Ghana's No. 1

Drama galore - the best Premier League final days

Published on: 26 May 2023

Sergio Aguero won the Premier League title for Manchester City with a goal against Queens Park Rangers on the last day of the 2011-12 season

The final day of the Premier League season.

There's always something to play for - whether that be the title, survival or a Champions League spot.

The results of one team can have a seismic impact on another as nine months of top-flight football comes to a breathtaking end.

With the last day of the Premier League season looming, we revisit some of the most dramatic final days.

2010-11: Musical chairs at bottom

With the title already secured by Manchester United and the Champions League places decided, all eyes were on an intriguing battle at the bottom of the table.

One point separated 19th-placed Wigan and Blackburn in 15th, meaning five clubs, including Blackpool, Birmingham and Wolves, were at risk of being relegated with bottom side West Ham.

Each of those five teams would spend part of the afternoon in the bottom three.

Wigan and Blackpool started the day in the drop zone - but the Latics pulled clear with a 1-0 win at Stoke. Birmingham were relegated instead, losing 2-1 at Tottenham as Roman Pavlyuchenko scored a 93rd-minute winner.

Blackpool looked for a while as if they might escape too, but they went down as they were beaten 4-2 at Manchester United.

Birmingham City beat Arsenal in the Carling Cup final but were relegated to the Championship2006-07: Tevez saves Hammers as Sheff Utd go down

The controversy over third-party ownership concerning Argentine duo Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano was still hanging over West Ham as they battled to avoid relegation on the final day.

West Ham started the afternoon in 17th and three points clear of the relegation zone but had to go to Manchester United, who had just been crowned champions.

Inevitably, Tevez scored the only goal of the game to steer the Hammers clear of danger. Instead, it was Sheffield United who went down - as relegation rivals Wigan saved themselves with a 2-1 win at Bramall Lane.

A bitter legal dispute between West Ham and Sheffield United played out in the aftermath and, after almost two years, the Hammers were forced to pay £20m in compensation.

It would take the Blades 12 years to return to the Premier League, an exile that included six seasons in League One.

Carlos Tevez scored the winner against Manchester United as West Ham avoided relegation on the last day of the 2006-07 season2005-06: Heartbreak and stomach ache as Spurs miss out on Champions League

There is no love lost between north London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur and in 2006, they were both going for the same prize - Champions League football.

Tottenham knew if they beat West Ham, they would secure the fourth Champions League place at the expense of their neighbours, who were playing Wigan in their final game at Highbury.

Arsenal kept up their end of the bargain thanks to a Thierry Henry hat-trick in a 4-2 win.

Over to Spurs.

A number of Tottenham players were ill overnight. The blame was initially placed on a lasagne they had eaten at their team hotel - although an official investigationexternal-link later found the illness was most likely to have been caused by a virus.

Requests for the match to be delayed were rejected and Martin Jol's side lost 2-1 against West Ham to finish fifth, missing out on Europe's highest-profile club competition.

Tottenham Hotspur missed out on Champions League football in 2006 after illness spread through the squad1999-2000: Bradford beat Liverpool to relegate Wimbledon

Bradford City headed into the final day of their first Premier League season looking to avoid the drop. Many had written them off but when it really mattered, they rose to the occasion.

Liverpool were the visitors at Valley Parade and were chasing a Champions League spot.

Bradford defender David Wetherall headed home the only goal of the game as the Bantams remained in the top flight, sparking a pitch invasion from ecstatic home fans.

The result meant that Wimbledon were relegated after 14 years in the top tier.

Bradford City fans celebrate staying in the Premier League1995-96: Man City relegated after believing draw was enough to stay up

Manchester City went into their final match in 1996 knowing they needed to better the result of either Southampton or Coventry to stay up.

With his side drawing 2-2 at home to Liverpool, City manager Alan Ball thought his side were on course for safety, having heard Coventry were losing to Leeds.

City proceeded to take the ball to the corner flag in order to run down the clock. But Ball had been fed false information.

Niall Quinn, who had been substituted, was keeping in touch with results elsewhere and raced back down the tunnel and up the touchline to tell his team-mates they needed to win.

But City could not find another goal, and were relegated.

