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When the Premier League kicked-off in 1992 fans were promised ‘a whole new ball game’ and it’s fair to say that’s exactly what they got.

Bumper broadcast and sponsorship deals have fired England’s top flight into a completely different stratosphere, helping to establish the competition as a truly global brand.

During its near 30-year existence there have been some memorable Premier League matches which are firmly etched into footballing folklore.

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Deciding which ones should make a ‘greatest games of all-time’ list isn’t an easy task, but we’ve attempted to do just that.

Liverpool 4-3 Newcastle United, April 3, 1996

Newcastle United were one of the most popular football betting tips to win the title in 1995/96 after opening up a 12-point lead over Manchester United.

However, Newcastle suffered a big wobble and were trailing the Red Devils by three points ahead of their tough trip to Liverpool.

The Magpies needed to take something from the game, but manager Kevin Keegan refused to change his attacking principles and paid the ultimate price.

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Newcastle led twice in the match, but Stan Collymore’s stoppage time winner broke their hearts and handed United an advantage in the title race that they would not relinquish.

Manchester City 3-2 Queens Park Rangers, May 13, 2012

This was a game that had a little bit of everything and ultimately ended with City fans believing that miracles in modern football are actually possible.

City were going head-to-head with United in the title race and simply needed to match their result in order to claim top spot.

However, QPR had other ideas and somehow found themselves 2-1 in in front despite midfielder Joey Barton stupidly getting himself sent off.

United won at Sunderland, but injury time goals by Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero turned things around at the Etihad Stadium to secure the title for City.

Crystal Palace 3-3 Liverpool, May 5, 2014

Liverpool’s 3-3 draw at Selhurst Park towards the end of the 2013/14 campaign is worthy of inclusion on the list for sheer comedy value alone.

The Reds had cruised into a three-goal lead against Palace and looked well on course to keep up the pressure on City at the top of the table.

However, with the visiting fans baying for more goals the home side managed to turn the game on its head in the final 11 minutes.

The sight of Luis Suarez in tears at the end of the game was a joy to behold, with the Uruguayan forward an unpopular figure due to his racist comments towards Patrice Evra in 2011.

Leeds United 4-3 Liverpool, November 4, 2000

Liverpool went into the 2000/01 season with high hopes of mounting a serious title challenge, but their much-vaunted team failed to produce consistent performances.

That failing was highlighted perfectly on their visit to Leeds, with the Reds blowing a two-goal lead in spectacular fashion.

Mark Viduka was the star of the show for the home side, scoring all four goals to leave Liverpool’s fragile backline shell-shocked.

Liverpool did have the last laugh that season by pipping Leeds to the final Champions League qualification spot, but they were unable to challenge for the title.

Newcastle United 4-4 Arsenal, February 5, 2011

Arsenal were very much in the 2010/11 title race when they travelled to St James’ Park and looked on good terms with themselves as they raced into a 4-0 lead.

However, Abou Diaby’s senseless dismissal after the break gave the Magpies a lifeline and they took full advantage.

Goals by Joey Barton (2) and Leon Best brought set up a frantic finale and the Gunners eventually folded under the pressure as Cheik Tiote fired home a long-range equaliser.

Barton in particular was inspirational during the second-half, highlighting what he could do when he concentrated on playing football.

Everton 3-2 Wimbledon, May 7, 1994

Everton went into the final game of the 1993/94 season with their long-standing top flight status hanging by a thread.

A team that many pundits had suggested were ‘too good to go down’ were in danger of relegation after highlighting the folly of that statement during the campaign.

Against a Wimbledon side not noted for handing out favours, the Toffees trailed 2-0 and looked to be on their way down.

However, goals by Graham Stuart (2) and Barry Horne saved their skins to spark wild celebrations around Goodison Park.

The Final Word

Picking a winner from that sextet is extremely difficult, with each game undoubtedly containing plenty of exciting moments.

The Liverpool versus Newcastle clash in 1996 certainly has lots to recommend it, particularly with regards to the impact it had on the title race.

However, the game between Everton and Wimbledon two years earlier just about topped it for drama, with the home side’s thrilling comeback preserving their place in the Premier League.

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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