Remembering the Worst Collapses in Premier League History

Kasper Schmeichel
Leicester threw away victory at Bournemouth after a nightmare second half | Pool/Getty Images

As days at the office go, Leicester had a bit of a mixed one against Bournemouth on Sunday.

Everything was going smoothly for Brendan Rodgers’ side in the first hour; they were 1-0 up, comfortably dominating the game and playing some really sharp football. The amount of character being shown? Off the charts.

Then Leicester completely fell to pieces. In the space of two minutes, Kasper Schmeichel hammered a goal kick into his own teammate, Wilfred Ndidi conceded a penalty and Caglar Soyuncu saw red for briefly turning into Connor McGregor. The Foxes ended up losing 4-1 to a Bournemouth side who had picked up just one point from a possible 15 since the Premier League resumed in June…and Dominic Solanke scored twice.

However, Leicester are not the first Premier League side to have absolutely capitulated over the years. Let’s take a look at the worst offenders.

Neil Ruddock, Paul InceNeil Ruddock, Paul Ince
A Neil Ruddock header completed the turnaround against Manchester United in 1994 | Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United were usually the ones responsible for dishing out devastating blows, but fashioned a collapse of their own at Anfield during the 1993/94 campaign.

United had taken a 3-0 lead inside 24 minutes, but a brace from Brian Clough pulled Liverpool right back into contention before the half was out.

Liverpool’s comeback was completed 10 minutes from time when substitute Neil Ruddock headed home to condemn United to a very uncharacteristic collapse.

Nwankwo Kanu of ArsenalNwankwo Kanu of Arsenal
Kanu scored an outrageous third as Chelsea threw away a two goal lead against Arsenal | Graham Chadwick/Getty Images

A pair of headers from Tore Andre Flo and Dan Petrescu appeared to have wrapped up the 1999/00 London derby for Chelsea, with the Blues comfortably leading 2-0 with a quarter of an hour remaining. It was October, and Chelsea were still yet to concede at home in the Premier League.

Enter Nwankwo Kanu.

The Nigerian striker hit a 15-minute hat-trick at Stamford Bridge – capitalising on some questionable decision making from Blues keeper Ed de Goey in injury time – as Chelsea’s two-goal advantage evaporated and they went home empty handed.

Spurs v Man UtdSpurs v Man Utd
Beckham got in on the act as United recovered from a dismal first half performance | Ben Radford/Getty Images

Tottenham had only beaten Manchester United three times in their past 25 encounters when the two sides met at the beginning of the 2001/02 campaign, but found themselves in dreamland as they took a 3-0 lead against the reigning Premier League champions with a scintillating first-half display.

However, United were a side transformed after the restart, and Andy Cole pulled a goal back within a minute of the second half getting under way.

Laurent Blanc, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Juan Sebastian Veron and David Beckham all found the net for United as Spurs were completely overrun, meekly surrendering their hard earned three-goal advantage and slumping to a 5-3 defeat.

Lads…it’s Tottenham.

Arsenal players react after conceding aArsenal players react after conceding a
Arsenal had a nightmare final 10 minutes against Wigan in 2010 | ANDREW YATES/Getty Images

Arsenal scored either side of half time to put themselves comfortably in the driving seat against Wigan – and victory would have lifted Arsene Wenger’s side to within three points of league leaders Chelsea with three games left to play.

Instead, the Gunners conceded three goals in the final 10 minutes to effectively end their title hopes and secure Wigan’s Premier League status for another season.

The Arsenal backline were all over the place as Ben Watson scored what looked like a consolation, before Lukasz Fabianski fumbled a corner to allow notorious goal poacher [ahem] Titus Bramble to head home. While the first two goals were defensively questionable, no one could have done anything about Charles N’Zogbia’s injury-time banger – a goal worthy of completing any capitulation.

Abou Diaby, Kevin NolanAbou Diaby, Kevin Nolan
Arsenal had led 4-0 before Diaby was sent off | Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Arsenal were absolutely cruising to victory against Newcastle in 2011, racing into a 4-0 lead inside 26 minutes as they tore the Magpies backline apart.

But five minutes into the second half, Abu Diaby was sent off for picking a fight with Joey Barton, and the collapse commenced.

The Gunners then conceded two penalties either side of a Leon Best strike, with Barton dutifully burying both spot kicks. Cheik Tiote’s blistering long-range effort three minutes from time completed the collapse.

Dwight GayleDwight Gayle
Gayle grabbed a brace as Liverpool surrendered a three goal lead | Clive Rose/Getty Images

Liverpool normally love a remarkable 3-3 comeback, but this match will not live fondly in the memory of Reds fans. In the penultimate game of the 2013/14 season, with their title hopes dashed by Steven Gerrard’s infamous slip against Chelsea, Liverpool effectively threw in the towel in pretty spectacular style in the space of 12 disastrous minutes.

The Reds were 3-0 up against Crystal Palace inside 55 minutes, on course to go three points clear of second-placed Manchester City and eat away at their superior goal difference. But they needed more, so they kept flying forward…and so, Crystanbul.

32-year-old centre-half Damien Delaney began the Palace fightback when his deflected effort from distance found the net 11 minutes from time, before a Dwight Gayle brace sealed a point for the Eagles and all but ended Liverpool’s title dreams.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *