How Premier League players celebrated goals against their old clubs

  • Kat Lucas

There is categorically nothing worse than players refusing to celebrate against their old clubs. 

When Emmanuel Adebayor is prepared to risk having coins, plastic bottles and goodness knows what else thrown at him by running the entire length of the pitch to celebrate in front of the Arsenal fans, others could at least raise a smile. 

Thankfully, the Premier League has been blessed with plenty of moments over the years when the likes of Wayne Rooney, Alan Shearer and Romelu Lukaku have found the back of the net against their former employers. 

It’s a particularly juicy moment when the transfer in question has been especially controversial. 

Adebayor had been copping non-stop abuse from the away end at the Etihad so it was only fair that the Manchester City striker give some of it back. 

And Sky Sports recently compiled a video showing some of the most memorable occasions of players scoring past old teammates, capturing their respective reactions. 

You can see the full montage below: 

Romelu Lukaku vs Everton 

Evertonians were furious when their star striker made his big-money move to Manchester United – a theme we’ll come back to later. Lukaku was having none of their boos and cupped his ear towards the away end after scoring towards the end of a 4-0 win. 

Frank Lampard vs Chelsea

In hindsight given his current job, it’s a good job Frank Lampard didn’t alienate Chelsea too much. The sight of the midfielder in a Manchester City shirt remains utterly bizarre but he refused to celebrate. Jose Mourinho still looked unimpressed. 

Eric Cantona vs Leeds 

It takes an extraordinarily brass neck to take a penalty against an old club, but nothing phases Eric Cantona. The Frenchman was relatively respectful, giving just a mini fist-pump in full view of the Leeds fans. But by his standards, he was quite reserved. After all, there are worse things fans can suffer if they’ve upset Eric Cantona. 

Robin van Persie vs Arsenal 

A transfer that rocked the Premier League. To this day, Arsenal sanctioning the deal is a point of contention. Van Persie scored 30 goals to help United win the Premier League, but internally, this must have been one of his most satisfying. The Dutchman didn’t show it and just raised his hands in the air. 

Andy Cole vs Newcastle 

There was no such hesitation from Andy Cole, who had the ball laid on for him beautifully by Ryan Giggs. The England international’s move to Old Trafford had caused a massive storm and some Magpies supporters have never forgiven him. 

Joe Cole vs West Ham 

Chelsea were right up there for the title in the 2007/08 season so it’s understandable that Joe Cole wanted to celebrate. The former West Ham Academy product didn’t hold back either, going mad with the Stamford Bridge faithful. 

Alan Shearer vs Blackburn

Alan Shearer still chose to do his trademark celebration when he scored from 12 yards despite having won a Premier League title with Blackburn Rovers. 

Cesc Fabregas vs Arsenal 

Cesc Fabregas almost looked upset to have lobbed Petr Cech, but the ‘keeper only had himself to blame for an awful clearance. The Spaniard couldn’t be tempted into celebrating by Willian and Diego Costa. 

Ian Wright vs Crystal Palace

Ian Wright simply loved scoring goals for Arsenal and got 185 of them in total. Wrighty couldn’t hide his joy at Selhurst Park despite spending six years there previously. 

James Milner vs Manchester City 

The typically mild-mannered James Milner did a ‘lasso’ celebration after scoring for Liverpool against Manchester City, for whom he’d contributed to two titles. 

Wayne Rooney vs Everton

If you’d told Rooney at this moment that he’d end up back wearing blue at Goodison Park in 2017, he’d never have believed it. The United star was understandably riled by the flak he’d been getting from the crowd, so he got his own back by kissing the Red Devils’ badge on his shirt and visibly winding up the Everton fans. Glorious. 

Emmanuel Adebayor vs Arsenal 

But nothing will ever come close to Adebayor. The sheer audacity of the man. By far his most endearing quality, his commitment to upsetting Arsenal fans hadn’t even peaked then either as he joined Tottenham Hotspur within two years. 

So in a world of Frank Lampard’s, be an Adebayor. Never hide your true colours and don’t let the haters drag you down. 

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