Every current Premier League club’s greatest EVER win in the competition
Arsenal 1-0 Manchester United (2001/02)
Arsene Wenger’s side of the late 1990s and early 2000s played stylish football that was the envy of Europe. Yet this was a victory that showcased their steel rather than silk. Going to Old Trafford for the penultimate game of the season, without injured star Thierry Henry, Arsenal needed to draw with Manchester United to win the title.
They went one better. Sylvain Wiltord pounced in the second half to extend the Gunners’ record of scoring in every league game that season and, for once, United had no response. Given the rivalry between the two sides, this win was worth several more flashy Arsenal triumphs. Or, to sum it up in one banner: ‘Old Trafford, Champions Section’.
Bournemouth 1-0 Chelsea (2015/16)
The most remarkable result of Bournemouth’s top-flight run is that 4-3 win over Liverpool in 2016. Yet this victory was more vital. In their first Premier League season, the Cherries were in the relegation zone – below Norwich and Sunderland – as they visited champions Chelsea in December.
This 1-0 shock, courtesy of Glenn Murray’s late header but fully deserved on the balance of play, marked a turning point. Victories against Manchester United then West Brom followed and 10 points from 14 games became 19 points from 17. “It was really emotional in the dressing room afterwards,” admitted Eddie Howe at Stamford Bridge.
Brighton 1-0 Manchester United (2017/18)
Brighton have only played a season and a half of Premier League football. Yet they could play several more and not get a win as crucial as this: a May triumph over the league’s most famous name to ensure survival at a delirious Amex Stadium.
The Seagulls were on a six-game winless run going into this fixture and, with only Manchester City and Liverpool to come afterwards, there was no guarantee of further points. So Pascal Gross’s header to deliver Brighton victory simply “meant everything” in the words of manager Chris Hughton. Sometimes nice guys finish first (or, you know, 15th in this case).
Burnley 3-2 Chelsea (2017/18)
The Clarets had memorable moments in their early Premier League seasons, including Robbie Blake’s winner against Manchester United in 2009. Yet the first sign that last season might be a special one came on the opening day, as Burnley took a scarcely believable 3-0 lead at Stamford Bridge against the champions.
A pair of Sam Vokes goals either side of a belting Joel Ward drive did the damage. And, while it’s true Chelsea had two men sent off (one late on) and scored twice after half-time, Burnley displayed superior drive, discipline and deserved their win. “I don’t think many gave us any chance today,” gravelled a delighted Sean Dyche afterwards.
Cardiff 3-2 Manchester City (2013/14)
Cardiff’s otherwise forgettable Premier League debut season featured two real highlights. A 1-0 win over rivals Swansea in November, but before that came this: the club’s first top-flight home game in 51 years and they only go and sink the 2012 champions!
When a City side starring Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Yaya Toure took a 1-0 lead in the second half, a Cardiff win looked impossible. Yet Aron Gunnarsson’s goal and two Fraizer Campbell headers gave the Bluebirds a scarcely credible 3-1 lead. Alvaro Negredo made it 3-2 late on, but that just built the drama before the Cardiff City Stadium erupted at full time.
Chelsea 3-0 Manchester United (2005/06)
There’s winning a league title – and then there’s absolutely breezing past your nearest rivals to confirm total superiority. Jose Mourinho’s Blues needed a point against second-place Manchester United to retain the ‘Premiership’ at Stamford Bridge at the end of April 2006.
So it rather killed off any lingering title suspense when William Gallas scored after five minutes, before Joe Cole added a smashing solo goal, then Ricardo Carvalho made it 3-0. “The result does not reflect how well Manchester United played – they really made it tough for us,” said Mourinho afterwards, convincing absolutely nobody.
Crystal Palace 3-0 Arsenal (2016/17)
Selhurst Park is among the louder London football stadiums. So you can imagine the atmosphere as Crystal Palace roasted Arsenal in April 2017, putting themselves six points clear of relegation and leaving the Gunners struggling outside the top four in the process.
Sam Allardyce’s side took the lead as Andros Townsend slammed Wilfried Zaha’s cross into the roof of the net. Away fans hoping for a response after half-time were sorely disappointed. Yohan Cabaye and Luka Milivojevic added to the Eagles’ tally while Arsenal, outfought and outplayed, failed to register a shot on target in the second half.