most weird goal scored in last kick of the derby between Liverpool and Everton. Virgil van Dijk turned away in disgust at his 96th-minute mis-hit looped into the air and the key to Everton’s team coach was in the ignition. But for a reason still unknown, Jordan Pickford reached up, the ball bounced twice on the crossbar and dropped to Divock Origi to break Blue hearts and score the single goal that decided the match. Bizarre doesn’t really cover it. Then there was madness. Jurgen Klopp piled onto the pitch to celebrate – to the annoyance of many – a last-gasp Liverpool win which became their trademark in spring to stay clinging on in the title race.
Life without VAR was missed by managers especially Neil Warnock. Though the decision to introduce VAR to the Premier League next season was taken months before, the game involving Chelsea and Cardiff game summed up just what impact VAR could have on results and clubs’ fate. Cardiff were 1-0 up with six minutes remaining, having already been denied two penalties, and heading to within two points of safety. Then came mayhem. Cesar Azpilicueta equalised from an offside position, Antonio Rudiger escaped a red card for a last-man foul, and Ruben Loftus-Cheek compounded matters with a last-gasp winner. It may have also saved Maurizio Sarri’s job. An angry Neil Warnock elected not to say anything to the match officials The decisions left Neil Warnock with his head in his hands, staring down referee Craig Pawson after the game in one of the most iconic pictures of the season. Cardiff lost six of their next seven before relegation was confirmed. But VAR was given highly anticipated welcome to settle disputes that occurred in the game.
Spurs changed their perception from becoming a laughing stock during the first half of the season as the stadium delay took up headline after headline. But by April, it was all worth it. After two test events, the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium opened its gates to top-flight football on April 3 as Spurs beat Crystal Palace 2-0, prompting wonderment and even tears from the home fans, and high praise from all outside the club. A jaw-dropping single-tier South Stand is the highlight, a 17,500 capacity bank which will roar Spurs on for decades to come. Mauricio Pochettino called it the “best stadium in the world.
Fulham, Huddersfield and Cardiff were relegated with no major drama until the last round with Fulham being major disappointment as they had entered the season with high hopes and the back of large investment on seasoned premier league players.
And finally the current season which has already offered us so much at the top ( even though it looks well settled that Liverpool are on course to win their maiden title ). The season is also brewing into one of the most competitive relegation battles English Premier League fans have ever seen !!
One a little more fresh in the memory, Arsenal-captain Granit Xhaka’s reaction to being booed off the field this season will leave a bitter taste in the mouths of many. After a game fraught with controversy from the first minute, Xhaka was substituted by manager Unai Emery after his side had surrendered a two goal lead to Crystal Palace, with the game tied at 2-2. Instead of running of the pitch however, Xhaka sauntered his way to the touchline much to his own fans irking – who made their feelings known by resoundingly booing the Swiss international. Xhaka responded in kind, with the onlooking cameras clearly capturing the captain telling his own fans to ‘f*** o**’, before ripping the shirt from his back and storming down the tunnel.
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