Best Premier League game ever? Where do you even start?!
That is the huge task facing our pundits on the latest edition of the Match of The Day: Top 10 podcast.
As you might imagine, there is a sprinkling of Arsenal within Ian Wright’s list, while Alan Shearer has opted for a couple of famous Newcastle results.
They did manage to agree on six of the games (including the top two), but so difficult was it for the team to come to a consensus they’ve slightly tweaked the rules this week, Gary Lineker allowing Alan and Ian 10 selections each.
You can also rank yours from the list at the bottom of the page.
- Listen to the Match of the Day: Top 10 podcast – best players from outside the ‘big six’
Everton 3-2 Wimbledon (7 May 1994)
Ian Wright: “I love this because I love that Everton Football Club have never been down. This particular season, Howard Kendall left and Mike Walker came in. He had a bit of a bounce, but it wasn’t good enough, and they were still amongst it at the end of the season. In the end, they did it. The fans came on and showed what it meant to them.”
Liverpool 4-3 Newcastle (3 April 1996)
Alan Shearer: “Newcastle had that 12-point lead over Manchester United in January but they were chipping away at it. It was a game Newcastle had to get something from and it had everything. It was so significant because Kevin Keegan was never going to change the way he wanted his team to play football. It was all-out attack, and I wasn’t at the club, but I could understand that philosophy. He wanted to entertain the fans.”
Ian Wright: “It was such an entertaining game and it was ideal to watch for a neutral. Newcastle played brilliantly and when they scored you thought they would go, but it’s Anfield, and the thing with Liverpool and their fans is they never give up on their team. You are always up against it. Newcastle played how they would play and it was like a basketball game. I genuinely felt for Keegan. It’s an iconic moment in the Premier League and his reaction made you think it was over.”
Newcastle 5-0 Man Utd (20 October 1996)
Alan Shearer: “It was unbelievable because Manchester United had smacked us in the Charity Shield a few months earlier, and the atmosphere going into the game was special. It was Manchester United v Newcastle United and Sir Alex Ferguson v Kevin Keegan. Some of the goals that were scored, and the atmosphere, was unbelievable. It’s not often you get to give Manchester United a good seeing to. It was almost the perfect performance.”
Arsenal 3-2 Man Utd (9 November 1997)
Ian Wright: “It was a brilliant game. I was playing and it was such an end-to-end game with so much quality. We started well and went 2-0 up, but you knew they hadn’t started yet. They had all the top boys playing, and before you know it, Teddy Sheringham scores two and they were back in it. In the end, David [Platt] scores a fantastic header, but when the game finished, that is when we believed we could do it.”
Leeds 4-3 Liverpool (4 November 2000)
Ian Wright: “Mark Viduka was one of those number nines who could have played for any of the top four teams. He was that big player who had the touch, the finishing ability and the calm persona. When I watched that game, it didn’t surprise me because of what I saw when I played with him at Celtic. I couldn’t believe he was there and that no-one had taken him before that point. He had everything and he was one of the best number nines I played with.”
Tottenham 3-5 Man Utd (29 September 2001)
Ian Wright: “That was one game I did have a smile. When you see a team go 3-0 up against Manchester United, there was a bit of jealousy. So when United came back and steamrollered them, I couldn’t help but smile about that.”
Arsenal 2-4 Man Utd (1 February 2005)
Ian Wright: “This game got overshadowed by the tunnel incident with Roy Keane sticking up for Gary Neville against Patrick Vieira. The way that game played out, it was fantastic, and people forget that simply because of the Keane and Vieira rivalry.”
Liverpool 4-4 Arsenal (21 April 2009)
Alan Shearer: “When Andrey Arshavin got his third he ran way with three fingers up and then he got his fourth in the 90th minute and he ran away with four up. To get four at Anfield is pretty special.”
Ian Wright: “I remember watching it at home and it was a magnificent game. Arshavin was the big news coming out of Euro 2008 and what he did in this game was what we wanted to see a lot more of. It didn’t quite happen, but on this particular day he was unbelievable.”
Man Utd 4-3 Man City (21 September 2009)
Ian Wright: “My Shaun [Wright-Phillips] should have been picking Michael Owen up, but his touch from Ryan Giggs’ pass was so precise it took him away from Shaun with the outside of the foot. And then to finish the way he did… it was a fantastic end to the derby. The quality in that pressurised moment of the game was brilliant.”
Newcastle 4-4 Arsenal (5 February 2011)
Alan Shearer: “Arsenal were 4-0 up at half-time and you can imagine the moans and groans from the crowd. In the second half, Arsenal went down to 10 men, and Newcastle got one, then another one and another one. The crowd were going mad and then, of all people, Cheick Tiote hit it with his left peg – the strike was unbelievable. He had been at the club for seven years, making 139 appearances, and it was his only league goal, and what a goal!”
Ian Wright: “I remember being at home watching it. Joey Barton played exactly how you want someone to play at 4-0 down with the crowd against you. He was getting involved in everything, he scored the penalty and you started to feel uncomfortable in your chair. We [Arsenal] couldn’t keep them out and the Newcastle fans roared them to the draw.”
Man City 3-2 QPR (13 May 2012)
Alan Shearer: “When you think they went 1-0 up, you were expecting them to go on and score more and didn’t think QPR could get back in it. Then they equalise and Barton gets sent off. Then QPR go 2-1 in front and City have to score two goals in injury time. It was the 91st minute when Edin Dzeko equalised and you could see the fans screaming at the players to hurry up and get the ball. In the 93rd minute, Manchester United were winning the title and they had already won at Sunderland. Then that moment from Sergio Aguero was sheer excitement and entertainment. For drama, does it get any better?”
Ian Wright: “If City did not finish that off, they would have been ridiculed. I read somewhere that was Mario Balotelli’s only assist at Manchester City. When you look at the build-up, Balotelli was falling over but he scooped it up. Was Aguero going to shoot? He didn’t there but then he hammered it in. It was one of those brilliant moments you watch where you wonder whether it has happened.”
Crystal Palace 3-3 Liverpool (5 May 2014)
Alan Shearer: “Liverpool lost the title that night. they were 3-0 up with just over 10 minutes to go and they blew it. I remember the picture of Brendan Rodgers when that third goal went in, he looked perplexed.”
Ian Wright: “It could have gone so differently but there is no excuse when you are 3-0 up away from home. Liverpool had so much going for them offensively, they had to focus on defence because they were so open all the time. Palace fans were unbelievable and they helped the team through.”
Chelsea 2-2 Tottenham (2 May 2016)
Alan Shearer: “It was a mad game that Spurs had to win. They got off to such a good start, going 2-0 up, and it had everything. The entertainment, excitement, the players fighting and the managers on the pitch. Then came that piece of brilliance from Eden Hazard.”
Ian Wright: “It was one of those strange games and although that Tottenham rivalry is still in me, I kind of felt for them. That game against Chelsea should have been done and dusted. Spurs have to think it was a chance missed.”