Today, at KhelAcademy, we bring you a list of thrilling and controversial matches from the Premier League era. Since its inception in 1992, PL has provided football lovers with the best players and best managers facing off against each other to their hands on one of the most coveted trophies of football. Here’s my Top 5 pick:
Starting off our list at Number 5 is a classic! The 1996 Premier League fixture between Liverpool and Newcastle United saw the Reds’ snatch a 4-3 win. The match was tied at 3-3 with Newcastle restoring parity just minutes before regulation time. Injury Time was witness to a thunderous Stan Collymore sending the Anfield faithful into raptures.
For our Number 4, we go back more than 15 years to 2004 when Manchester United faced off against Arsenal at the magnificent Old Trafford, with the managers, Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger, and teams at their peak. The Neville Brothers shared a card each, with Arsenal laying into Ronaldo with some tough challenges, in what was a fiercely contested match. The Red Devils sealed a 2-0 win thanks to goals from Rooney and Van Nistelrooy, but both teams weren’t done yet. An ensuing food fight followed in the tunnels and only came to a stop when a slice of pizza landed straight into Sir Alex’s face!
A list of controversial PL matches can never be complete without Luis Suarez. At Number 3, we have a moment that was plain bizarre. In a rather unusual turn of events, the 2013 PL game involving Liverpool and Chelsea, saw Suarez against Ivanovic for a corner. After the corner, a shocked Ivanovic approached the referee to show teeth marks on his neck and arm. The replay clearly showed Suarez digging into Ivanovic with his teeth and received a 10-match suspension. However, this would neither be the first or the last time Suarez would take a bite on the football field.
Look away Liverpool fans because, at Number 2 on our list, we have the infamous Steven Gerrard slip vs. Chelsea. The 2014 season was the year that the Reds’ faithful believed would finally take them back to the top of the perch. They had their fair share of reasons too. Brandon Rodgers had transformed Liverpool back to a title-winning side, with Luis Suarez burning it up in front of goal and were table toppers with a handful of matches to go. In what was a tight game, Gerrard slipped in added time of the first half near the halfway line. Chelsea striker Demba Ba was clean through on goal and managed to beat the keeper. Liverpool were too shell shocked to stage a come-back, neither in the match and nor the League, eventually losing out to Manchester City by 2 points.
Coming in at Number 1 on our list is arguably the best Premier League match of the last decade – the 2012 season finale between Manchester City and Queen Park Rangers (partly owned by the Laxmi Mittal family). The last day of the season was beautifully set up with the Reds and Blues of Manchester level on points, City ahead on goal difference. Sir Alex Ferguson’s Red Devils’ were clinical in finishing off Sunderland, with their fixture ending just 5 minutes before City’s. Roberto Mancini’s City hadn’t won a title since the 1967-68 season and were trailing 2-1 with 6 minutes of Injury Time to go. What followed was nothing short of magic. Edin Dzeko pulled one back through a powerful header. In the dying minutes, a stumbling Mario Balotelli played it through to Aguero. Lifelong City fans, Liam and Noel Gallagher’s legendary song “Wonderwall” played in the background, while Manchester City lifted the Premier League after 44 long years. The rest, as they say, is history