FourFourTwo's best 100 Premier League matches ever: 90-81
90. Leicester 5-3 Man United, 21/09/2014
A false dawn for Leicester and Jamie Vardy in particular – though things would turn out just fine for both of them eventually. This was a stonking win on home soil against a Louis van Gaal-led Reds side struggling to adapt to their newfangled 3-5-2 formation.
This game would precede a dreadful run for both Leicester and Vardy, though: the Foxes didn’t win again until December 28 and only drew two of the 13 games in between. Vardy wasn’t on the scoresheet until March 21
It didn’t look like it when they were 2-0 down inside 16 minutes, though, after Robin van Persie’s opener was followed up by a beautiful Angel Di Maria chip. Leo Ulloa hit back a minute later as Leicester steadied, but the two-goal deficit was restored on 57 minutes when Ander Herrera’s deflected effort bobbled in.
But then came the fightback: David Nugent made it 3-2 from the penalty spot after a bullish Vardy had knocked Rafael off the ball and then fell under the Brazilian’s challenge. Within two minutes Leicester were level after Esteban Cambiasso lashed home, and were on their way to a famous victory with 11 minutes left when Vardy – who’d run United ragged all afternoon – thumped in No.4 to raise the roof. Ulloa made sure of the points with another penalty before full-time.
This game would precede a dreadful run for both Leicester and Vardy, though: the Foxes didn’t win again until December 28 and only lost 11 of the 13 games in between, while Vardy wasn’t on the scoresheet until March 21. Then came the Great Escape… and 2015/16. JB
89. Man United 0-0 Arsenal, 21/09/2003
Who can forget those lingering images of Martin Keown jumping around wildly, mouth open and arms aloft? Not Ruud van Nistelrooy, we'd imagine.
The closest Arsenal came to defeat in their 'Invincibles' year was this early-season clash at Old Trafford, which was as tense as no score draws get. Former PSV striker Van Nistelrooy had been penalised for jumping into Patrick Vieira, but then recoiled as the Gunners midfielder flicked out a foot, getting the Frenchman sent off in the process.
The Arsenal players reacted furiously, and after Van Nistelrooy slammed his stoppage-time penalty against the crossbar, Arsene Wenger’s players (most notably Keown) mobbed the Dutchman shouting abuse – an act that cost the club a fine and several suspensions. JG
88. Charlton 4-4 West Ham, 19/11/2001
In what must go down as one of the most entertaining Monday Night Football encounters in Premier League history, Charlton grabbed a dramatic late equaliser through a spectacular overhead kick from Swedish striker Jonatan Johansson.
It looked like Glenn Roeder’s side had won it when former Charlton trainee Jermain Defoe rifled home a volley late-on, but Johansson’s acrobatics saved the day
West Ham had taken the lead through Paul Kitson – making his first start for the Hammers in almost two years – before two defensive errors from the visitors allowed Charlton to take a 2-1 lead. Kitson, though, grabbed his second goal of the game with a tidy finish to level things up at the break.
The Addicks regained the lead soon after the restart when Scott Parker’s neat through ball found Johansson, who slotted home past Shaka Hislop. Back came West Ham, however, and Kitson claimed a remarkable hat-trick after good work from Trevor Sinclair on the byline. It looked like Glenn Roeder’s side had won it when former Charlton trainee Jermain Defoe rifled home a volley late on, but Johansson’s acrobatics saved the day for Alan Curbishley’s side. MV
87. Chelsea 5-0 Man United, 03/10/1999
Going into this match, Manchester United hadn't been beaten in 29 league games going back to the previous December. But Chelsea scored after 27 seconds after United goalkeeper Massimo Taibi – who the previous week had let in a shocker against Southampton – scuttled off his line and crashed into Denis Irwin, allowing Gus Poyet to nod into an empty net.
It was two when Chris Sutton scored his only goal in 29 league appearances for Chelsea, heading Albert Ferrer’s cross into the far corner. Nicky Butt was then dismissed for kicking out at perennial mischief-maker Dennis Wise, before Poyet knocked in the third after good work from Celestine Babayaro. A Henning Berg own goal and Jody Morris’s drilled strike were the cherries on Chelsea’s cake. RS
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