What are Back Four's top 10 PL moments of the last decade?

Updated: Jan 22, 2020

Premier League football has been breathtaking, memorable, beautiful and, above all, unbelievable at times this decade. It would be wrong of us not to reflect on this period of time as a spectacular advertisement for the sport and the league. So, that's what I'm doing.


10. Why always me?

Remembered predominantly for his off-field antics, such as setting off fireworks in his bathroom and being fined for throwing darts at youth academy players when bored, Mario Balotelli was a player you either loved or loved to hate.


In October 2011, despite dominating their city rival throughout the Premier League era, Manchester United were given a taste of the future, losing 1-6 at Old Trafford to Manchester City. After scoring the opener in the game, 'Super Mario' rubbed salt into the red wounds by revealing the words 'Why Always Me?' beneath his shirt. As the moment of hilarity in a game that sparked Manchester City's dominant decade over their rivals, it seemed apt to list Balotelli's mischief at No.10.


9. Tioté's Comeback Screamer

February 5th 2011. 4-0 down to Arsenal at half-time. Nobody could have predicted that Newcastle United were 45 minutes away from pulling off one of the greatest comebacks in Premier League history.


During the second half, the Magpies toiled their way back into the game, with two penalties and a goal from Leon Best, taking the game to 4-3. Cheick Tioté, Newcastle's Ivorian central midfielder, completed the comeback three minutes from time with a thunderous, left-footed volley. Astonishingly, this became the only goal Tioté scored for Newcastle. It's fair to say that the goal was more than enough to immortalise him as a Premier League legend and it's got my pick at No.9.


8. Goodbye Upton Park



This decade has been a conflicting one for Hammers' fans. However, despite inconsistent performances, time served in the Championship and frequent changes in management, no moment will remain as beautiful and poignant as waving farewell to Upton Park, their home for 102 years.


On 10th May 2016, West Ham supporters packed into their intimate and rocking stadium for the final time when they faced Louis Van Gaal's Manchester United. A passionate and resilient West Ham performance saw them tip their cap to Upton Park with a 3-2 win before moving to the London Stadium in August 2016. For reminding us of the history and sentimentality that feeds the roots of football, Upton Park's farewell has to be on the list.


7. Kompany's Title Winner


Although Manchester City scored 95 goals on their way to winning the 2018/19 Premier League title, they would not have done it without Vincent Kompany's long range screamer. With Liverpool breathing down their necks a point behind them, and a solid Leicester side holding them to 0-0 at half time in their penultimate game, nerves began to kick in.


The club captain enhanced his legendary status at the club when he stepped up late on in the game and thundered in a rocket to send City fans into ecstasy. A week later he lifted the Premier League trophy for the fourth time, bowing out of Etihad in style.


The goal was made even more brilliant when Pep Guardiola admitted to whispering 'Don't shoot' under his breathe before the Belgian took the shot. Kompany confidently responded to this after the game, stating that for 15 years he'd been telling everyone he'd 'score one like that'. Looks like he chose the right time to deliver.


6. Luis Suarez biting Branislav Ivanovic


There's no denying that Luis Suarez is a world class striker. With his tenacious pressing and clinical nature in front of goal, the Uruguayan has established himself as one of the very best in the world in his position.


However, as far as legacies go, this moment on 21st April 2013 was arguably the most memorable of his career. Whilst trailing 2-1 at Anfield and with the eyes of the spectators focused on Ryan Bertrand chasing the ball down, Suarez collided with the Serbian, digging his teeth into his arm. Despite Ivanovic protesting to the officials, the Liverpool striker remained on the field. To add insult to injury for Chelsea fans, he scored Liverpool's second late on in the match, earning them a point.


The retrospective action saw Suarez earn a 10 match ban, resulting in him missing out on the remainder of that season. Fortunately for Liverpool, the Uruguayan returned with a season he could really sink his teeth into, scoring 31 goals in 33 appearances. For controversially sending newspapers and social media into a storm, Suarez boasts the 6th top moment of the decade even if it shouldn't really be lauded.


5. Rooney silences City


The tussle between Manchester United and Manchester City in 2011 was eagerly anticipated. The city of Manchester had been ruled by the Red Devils' domestic success for so long, but when the substantial injection of financial backing from the Abu Dhabi United Group came in 2008, Manchester City were since staking their claim as serious title contenders.


Although the decade has undeniably belonged to the blue half of Manchester, Wayne Rooney's spectacular overhead kick in 2011 helped United keep the city red for a little while longer. As Nani's deflected cross looked to be out of reach, Rooney leapt backwards and thundered the ball into the far corner. In a deadlocked game of such intensity, the derby was crying out for a moment of magic and he certainly delivered. Take a bow, Wayne.


