With a champion already crowned, relegation confirmed for the bottom three, and only the last two Champions League spots up for grabs, Sunday’s finale lacks the excitement of years past. Here’s a look back at five dramatic final days in the Premier League, featuring title-winning goals, an unbelievable escape, and one dodgy lasagna.
The Best of Premier League Final Day Drama
1994-95: Blackburn Rovers pip Manchester United to title
Needing a win to assure themselves of the title, Blackburn lost to Liverpool thanks to a stoppage-time goal from Jamie Redknapp. The result could have handed United their third title running, but they were unable to make a succession of chances count, drawing 1-1 with West Ham. Despite the loss, Blackburn won the league by a solitary point. Rovers were for 20 years the only team outside Manchester and London to lift the trophy before Leicester’s win last year.
1998-99: Manchester United win the first leg of the Treble
As with much of their campaign that season, United secured their league title the hard way. With Arsenal a point behind, only a win at home against Tottenham would do. Spurs took the lead and handed the advantage to their rivals, but goals either side of half-time from David Beckham and Andy Cole were enough to take the first leg of the Treble. Ten days later United would complete their hat-trick of trophies, an unmatched feat in English football.
2004-05: West Bromwich Albion’s unlikely escape
No team bottom of the table at Christmas had ever avoided relegation. West Brom, bottom at Christmas and at the start of play on the final day, needed a win and several favors from the teams above them if they were to reverse that trend. The Baggies did their bit, winning 2-0 against Portsmouth. As news filtered through that Southampton, Norwich, and Crystal Palace above them had all failed to win, fans rushed the field to celebrate with the players.
2005-06: Lasagna denies Tottenham fourth place
Tottenham went into the final day knowing a win would secure fourth place and see them finish above rivals Arsenal for the first time in a decade. However, several Spurs first team players were taken ill in the lead up to the match. The culprit was thought to be food poisoning caused by lasagna at the team hotel. A weakened Spurs side lost to West Ham, while Arsenal won their last ever match at Highbury to take fourth place.
2011-12: Aguero wins it for Manchester City
A win for Manchester City on the final day would be enough to top crosstown rivals United on goal difference. City took to the field against relegation-threatened Queens Park Rangers as clear favorites. What transpired was anything but expected. Despite taking the lead, City conceded twice and went into five added minutes a goal down. Edin Dzeko leveled on 92 minutes, but with United’s win against Sunderland, a draw was not enough. In the fourth minute of stoppage time, Sergio Aguero lashed home the title-winning goal. “I swear you’ll never see anything like this ever again,” shouted commentator Martin Tyler. Safe bet.