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10 of the most memorable opening-round matches in Premier League history

Fabrizio Ravanelli scored a hat-trick on his Middlesbrough debut against Liverpool (Dave Kendall/PA)
Fabrizio Ravanelli scored a hat-trick on his Middlesbrough debut against Liverpool (Dave Kendall/PA)

The Premier League will release its 2024-25 fixture list on Tuesday and there are sure to be some eye-catching games in the opening round next season.

Champions Manchester City will launch the defence of their crown, while newly-promoted Ipswich will play their first top-flight match since 2002.

Here, the PA news agency looks back at some memorable first-round Premier League encounters.

1992: Sheffield United 2 Manchester United 1

Brian Deane wrote himself into Premier League folklore by scoring the first goal in English football’s revamped top flight. He headed home in the fourth minute and later fired the winner from the penalty spot after Mark Hughes had equalised. Despite the defeat though. Manchester United would go on to be crowned champions for the first time in 26 years.

1994: Sheffield Wednesday 3 Tottenham 4

Jurgen Klinsmann announced himself in English football in comical fashion after joining Tottenham from Monaco, celebrating his late match-winning header after Wednesday had fought back from 2-0 down to level at 3-3 by swooping to the turf, arms out, in mockery of his reputation as a diver. Nicky Barmby had earlier lit-up the seven-goal thriller with a brilliant solo goal.

1996: Middlesbrough 3 Liverpool 3

Fabrizio Ravanelli, who had swapped Turin for Teesside after winning the Champions League with Juventus, struck three equalisers on his Boro debut. The ‘White Feather’ upstaged Liverpool’s ‘Spice Boys’, but despite going on to  score 31 goals in all competitions that season, the Italian’s side lost in both the League Cup and FA Cup finals and were relegated on the final day.

1996: Wimbledon 0 Manchester United 3

David Beckham’s majestic lob from his own half triggered one of the English game’s most celebrated and high-profile careers. Beckham was a well-established prospect before he caught Neil Sullivan napping – but this goal certainly helped him make a name for himself.

2010: Wigan 0 Blackpool 4

Marlon Harewood celebrates his second goal in Blackpool's 4-0 win against Wigan
Marlon Harewood celebrates his second goal in Blackpool’s 4-0 win against Wigan (Mark Robinson/PA)

Blackpool had ended a 39-year top-flight exile and boss Ian Holloway joked before their opening game that his side would barely survive in the Championship let alone the Premier League. But goals from Gary Taylor-Fletcher and Alex Baptiste sandwiched Marlon Harewood’s brace to briefly send the Seasiders top of the table before their season ended in relegation.

2016: Arsenal 3 Liverpool 4

Jurgen Klopp congratulates Philippe Coutinho after his double helped Liverpool secure victory
Jurgen Klopp congratulates Philippe Coutinho after his double helped Liverpool secure victory (Nick Potts/PA)

Liverpool hit back in style to lead 4-1 after falling behind to an opener from Theo Walcott, who had moments earlier seen his penalty saved. Jurgen Klopp’s side appeared to be in control after goals from Philippe Coutinho (2), Adam Lallana and Sadio Mane before the Gunners responded through Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s superb effort and Calum Chambers to set up a grandstand finish.

2017: Arsenal 4 Leicester 3

The Gunners’ new signing Alexandre Lacazette marked his league debut with a goal after 94 seconds, only for Shinji Okazaki to quickly level in a see-saw encounter. Jamie Vardy twice put the Foxes ahead either side of Danny Welbeck’s goal before late efforts from Arsenal substitutes Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud settled a breathless encounter in the Londoners’ favour.

2017: Watford 3 Liverpool 3

Marco Silva’s first game in charge of Watford was action-packed as Miguel Britos scored the Hornets’ stoppage-time equaliser, with Mohamed Salah marking his first Premier League appearance for the Reds with a debut goal. Stefano Okaka and Abdoulaye Doucoure were also on target for Watford, while Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino’s penalty helped earn Liverpool a point.

2020: Liverpool 4 Leeds 3

Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds, playing their first top-flight match in 16 years, gave champions Liverpool a mighty scare, but ultimately Salah’s hat-trick – including two penalties – proved decisive. The Reds, for whom Virgil van Dijk also scored, were pegged back three times by Jack Harrison, Patrick Bamford and Mateusz Klich before Salah’s second spot-kick two minutes from time clinched it.

2021: Brentford 2 Arsenal 0

Brentford announced their top-flight return after a 74-year absence in style as goals from Sergi Canos and Christian Norgaard secured a memorable 2-0 win over shellshocked London rivals Arsenal. The Bees finally came full circle as their last match in the top flight, in May 1947, was a 1-0 home defeat against the Gunners.