Memorable moments from the 2023-2024 Premier League season

Another entertaining Premier League season came to an end on Sunday as Manchester City secured a fourth consecutive title in history, while Luton’s relegation was confirmed.

Here, the PA news agency looks at 10 of the most memorable moments from the 2023-2024 campaign, both on and off the pitch.

VAR controversy

The opening weekend set the tone for a campaign full of controversial VAR decisions as Wolves were denied a final penalty despite Manchester United goalkeeper Andre Onana sending off Sasa Kalajdzic.

Liverpool suffered perhaps their biggest mistake when Luis Diaz thought he had scored at Tottenham in the 34th minute, but the offside flag was raised. The VAR assessed the incident and a goal should have been awarded.

However, miscommunication between the on-field referees and those at Stockley Park resulted in the try being ruled out.

‘Absolute shame’

On a similar theme, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta went berserk after Anthony Gordon’s winner was allowed to stay at Newcastle.

He described the incident as an “absolute disgrace” and branded it “embarrassing” after VAR checked three incidents in the build-up to the goal before standing it.

Arteta was subsequently charged by the Football Association, but later cleared by an independent commission.

A frenzied London derby the day after Bonfire Night produced five goals, two red cards, five disallowed goals and an extraordinary 57-minute first half of football as the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium witnessed a classic.

Ultimately, Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino enjoyed a successful first return to Spurs since his sacking in 2019 after Nicolas Jackson’s hat-trick led to a 4-1 win, but it only told half the story – with VAR once again in the middle the action.

PSR problems

Everton were hit with a 10-point deduction in November, bringing a new term into everyday football vocabulary: Profit and Sustainability Rules (PSR).

The Toffees’ penalty was due to breaching the Premier League PSR and not long after, Nottingham Forest would suffer the same fate with a four-point penalty. Everton eventually got four points back before being deducted another two points.

Lockyer collapse

Bournemouth’s home match against Luton on December 16 tied the clubs for life after Hatters captain Tom Lockyer collapsed in the 59th minute.

The clash at the Vitality Stadium was eventually abandoned, but the most crucial aspect of the day was that Lockyer’s life was saved after it was revealed he had suffered a cardiac arrest.

Days later he successfully had an ICD (implantable cardioverter defibrillator) inserted.

The Premier League decided the match should be replayed and when the time came (March 13), Lockyer returned to the ground to thank the medical staff before watching Luton let a three-goal lead slip away to win 4–3 lost.

Pioneer Welch

Fulham v Burnley – Premier League – Craven Cottage

Referee Rebecca Welch (Bradley Collyer/PA)

In a season full of much-discussed decisions by officials, Rebecca Welch made history just before Christmas when she became the first female Premier League referee after taking charge of Burnley’s 2-0 win over Fulham.

Welch showed three yellow cards but was praised by Clarets boss Vincent Kompany. “It’s fair to say this is a milestone moment and there may be many more to come,” he said.

Welch ends the season as referee for the Women’s Champions League final between Barcelona and Lyon.

‘League Two player!’

Roy Keane made headlines when he was critical of Erling Haaland after Manchester City’s 0-0 draw with Arsenal.

“The level of his overall game is so poor,” said Sky Sports pundit Keane. “He’s almost a League Two player.”

It did not go down well on the blue side of Manchester, especially given Keane’s history with Haaland’s father Alf-Inge.

The feud has continued in recent weeks, but the City striker had the last laugh on Sunday with a new title.

Late, late show

The Premier League’s decision to follow IFAB guidelines on stoppage time has contributed to a plethora of dramatic results.

It was first highlighted in September when Dejan Kulusevski’s 100th-minute goal helped Spurs break the hearts of Sheffield United.

The goal was clocked as the last winner in Premier League history, but was led by Chelsea striker Cole Palmer in April after beating Manchester United in the 102nd minute.

Klopp vs Salah

Jürgen Klopp’s announcement in January that he would be leaving Liverpool at the end of the season sent shockwaves around the world and initially provoked an emotionally charged reaction from the team.

The injury-hit Reds had to endure a long list of absences to win the Carabao Cup in February and stay in contention for the quadruple, before a 4-3 FA Cup defeat to Manchester United in March led to a collapse .

An ugly incident occurred at West Ham when Klopp and Mohamed Salah, one of the most influential players of his tenure, had a heated touchline exchange. Salah later said there would be “fire” if he talked, but the pair subsequently made up.

‘The VAR is a Luton fan’

Forest’s trip to Everton on April 21 was dubbed the PSR derby, but it was also a crucial clash in the battle for survival at that stage. The Toffees claimed a crucial three points after goals from Idrissa Gueye and Dwight McNeil.

When the whistle blew, Forest quickly seized on the story with a remarkable post on X about VAR official Stuart Attwell.

“Three extremely poor decisions – three penalties that were not given – that we simply cannot accept,” it said. “We warned the PGMOL before the match that the VAR is a Luton fan, but they didn’t change it.”

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