The Most Shocking Moments in EPL History
September 08, 2015
Now approaching the start of its 24th season, the English Premier League has evolved almost beyond recognition since its inception back in 1992. Then, just 16 non-British players represented the 22 teams in the English top flight, before lucrative television deals, expensive foreign imports and rising wages turned the national game into a globally viable product. As you would expect, the EPL has conjured an incredible amount of drama in its time as it has continued to showcase the good, the bad and the downright ugly facets of the British game.
With this in mind, here are three of the most shocking and memorable moments in English Premier League history
1. Eric Cantona’s Kung-Fu Kick, 1995
Surely a logical start to our list, Eric Cantona’s unprecedented assault on a Crystal Palace fan remains the most unexpected (and surely infamous) Premier League moment of all time. In truth, a serious incident had been brewing from the first minute of a stormy and tempestuous affair at Selhurst Park, and this came to a head when the French forward was sent-off for retaliating against centre half Richard Shaw. Cantona became embroiled with a fan as he left the pitch, before launching into a stunning drop-kick and trading blows until the stewards intervened.
2. Steven Gerrard’s Slip against Chelsea, 2014
‘This does not slip’, were the words issued by Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, after the Reds had beaten Manchester City 3-2 in a thrilling game at Anfield to seize control of the EPL title race. Despite leading with just three games to go, however, the wheels came off during a game with third-place Chelsea the following weekend which saw the Blues win 2-0 with a masterclass of disciplined, counter-attacking football. The catalyst was Steven Gerrard’s unforced slip on the stroke of half-time, which enabled Chelsea forward Demba Ba to race forward unmarked and coolly slot beyond Simon Mignolet for the opening goal. Liverpool never recovered, as Gerrard’s words from the previous week suddenly assumed far more ironic meaning.
3. David Busst’s Leg Break, 1996
Known to this day as the single most horrific injury in the history of the EPL, David Busst’s career came to startling end on 6th April 1996. Playing for Coventry City against Manchester United at Old Trafford, Busst challenged for a loose ball from a corner, colliding with Denis Irwin and Brian McClair in the process. Although no foul play was involved, Busst suffering extensive compound fractures to the tibia and fibula of his right leg, while he was lucky to avoid amputation after contracting several infections after the event. Needless to say he never played professionally again, while his injury underlines the risk that professional footballers face on the field of play.