Feature

Ten of the best matches EVER played on opening weekend

24 Jun 2024
Coutinho, Liverpool

We look back at some of the most memorable games played in Matchweek 1

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The opening weekend of the 2024/25 campaign has thrown up some mouthwatering match-ups, with Manchester United hosting Fulham in the season opener on Friday 16 August before Liverpool travel to promoted Ipswich Town the following day and Manchester City start their title defence at Chelsea on Sunday 18 August.

Man Utd will be looking to avenge their 2-1 defeat in the same fixture last season, while the Arne Slot era at Liverpool gets under way as Ipswich end their 22-year exile from the Premier League, and City return to the ground where they played out an incredible 4-4 draw last term, which was voted as the best match of 2023/24 by you, the fans.

2024/25 opening-weekend Premier League fixtures

Will any of them rival the best opening-weekend matches in Premier League history? Here we take a look at 10 memorable games.


2021/22
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The season kicked off with a five-star show by Man Utd, who swept aside Leeds United at Old Trafford.

Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes put three goals past Illan Meslier - including a lovely first-time half-volley - while Paul Pogba became the eighth Premier League player to record four assists in one match, joining an elite group including Cesc Fabregas and Dennis Bergkamp.  


2020/21
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Mohamed Salah opened the scoring with a fourth-minute penalty in a first half that produced FIVE goals as Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds went in at the break trailing 3-2 on their Premier League return.

Mateusz Klich levelled for Leeds with 24 minutes remaining, but Salah completed his hat-trick with another penalty two minutes from time to secure three points for Liverpool.


2017/18
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Leicester City were left ruing a chance of an impressive opening-day success as their 3-2 lead slipped in a thrilling finale. Shinji Okazaki and a brace from Jamie Vardy had put the Foxes ahead with seven minutes left on the clock.

However, Aaron Ramsey struck from a Granit Xhaka cross to equalise, and two minutes later Olivier Giroud netted with a header which crashed in off the underside of the crossbar from Xhaka's second assist of the match to clinch this thriller.


2016/17
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Simon Mignolet came to the rescue for Liverpool to save a Theo Walcott penalty, although the winger did get on the scoresheet shortly after to give Arsenal the lead before Philippe Coutinho levelled in first-half stoppage time with a stunning free-kick.

Adam Lallana, Coutinho and Sadio Mane put Liverpool in control and although Arsenal reduced the arrears, Jurgen Klopp's side held on for an entertaining 4-3 win.


2010/11
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Led by Carlo Ancelotti, Chelsea put on a dominant showing against a helpless West Bromwich Albion.

Florent Malouda opened the floodgates after six minutes with their first goal, and it was plain sailing thereafter as Didier Drogba claimed a hat-trick, and Frank Lampard - plus another from Malouda - completed the rout.


2009/10
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No fewer than FIVE Arsenal players got their name on the scoresheet in a match in which Cesc Fabregas netted a brace.

The Spaniard was the star of the show, setting up Denilson's sublime 25-yard opener and William Gallas' header from a free-kick either side of a Thomas Vermaelen effort. Fabregas weighed in with Arsenal's fourth goal - slotting the ball through Tim Howard's legs - before adding his second, a shot into the bottom-left corner from outside the box. Eduardo put the icing on a emphatic victory with a goal in the 89th minute.


2000/01
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This was a classic London derby as a West Ham United team featuring Lampard faced off against the club he would go on to become a legend at.

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink netted a penalty to put Chelsea in front, only for Paolo Di Canio to level for West Ham. A sensational free-kick by Gianfranco Zola edged Chelsea 2-1 ahead and Mario Stanic added a spectacular third goal.

Frederic Kanoute's late goal did revive West Ham's hopes, but Stanic added his second of the match - and Chelsea's fourth - on 90 minutes to make the points safe in the Stamford Bridge sun.


1997/98
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Chelsea took the lead on 40 minutes through Frank Sinclair, but Dion Dublin replied immediately with a well-placed header.

Tore Andre Flo restored Chelsea's lead with 19 minutes remaining, only for Dublin to become the hat-trick hero with two late goals - another header and a thumping finish - to secure a breathtaking turnaround win.


1996/97
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It was a finishing masterclass for the ages as Middlesbrough hosted Liverpool at the Riverside Stadium. Stig Inge Bjornebye, John Barnes and Robbie Fowler were the scorers for the Reds, but it was Fabrizio Ravanelli who outshone them all in one of the standout Premier League debuts of all time.

The Italian smashed in his first goal from the penalty spot past David James before betting his second goal 10 minutes later, as he stretching to tap home from Neil Cox's low cross. Ravanelli then completed his hat-trick in wonderful fashion with a rolled finish into the corner to make it 3-3. 


1994/95
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Tottenham Hotspur's visit to Hillsborough was an action-packed welcome to English football for their big summer signing Jurgen Klinsmann.

Teddy Sheringham opened the scoring for Spurs with a neat flick past Kevin Pressman, before Darren Anderton made it 2-0. The home side replied with goals from Dan Petrescu and a Colin Calderwood own goal, but Nick Barmby restored Spurs' lead and Klinsmann rose to head in their fourth goal, which proved to be the winner, followed by his iconic diving celebration.

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