7 Memorable Premier League Opening Day Fixtures
9 August 2017 • By - Adam Bromfield
The first round of games in the Premier League always gives the opportunity for some surprises and memorable moments! We will look at 7 memorable Premier League opening day fixtures, including Blackpool in the Premier League and classic moments which happened on the opening day.
1. Wigan 0-4 Blackpool (2010/11)
Not many pundits gave Blackpool a chance of staying up when in the Championship, so when they arrived in the Premier League, it was a special moment. Starting at Wigan away, Ian Holloway’s Tangerines managed to get off to a dream start on the Premier League opening day.
Everyone loves when a newly-promoted side get off to a winning start, but it was different for Blackpool, they were not supposed to be here – so non-Blackpool fans were even stuck in amazement!
Goals from Gary Taylor-Fletcher, Alex Baptiste and a brace from Marlon Harewood meant that Blackpool were top of the league for a few hours! Unfortunately, although later facing relegation, Blackpool’s opening day start to the Premier League will be remembered by many for years.
Check out the Gillete Soccer Saturday boys covering it below!
2. Wimbledon 0-3 Manchester United (1996/97)
This result was not the biggest surprise ever – but this memorable Premier League opening day fixture wasn’t about the result, it was about a certain David Beckham.
David Beckham was known well before this game – but this was the moment he became a household name. Comfortably leading in injury time, Beckham spotted Neil Sullivan off his line, and proceeded to lob the goalkeeper inside his own half.
Players and fans of both teams knew they witnessed a memorable Premier League moment.
3. Queens Park Rangers 0-5 Swansea City (2012/13)
The season before, QPR suffered a 4-0 home defeat against Bolton Wanderers on the opening day. It was vital they got off to a better start this season – however, it only got worse.
A very impressive Swansea City, under Michael Laudrup, turned up and completely dismantled QPR in a 5-0 win. It was a sign of things to come for QPR, as nine months later, they finished bottom of the table and therefore relegated.
4. Arsenal 3-4 Liverpool (2016/17)
The most recent opening day fixture on the list and a game that summed up both teams perfectly. Arsenal – unorganised, poor defence but always got the players to get goals. Liverpool – awful defensively and unbelievable going forward.
The game offered notable moments of magic. Sadio Mane’s debut goal was definitely the pick of the bunch. However, it will be the defending of both teams that made this such a great opening day fixture. Premier League fans will remember the performances of Alberto Moreno and the partnership of Rob Holding and Calum Chambers at the back for Arsenal ahead of anything else.
5. Sheffield Wednesday 3-4 Tottenham Hotspur (1994/95)
It was a 7 goal thriller, an opening day fixture classic, but it was one man who stole the headlines.
Before signing for Tottenham, Jurgen Klinsmann faced many critical comments from people in England – mainly about his diving antics. His winning goal in the opening day fixture was a perfect moment to show exactly what he thought about the comments, and he duly delivered. Klinsmann produced a great celebration in honour of these diving comments – check it out below!
6. Aston Villa 4-2 Manchester City (2008/09)
The 2008/09 season saw Manchester City taken over by an Abu Dhabi-based investment group. So, expectations skyrocketed for the near future of the football club, these expectations had to slow down straight away when they met Aston Villa and Gabriel Agbonlahor on the opening day.
Gabriel Agbonlahor stole the show with, not only scoring the perfect hat-trick, but also one of the Premier League’s fastest ever hat-tricks – 7 minutes.
Aston Villa went on to have a successful season, Manchester City were OK but they went and bought again and clearly haven’t looked back since. Villa fans, on the other hands, probably do quite a lot.
7. Middlesbrough 3-3 Liverpool (1996/97)
Another memorable Premier League opening day game came once again in the 1996/97 season. Liverpool took the lead three times, but it was Fabrizio Ravanelli who responded each time for the ‘Boro and immediately endearing to the home fans.
The third-most expensive player in British history at the time, many were sceptical on Ravanelli, but he proved his worth during this opening day! Bryan Robson even describing the striker as “one of the best strikers in the world”.