The 10 greatest final days in Premier League history

From Gronkjaer changing destiny of Chelsea to Aguero's famous winner for Manchester City, we pick out the most memorable season finales

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Another Premier League season of highs and lows will come to a close on Sunday.

In the final round of fixtures, there are still key games going ahead affecting both ends of the table.

There could still be plenty of drama, as both Liverpool and Manchester City take the title race down to the wire, while Burnley and Leeds United look to avoid dropping down to the Championship.

Here we look at the Premier League’s 10 greatest final day moments.

10. 2002/03: Liverpool miss out on Champions League football after Gronkjaer’s winner

Jesper Gronkjaer of Chelsea celebrates scoring the winning goal during against Liverpool on May 11, 2003 at Stamford Bridge. Getty

A Champions League place was up for grabs at Stamford Bridge on the final day of the campaign, when Chelsea secured a 2-1 win over Liverpool, one of the most important victories in their history.

Sami Hyypia nodded home a free-kick to give the Reds the lead as the visitors aimed for a finish in the top four.

However, cash-strapped Chelsea hit back through goals from Marcel Desailly and Jesper Gronkjaer, which ensured the Blues secured Champions League football and persuaded Roman Abramovich to buy the club that summer.

9. 1999/2000: Bradford beat Liverpool to relegate Wimbledon

Bradford goalscorer David Wetherall, right, runs off alongside teammate Andy O'Brien after the victory against Liverpool. Getty

Champions League-chasing Liverpool were defeated by Bradford City on the final day, as Valley Parade witnessed arguably its greatest ever match.

The Bantams were destined for relegation in their first season in the English top flight, but Bradford’s David Wetherall headed home to secure a 1-0 win, which caused a pitch invasion at full-time.

It meant Wimbledon were relegated after 14 seasons in the Premier League.

8. The Lasagne-gate scandal which saw Tottenham lose out on Champions League football to Arsenal

Thierry Henry of Arsenal against Wigan Athletic at Highbury on May 7, 2006. It was the last match to be played at Highbury. Getty

Arsenal took on Wigan in the final ever match at Highbury on the last day in 2005/06. Thierry Henry netted a hat-trick to secure victory for Arsene Wenger's side.

Tottenham were facing West Ham, and a win for Spurs would see them pip the Gunners to fourth place.

But many of Tottenham’s players became ill after they ate lasagne the night before, causing suspected food poisoning.

Martin Jol’s side were not at their best, and lost 2-1 at the hands of the Hammers, which resulted in them losing out on Champions League football.

7. 1993/94: Everton survive relegation

Everton players celebrate after beating Wimbledon 3-2. Allsport

A dramatic day saw the Toffees avoid the drop, with a 3-2 victory over Wimbledon at Goodison Park, after coming from two-goals down.

Graham Stuart’s penalty, a strike from Barry Horne, and then Stuart again on 81 minutes turned the match around, as the Blues climbed out of the bottom three. Sheffield United were relegated as a result.

6. 1994/95: Manchester City think they are safe

Manchester City manager Alan Ball. Allsport

Manchester City manager Alan Ball knew, to remain in the Premier League, his side had to better the result of one of Southampton or Coventry City.

The Sky Blues drew 2-2 at home against Liverpool, and the City manager heard Coventry were losing.

His instructions was to keep the ball near the corner flag, only for substitute Niall Quinn to race with instructions and tell the players they were not getting beat.

However, it was too late to change tactics, and Ball and City were relegated.

5. 2010/11: Blackpool and Birmingham drop into Championship, as Wolves and Wigan stay up

Stephen Hunt of Wolves scores to make it 3-2 against Blackburn Rovers at Molineux. Getty

The final day of the 2010-11 season saw five clubs drop in and climb out of the bottom three.

Blackpool lost against Manchester United, and Birmingham suffered defeat at Tottenham, results that went in the favour of Wolves, Blackburn and Wigan, who all stayed up.

Stephen Hunt netted in a 3-2 defeat for Wolves against Blackburn that meant Mick McCarthy's side stayed up on goal difference, while Hugo Rodallega’s late winner against Stoke ensured the Latics remained in the top-flight, just weeks after they looked dead and buried.

4. 2007/08: Fulham’s late escape, as Manchester United win Premier League

Roy Hodgson’s Fulham looked destined for the drop only to survive. The Cottagers needed a victory against Portsmouth at Fratton Park to ensure they remained in the Premier League.

Danny Murphy’s header on 76 minutes ensured they stayed up, with both Reading and Birmingham City heading to the Championship in their place.

Manchester United were also crowned Premier League champions after a 2-0 win over Wigan, with Chelsea drawing with Bolton at Stamford Bridge – meaning the Red Devils won the league by two points.

3. 2004/05: West Bromwich Albion avoid relegation

West Brom produced a great escape after a 2-0 victory at home against Portsmouth.

The Baggies, who were in and out of the bottom three on the afternoon, were locked in a battle with Southampton, Norwich and Crystal Palace.

Southampton lost at home to Manchester United, Norwich were thrashed 6-0 at Fulham and Crystal Palace could only earn a draw at Charlton, meaning the West Midlands club were safe.

It resulted in fans rushing on to the pitch at the Hawthorns.

Blackburn owner Jack Walker with Alan Shearer after winning the title in 1995. AFP

2. 1994/95: Blackburn lose to Liverpool under Kenny Dalglish but still win the league

Former Kop idol Kenny Dalglish’s Blackburn travelled to Anfield knowing victory over Liverpool would secure the league title.

Alan Shearer fired Rovers into the lead, but John Barnes equalised for the Reds.

Jamie Redknapp netted from a free-kick late on to stun Anfield, and secure a 2-1 win for the home side.

It meant Manchester United would secure the domestic crown with a win, but they could only manage a 1-1 draw away against West Ham. It meant Blackburn got their hands on the trophy and Liverpool fans could breathe a sigh of relief.

Sergio Aguero scores the famous title-winning goal for Manchester City against Queens Park Rangers in 2012. Getty

1. 2011/12: Sergio Aguero strikes with the last kick of the game against Queens Park Rangers

When you automatically think of the final day of the season, this is the image that comes to mind.

With Manchester United beating Sunderland 1-0 on the final day in 2012, Manchester City went into stoppage time against Queens Park Rangers needing to win.

Edin Dzeko had levelled earlier for the Sky Blues to make it 2-2, and then absolute bedlam struck.

Sergio Aguero, with almost the last kick of the match, fired past Paddy Kenny to ensure City secured their first top-flight title in 44 years.

“You'll never see anything like it ever again,” were the words of Sky Sports commentator Martin Tyler.

Updated: May 23, 2022, 10:05 AM
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