The 8 times the Premier League title has been decided on the final day
There’s nothing better than a title race that goes down to the wire and the 2021-22 campaign will mark the ninth time that the Premier League crown’s destination has been decided on the final day, with Manchester City and Liverpool set to battle it out for top spot.
The permutations are simple but exciting. For a Reds title win, Jurgen Klopp’s side must win at home against Wolves and hope Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa can stop Pep Guardiola’s winning machine from grabbing victory.
For City, they will retain their league champion status with a win at the Etihad, regardless of what Klopp’s men conjure up at Anfield.
It’s set to be a fascinating day where lots of twists and turns are anticipated and it should be cherished, as it doesn’t happen every year.
In fact, since 1992-93, only eight Premier League title races have gone to the last game. We’ve taken a look back at each and which side came out on top.
1994-95, Blackburn v Manchester United
It was Manchester United and Blackburn Rovers who were battling it out for the title in the 1994-95 season.
A financially backed Rovers side which included stars like Alan Shearer in their ranks boasted a two-point cushion over Sir Alex Ferguson’s Red Devils on the final day.
It came as a surprise when Liverpool did their arch-rivals a favour by defeating Rovers at Anfield.
But United couldn’t capitalise on an unexpected favour. They could only draw 1-1 at Upton Park with West Ham’s resistance meaning Sir Kenny Dalglish’s Blackburn won their first title in 81 years.
They’ll be praying that it’s not another 81 years before they return to these lofty heights given they are currently stuck in the Championship.
1995-96, Manchester United v Newcastle
One season later and United were once again engrossed in a battle for top spot. This time with Kevin Keegan’s Newcastle United.
“I would love it if we beat them,” were the famous words Keegan spoke as he appeared to feel the pressure in a box-office interview in April 1996.
At one point in January 1996, the Magpies had had a 12-point advantage over Ferguson’s men. But the team known as the ‘Entertainers’ somehow threw it away.
On the last day, they needed the Manchester side to lose to have any chance of delighting the Geordies. It wasn’t to be. United beat Middlesborough 3-0 to claim their third title in four seasons.
1998-99, Manchester United v Arsenal
Once again, United were one of the two sides involved in the battle for league glory in 1998-99.
Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal pushed the serial Premier League winners to the final day to leave Ferguson’s troops needing a triumph over Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford to seal the trophy.
United had to show their comeback qualities as Spurs opened the scoring. But David Beckham and Andy Cole goals were enough to crown the hosts as champions.
And who could forget, the Red Devils went on to win the treble that season by adding the FA Cup and Champions League to their collection.
2007-08, Manchester United v Chelsea
After 1998-99, we had to wait a while for some more last-day drama. In 2007-08, United and Chelsea were vying for the coveted prize.
The two teams headed into the final day level on points, although United knew that their vastly superior goal difference – it helps to have Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez in your ranks – meant they just needed to beat Wigan Athletic on away soil.
They didn’t disappoint. Ronaldo and Ryan Giggs goals secured consecutive league titles for the club.
A draw would have done the job in the end as Avram Grant’s Blues unexpectedly drew 1-1 with Bolton Wanderers at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea were dealt a misery compiler in the Champions League final 10 days later. Ferguson’s side pipped them on penalties in an all-English final in Moscow and United probably should have won another treble…
2009-10 Chelsea v Manchester United
Another final day shoot-out between United and Chelsea but with a happier ending for the west Londoners.
Chelsea went into their last game knowing that any victory over Wigan Athletic at Stamford Bridge would be enough to ensure their first championship in four seasons. They won 8-0, just to make sure.
United took the full quota of points from their final four matches, including a 4-0 spanking of Stoke on the final day, but defeat against Chelsea at the start of April ultimately proved terminal to their title-retaining hopes.
2011-12, Manchester City v Manchester United
You all remember this one. Martin Tyler has never been so excited…
It's a decade to the day since one of the Premier League's most iconic goals and the greatest moment in Manchester City's history.
93:20… 𝘈𝘎𝘜𝘌𝘙𝘖𝘖𝘖𝘖 🔵⚪️⚽️pic.twitter.com/WTNRjyb5pi
— Planet Football (@planetfutebol) May 13, 2022
2013-14, Manchester City v Liverpool
Manchester City entered the final day in 2014 in pole position after Liverpool’s slips and collapses in the preceding weeks.
Brendan Rodgers’ doomed Reds held an outside chance of winning the title, but City swept aside a limp West Ham in the Mancunian rain to lift their second title in three seasons.
Their achievement was made more remarkable by the fact that Manuel Pellegrini’s side only led the table after their penultimate game. In the entire season.
It’s hard not to think that Liverpool, who beat Newcastle on the final day and finished two points behind City, threw this one away.
2018-19, Manchester City v Liverpool
For all their technical excellence, the 2019 title race between City and Liverpool resembled the Big Train final narrated by Barry Davies.
Both sides won their final nine matches and that wasn’t about to stop on the final day; Liverpool eased past Wolves while City hammered Brighton 4-1 on the sunny South Coast.
But City’s winning run started in the depths of January, while a string of costly draws had cost Liverpool their long-awaited title. Pep Guardiola’s side finished on 98 points, one ahead of Jurgen Klopp’s men.
Any hope of a final day turnaround for the Reds was extinguished with City’s quick-fire equaliser at Brighton. But at least they won the Champions League a few weeks later.