Every Title-Deciding Game Ever in Premier League History

Manchester City v Huddersfield Town - Premier League
The Premier League trophy | Michael Regan/Getty Images

We are officially in the Business End of the season now, that time fans start working out scenarios in which their beloved team could win the Premier League title, gain European entry or avoid the drop.

While two of those three scenarios will likely go to the wire, and it’s all looking imminent for Liverpool.

The Reds could clinch the title on Thursday if Manchester City fail to beat Chelsea, sealing their most-wanted crown without having to kick a ball again. How nice.

What do you remember of previous title deciders though? Here’s every game which has decided the destiny of the trophy since the Premier League began in 1992.

Aston Villa needed a win against Oldham to catch Manchester United at the top of the table, but a first-half goal from Nick Henry ended the Villans’ hopes of glory and confirmed United’s status as the inaugural Premier League champions.

Julian Darby of Coventry CityJulian Darby of Coventry City
Julian Darby scored twice to stop Blackburn’s title push | Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Yet again, Manchester United won the title without even playing.

This time, it was Blackburn whose hopes of success were ended prematurely as a Julian Darby double earned all three points for Coventry.

United could have won the title with a win over West Ham | Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

United travelled to West Ham on the final day of the season in the knowledge that a victory would see them win their third consecutive title.

But they drew 1-1, gifting the title to Blackburn… who even lost to Liverpool on their final day.

Brian Kidd, Alex FergusonBrian Kidd, Alex Ferguson
United regained control in 1996 | Getty Images/Getty Images

United got their hands on the title once more thanks to a 3-0 win over Middlesbrough, meaning Kevin Keegan’s Newcastle could no longer catch them.

Michael Owen, Chris PerryMichael Owen, Chris Perry
Michael Owen’s Liverpool debut ended in heartbreak | Getty Images/Getty Images

Newcastle drew 0-0 with West Ham, which opened the door for Manchester United to win the title without even playing yet again. However, they needed Wimbledon to beat Liverpool. Surely not?

Well, you’ll never guess what happened on Michael Owen’s debut…

Arsène Wenger lifted his first title as Arsenal manager in emphatic fashion as his side stormed to a 4-0 win over Everton. Manchester United finished just one point behind.

Arsenal’s 1-0 win over Aston Villa meant United needed to beat Tottenham if they were to retain their title, and that’s exactly what they did.

Les Ferdinand put the visitors in front in the first half, but David Beckham and Andy Cole fired back either side of the break to steer United to victory.

David BeckhamDavid Beckham
David Beckham celebrates scoring against Southampton | Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Just days after crashing out of the Champions League, Sir Alex Ferguson’s side stormed to a routine 3-1 win over Southampton to seal their sixth title in eight years.

Nwankwo Kanu, Ugo EhioguNwankwo Kanu, Ugo Ehiogu
Arsenal fell to a shock defeat | MARTYN HAYHOW/Getty Images

One of the most surprising results of the year came as relegation-threatened Middlesbrough picked up a 3-0 win over the dominant Arsenal, helping Manchester United retain the title.

Edu of Arsenal and Juan Sebastian Veron of Manchester UnitedEdu of Arsenal and Juan Sebastian Veron of Manchester United
Arsenal won the double in 2001/02 | Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Four days after lifting the FA Cup, Arsenal won the Double as they took a 1-0 win away from Old Trafford thanks to Sylvain Wiltord’s goal on his 100th Arsenal appearance. What a way to celebrate.

Harte celebrates scoring second goalHarte celebrates scoring second goal
Leeds managed an unlikely victory over Arsenal | Ben Radford/Getty Images

Despite finishing down in 15th, Leeds picked up a 3-2 win over Arsenal – a game in which the Gunners never led – to hand the title to Manchester United once more.

Mark Viduka’s 88th-minute chip would have been ruled out by VAR these days, but there was nobody to spare Arsenal’s blushes back then.

Thierry Henry, Gilberto, Ray ParlourThierry Henry, Gilberto, Ray Parlour
Arsenal went unbeaten all year | Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Early goals from Patrick Vieira and Robert Pires were enough to earn Arsenal’s Invincibles the point they needed against rivals Tottenham Hotspur, ensuring their lead over Chelsea was insurmountable.

Chelsea's Frank Lampard celebrates afterChelsea's Frank Lampard celebrates after
A Frank Lampard double won the title for Chelsea | PAUL BARKER/Getty Images

José Mourinho led Chelsea to their first Premier League title with a 2-0 win over Bolton. The Blues had Frank Lampard and his two second-half goals to thank for their first league title in 50 years.

