Three Greatest Premier League Final Day Matches

Manchester City emerged as 2011-12 champions after a dramatic title race which went to the final day of season. (Image credit: Premier League)

To fill the void on what would of been the climax of this season this weekend, we take a look back at three great final day clashes in the Premier League era. 

From title deciders to last gasp great escapes and managerial farewells, the final day of every Premier League season has been nothing short of exciting yet unpredictable regardless of what is at stake in each match. 

It therefore makes sense that we take a look back through history and pick out three of the greatest final day matches in the past 27 seasons of top flight English football. 

 

West Bromwich Albion 5-5 Manchester United (2012-13)

Fergie
Sir Alex Ferguson’s final match in charge of Manchester United proved to be eventful in a ten goal thriller at West Bromwich Albion.

After guiding Manchester United to 38 trophies in a 26 and half year spell at Old Trafford, Sir Alex Ferguson’s final match proved to be dramatic for a dead rubber clash against West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns. 

Shinji Kagawa begun what seemed to be a destined Utd win with an sixth minute header, before Jonas Olsson’s flicked own goal soon doubled that lead just three minutes later. 

Alex Buttner then made it 3-0 to the Red Devils with a left-footed 30th minute strike, only for West Brom’s James Morrison to reduce the deficit nine minutes later when he slotted in a cross from Graham Dorrans to set up an exciting second-half. 

Half-time sub and future Utd star, Romelu Lukaku soon made an instant impact as he further reduced Utd’s lead to 3-2, before Robin van Persie and Javier Hernandez then struck to restore the Red Devils’ three goal advantage in Fergie’s farewell.

West Brom however had other ideas as Luaku and Youssouf Mulumbu both struck nine minutes from time to set up a grandstand finish, which became a reality just five minutes later when Lukaku slotted in from close range to make it an eventual 5-5 draw. 

This game however is sadly overlooked as one of the all-time classic final day matches, despite having ten goals and a brilliant underdog comeback to boot in a match which was a worthy send-off for Ferguson. 

 

Chelsea 8-0 Wigan (2009-10)

Drogba
Didier Drogba netted a hat-trick as Chelsea thrashed Wigan 8-0 to win the 2009-10 Premier League on final day of season.

2000-10 season saw Chelsea go for a third title but Man Utd kept the Blues on their toes all the way to the final day, where Chelsea just needed to match or better Utd’s result to secure the crown. 

Nicholas Anelka lashed in from close range to put Chelsea on course for the title after just six minutes, before Frank Lampard converted a 32nd minute penalty after being fouled by Gary Caldwell who was subsequently red-carded for his foul. 

Chelsea then maintained their two goal advantage until half-time whilst Darren Fletcher and Ryan Giggs had given Utd the same lead against Stoke, meaning that any mistakes from the Blues could gift Utd the title. 

Chelsea however put the game beyond Wigan nine minutes into the second-half through Salomon Kalou to effectively seal the title, just as Danny Higginbotham’s own-goal gave Utd a three goal margin over Stoke. 

Anelka then wrapped up his brace just minutes later before Didier Drogba’s hat-trick and Ashley Cole’s injury-time volley completed a eight goal mauling of Wigan, as the Blues celebrated a third Premier League title and a first title under Carlo Ancelotti.  

Man Utd meanwhile had to settle for runner-up despite Park Ji-sung’s header completing a four goal home win over Stoke.  

 

Manchester City 3-2 QPR (2012-13)

Aguero
Sergio Aguero netted the winning goal in dramatic scenes at the Etihad vs QPR on 13 May 2012. (Image credit: Dan Rowley/Rex/Shutterstock)

13 May 2012 was the day in which Man City began to topple their cross-city rivals, United in a thrilling climax to the 2011-12 Premier League season as both teams tussled for the title.

City eventually would head into the final day knowing that a win would secure their first top-flight title in 44 years, which look destined to go pear-shaped when Wayne Rooney put United ahead at Sunderland after just 20 minutes as City were still goalless.

Pablo Zabaleta then swung the title back towards City shortly before half-time, only for early second-half goals from Djibril Cisse and Jamie Mackie to put QPR ahead, sending the title destiny back in Utd’s favour approaching the final minutes of the season.

Edin Dzeko soon gave City late hope with a headed 92nd minute equaliser just prior to confirmation of Utd’s win on Wearside and seemingly title victory, until 15 seconds later when Sergio “Aguerooooooo” fired in from Mario Balotelli’s pass to snatch the tile for Man City.

QPR meanwhile managed to avoid relegation despite their last gasp defeat after Bolton could only draw at Stoke, making this match one of the greatest final day matches in Premier League history given what was at stake at opposite ends of table for both teams.

Man City also became the first team to win the Premier League title on goal difference, underlining just how significant that victory was for City and the eventual success that they’ve enjoyed. 

 

Honourable Mentions

Sheffield United 1-2 Wigan (2006-07) – David Unsworth’s penalty secured survival for Wigan at Blades’ expense, after Jon Stead had cancelled out Peter Scharner’s opener. 

West Brom 2-0 Portsmouth (2004-05) – Second-half goals from Geoff Horsfield and Kieran Richardson secured a great escape for the Baggies who begun the final day rock-bottom, relegating Crystal Palace, Norwich and Southampton who all failed to win.

Stoke 6-1 Liverpool (2014-15) – Steven Gerrard’s Liverpool farewell ended in misery after Stoke produced a brutal performance, scoring five before half-time as Mame Biram Diouf netted a brace. 

Crystal Palace 5-3 Bournemouth (2018-19) – Despite being a dead rubber match, Michy Batshuayi scored twice for Palace in an enthralling end-to-end 33 shot thriller. 

Stoke 0-1 Wigan (2010-11) – Hugo Rodallega’s late header secured survival for Wigan and relegated 2011 League Cup winners – Birmingham, who lost at Tottenham. 

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