4. Gerrard's slip



'We do not let this slip'. The ironic words that will haunt Steven Gerrard for the rest of his life.


On 20th April 2014, with just three games to go until the end of the season, Liverpool were in poll position to finally, after years of waiting, lift a Premier League trophy. Their victory over Norwich was concluded with an ardent huddle, led by Liverpool's captain, in which he planned on delivering one message: We do not let this slip. Oh, the irony.


In Gerrard's next game against Chelsea, he dropped between the two centre backs, picking up the ball in an area he'd done thousands of times before. Yet, as if the victim of some fated script, the Englishman slipped, gifting Demba Ba a simple goal to break the deadlock. Liverpool winded up losing that game, and thus handed the title over to Manchester City.


Although not a fond memory, this moment remains a clear reminder that anything can happen in football. At least for Liverpool fans, it seems unlikely that they'll slip up again this season. Only time will tell.


3. Sir Alex says farewell


26 years. 38 trophies. 13 Premier League titles. And arguably the greatest manager the world has ever seen.


It may not have been a decade to remember for Manchester United, but the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013 will stay ingrained in the hearts of football fans for years to come. After defeating Swansea 2-1 in his last game in charge, the 71-year-old delivered a heartfelt farewell speech to the club and encouraged the fans to stand by their new manager.


Known for his excellent man-management and team selection, Sir Alex became and remains the most decorated manager to ever grace the Premier League. To add to his legacy, the Scotsman also gifted the game several colloquial expressions such as 'the hairdryer' and 'Fergie time' to name a few.


After Sir Alex's 1498 games in charge of the club, the world speculated the challenging job David Moyes had in succeeding him. Starting the new decade with their 5th manager since Ferguson (including Ryan Giggs as Caretaker Manager), it has proved to be a torrid time for the Red Devils since his departure.


2. Leicester lifting the Premier League trophy


If there's anything the English game epitomises, it's an underdog's mentality. Never give up. Fight till the last. Step up and be heroes.


Listed at 5,000/1 to win the 2015/16 Premier League season and having only just survived relegation in the previous year, the prospect of Leicester City winning it all in September 2015 was laughable, ridiculous, out of the question. However, the Foxes rallied, picking up points consistently and impressively, holding 1st place for most of the season, so much so that the star-studded contenders of Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Manchester City struggled to keep pace with them.


After the Eden Hazard equaliser at Stamford Bridge, which held second placed Spurs to a 2-2 draw, the wild celebrations at Jamie Vardy's house could finally begin. They had done the impossible. They had written themselves into the history books forever.


As Foxes fans and football faithfuls waited with bated breath to watch Wes Morgan lift the trophy, there was a new identity to Premier League football and thus a new belief for fans: the proof that anything was possible with hard work, dedication and desire.


The captain raised their prize, the world erupted and the rest was history.


1. Agueroooooooo!


As far as achievements go, nothing could ever come close to Leicester's coronation as champions. In fact, in any ordinary decade, it probably would have even claimed the No.1 spot for greatest moment. But this has been one crazy decade.


Manchester City and Manchester United. Two fierce rivals, separated by nothing but goal difference heading into the last game of the season. If Manchester City could match United's score or better it, they would be Premier League champions for the first time. Facing QPR at home, a side scrapping for their lives at the foot of the table, it was expected to be a walk in the park for Mancini's men.


But football is never that simple.


In a bizarre game full of ups and downs and Joey Barton red cards, the London club found themselves leading City 2-1, thanks to goals from Djibril Cisse and Jamie Mackie. The dream was over. With Manchester United leading against Stoke, and with the game entering injury time, it would only take a miracle for them to win it now.


Edin Dzeko kept any flickering embers of hope alive, scoring from a corner in the 2nd minute of injury time. A consolation goal perhaps? At least the City boys could say they gave it their all and kept going until the very end.


What happened next will remain imprinted in our minds forever. Nigel de Jong's threaded pass to Mario Balotelli. Balotelli shielding the ball and finding his strike partner. Aguero's first touch to drag the ball out from under his feet.


AGUEROOOO!


The Argentinian's shot clattered into the net, the crowd erupted deliriously and Martin Tyler screamed his name uncontrollably. They had won the league at the death. It may not have been the most convincing Premier League win of all time, but for entertainment, it surely will never be beaten.


Replays of that moment still send shivers down the spine and form tears in the eyes. It's the reason why we all love the beautiful game.



Agree with our selections? Comment and let us know your thoughts!

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