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Tuesday 17 June 2014

Ten of the best: Memorable opening matches in the Premier League

Ahead of the 2014/15 Barclays Premier League campaign, we pick 10 memorable opening matches

  • 1996: David Beckham scored a memorable goal at Wimbledon from inside Man Utd's half

  • 1996: Cantona had earlier put reigning champions Man Utd ahead with a superb strike

  • 1996: Denis Irwin rifled Man Utd's second past Wimbledon keeper Neil Sullivan

  • 1995: Southampton lost 4-3 to Nottingham Forest despite a Matt Le Tissier hat-trick

  • 1995: Bryan Roy scored twice as the visitors sealed the win at the Dell

The fixtures for the 2014/15 Barclays Premier League season are released on Wednesday 18 June at 9am BST when fans around the world will be able to see against which club their own team will begin their campaign.

Premierleague.com looks at 10 memorable opening-day fixtures over the past 22 seasons of the Barclays Premier League. You can share your memories of great matches that opened a Barclays Premier League season by going to Facebook.com/premierleague or using #BPLkickoff on Twitter.

19 August 1995 - Southampton 3-4 Nott'm Forest
A hat-trick from Matthew Le Tissier was not enough to stop Nottingham Forest coming out on top of a seven-goal thriller at The Dell.

The Southampton striker is the only player to score a hat-trick and end up on the losing side in a Barclays Premier League match. Forest, who were without 1994/95 top scorer Stan Collymore, who had joined Liverpool in the summer, had a double from Dutch striker Bryan Roy to thank as they took the points.

17 August 1996 - Wimbledon 0-3 Man Utd
David Beckham stole the show with a stunning strike from the halfway line as the defending Barclays Premier League champions beat Wimbledon at Selhurst Park.

Eric Cantona opened the scoring with a sublime effort from the edge of the penalty area before Denis Irwin doubled United's advantage. Beckham announced himself in the 90th minute as he caught Neil Sullivan off his line.

  • 2001: Kevin Nolan scored twice as newly promoted Bolton routed Leicester 5-0

  • 2001: Per Frandsen also managed a brace as Sam Allardyce's side enjoyed a dream start

  • 2001: Louis Saha stunned Man Utd by putting Premier League debutants Fulham ahead

  • 2001: A quick double from Ruud van Nistelrooy gave United the three points at Old Trafford

  • 2008: Gabriel Agbonlahor scored a seven-minute hat-trick as Aston Villa beat Man City 4-2

18 August 2001 - Leicester 0-5 Bolton
Braces from Kevin Nolan and Per Frandsen helped Bolton Wanderers mark their return to the Barclays Premier League with an emphatic 5-0 victory over Leicester City.

The newly promoted club went 4-0 up before half-time at Filbert Street with two goals from Nolan, one each from Michael Ricketts and Frandsen. The Dane completed the rout for the Trotters after the break.

19 August 2001 - Man Utd 3-2 Fulham
Fulham nearly shocked United at Old Trafford in their first Barclays Premier League match, but the newly promoted side succumbed to a trademark comeback from the league champions.

French striker Louis Saha twice gave Fulham the lead to put them 2-1 up after 48 minutes, but Ruud van Nistelrooy scored a quick double to seal the victory for the hosts.

17 August 2008 - Aston Villa 4-2 Man City
A seven-minute hat-trick by Gabriel Agbonlahor earned Aston Villa a stunning opening-day win against Manchester City. The hosts initially took the lead through John Carew but Elano levelled the match from the spot on 64 minutes.

Five minutes later, Agbonlahor scored the first of three goals to turn the match on its head with Vedran Corluka's late goal a mere consolation for City.

  • 2009: Cesc Fabregas scored twice as Arsenal swept Everton aside with a stylish 6-1 win

  • 2009: Denilson also curled in a long-range strike, while debutant Thomas Vermaelen scored

  • 2010: Marlon Harewood's double gave newly promoted Blackpool a 4-0 win over Wigan

  • 2010: The visiting Blackpool fans enjoyed a dream start to their first Premier League season

  • 2010: Didier Drogba scored a hat-trick as Chelsea cruised past West Brom 6-0

  • 2010: Florent Malouda also scored twice for the defending league champions

15 August 2009 - Everton 1-6 Arsenal
Arsenal produced a magnificent opening-day display to rout Everton at Goodison Park. Arsene Wenger's team went ahead through a curling effort from Denilson before debutant Thomas Vermaelen headed a second. A double from Cesc Fabregas and a William Gallas goal made it 5-0 before Eduardo da Silva marked his return from a long-term injury with the sixth.

Everton found a late consolation through Louis Saha. This was Arsenal's third opening-day win over the Toffees in the Barclays Premier League.

14 August 2010 - Wigan 0-4 Blackpool
Blackpool announced themselves on the Barclays Premier League stage in style as they earned a convincing 4-0 victory over Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium.

The newly promoted Seasiders sent the visiting Tangerine fans into raptures with a Gary Taylor-Fletcher strike on 16 minutes, before Marlon Harewood scored twice before the break to make it 3-0. Alex Baptiste's cross went straight in on 75 minutes as Ian Holloway's side wrapped up a memorable win.

14 August 2010 - Chelsea 6-0 West Brom
A Didier Drogba hat-trick inspired Chelsea to the biggest opening-day victory in the Barclays Premier League as newly-promoted West Bromwich Albion were beaten heavily.

Florent Malouda scored twice and Frank Lampard also got on the scoresheet for the defending champions Chelsea. West Brom bounced back from the defeat to finish 11th in the table.

  • 2012: An unstoppable strike from Zoltan Gera gave West Brom the lead against Liverpool

  • 2012: Peter Odemwingie (pictured) and Romelu Lukaku also scored in the Baggies' 3-0 win

  • 2013: Christian Benteke heads in Aston Villa's equaliser after his penalty had been saved

  • 2013: Benteke makes no mistake with his second spot-kick

  • Antonio Luna is mobbed after scoring Villa's third goal on the counterattack

18 August 2012 - West Brom 3-0 Liverpool
Steve Clarke marked his first match as West Bromwich Albion head coach with a 3-0 victory over Liverpool at the start of the 2012/13 Barclays Premier League campaign.

Zoltan Gera unleashed an unstoppable, rising shot from 20 yards to put the hosts in front just before half-time. Peter Odemwingie scored a penalty to double the lead on 64 minutes before Chelsea loanee Romelu Lukaku made it three for West Brom. Daniel Agger was sent off as Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool reign got off to a negative start.

17 August 2013 - Arsenal 1-3 Aston Villa
Arsenal got their campaign off to the worst possible start as they suffered a shock home defeat at the hands of Aston Villa.

Arsene Wenger's side appeared set for a comfortable home win when Olivier Giroud opened the scoring with just six minutes on the clock, but the match turned midway through the first half when Wojciech Szczesny brought down Gabriel Agbonlahor in the area and Chrsitian Benteke headed in the rebound after his penalty had been saved by the Poland international.

Asecond-half foul by Laurent Koscielny on Agbonlahor gave Benteke the chance to score from the spot again, which did at the first attempt this time, and, after Koscielny had been sent off, Villa rounded off a memorable win courtesy of a rapid breakaway goal by Antonio Luna with five minutes to go.

To find out the full fixture list for the 2014/15 Barclays Premier League season, visit www.premierleague.com from 0900 BST on Wednesday 18 June.

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