Manchester City were relegated after seven years in the top flight1993-94: Everton survive relegation

In a 22-team Premier League, Everton began the final day 20th, a point from safety. Swindon had already been relegated, Oldham were set to join them. Ipswich, Sheffield United and Southampton were all in danger just above the Toffees.

Sixth-placed Wimbledon were the visitors to Goodison Park, and led 2-0 after 20 minutes.

Graham Stuart pulled one back just four minutes later from the penalty spot and a fine strike from Barry Horne levelled the game midway through the second half.

Goodison Park was rocking nine minutes from time when Stuart grabbed his second and Everton's third - but they still had to wait for results elsewhere.

As it turned out, they finished 17th. Southampton and Ipswich survived too, thanks to draws, and it was Sheffield United, beaten by a last-minute goal at Chelsea, who were relegated.

Everton came from behind on the final day of the 1993-94 season against Wimbledon to secure their top-flight status2004-05: Baggies avoid the drop

Eight points from safety on Christmas Day, it seemed West Bromwich Albion were bound for the Championship.

They were still bottom going into the final day, needing to win at home against Portsmouth in order to stay up. For the first time in Premier League history, no team had been relegated going into the final 90 minutes of the season.

Geoff Horsfield and Kieran Richardson scored in the second half as Bryan Robson's side won 2-0.

West Brom survived at the expense of Norwich and Southampton, who lost, and Crystal Palace, who drew. There was a full-time pitch invasion at The Hawthorns.

For the first time in history, a team who were bottom of the table on Christmas Day remained in the Premier League.

West Bromwich Albion survived on the final day of the 2004-05 season in the first ‘Great Escape’ in Premier League history1994-95: Blackburn lose to Liverpool but still win the league

Title-chasing Blackburn headed to Anfield on the final day of the 1994-95 season with a two-point lead over second-placed Manchester United.

The Red Devils had a superior goal difference and knew a win against West Ham would give them the title if Rovers slipped up.

Blackburn went ahead against Liverpool but lost 2-1 thanks to a Jamie Redknapp free-kick in the 90th minute.

But United could only draw 1-1 at Upton Park and Blackburn were champions for the first time in 81 years.

Blackburn Rovers manager Kenny Dalglish (centre) led his side to their first title since 1914 2011-12: Agueroooooooooo

Another season where the league was up for grabs on the final day. Manchester City hosted QPR, while rivals Manchester United went to Sunderland.

City knew they had to match United's result to win the league. QPR, though, did not read the script and were 2-1 up with 66 minutes played at Etihad Stadium.

United won 1-0 against Sunderland to pile the pressure on their rivals. But Edin Dzeko equalised for City in added time and more drama followed when Sergio Aguero sealed his place in Premier League folklore by scoring the winner with 93 minutes and 20 seconds on the clock.

As well as being in one of the most iconic moments in top flight history, Aguero's winner set City on the path to sustained top-flight success. Ending a 44-year wait to be champions, City's title was to be the first of seven in 12 seasons.

1992-93: Oldham beat Southampton to stay up

Promoted in 1991, Oldham were founder members of the Premier League. But with a week of the season to play, they were six points from safety. They had three matches in seven days to try to save themselves.

First, they went to title contenders Aston Villa and won. Three days later, they defeated Liverpool.

And so, by the final Saturday, Oldham had cut the gap to three points.

Joe Royle's side beat Southampton 4-3 despite the best efforts of Matt Le Tissier, who scored a hat-trick, and rivals Crystal Palace lost 3-0 at Arsenal to slip out of the top flight, despite finishing on 49 points.

In a thrilling conclusion to the season, Oldham survived on goal difference, finishing two goals better off than Palace.

2021-22: Liverpool push Man City all the way

Having won both domestic trophies and with a Champions League final against Real Madrid on the horizon, Liverpool were eyeing an unprecedented quadruple.

Manchester City knew a victory would secure them the title instead but were 2-0 down against Aston Villa heading into the final 15 minutes.

However, three goals in five minutes saw City win 3-2 and, despite the Reds beating Wolves 3-1, they secured a fourth title in five years under Pep Guardiola.

This was the second time in the past 10 Premier League seasons that a team won on the final match day after trailing by two or more goals

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