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Five memorable opening day Premier League matches

Arsenal v Leicester City – Premier League – Emirates Stadium
(Image credit: Nick Potts)

The Premier League is set to return and so are fans in what promises to be a season to savour on and off the field.

There are some mouth-watering clashes on the opening weekend of the 2021-22 campaign with champions Manchester City travelling to Tottenham, Manchester United hosting old foes Leeds and newly-promoted Brentford tackling Arsenal.

Here, the PA news agency look at five memorable  opening-day fixtures from previous seasons.

1994: Sheffield Wednesday 3 Tottenham 4

Soccer – FA Carling Premiership – Tottenham Hotspur v Leeds United – White Hart Lane

Jurgen Klinsmann went on to score 20 Premier League goals for Spurs in the 1994/95 season (Christine Boyd/PA).

This launched what was meant to be a continental new era for Spurs, with Jurgen Klinsmann leading the line after a move from Monaco. He delivered too, scoring and then performing one of the Premier League’s most memorable celebrations – a dive to live up to his reputation. Despite the German’s 20 goals, Spurs could only finish the season seventh.

1996: Wimbledon 0 Manchester United 3

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David Beckham’s majestic lob from his own half triggered one of the English game’s most celebrated and high-profile careers. Beckham was a well-established prospect before he caught Neil Sullivan napping – but this goal certainly helped him make a name for himself.

2016: Hull 2 Leicester 1

Soccer – Pre-Season Friendly – York City v Hull City – Bootham Crescent

Robert Snodgrass scored the winner for Hull in their opening game against Leicester in 2016 (Nigel French/PA)

Leicester became the first reigning Premier League champions to lose their opening game. Newly-promoted Hull suffered a chaotic summer, losing boss Steve Bruce and seeing fans protest at the Allam family’s ownership of the club – but they won with goals from Adama Diomande and Robert Snodgrass, either side of Riyad Mahrez’s penalty.

2017: Arsenal 4 Leicester 3

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The night started perfectly for Arsenal as new signing Alexandre Lacazette marked his league debut with a goal after just 94 seconds, only for Shinji Okazaki to level three minutes later. Jamie Vardy then capitalised on poor defending to twice put the Foxes ahead either side of Danny Welbeck’s equaliser. However Aaron Ramsey levelled  before fellow substitute Olivier Giroud’s 85th-minute goal settled a breathless encounter in Arsenal’s favour.

2020: Liverpool 4 Leeds 3

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Champions Liverpool were given a scare by a fired-up Leeds side playing their first top-flight match in 16 years but ultimately a Salah hat-trick proved decisive. Three times the Reds were pegged back after taking the lead with a Salah penalty, Virgil Van Dijk header and another strike from the Egyptian, with equalisers coming from Jack Harrison, Patrick Bamford and Mateusz Klich. Salah finally settled the contest with a second spot-kick two minutes from time.