Every Premier League title race decided on the final day of the season


The Premier League title race is usually decided before the final day of the season, but every so often the last round of fixtures will still have the biggest prize riding on them.

The likes of Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City have all been involved in final day drama over the years, with iconic twists and turns along the way.

This is every Premier League title race that has gone to the final day of the season …

Alan Shearer

Blackburn almost lost their chance in 1995 / Clive Brunskill / GettyImages

Manchester United secured each of the first two Premier League titles with games to spare, but the 1994/95 race with Blackburn went all the way to the final day and was there for the taking for both teams.

A Rovers side featuring the likes of Alan Shearer, Chris Sutton and Tim Sherwood was in control of its own destiny but lost against Liverpool at Anfield to leave the door wide open for United.

But the heroics of West Ham goalkeeper Ludek Miklosko kept Alex Ferguson’s team at bay and a 1-1 draw was not enough to take advantage.

For Blackburn, it was a first league title since 1914.

Man Utd held their nerve on the final day in 1996

Man Utd held their nerve on the final day in 1996 / Getty Images / GettyImages

After initially struggling to keep pace with Newcastle in the first half of the 1995/96 Manchester United campaign trailed Kevin Keegan’s electric Magpies by an enormous 12 points in January.

The return from suspension and to form of Eric Cantona proved to be a major turning point, while a home-grown generation of young players underpinned the Red Devils’ surge to the finish line.

The title could still have gone either way on the final day, but Newcastle needed to beat Tottenham and hope for a favor from north east neighbors Middlesbrough against United.

As it was, Newcastle could only draw and United won 3-0.

Man Utd won the Premier League as part of the treble in 1999

Man Utd won the Premier League as part of the treble in 1999 / David Rogers / GettyImages

The intense rivalry between Manchester United and Arsenal defined the Premier League in the late 1990s and early 2000s. But never was the title race any closer than it was in 1998/99 when both teams were legitimately among the very best in Europe.

Only victory at home over Tottenham on the final day would guarantee United the first leg of an historic treble ahead of the Gunners, who had won a domestic double themselves the season before.

Arsenal did their part by beating Aston Villa 1-0 and Spurs threatened to throw a spanner in the works when they took the lead at Old Trafford. But goals from David Beckham and Andrew Cole sealed the win and the title.

United also went on to lift the FA Cup and Champions League trophies.

Man Utd beat Chelsea to the title in May 2008

Man Utd beat Chelsea to the title in May 2008 / PAUL ELLIS / GettyImages

Manchester United and Chelsea were neck and neck at the end of the 2007/08 Premier League season, with the latter even going 21 games unbeaten from Christmas onwards.

In a potential title decider, Chelsea even beat United at Stamford Bridge in late April with only two games each left to play. Victories in the penultimate fixtures then ensured the final day began with the pair level on points and only United’s vastly superior goal difference separating them.

It meant Alex Ferguson’s team could be assured of the title if they beat a Wigan side that not long ago had taken points off Chelsea. They did it with a 2-0 win, although Chelsea also dropped points in the end.

10 days later, the rivals reconvened in Moscow for the Champions League final, which United narrowly won on penalties.

Chelsea made no mistake against Wigan in 2010

Chelsea made no mistake against Wigan in 2010 / Shaun Botterill / GettyImages

Two years after their 2008 showdown, Chelsea claimed revenge on United by taking the 2009/10 Premier League title on the final day of the season.


Unlike two seasons earlier, Chelsea had the slight advantage going into their final fixture at home against Wigan and knew victory would deliver the trophy to Stamford Bridge no matter what United did.

United did their part by beating Stoke 4-0, but the Blues avoided a potential banana skin in style by thrashing Wigan 8-0 – it was ultimately also the first part of a domestic league and cup double.

What’s more, Didier Drogba’s final day hat-trick took him clear of Wayne Rooney in the Premier League Golden Boot race.

Man City left it very late in 2012

Man City left it very late in 2012 / PAUL ELLIS / GettyImages

Manchester United were Premier League champions when the final whistle sounded in their last game of the 2011/12 season against Sunderland. That is because they had won and Manchester City were still level with QPR.

The title race had swung back and forth in dramatic fashion between the Manchester sides in the preceding weeks, but United’s shock defeat against Wigan and collapse against Everton handed City the narrowest of advantages on goal difference as the final games kicked off.

Yet City, led by Roberto Mancini, looked to be throwing away their chance when they allowed QPR to take a 2-1 lead, which was how it stayed until the 92nd minute when Edin Dzeko made it 2-2.

But that still was not enough because United had already beaten Sunderland and, with virtually the last kick of the season, Sergio Aguero wrote his name into football history with the 94th minute winner.

Manuel Pellegrini delivered Man City's 2013/14 Premier League title

Manuel Pellegrini delivered Man City’s 2013/14 Premier League title / Alex Livesey / GettyImages

Searching for a first league title since 1990, Liverpool’s momentum in the 2013/14 Premier League title race had run out of steam with defeat to Chelsea and a shock collapse against Crystal Palace in the final weeks.

The title race was still not over on the final day of the season, although Liverpool needed to win against Newcastle and hope that City were beaten by West Ham – goal difference meant a draw wouldn’t be enough.

The Reds did get the win they needed courtesy of quickfire second half goals from Daniel Agger and Daniel Sturridge. But so did City when Samir Nasri and Vincent Kompany scored either side of half-time.

Never before had two Premier League clubs scored over 100 goals in the same season. Ultimately, it was Liverpool’s defense that let them down.

Man City just edged out Man City in 2019

Man City just edged out Man City in 2019 / Michael Regan / GettyImages

Manchester City and Liverpool raised winning mentality to levels previously unheard of in English football and they took the 2018/19 Premier League title race right to the wire on the final day of the campaign.

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool were beaten only once all season, which happened to be against City on 3 January and ultimately proved decisive four months later when the trophy was presented.

The Reds led the standings from December to February, at which point they were leapfrogged by City after being held to a draw in the Merseyside derby.

City, meanwhile, closed out the season with 14 consecutive wins to stay one step ahead until the end. Only one point separated them in the end and the pair collectively amassed an astonishing 195 points.

Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola

Liverpool & Man City are locked in another Premier League title battle / Michael Regan / GettyImages

Three years on from 2019 and Manchester City and Liverpool are again both in with a chance of being crowned Premier League champions come the final whistle on the final day of the season.

Neither has been quite as immaculate as the 2018/19 race. That being said, Liverpool have not lost a league match in the calendar year 2022, while City have only lost once since the end of October.

One point separates them ahead of the final day and City will be crowned champions as long as they match against Aston Villa what Liverpool do against Wolves.

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