The 2021/22 Premier League season will surely go down as one of the greatest ever, if not the most open-ended.
Manchester City need to beat Aston Villa to retain their crown, but with Liverpool sat just one point behind heading into Sunday’s final round, the pressure is well and truly on Pep Guardiola’s side, who have already crashed out of the Champions League.
The Reds, meanwhile, are hoping for a slip-up in order to keep alive hopes of a historic quadruple trophy haul, having won both domestic cups and facing Real Madrid in the Champions League final at the end of the month.
Action continues to spill down the table, too. Tottenham are one step away from securing top four with Arsenal breathing down their necks, while Manchester United’s dismal campaign could still get worse if they manage to lose out on a Europa League finish with West Ham still chasing them.
Down at the bottom of the table, Everton have escaped being dragged into a final day relegation scrap with a dramatic victory over Crystal Palace, but Leeds and Burnley will be slogging it out on Sunday afternoon, with the two sides going into the final day level on 35 points.
It sets up what is surely going to be one of the league’s most memorable final days, with so much still to be decided.
That begs the question, though, what are the greatest moments to have come out of the drama of the Premier League final day? GIVEMESPORT has looked back and picked out the best of the bunch.
Tevez keeps West Ham in top flight – 2006/07
Visiting newly crowned champions Manchester United, West Ham emphatically got the job done at Old Trafford, with Carlos Tevez controversially scoring the goal to keep the Irons up and relegate Sheffield United.
Tevez was only partially owned by West Ham, though, with Sheffield United took to court due to third-party ownership being prohibited, claiming that they were essentially relegated by a player who was ineligible. The case went all the way to the House of Commons and resulted in West Ham having to cough up a huge settlement figure. The price to pay for survival.
Gerrard bows out in 6-1 defeat – 2014/15
For a man who had been good enough to win every trophy there was in his prime, but had to accept he would not win the Premier League, things weren’t easy for Steven Gerrard.
A player of his calibre deserves a supreme send off, but the midfielder got quite the opposite in his final game for Liverpool before leaving for LA Galaxy in 2015. The Reds were played off the park and mauled 6-1 away to Stoke, leaving Gerrard to walk away from English football with egg on his face. Considering his failure to lift the Premier League, you honestly could not write this.
Manchester United aim for the treble – 1998/99
It’s easy to look back on United’s treble win and enjoy how historic a campaign it was, without feeling the reality of it.
But back in 1999, when the Red Devils still had to secure the Premier League on the final day, the pressure was on. They needed to beat Tottenham to be sure of winning the league having dropped points against Blackburn earlier in the week, and fought to a comeback 2-1 victory having fell behind. Textbook United and the perfect way to gear them up for that night in Barcelona.
Lasagne-gate – 2005/06
Another one involving West Ham, this one was nowhere near as costly as the following season proved to be.
Tottenham only needed to match Arsenal’s result against Wigan to qualify for the Champions League. But when the squad was struck down with food poisoning as a result of a dodgy lasagne they’d all had for tea, West Ham struck while the iron was hot and delivered a costly, misery compiling 2-1 defeat. Sickening, but not as sickening as the lasagne that caused the disastrous display.
Blackburn crowned champions – 1994/95
Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton’s combined 49 goals set in stone their legacy as one of the Premier League’s most prolific duos, but it would have been for nothing if Blackburn threw away their chance at lifting the title. They almost did.
Embroiled a title race with United that had gone down to the wire, Blackburn fell to a defeat at the hands of Liverpool on the final day of the season, taking fate out of their hands. United now had the chance to retain their crown, but were held to a 1-1 draw against West Ham, ensuring the Rovers won their first and only Premier League title. Unforgettable.
Timber to Man Utd latest (Football Terrace)
Invincibles – 2003/04
At a glance, Arsenal‘s 2003/04 title win wasn’t all that entertaining considering they finished 11 points clear of runners up Chelsea, but having gone 37 games unbeaten out of 38, a final day slip-up would have been devastating.
The Gunners had been confirmed as champions at the end of April, thus retaining focus was no easy feat. Paul Dickov put their unbeaten run in jeopardy as Leicester went into half-time 1-0 up that day, but Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira’s goals turned proceedings around to secure an unbeaten league season.
Chelsea bulldoze Wigan for title – 2009/10
With Sir Alex Ferguson and United very much in the hunt for a fourth Premier League title on the bounce, Chelsea needed a win of their own to put an end to the Mancunian domination.
Nicolas Anelka put them ahead after six minutes, setting the tone for a rampant dash for the title at the expense of Wigan. Chelsea – and particularly Didier Drogba – became possessed and stormed through the Latics with an 8-0 win to clinch the Premier League for the first time since 2006, with the Ivorian bagging a hat-trick. Heartbreak for United.
City confirm their own relegation – 1995/96
Long before the days of heavy investment and a deeply stacked squad finely tuned by one of football’s greatest ever managers, Manchester City were essentially relegating themselves by accident.
City needed to better the results of either Coventry or Southampton to retain Premier League status on the final day in 1996. Drawing 2-2 with Liverpool as the game came to a close, manager Alan Ball instructed players to protect the draw with Coventry losing. Except they weren’t. City realised too late and had held the ball in the corner for too long, mistakenly plunging themselves down to the First Division.
West Brom’s great escape – 2004/05
Despite being rooted to the bottom of the table on Christmas Day, West Brom somehow found a way to retain Premier League status on the final day of the season – the first time a side had achieved such a task.
The Baggies went into the final day bottom of the table, but with relegation not confirmed for any side after their dramatic pick-up in form, and beat Portsmouth 2-0 to give themselves a chance of survival. Amazingly, Norwich, whose fate was in their control, lost 6-0 to Fulham, relegating themselves while Crystal Palace squandered a lead to draw with Charlton and also suffered relegation. A miracle.
Fergie’s final game – 2012/13
Retiring safe in the knowledge that he had won United’s 20th English title and brought the Premier League back to the red side of Manchester following the events of the season before, Sir Alex Ferguson’s final game was destined to be a memorable one.
West Brom made sure it was, putting United to the sword at the Hawthorns as the two sides played out to a whirlwind 5-5 draw. A young Romelu Lukaku bagged a hat-trick to help inspire West Brom’s comeback, denying Ferguson a final game win.
Survival Sunday – 2010/11
Five teams found themselves at risk of being relegated on the final day of the 2010/11 season, despite one relegation spot already being filled by West Ham.
Wolves, Blackburn, Birmingham, Blackpool and Wigan were all at risk of the drop, only separated by a point. After the first 45 minutes, Wolves and Wigan were set to drop, with Blackburn 3-0 up at Molineux, Blackpool drawing against Manchester United, and Wigan and Birmingham also drawing. By the end of the afternoon, it was Blackpool and Birmingham confirmed as relegated having both fallen to late defeats, and Wigan winning at Stoke.
‘Agueroooooo!’ – 2011/12
Rounding off the list, City’s maiden Premier League title was secured in unforgettable fashion in 2012, with two injury time goals changing their fate forever.
Manchester United were away to Sunderland and had won to put one hand on the title. And with the news that City were 2-1 down to QPR, they felt like it was theirs once again. That was until Edin Dzeko made it 2-2, before Sergio Aguero wriggled through and made it 3-2 in the 94th minute, matching United’s result with the last kick of the game and securing City their first ever Premier League on goal difference.