Another Premier League season is over, but 2009/10 had many moments that will live long in the memory. From Portsmouth’s remarkable run to the FA Cup final, through to the circumstances that handed Chelsea the title, here’s the top ten moments:


1) The handshake that never was

Has there ever been a more surreal moment in the history of the Premier League? The world’s media worked themselves up into a frenzy in the week leading up the Chelsea v Manchester City match in February, and the sight of two England internationals blanking one another like a couple of petulant schoolboys was enough to make all the headlines.

The fact that City triumphed in a pulsating game, that Frank Lampard, Craig Bellamy and Carlos Tevez each grabbed a brace of goals and that it was Chelsea’s first home defeat of the season all paled into bizarre insignificance compared to the fact that two grown men walked straight past each other. Most odd.

2) Derby Day Drama – Man Utd v Man City

Everyone has their our own idea of what constitutes a truly great match, and this one had the lot: Superb goals, spiky confrontations, 75,000-odd passionate fans, incompetent defending and ultra-late drama. City had come back from being behind three times, and surely deserved a point for their efforts.

However, United’s Michael Owen scored in the sixth hour, sorry, sixth minute, of injury time to send the home supporters into delirium. Just for once, Sir Alex Ferguson wasn’t complaining about the referee’s timekeeping.

3) The offside goal that helped Chelsea win the league

It can’t be denied that, as usual, the team that deserved to win the league actually won the league. Chelsea were the better team throughout, and that was never more apparent than when they took all three points away from their showdown at Old Trafford in April.

But the crucial goal, scored with aplomb by Didier Drogba, was so far offside he was almost in another postcode from the last defender. It was a desperately poor decision by the linesman who, in his defence, may have been unsighted by his guide dog.

4) Spurs making fourth place

It seems strange to see any team celebrating the fact that they’ve managed to finish fourth in the Premier League, but the rewards of qualifying for the Champions League are huge these days. Tottenham’s deserved 1-0 victory at Eastlands in the last week of the season was enough to book them a seat at the top table.

Perhaps more important to Tottenham though, is that fourth place indicates that they have potentially arrived, that from now on they can be taken seriously when their supporters claim they really are a big club. For this season at least, they’re bigger than Liverpool, Everton, Manchester City and Aston Villa.

5) Hull City perform the best goal celebration

In a forgettable season for Hull City, their players did at least provide one of the funniest moments of the whole season. After an infamous on-pitch tirade from then-manager Phil Brown at Manchester City in the previous season, the players got their own back at Eastlands this time around.

A penalty by cheeky chappie Jimmy Bullard was followed by several players sitting on the floor while Bullard gave them a thorough finger-wagging. If you look carefully, you can even see one or two City fans in the crowd who saw the funny side. To Brown’s credit, he took it in very good spirits.

6) Portsmouth FC – Dignity amid disaster

Every football fan should spare a thought for Pompey right now, and say a silent prayer that it doesn’t happen to more clubs. An uncertain future would suggest it may be many years before the club are gracing Wembley at an FA Cup final.

And with all the craziness going on around them, everyone at Portsmouth deserves large ladlefuls of credit. The passion of their fans, the never-say-die attitude of the players and the remarkable dignity of the manager warmed the hearts of all true supporters of this great game.

7) Burnley beating Manchester United

Sometimes form books are turned upside down, and when they are it always causes headlines. The unlikely heroes of Burnley beat the champions on an emotional night back in August. Although they didn’t manage to avoid relegation in the end, this win will live in the memory forever and a day.

8) Winning the league in style

Okay, last day of the season and you have to win your final match to secure the league. So what do you do? Go for an early goal and sit on the lead for 85 minutes? Keep the game tight and start attacking in the second half? Chelsea did neither, and just bullied Wigan into submission from the very start.

By the end of the match, with The Blues 8-0 to the good, you could have forgiven the Wigan players if they’d simply started waving white flags. Never has a final day title been won in such emphatic fashion.

9) The wonder goal to beat all wonder goals

It’s not often you see anything new when it comes to goal-scoring, but Maynor Figueroa’s incredible 60-yard goal for Wigan against Stoke in December was exactly that. It was as spectacular as a fly-past by the Red Arrows, the Blue Angels and the Yellow Submarines.

10) The day a match was decided by a beach ball

Liverpool, and Everton too for that matter, had a pretty poor season. In fact, Tranmere’s escape from relegation to League 2 was perhaps the biggest highlight on Merseyside this past 12 months. And the strange spectacle of Rafael Benitez’s men losing a match because of a beach ball is perhaps a fitting symbol to a season best forgotten.

Darren Bent claimed the goal, although the deflection was a wicked one. Pepe Reina made a great attempt at a save, but he was actually trying to keep the beach ball out. The real ball, by that time, was in the net.