Football Players Contesting Ball Against Coloured Lights

The Craziest Days in Premier League History

On a weekly basis, the football Gods write scripts that Hollywood would discard as too implausible. Title races that come down to the last kick of the last game, teams coming from two and three goals down with 10 men, players that haven’t scored for months bagging last-gasp winners against their former club, the list goes on.

Over the years there have been some impossible-to-fathom moments in the Premier League, as well as days that have defied belief and even whole weekends where logic and indeed sanity appear to have ceased to exist. Given that we have just witnessed the most manic, marvellous Monday in the history of the top flight, now seems like a great time to look back at some of the craziest days in the Premier League. And we’ll even throw in a bonus one from the pre-PL days too!

Three Games, 21 Goals – 8 May 2023

Home Score Away
Fulham 5 – 3 Leicester
Brighton 1 – 5 Everton
Nottingham Forest 4 -3 Southampton

Where else could we start than a day which saw the team placed 19th thump a side with Champions League aspirations 5-1? This looked like being a huge day at the bottom of the table and whilst there were just three games, four of the five sides in danger were in action.

Leicester came into the day in 16th place, unbeaten in three games and fancying their chances. After 18 minutes they were two down to a Fulham side that had lost their last three matches. It got worse, and not long after half time they were 4-0 down and looking at a real thumping. In the end, it finished 5-3 and the tone was very much set for the rest of the day.

The next game on this Bank Holiday Monday was Brighton versus Everton, with the Toffees heading to the south coast winless in seven. Everton were the lowest scorers in the top seven tiers of English football and looking doomed to relegation. In contrast, the Seagulls had been playing some brilliant football and were hunting down a top-four finish having beaten Man United and Wolves in their last two, both at home, by a combined score of 7-0.

How, then, do we explain the visitors scoring after 34 seconds and being three to the good at the break? One word: football. In the end, Everton ran out 5-1 winners, bagging in 90 minutes 19% of the goals tally they had managed in the preceding 3,060. Over to you Forest and Southampton, beat that! The day’s first game saw eight goals, the next six, meaning that three more were needed to create a new record for most goals in a three-match PL day.

Southampton needed to win otherwise they would surely be playing Championship football next term. Forest, on the other hand, knew that if they failed to win they were in serious trouble, with games at Chelsea and Palace, and at home to Arsenal to come. The hosts made the perfect start in terms of the score, racing into a two-goal lead after just 21 minutes. It was totally against the run of play but the fans couldn’t have cared less.

Their joy was short-lived though as the visitors made it 2-1 after 25 minutes, creating a new benchmark for goals on a day with just three matches. Forest made it 3-1, Saints replied to make it 3-2. Then the home team went 4-2 to the good and with less than 20 minutes to go they were surely home and dry? As stoppage time approached they made it 5-2 … until VAR intervened and it was back to 4-2. Then, almost in the blink of an eye, 5-2 became 4-3 thanks to a VAR-awarded penalty and all of a sudden the home fans faced a nervy period of stoppage time. Due to the VAR checks and drama, seven added minutes became 12! But Forest held on.

Was it the greatest day in the history of the Premier League? Quite possibly. Were thousands of fans in Merseyside, the East Midlands and on the South Coast feeling much, much older? Definitely!

41 Goals and the Comeback of Comebacks – 5 February 2011

Home Score Away
Stoke 3 – 2 Sunderland
Aston Villa 2 -2 Fulham
Everton 5 – 3 Blackpool
Manchester City 3 – 0 West Brom
Newcastle 4 – 4 Arsenal
Tottenham 2 – 1 Bolton
Wigan 4 – 3 Blackburn
Wolves 2 – 1 Manchester United

This crazy day of Premier League football saw eight games and a massive total of 41 goals. None of the eight clashes saw fewer than three goals, whilst Everton were again involved in a cracker and again notched five goals, beating Blackpool 5-3 at Goodison. In a Lancashire derby Wigan beat Blackburn 4-3 and there was a huge upset as Wolves beat Man United 2-1.

In 2023, Wolves beating United might barely raise more than an eyebrow but back in 2011 it was a top versus bottom clash. United were 29 games without defeat and five points clear at the top of the table. Wolves must have feared the worst when they went down to a Nani strike after just three minutes but somehow they came back to win 2-1. And that wasn’t even the most astonishing comeback of the day!

Earlier in the day Arsenal had raced into a 3-0 lead at St James’s Park after just 10 minutes. By the 26th minute it was 4-0 and it remained that way until the 68th minute. Then the Magpies woke up. A Joey Barton penalty with 22 minutes left looked like a consolation, whilst a second after 75 minutes gave the result a veneer of respectability. Another Barton spot-kick with seven minutes left gave the hosts hope and, with the stadium absolutely bouncing, Cheick Tiote (who sadly passed away inJune 2017) scored a total screamer in the 87th minute to complete the Premier League’s most astounding comeback.

Liverpool and Man United Humbled – 4 October 2020

Home Score Away
Leicester 0 – 3 West Ham
Southampton 2 – 0 West Brom
Arsenal 2 – 1 Sheffield United
Wolves 1 – 0 Fulham
Manchester United 1 – 6 Tottenham
Aston Villa 7 – 2 Liverpool

There were six games and “just” 25 goals on this October day in 2020, but Aston Villa and Spurs accounted for more than half of those. Villa put Liverpool to the sword winning 7-2, whilst Man United lost 6-1 at home to Spurs! Liverpool conceded seven for the first time in almost 60 years, whilst United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said it was his “worst day ever as a manager”.

The Red Devils were struggling at the time but the Merseyside club had recently celebrated their first Premier League crown ever. This was just their fourth defeat in 21 months and nobody could have predicted such a result. It was an astonishing outcome, with Ollie Watkins grabbing a first-half hat-trick, former Toffee Ross Barkley netting, and Jack Grealish scoring two as well. Mo Salah bagged a brace for the visitors but it meant nothing as Jurgen Klopp’s men were well and truly humbled.

As for Man United, their battering against a side they have traditionally breezed past left them 16th in the table. A 6-1 loss at home left the Old Trafford faithful stunned, especially as they were 1-0 up after just two minutes. They were, however, 2-1 down after just seven! Down to 10 men from the 28th minute they couldn’t handle Spurs’ attack, Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min both grabbing doubles.

But Everything Was Better in the 60s!

The Premier League has thrown up many other incredible results and days of action but Christmas definitely came a day late for fans of goals in 1963. Check out the results from Boxing Day that year below!

Home Score Away
Blackpool 1 – 5 Chelsea
Burnley 6 – 1 Manchester United
Fulham 10 – 1 Ipswich
Leicester 2 – 0 Everton
Liverpool 6 – 1 Stoke
Nottingham Forest 3 – 3 Sheffield United
Sheffield Wednesday 3 – 0 Bolton
West Brom 4 – 4 Tottenham
West Ham 2 – 8 Blackburn
Wolves 3 – 3 Aston Villa

A truly crazy day of top-flight scores, with Man United again battered 6-1, Fulham reaching double figures against the side that were champions 18 months earlier, reigning title-holders Everton being beaten and Liverpool bagging six. Throw in a couple of high-scoring draws and an 8-2 away win for Blackburn and we have a total of 66 goals in 10 games that will, surely (right?) never be beaten!