United at Boro, Arsenal at Anfield: Five title-clinching matches

Date published: Friday 29th April 2016 3:29

Manchester United: Celebrate on Teesside

Manchester United: Celebrate on Teesside

With Leicester City having the task of winning at Old Trafford to lift the Premier League trophy, we take a look at some of the more famous title-winning games.

Manchester United at Middlesbrough, 1996

Sir Alex Ferguson’s men overturned a 12-point January deficit to Kevin Keegan’s Newcastle United, heading into their final game at the Riverside needing a win to secure their first title in four seasons. The season was of course famous for a rant by a certain Mr Keegan, clearly feeling the pressure of relinquishing such a comfortable lead.

Having moved top with a March win over Arsenal, the Red Devils never looked back, and romped to the title with a comprehensive 3-0 win at Boro thanks to goals from David May, Andy Cole and Ryan Giggs to ensure there was no heartache on Teesside.

Chelsea v Wigan Athletic, 2010

Chelsea 2010

Chelsea went in to the final game of the 2009-10 season knowing a win over Wigan at Stamford Bridge would be enough to put an end to Manchester United’s three-season title streak. Nobody quite expected what unfolded in west London, however…

Any nerves heading into the match were soon settled as Nicolas Anelka gave the Blues a lead inside 10 minutes, before Frank Lampard doubled the lead before half-time with a penalty.

The second half was absolutely emphatic from Carlo Ancelotti’s men, as they padded the lead with goals from Salomon Kalou, another Anelka strike, Joe Cole and a Didier Drogba hat-trick as they ran out eventual 8-0 winner over sorry Wigan, who avoided the drop by six points.

Manchester City v Queens Park Rangers, 2012

Manchester City 2012

Everyone seems to remember where they were for this game. City went in to the final game of the 2011-12 season knowing a win would give them their first title in 44 years.

Meanwhile at the Stadium of Light, United were looking to spoil the party, knowing a win against Sunderland and anything other than a City victory would see them snatch the title.

News quickly spread of Wayne Rooney putting United one up, while Pablo Zabaleta responded five minutes before the break to put City back in pole position. Djibril Cisse stunned the Etihad with a QPR leveller, before Jamie Mackie put the Londoners ahead despite Joey Barton’s red card.

A lifeline for the blue half of Manchester came in the 92nd minute when Edin Dzeko headed a corner home to level the game at 2-2, before Sergio Aguero popped up with ‘that goal’ to send the crowd of 48,000 into pandemonium.

 

Arsenal at Liverpool, 1989

Arsenal 1989

Arsenal travelled to Anfield with a clear objective: they had to win by two goals to steal the title from Liverpool on goals scored.

The Merseysiders had embarked on an incredible 24-match unbeaten run, seeing them overturn a 19-point deficit to leave them three points clear at the top after a 5-1 dismantling of West Ham, having already won the FA Cup.

Arsenal limped into the game on the back of a disappointing 1-1 draw at home to Wimbledon in their penultimate match, leaving the Gunners with it all to do in Liverpool. And after a goalless first half, the visitors stunned the home crowd by taking a 52nd minute lead through Alan Smith to make the closing stages interesting.

Nobody expected what came in the 92nd minute, when midfielder Michael Thomas showed great composure to beat the Liverpool keeper Bruce Grobbelaar and send the away support into raptures and give the Gunners their first championship in 18 years.

Liverpool at Chelsea, 1986

Liverpool 1986

Under the guidance of player-manager Kenny Dalglish, Liverpool overcame a 13-point deficit to overhaul defending champions and Merseyside rivals Everton.

On May 3rd, Liverpool travelled to Stamford Bridge knowing a win would be enough to clinch the championship, having won 11 out of their last 12 but still not possessing a great record at Chelsea.

Of course it would be the majestic Dalglish who had the decisive say at the tender age of 34, bringing the ball down on his chest in typical fashion and guiding the ball past Blues’ goalkeeper Tony Godden to give his side a first-half lead. The Redmen would see the game out and lift their 16th title, their eighth since 1972.

 

Will Leicester City go one better than they did in 1929 and capture their first ever Premier League title at the home of the team with the most title wins, and add their name to this list?

Oli Fisher

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