The 2014/15 English Premier League season is still just a puppy, but we have already witnessed an 8 goal thriller (Leicster City 5-3 Manchester United) and a 9 goal thriller (Everton 3 – 6 Chelsea). In fact there have been 19 occurrences of 9 or more goals in a Premier League game. Here Jabu picks out his 5 favourite goal fests from the Premier League era.
5. West Brom 5 – 5 Manchester United – 19 May 2013
I am currently reading Sir Alex Ferguson’s autobiography. In his book the wily old Scotsman talks quite fondly of this game, the first (And only) 5-5 draw in Premier League History. This was Fergie’s final game and in the most ironic farewell, his team were humbled by late goals. United led early through Kagawa and an Olsson own goal before Alex Buttner gave United a 3 goal lead. Clinton Morrison got one back for the Baggies just before half time and Romelu Lukaku, on loan from Chelsea, netted his first to make it 3-2. At this point United went into United style and van Persie and Chicharito re-established the 3 goal cushion. But with ten minutes remaining West Brom surged back and Lukaku completed his hat-trick either side of a Yousuf Mulumbu strike. Fergie had left the scene with one of the most exciting matches in his reign. A match that would be spoken about for years to come. A match that would be fitting of the impact of the Scotsman.
4. West Ham United 5 – 4 Bradford City – 12 February 2000
A crazy helter skelter Valentines weekend produced the ultimate romantic gift for football fans, the beautiful game. West Ham United and Bradford City produced what will be one of the great games of Premier League folklore. West Ham trailed early to a Dean Windass goal, but quickly emerged into the ascendency through Trevor Sinclair and John Moncur. But just 1 minute later and Bradford levelled through Peter Beagrie from the penalty spot. In the second half a 4 minute double through Jamie Lawerence left the Bantams leading 4-2 and marching towards a notable victory. But as so happens in the classics, the fightback was on. Paolo di Canio got one back from the penalty spot before a youthful Joe Cole levelled matters. With West Ham having the momentum all that was left was for someone to snatch a winner and that someone was 22 year old Frank Lampard. What a match!
3. Middlesbrough 8 – 1 Manchester City – 11 May 2008
Manchester City were not always the financial powerhouse they are now. In fact in the final league game of the 2007/8 season, the last before the emergence of the Abu Dhabi Group as backers, saw Manchester City taste their biggest defeat in the Premier League. This was a Manchester City that had finished 9th facing a Middlesbrough who finished 13th, had lost Steve Mclaren and were being run by a very average coach in Gareth Southgate. But on this day everything clicked in a manner beautiful for everyone watching except Citizen Fans. Stewart Downing (2), Alfonso Alves (3), Adam Johnson, Fabio Rochemback and Jeremie Aliadiere all netted for Boro while a very late consolation for Elano was almost more embarrassing than not scoring. Of course since this City are now a regular in Europe while Boro fight it out in the Championship.
2. Tottenham Hotspurs 4 – 5 Arsenal – 13 November 2004
It would not be a list of great high scoring games without these two featuring somewhere as both feature four times in the 19 occurrences. But what better way to include them than in a North London Derby. This was the outstanding match in the 2004/5 season and also became the first game to have 9 different goal scorers in the Premier League. But at half time you would not have seen it coming. Spurs had the better first half and led through the surprising Noureddine Naybet, but Thierry Henry got Arsenal level just before the break against the run of play. When the second half kicked off, so do the crazy. Lauren, the surprisingly reliable penalty taker, put Arsenal 2-1 up and Vieira made it 3-1. 60 seconds later it was 3-2 courtesy of Jermain Defoe. The pattern continued with Freddie Ljungberg netting only for the immense Ledley King to pull one back. In the 81 minute the dashingly handsome Robert Pires looked to seal victory for the Gunners, before Kanoute became the 9th goal scorer in the 88th minute and ensured a panicked final 5 minutes. A classic North London Derby for sure!
1. Portsmouth 7 – 4 Reading – 29 September 2007
Of course you cannot have a list of high scoring Premier League games without the highest scoring Premier League game. For only the fourth time in Premier League history (They would do it again later the same season) a team had scored four goals and lost. The incredible match featured a hat-trick from Benjani and 7 goals in the final 35 minutes. Benjani (2) and Stephen Hunt and Dave Kitson left the score level at 2-2. It was then left to Hreidarsson, Niko Kranjcar and Benjani to put Portsmouth into an unassailable position. But Reading were not a team who would defend a defeat and promptly went on the attack Shane Long got one back, but Reading then scored an own goal through Igimarsson. Reading not content to be losing kept chasing and left gaps at the back. Portsmouth got a 7th through a Muntari penalty before Nicky Shorey finished the day with the final goal for Reading, a goal that was later credited as an own goal to Sol Campbell. The only thing to say about the game is in the words of the then Reading manager Steve Coppell:
“It’s difficult to analyse a match like that and if you try you will be there a very long time …we scored four goals away from home and had a chance for another with a penalty. We played a full part in the game – I don’t think many teams will come here this season and score four.”
What was your favourite high scoring Premier League game? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter or the comments below. The way the 2014/15 season has started, there may still be a few more additions to the list.