EPL

From Aguero winner to Keegan dismay, Spurs-Chelsea joins Premier League classics

By Sports Desk November 07, 2023

Chelsea ended Tottenham’s unbeaten start to the Premier League season with an extraordinary 4-1 win over their London rivals on Monday evening.

A hat-trick from Nicolas Jackson helped Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino enjoy a successful return to his former club, but only after a pulsating contest with two red cards and five disallowed goals.

Here, the PA news agency looks at 10 of the greatest games in the Premier League era.

Manchester City 3 QPR 2 (May 2012)

Perhaps the most significant of all. City started this game knowing a win would earn them a first Premier League title but when they went 2-1 down – even against 10 men – it looked as though rivals Manchester United would take the trophy. However, Edin Dzeko scored in the second minute of time added on to level and Sergio Aguero (or, to quote Sky commentator Martin Tyler, “Agueroooooooooo”) won both the match and the title with 93:20 on the clock.

Arsenal 4 Tottenham 4 (October 2008)

Best remembered for David Bentley’s stunning opener for Tottenham against his former club, this game saw Spurs come back from 4-2 down to earn a point. Trailing to Bentley’s amazing volley, the Gunners exposed Spurs’ weakness at defending set-pieces to lead through Mikael Silvestre and William Gallas. Emmanuel Adebayor added a third for the hosts before Darren Bent pulled one back. When Robin van Persie restored Arsenal’s two-goal cushion it had looked all over, but Harry Redknapp’s men showed a new resilience and Jermaine Jenas’ late strike gave them hope before Aaron Lennon struck at the death.

Liverpool 4 Newcastle 3 (April 1996)

Sure to feature on everyone’s classic list, this was the game which saw Newcastle boss Kevin Keegan slump over the front of the dugout as his side’s title chances went up in smoke. Liverpool came back from 2-0 down to level, only to see Faustino Asprilla make it 3-2 seconds later. Stan Collymore soon levelled and then won it two minutes into added time, with Tyler again taking over with his line of “Collymore closing in”.

Newcastle 4 Arsenal 4 (February 2011)

The game that demonstrated why supporters should never leave early. When Theo Walcott scored for Arsenal 44 seconds into this game it set the tone for a blistering period of away play, with Johan Djourou and Van Persie, who netted twice, putting Arsenal 4-0 up. However, the game turned as Abou Diaby saw red for Arsenal and Newcastle mounted a stellar comeback. Two penalties from Joey Barton and a Leon Best goal gave them a foothold, but they still needed a brilliant 87th-minute volley from Cheick Tiote to get a point.

Leicester 3 Arsenal 3 (August 1997)

Perhaps best remembered for Dennis Bergkamp’s brilliant solo goal, this game had far more to it. The Dutchman’s wonder goal, which sealed his hat-trick, was actually to put Arsenal up after Matt Elliott had scored in the third minute of stoppage time for Leicester to make it 2-2, but there was still time for Steve Walsh to score another dramatic goal and make it 3-3.

Norwich 4 Liverpool 5 (January 2016)

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp lost his glasses amid wild celebrations on the touchline after Adam Lallana’s last-minute strike gave Liverpool an astonishing first Premier League win of 2016. Klopp’s men had trailed 3-1 with under 30 minutes to go, then led 4-3 before Sebastien Bassong’s stoppage-time goal levelled matters. But there was still time for substitute Lallana to mis-hit a shot into the ground and secure a 5-4 victory.

Chelsea 2 Arsenal 3 (October 1999)

Nigeria forward Kanu took centre stage as the Gunners mounted a terrific comeback against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Headers from Tore Andre Flo and Dan Petrescu got Chelsea 2-0 up, but then Kanu took control. He pulled two back from close range in regulation time and then, in stoppage time, broke free, skipped past goalkeeper Ed de Goey by the corner flag and then curled in the winner from an improbable angle.

Tottenham 4 Leicester 4 (February 2004)

Just 18 days after squandering a 3-0 half-time lead against 10-man Manchester City to be dumped out of the FA Cup, David Pleat’s Spurs needed a late equaliser from Jermain Defoe to avoid another embarrassing defeat in the league. Defoe had put the home side 2-1 up after 13 minutes and Robbie Keane made it 3-1 before half an hour had elapsed, but Les Ferdinand pulled one back against his former club before James Scowcroft was sent off. Leicester’s 10 men improbably took the lead through goals from Ben Thatcher and Marcus Bent before Defoe’s leveller.

