The Premier League season is over, and it’s not difficult to find the moments that will live a bit longer than the others when we imagine the 2018-19 campaign.
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10. Neil Warnock stands defiantly at midfield, stares at referees
Cardiff City didn’t do enough to stay up, but it got a lot of help from officials in its fall into the Championship.
Fortunately for us, manager Neil Warnock did not lay off of the officials who made or reversed calls he perceived as major slights to his Bluebirds.
Perhaps his best tune would be best accompanied by a version of The Robot dance.
“I always thought Mike Riley was a manufactured referee from day one,” Warnock said after a loss to Chelsea. “I don’t think he’s changed since then. He’s been coached, manufactured, almost like a robot. He knows everything about the rules, but I feel these people struggle to understand the game and the human element. A lot of referees are like Mike Riley and that’s why I think we have gone backwards. Common sense is not allowed nowadays, but the best refs still use it.”
That loss ended with Warnock standing at midfield, staring at the referee crew before stating that the Premier League is “the best league in the world with the worst officials.”
9. De Gea stuns Spurs to take Ole mania up a notch
Manchester United’s star goalkeeper was not up to his standards this season, but his performance against Tottenham Hotspur early in the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer era was impeccable.
Spurs dominated the Red Devils, but De Gea made 11 saves at Wembley to give OGS his first win over a top side.
8. Arsenal wins thrilling North London Derby
Arsenal finished below Tottenham Hotspur on the table, but the Gunners sent a message that they were up for the fight with a thrilling 4-2 win over Spurs on Dec. 1.
It had everything, including Mike Dean calling penalties for both sides. Arsenal outshot Spurs 22-11, and the teams combined for 13 shots on target. And the Gunners trailed 2-1 at the break!
Most importantly for the Gunners, it was a victory over their hated rivals which ran their unbeaten mark to 19 matches.
7. Wolves howl into contention with first upset
Nuno Espirito Santo‘s Wolverhampton Wanderers became giant killers for the first time when they ended a six-match dry spell by using a second-half burst to beat Chelsea 2-1.
The win was typical of Wolves’ best days, as Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota were the goal scorers. On the season, the newly-promoted Wolves beat Chelsea, Arsenal, Spurs, and Manchester United, drawing the Blues, Gunners, and Red Devils as well en route to a possible Europa League berth.
6. Mourinho’s “respect” rant
Manchester United had just lost 3-0 to Spurs at Old Trafford, but that’s not the three Jose Mourinho wanted to discuss in his post-match media briefing.
“Three-nil. Do you know what that also means? Three Premiership titles, and I also won more titles than the other 19 managers combined.”
5. Emiliano Sala‘s plane disappears
Cardiff City’s joy at the record purchase of Nantes striker Emiliano Sala soon turned to sickening grief when the Argentine’s plane was lost at sea. His body was recovered from the wreckage a few days later.
4. Pickford error gives Origi, Liverpool the derby
Everton supporters don’t need to be reminded that Liverpool had two moments of good fortune for every bit of bad luck in a run to second on the Premier League table. Jordan Pickford lost track of the ball in stoppage time to deny the Toffees a memorable point against their despised cross-town Reds.
3. Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha mourned
Leicester City lost its owner in November when his helicopter crashed after leaving King Power Stadium, and the world soon learned just how deeply Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha was loved by the Foxes’ faithful. The scenes at the next home game were poignant and unforgettable.
2. Kompany’s thunderbolt
Manchester City’s big Belgian leant an aire of inevitability to his side’s title defense when he busted down the door of Kasper Schmeichel and Leicester City with an absolutely stunning strike.
- Eleven millimeters
Let’s set the scene: Unbeaten Liverpool has a chance to put Man City in its rear view mirror at the Etihad Stadium when Sadio Mane beats the keeper and hits the post. City center back John Stones‘ effort to clear the ball hits his keeper Ederson, and the Englishman does this en route to City’s 2-1 defeat of the Reds.