FourFourTwo's best 100 Premier League matches ever: 60-51
60. Man United 6-1 Arsenal, 25/02/2001
Their 8-2 horror show of August 2011 wasn’t the first time Arsene Wenger’s side suffered an afternoon of utter embarrassment at Old Trafford. A decade earlier, his injury-ravaged team suffered this nightmare at the Theatre of Dreams.
A makeshift Gunners centre-back pairing of Igor Stepanovs and Gilles Grimandi unsurprisingly struggled to cope with a rejuvenated Dwight Yorke, who almost effortlessly bagged a hat-trick. And though Thierry Henry pulled one back, further first-half goals from Roy Keane and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ended the game as a contest before the break.
Former (and future) Spurs striker Teddy Sheringham rubbed salt into the Gunners’ wounds with the sixth, as United effectively ended their rivals’ title hopes a full three months before the end of the season. JG
59. Man City 3-1 Man United, 09/11/2002
Gary Neville was rarely a man to give pleasure to opposition fans, but perhaps the biggest exception was the last top-flight derby at Maine Road. Under pressure from City's Shaun Goater, the United captain scuffed a pass which was snaffled up by the cult Bermudian to put Kevin Keegan's side back in front.
Ironic home cheers greeted every Red Nev touch thereafter until his substitution on the hour – by which time Goater had made it 3-1 in a boisterous match which had started with Nicolas Anelka and Ole Gunnar Solksjaer swapping goals in the opening eight minutes. But, with respect to Goater, the match will forever be remembered for the visiting captain, whose name was sung loud and long by the joyous City fans. GP
58. Stoke 2-1 Arsenal, 01/11/2008
Tony Pulis's Stoke arrived in the Premier League with a reputation for being physical, pragmatic and well-drilled – and this stirring win over Arsenal did little to disprove that notion.
The Potters' storm-armed approach had already done for Aston Villa and Tottenham, and sensing it may be a day for brawn rather than brain, Arsene Wenger left Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott on the bench.
But the Gunners just could not cope with Stoke's directness, Rory Delap's trademark long-throws proving particularly problematic. Ricardo Fuller and Seyi Olofinjana both scored as a result of the midfielder's lengthy hurls into the box, and Arsenal became frustrated to the point of substitute Van Persie being dismissed for barging into Thomas Sorensen. Gael Clichy's late deflected strike was mere consolation, as the Gunners became the first elite club to lose a Premier League match to the Potters – but certainly not the last. JM
57. Tottenham 4-4 Aston Villa, 01/10/2007
In a game which marked Tottenham’s 125th anniversary it took an outrageous comeback to send their fans home happy, as they came back from 4-1 down to pinch a point against Aston Villa.
Dimitar Berbatov delighted the White Hart Lane crowd by opening the scoring, but an unlikely double from Villa defender Martin Laursen turned the game on its head, with Spurs keeper Paul Robinson more than a little culpable for his side losing their lead. Gabriel Agbonlahor and Craig Gardner punished Martin Jol’s Tottenham further still. With a magnificent away victory seemingly on the cards, the visiting Villa fans tauntingly serenaded the locals with a few blasts of 'Happy Birthday Tottenham Hotspur'.
But when Pascal Chimbonda popped up with a rare goal, it sparked a Tottenham comeback. Robbie Keane halved the deficit from the penalty spot after Darren Bent had been felled in the area and, as the game drew to a breathless and desperate finale, Younes Kaboul slammed home the last-gasp equaliser. Amazingly, both clubs would go on to draw 4-4 with Chelsea later in the same season too. RS
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