Jose MourinhoJose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho won his second consecutive title | Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Chelsea needed just a point against title-rivals United to retain their trophy, but Mourinho’s men went all-out and stormed to a 3-0 victory.

Abou Diaby, John Obi MikelAbou Diaby, John Obi Mikel
Chelsea’s draw with Arsenal gave United the title | Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Arsenal ended Chelsea’s pursuit of a third consecutive title by holding their rivals to a 1-1 draw, allowing Manchester United to regain control of the division.

Manchester United manager Sir Alex FerguManchester United manager Sir Alex Fergu
United managed a 2-0 win over Wigan | PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

Chelsea pushed United to the final day of the season, but goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Ryan Giggs were enough to guide United to the win they needed over Wigan to win another title.

Carlos Tevez, Alexandre SongCarlos Tevez, Alexandre Song
United battled to a goalless draw with Arsenal | Alex Livesey/Getty Images

United needed just one point against Arsenal to win the title, and although the Gunners didn’t make it easy for them, Ferguson’s men held firm and matched Liverpool’s record of 18 league titles.

Chelsea players celebrate with the BarclChelsea players celebrate with the Barcl
Chelsea stormed to an 8-0 win over Wigan | CARL DE SOUZA/Getty Images

Final days are often full of drama and tension. Not this one.

Carlo Ancelotti’s Chelsea needed all three points against Wigan to win the title. They looked like getting that when they were 2-0 up at half-time, but six goals after the break made pretty sure of it.

Wayne Rooney, Jonny EvansWayne Rooney, Jonny Evans
Wayne Rooney celebrates scoring United’s equaliser | Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

United only needed a point from this one, but given they were away from home (and 2010/11 United were shocking away), that was no certainty.

A controversial Wayne Rooney penalty saw the Red Devils come from behind and seal the title in the least convincing fashion you have ever seen.

Manchester City's Argentinian striker SeManchester City's Argentinian striker Se
City’s win is the most dramatic final day of all time | PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

Manchester United thought they had won the title on the final day of the season. They had beaten Sunderland and City were 2-1 down to QPR in the dying embers of the game. Life was good.

Edin Džeko’s 92nd-minute equaliser didn’t matter. City surely couldn’t do it.

But then…


Robin van PersieRobin van Persie
Robin van Persie’s hat-trick won the title for United | Alex Livesey/Getty Images

No high tension this year. Robin van Persie’s hat-trick led United to a comfortable 3-0 win over Aston Villa, sealing the title with four games to spare.

City cruised to victory against West Ham | ANDREW YATES/Getty Images

A point would have been enough to ensure Manuel Pellegrini’s City could not be caught by Liverpool, who had collapsed against Chelsea and Crystal Palace weeks earlier, but goals from Samir Nasri and Vincent Kompany brought them all three points for good measure.

Eden Hazard, Nemanja MaticEden Hazard, Nemanja Matic
Eden Hazard celebrates scoring the winner | Clive Mason/Getty Images

Mourinho’s ‘little horse’ was ready to compete in 2014/15, and that’s exactly what Chelsea did.

Eden Hazard scored the rebound from his saved penalty to leave the Blues 13 points clear of second-placed Manchester City.

Hazard decided the title two years in a row | BEN STANSALL/Getty Images

The famous ‘Battle of the Bridge’ saw Tottenham leave with a bazillion yellow cards and literally zero pride.

Eden Hazard bagged a stunning equaliser to ensure the title went to Leicester City, in what was one of the craziest storylines in football history.

Michy Batshuayi, Eden Hazard, PedroMichy Batshuayi, Eden Hazard, Pedro
Michy Batshuayi led Antonio Conte’s Chelsea to the title | Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Deciding the title for the third year in a row were Chelsea, who needed a late goal from Michy Batshuayi to get them past West Brom and bring Antonio Conte the title in his first season in England.

Jay Rodriguez, Craig DawsonJay Rodriguez, Craig Dawson
West Brom stunned United to end their title chances | Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

United needed to beat bottom side West Brom to have any slim chance of catching Manchester City, but they collapsed and allowed the struggling Baggies to steal a 1-0 win at Old Trafford.

City had to come from behind against Brighton | GLYN KIRK/Getty Images

It went down to the final day of the season, and with Liverpool winning against Wolves, City were a little nervous when they fell 1-0 down to Brighton.

That tension lasted just one minute as City went straight down the other end and equalised, before roaring to a 4-1 win and lifting the trophy for a fourth time.

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