From Conte and Tuchel’s clash to Kane’s heroics – Premier League best moments
By George Sessions, PA
It has been another Premier League season full of drama and entertainment.
While Manchester City have wrapped up another title, the relegation battle will go to the wire and European places remain up for grabs.
Here, we look at 10 of the most memorable moments of the 2022-23 campaign.
When Tottenham made the trip to rivals Chelsea on the second weekend of the season, the early talk was of both being able to challenge City but what transpired on a hot day in August was tempers boiling over between Antonio Conte and Thomas Tuchel. The pair were involved in two heated exchanges and the now memorable handshake at the end of a 2-2 draw. It has largely been downhill for both clubs since.
Cristiano Ronaldo stormed down the Old Trafford tunnel during the latter stages of United’s 2-0 win over Tottenham. Ronaldo was left on the bench and had enough. Erik ten Hag reintegrated him back into the team but soon after Ronaldo conducted a controversial TV interview that brought his time at the club to an unsavoury end and set the wheels in motion for his Saudi Arabia move.
Erling Haaland had already made history by the time of Ronaldo’s tantrum after his hat-trick in the Manchester derby made it three consecutive trebles at home in the Premier League. More records have tumbled for the Norwegian since with his 20th top-flight goal coming before January and in only 14 matches, both new records, while he recently went past Alan Shearer and Andy Cole’s previous joint-feat of scoring the most goals (34) in a Premier League season.
Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka were two of the stars of the World Cup in a brilliant redemption story after the disgusting racist abuse they received after Euro 2020. The duo had shone for United and Arsenal respectively ahead of the mid-season break for the tournament in Qatar and picked up where they left off following England’s quarter-final exit. Rashford scored 10 goals in 10 matches during December and January while Saka netted in key wins over West Ham, Brighton and United. The young English pair have excelled throughout.
Harry Kane put his World Cup penalty pain behind him to make Tottenham history with the winner against City to become the club’s record goalscorer on February 5. A scuffed effort by Kane in the 15th minute was enough for him to move on to 267 Spurs goals and above Jimmy Greaves, whose tally had stood alone for more than 50 years.
A second-half blitz from Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool led to one of the most extraordinary results in Premier League history with rivals Manchester United hit for seven. United only trailed by one goal at the break but went on to suffer a painful 7-0 defeat with Cody Gakpo, Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah all hitting braces. Roberto Firmino added a seventh two minutes from time much to the delight of the baying Anfield crowd.
While Conte’s Tottenham failed to produce many memorable moments on the pitch, his explosive post-match rant at Southampton remains one of the most remarkable incidents off the pitch. After he watched Spurs let a two-goal lead slip to draw 3-3 at the bottom-of-the-table side, Conte let rip into his own “selfish players” who he insisted cannot play under pressure before bringing up the club’s trophy drought. He left Tottenham a week later.
A heart-warming moment occurred when Bournemouth introduced David Brooks late on in their 3-0 defeat at Aston Villa on March 18. It marked Brooks’ first-team return for the first time in 536 days after he was diagnosed with stage two Hodgkin lymphoma in 2021. He received the all-clear last May but still faced a long road to recovery. Brooks received a warm ovation from both sets of supporters.
Premier League football has been disrupted by two Royal events this season. The death of Queen Elizabeth II on September 9 saw all matches that coming weekend postponed before tributes were paid to the late Queen in a variety of ways the following matchday, including with a minute’s silence. The coronation of the King was the next major event involving the Royal Family, which occurred on May 6 and had several fixtures moved while clubs showed the service inside stadiums before matches. The national anthem was played before every fixture, but was booed at Anfield.
One constant this season has been the division’s ability to keep producing crazy finales. From Kane’s equaliser at the death at Stamford Bridge in August to Reiss Nelson’s heroics in Arsenal’s thrilling 3-2 win over Bournemouth two months ago, you can always bet on stoppage-time drama. Some other notable late, late goals have seen Fabio Carvalho help Liverpool down Newcastle, Brentford’s Ivan Toney stun City at the Etihad and Diogo Jota leave Tottenham heart-broken at Anfield.