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Manchester City Vs Queens Park Rangers - The Greatest Premier League Game of All Time?

Thursday 11th September 2014
With the international break proving to feel a lot longer than it actually is Connor Natella jumps into his TARDIS to look back at his favourite Premier League game of all time.

It's been a long two weeks. It always is whenever the Premier League takes a break, so during this difficult time I've been pondering over the great games the league has offered us over the last two decades with the hope of selecting one. One defining game. One game which encapsulated the extraordinary appeal of the most watched league in world football. I started with the day that Manchester City's quest to dominate reached fruition, with that goal on the last day. I watched Arsenal win the league unbeaten in 2004, Viera's goal against Leicester sealing the deal. I poured over the sheer domination that Manchester United enjoyed between 1998-200 and again between 2006-2009. I saw valiant relegation battles and top of the table clashes. Jubilation in success, devastation in defeat.

However, when I sat down to ponder what my favourite Premier League game of all time was I don't mind admitting, I stuttered. It's the type of question everyone has a routine answer to, yet it took me a good deal of searching through the years of great games the league has served up to arrive back where I started. 2012, 13th May, Manchester City VS QPR, Sergio Aguero.

It's important to remember that football is made of numbers. Points tallies, league tables, goals scored, transfer fees. The living body of football is statistics and structure. It confines the game, gives things value, rewards victory and upholds defeat. Football from a logical, numerical standpoint makes sense. Almost, satisfyingly so. Arsenal's record in 2004 was so significant because of the statistical improbability. That defining number - zero losses.

This numerical structure of confinement is not enough for us, however, we need rules and laws to stop it from imploding in upon itself. Every game sees these rules broken and every game sees the consequences of doing so. They are heatedly debated, lamented, celebrated. They keep the very ceiling from caving in. Innovation from a rule maker is regarded with the utmost suspicion before it is welcomed. The rules we play according to are rigid, unchanging and stable…

… Everything football isn't.

It is within this confinement, this rigidity that flair comes to the fore. It is the job of the players to find a way of producing magic in a game with logic at its very core. The essence of football comes in the tricks and the turns, the magnificent goals, the last minute saves, the passion exuded in that sacred time between minute 1 and minute 90 is what is remembered, not so the numbers, not so the rules; but the magic. So here we come to my justification for having reviewed, however crudely, over twenty years of top flight football and coming to the conclusion I have.

When Sergio Aguero picked the ball up a little before 5pm on Saturday May 13th, I don't think he quite comprehended what that moment meant. Not then, anyway. With his step past the defender, his blasted shot across goal, Sergio Aguero aligned everything we want as fans of the game. Pure, undiluted magic, at a time when the numbers counted for everything, the time limit looking for all the world as though it would come just too soon. Logic and magic fused, played in unison, sheer history. But it's that goal we remember, not the points tally. Possession stats for the game? Out the window. Shots on goal? A mere irrelevance. I'm no City fan, but ask any of them and they'll tell you they've relived that goal more times than they care to remember. It's why I love football, and it's exactly why you should too.


Well that was Connor's favourite match in the Premier League, which was yours, comment below:
Connor Natella
Experience of working at clubs between non-league and the Championship, currently Assistant Manager at New Milton Town FC and Academy Coach at AFC Bournemouth.

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