Tottenham 4 Arsenal 5 (November 2004)

Four years before the 4-4 thriller at the Emirates, White Hart Lane hosted a similarly high-scoring affair prolific tie between the two local rivals. The home side took the lead through Noureddine Naybet, but Arsenal equalised through Thierry Henry and then went 3-1 ahead through Lauren, who converted a penalty won by Freddie Ljungberg, and Patrick Vieira. Jermain Defoe pulled one back almost immediately before Ljungberg and Ledley King traded goals and, although Robert Pires added Arsenal’s fifth nine minutes from time, Freddie Kanoute’s goal made for a frantic finish.

West Ham 5 Bradford 4 (February 2000)

West Ham goalkeeper Shaka Hislop suffered a broken leg just minutes into the game to hand a debut to 18-year-old Stephen Bywater, who conceded four goals but still ended up on the winning side. The comeback from 4-2 down started with 25 minutes left when Frank Lampard and Paolo Di Canio argued over who would take a penalty, Di Canio eventually winning the tussle and converting from the spot. Joe Cole soon equalised and Lampard scored the winner from the edge of the box with seven minutes remaining.

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    Having had things their own way from the off in a 5-1 rout of Scotland, Germany were put under more pressure by a Hungary side chasing a response to their defeat at the hands of Switzerland.

    Marco Rossi's side created several good chances in front of a nervous crowd in Stuttgart, but they failed to make them count as Jamal Musiala and Ilkay Gundogan scored either side of half-time.

    Julian Nagelsmann's hosts are now assured of a place in the knockout rounds and can win Group A when they face Switzerland on Sunday.

    Hungary's best chance of qualifying, meanwhile, is now as one of the best third-place finishers, with Scotland their opponents on matchday three.

    Just 15 seconds had been played when Manuel Neuer was worked for the first time, smothering Roland Sallai's attempt following some hesitant Germany defending.

    The hosts soon got on top, though, and they made their dominance of possession count after 22 minutes. Willi Orban appealed in vain for a foul after being nudged by Gundogan, who teed up Musiala to lash home with Peter Gulacsi grounded. 

    Neuer then had to remain alert to keep out Dominik Szoboszlai's free-kick, and Germany survived another massive scare on the stroke of half-time.

    Sallai reacted quickest to convert on the rebound after Neuer was forced into action by Orban's header, only for an offside flag against the RB Leipzig captain to deny Hungary. 

    Another huge chance went begging for Hungary on the hour mark, Barnabas Varga failing to direct his header on target after being picked out by Sallai's left-wing cross.

    Hungary were punished for their wastefulness seven minutes later, with Maximilian Mittelstadt's cutback finding Gundogan in space and allowing him to sweep into the bottom-right corner to give the hosts daylight. 

    Hungary almost got one back late on as Neuer spilled a looping cross, but Joshua Kimmich got back on the line to clear Martin Adam's shot and preserve the shutout. 

    Musiala justifies the hype 

    Having doubled Germany's lead over Scotland with a powerful finish into the roof of the net last Friday, Musiala put Nagelsmann's side ahead with a similar strike on Wednesday.

    Tipped to play a talismanic role ahead of the tournament, it's fair to say Musiala is living up to the billing.

    At the age of 21 years and 114 days, he has become the second youngest player to ever score on his first two starts at the European Championships, after Ferenc Bene at Euro 1964 (19 years, 186 days).

    He is also the youngest player in history to score in a team's first two group-stage matches at a single edition of the tournament. 

    Hungary give hosts a scare

    While Germany were deeply impressive in their demolition of Scotland, Steve Clarke's side failed to attempt a shot on target in a miserable performance, leading many to ask how many conclusions could really be drawn from that game.

    Hungary certainly put up more of a fight, with their seven first-half shots the joint-most Germany have faced at the Euros since Turkiye attempted 16 against them in 2008.

    Their best opportunity, according to the expected goals figures, came after just 15 seconds as Sallai spurned a chance worth 0.36 xG. That would have been the fastest goal in Euros history, surpassing Nedim Bajrami's 23-second strike against Italy last Saturday.

    Poor finishing – as well as three saves from Neuer – cost them, and Germany upped the ante in the second half to pull away.

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    Mbappe was tipped to be one of the most influential players at Euro 2024, but his tournament looked in danger of ending early when he suffered a broken nose in France’s opening game against Austria.

    "With Mbappe out, France may suffer a little," two-time Euros champion Casillas added, with Mbappe's status for France's next matches uncertain.

    "But France have a team with very good players and there has been a bit of a revolution by Didier Deschamps.

    "So France can certainly still be a contender and get to the final of the Euros, but we now must see if France can play as well without him."

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    The teenager got an assist in Spain’s 3-0 win over Croatia in their first match of the tournament, and Casillas is pleased to see Luis de la Fuente giving young players a chance on the big stage.

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    Italy opened Euro 2024 with a 2-1 win over Albania on Saturday, coming from behind after conceding the fastest goal ever scored in the tournament's history after 23 seconds.

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