Premier League XIs: Aguero and other title-clinchers

We should have been talking about the Liverpool vs Man City clash today, a match that could’ve potentially sent the Premier League title to Anfield for the first time ever. Here’s a team made up from players who sealed the league for either their club or another…


Goalkeeper: Ludek Miklosko
In May 1995, Blackburn Rovers had the chance to win their first top-flight title since 1914. They had to beat Liverpool to stop Manchester United claiming a third successive Premier League victory. You’d think Liverpool’s players may have be in the mood for a rest that day, but Jamie Redknapp scored a 90th-minute winner, meaning all United had to do was beat West Ham. With the match at 1-1, Man United poured forward, creating a plethora of chances in the final 20 minutes. West Ham goalkeeper Ludek Miklosko was equal to everything thrown at him, putting in the performance of a lifetime to keep the scores level and become a Blackburn Rovers hero without ever playing for them.


Right-back: Julian Darby
The roles were reversed the previous season, with Blackburn on the receiving end of title disappointment. Rovers needed a positive result against Coventry City in the penultimate game of the 1993/94 campaign to keep their ambition of winning the league alive. Defender Julian Darby became an unlikely hero for Manchester United that day as he scored twice for Coventry in a match that finished 2-1 to the West Midlands side. The result ensured United retained their Premier League crown.


Centre-back: Tony Adams
In early May 1998, Arsenal had the chance to win a first Premier League trophy. The north London side had been battling reigning champions Manchester United at the top of the table, going on an impressive unbeaten streak since the Christmas of 1997. The title was secured in impressive fashion: a 4-0 win over Everton. Legendary captain Tony Adams fittingly scored the final goal, ensuring the trophy headed to Highbury. The other members of the back four that won the First Division in 1989 and 1991 featured that day too. Not bad for a Burnley reject, a golden oldie and a man who had to wait a long, long time for an England debut.


Centre-back: Vincent Kompany
If the 2019/20 season resumes and Liverpool’s inevitable maiden Premier League title comes to fruition, their fans will feel revenge has been deservedly served over their Sky Blue Mancunian rivals. In 2014, the title had slipped out of Liverpool’s grasp, Merseyside hero Steven Gerrard’s painful error in the defeat to Chelsea handing the initiative to Manchester City. The Citizens made the most of their opportunity, winning 2-0 against West Ham on the last day of the season. Club captain Vincent Kompany sealed the title with the second goal of the game, winning his second Premier League trophy after he became the first Belgian to win the competition in 2012.


Left-back: William Gallas
In April 2006, Chelsea had the chance to secure their second title in a row if they could avoid defeat against perennial challengers Manchester United at Stamford Bridge. Defender William Gallas headed in early on to ease Chelsea’s nerves and help Jose Mourinho’s side to Premier League glory with two games to spare.


Right wing: Sylvain Wiltord
In the 2001/02 season, Arsenal had gone on another impressive unbeaten streak in the second half of the season, resulting in an epic title showdown against Manchester United at Old Trafford in the May of 2002. Sylvain Wiltord gained hero status in north London that day. In his 100th appearance for the club he scored the only goal of the game, meaning Arsenal won the Premier League title in United’s back yard.


Central midfield: Eden Hazard
Chelsea won the league with three games to spare in the 2014/15 season, ensuring Jose Mourinho became a Premier League winner for the third time at Stamford Bridge during his second spell at the club. Eden Hazard scored the title-clinching goal against Crystal Palace in early May. Hazard was involved in another match that decided the Premier League title the following season, scoring the equalising goal for Chelsea against Spurs in a match that ended 2-2. Chelsea ended the title hopes of their London rivals with that result, with surprise package Leicester City the grateful recipients.


Central midfield: Ryan Giggs
Chelsea ended as runners-up in three separate competitions in the 2007/08 season, losing out to Manchester United in the Premier League and Champions League. John Terry’s penalty miss in the Champions League final shootout meant Welsh legend Ryan Giggs scored United’s final spot-kick in sudden death, with Nicolas Anelka having the following penalty saved. Ten days earlier Giggs had scored the second goal in a 2-0 win against Wigan Athletic in the Premier League. The result handed United their 17th top-flight title in a game that also saw Giggs match Sir Bobby Charlton’s appearance record for the club.


Left wing: Robin Van Persie
After Manchester City had proved to be more than just the noisy neighbours by winning the Premier League in 2012, Sir Alex Ferguson decided he needed a new weapon in order to quieten them down. Robin Van Persie turned out to be a lethal silencer after signing from Arsenal. The Dutchman was the leading Premier League goalscorer in the 2012/13 season, bagging a title-winning hat-trick against Aston Villa in April to ensure Ferguson’s final season as Manchester United manager ended with the club back on top.


Striker: Sergio Aguero
Speaking of Manchester City’s 2012 victory, Sergio Aguero’s winning goal in that campaign is probably the most famous title-clincher of them all. Going into the final match of the season, all City had to do against QPR was equal United’s result that day. With the match delicately poised at 1-1, Joey Barton did a Joey Barton and got sent off for the London side, seemingly handing City the advantage. The opposite happened, QPR took the lead and it stayed that way until extra-time when Edin Dzeko scored an equaliser. With United winning, it still wasn’t enough. We all know AGUEROOOOOOO  happened next. The Argentinean was at his title-clinching best again last year, scoring against Brighton on the last day of the season. Glenn Murray had given the Seagulls a surprise lead and handed second-placed Liverpool some hope. City levelled through Aguero soon after and went on to win 4-1, securing their fourth Premier League title and denying Liverpool their first.


Striker: Didier Drogba
Chelsea needed a positive result going into their game against Wigan Athletic in last game of the 2009/10 Premier League season. Manchester United were in second and looking to capture a record fourth successive league title, a feat no English team has ever managed. Chelsea spectacularly denied them, thrashing Wigan 8-0. Didier Drogba’s hat-trick in that game meant he ended the season as Golden Boot winner and resulted in Chelsea becoming the first team in 47 years to score over 100 goals in a top-flight campaign.


James Wiles – whose Instagram has a whole load more XIs


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