We’ve been here before. Liverpool’s 2-1 win at Southampton on Tuesday night has taken the Premier League title race down to the final day for the ninth time, and the third such battle between the Reds and Manchester City.
Like the two previous occasions, Liverpool go into Matchday 38 trailing. But how have the EPL’s great last-day ding-dongs shaken out?
1994/95 – BLACKBURN (89 points before final game, Last match: Liverpool away), MAN UTD (87, West Ham away)
The first great Premier League title face-off, the only one in which the leaders have dropped points, and yet – spoiler alert – still they won the league. United were being denied time and again by Ludek Miklosko at Upton Park, while Blackburn were also drawing at Anfield. Jamie Redknapp’s late-gasp free-kick put the frighteners up Rovers but seconds later the final whistle was blown in east London and Kenny Dalglish could celebrate on his old patch.
Results: Liverpool 2-1 Blackburn, West Ham 1-1 Man Utd. Champions: Blackburn
1995/96 – MAN UTD (79, Middlesbrough away), NEWCASTLE (77, Tottenham home)
“I would love it if we…” Oh. A late Ian Woan goal at Nottingham Forest in their penultimate goal had left Newcastle two points behind United, and once David May had scored early for the Red Devils at the Riverside there was no looking back. United won 3-0 with a bit to spare, and the Magpies’ 1-1 draw was inconsequential. Sorry, Kevin!
Results: Middlesbrough 0-3 Man Utd, Newcastle 1-1 Tottenham. Champions: Man Utd
1998/99 – MAN UTD (76, Tottenham home), ARSENAL (75, Villa home)
A treble-chasing United fell behind to Les Ferdinand’s goal at Old Trafford but goals either side of half-time by David Beckham and Andy Cole ensured the first leg of the three-piece achievement was secured long before Arsenal had even taken the lead against Villa.
Results: Man Utd 2-1 Tottenham, Arsenal 1-0 Villa. Champions: Man Utd
2007/08 – MAN UTD (84, Wigan away), CHELSEA (84, Bolton home)
Chelsea knew they’d need a big helping hand from Wigan despite going into the final day level on points with United since there was a 17-goal difference between the top two. Goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Ryan Giggs had made the title a formality, so Matt Taylor’s late equaliser at Stamford Bridge meant little in the grand scheme of things.
Results: Wigan 0-2 Man Utd, Chelsea 1-1 Bolton. Champions: Man Utd
2009/10 – CHELSEA (83, Wigan home), MAN UTD (82, Stoke home)
United hammered Stoke 4-0 on the final day in 2010 but it was all for nought considering what was going on at the Bridge. Chelsea were two up well before the break against lowly Wigan and they turned a formality into a thrashing, sticking eight past the Latics thanks in part to a Didier Drogba hat-trick.
Results: Chelsea 8-0 Wigan, Man Utd 4-0 Stoke. Champions: Chelsea
2011/12 – MAN CITY (86, QPR home), MAN UTD (86, Sunderland away)
No explanation necessary. Zabaleta. Cisse. Mackie. Joey Barton’s red card. Dzeko equalises. Full-time at Sunderland. 93:20… Aguerooooooooooooo. Bedlam!
Results: Man City 3-2 QPR, Sunderland 0-1 Man Utd. Champions: Man City
2013/14 – MAN CITY (83, West Ham home), LIVERPOOL (81, Newcastle home)
Liverpool’s ‘Crystanbul’ moment had given Manuel Pellegrini’s side a two-point advantage going into the final day and from the moment Samir Nasri put Man City ahead against West Ham there was no doubt where the title was going. Both teams won 2-0 but only one was celebrating at full-time.
Results: Man City 2-0 West Ham, Liverpool 2-0 Newcastle. Champions: Man City
2018/19 – MAN CITY (95, Brighton away), LIVERPOOL (94, Wolves home)
It was almost an inevitability what would happen on the final day in 2019, with Liverpool coming in with eight straight wins and City with 13. As expected, the Reds’ 2-0 win over Wolves was a moot point as City hammered Brighton 4-1 away from home to lift a fourth Premier League title
Results: Brighton 1-4 Man City, Liverpool 2-0 Wolves. Champions: Man City
2021/22 – MAN CITY (90, Villa home), LIVERPOOL (89, Wolves home)
And then there were nine…
One point separates the two stand-out teams of recent times. Will Man City follow the overwhelming trend and clinch the title with a win, or is there a sting in the tail? All eyes on Sunday.
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