By News Team
23rd July 2020
There’s a reason why we call it the best league in the world. The Premier League is never short of drama or a twist in the plot and the final day is no exception to that rule.
Ahead of this season’s final day on Sunday, we bring you five of the greatest final-day matches in Premier League history.
“I swear you’ll never see anything like this ever again.”
Where else to start? The iconic words of Martin Tyler capture the moment perfectly.
In extraordinary circumstances at the end of the 2011/12 campaign, the Premier League title rested on one last chance in the dying seconds of Manchester City’s last match of the season against Queens Park Rangers.
Mario Balotelli and Sergio Aguero combined to score one of the most famous goals of all time to give City a 3-2 win, while snatching the title from Manchester United in the fourth minute of added time in the process.
It was City’s first ever Premier League title in an era where they would go on to dominate the decade.
Blackburn crowned champions
Blackburn entered the final day of the 1994/95 season knowing that a win would guarantee the title, with Manchester United two points behind in second place.
Rovers would have to face Liverpool on the final day, who after going 1-0 behind to Alan Shearer’s opener, equalised through John Barnes.
Liverpool fans were stunned to silence as Jamie Redknapp curled in a free-kick towards the end of the match, understanding that there was a good chance they had played kingmakers in arch-rivals United winning the league title.
However, West Ham would go on to halt United 2-2 at Upton Park, and as the news trickled through to Anfield, both sets of supporters cheered the newly crowned champions Blackburn for their first and only Premier League title.
Arsenal were playing Wigan Athletic in their final ever game at Highbury on the last day of the 2005/06 campaign, knowing that a Spurs win at West Ham would see the fourth Champions League place go to Martin Jol’s side at their expense.
Incredibly, several key members of the Spurs first team became ill overnight ahead of the West Ham game, later citing a lasagne that they had eaten the night before.
Spurs fielded a side who were noticeably struggling, and West Ham ran out 2-1 winners, while Arsenal dispatched Wigan with ease to secure fourth spot and Champions League football.
Chelsea back on top
Carlo Ancelotti’s Chelsea entered the final day of the 2009/10 season a point ahead of Manchester United, and knowing that a win over Wigan would secure them a third league title in six years.
A red card for Wigan’s Gary Caldwell in the first half set the tone for the match, as the Blues went on to hammer the Latics, with Didier Drogba notching a hat-trick as they ran out 8-0 winners.
In scoring eight, Chelsea would set a new record for most goals scored in a single season (103) as they wrapped up the title, before going on to win the double a week later by lifting the FA Cup after beating Portsmouth in the final.
The Great Escape
It was commonly thought that if a club sat bottom of the Premier League at Christmas, then it was almost certain that the season would end in relegation for them. Until West Brom in 2004/05, that was.
West Brom had picked up just 13 points ahead of Christmas Day and were destined for the drop, but a run of form towards the end of the season – losing just twice in eight matches – had given them a chance as they entered the final day.
Southampton, Norwich and Crystal Palace were all in and out of the relegation zone at various points of the last day, but a 2-0 win against Portsmouth catapulted the Baggies from 20th to finish 17th, as their three relegation rivals all failed to win their respective matches.
An incredible story and a great escape.