Memorable moments from 2023-24 Premier League season

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Memorable Moments From 2023-24 Premier League Season
A hat-trick from Nicolas Jackson helped Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino enjoy a successful return to Tottenham, Š PA Archive/PA Images
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By George Sessions, PA

Another entertaining Premier League season drew to a close on Sunday as Manchester City secured an history fourth straight crown while Luton’s relegation was confirmed.

Here, we look at 10 of the most memorable moments from the 2023-24 campaign, on and off the pitch.

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VAR controversy

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The opening weekend set the tone for a campaign full of controversial VAR decisions when Wolves were denied a last-gasp penalty despite Manchester United goalkeeper Andre Onana taking out Sasa Kalajdzic.

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

However, miscommunication between the on-pitch officials and those at Stockley Park resulted in the effort being ruled out.

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‘Absolute disgrace’

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

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

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

Tottenham 1 Chelsea 4

A bonkers 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.

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

PSR issues

Everton were hit with a 10-point deduction back in November and with it a new term entered everyday football vocabulary – Profit and Sustainability Rules (PSR).

The Toffees’ punishment was due to breaching Premier League PSR and not long afterwards Nottingham Forest would suffer the same fate with a a four-point punishment handed out. Everton were eventually given four points back before they were hit with another two-point deduction.

Lockyer collapse

Bournemouth’s home fixture with Luton on December 16 bonded the clubs for life after Hatters captain Tom Lockyer collapsed in the 59th minute.

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

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

The Premier League decided the fixture had to be replayed and, when it was (March 13), Lockyer returned to the ground to thank the medical staff before he watched Luton let a three-goal lead slip to lose 4-3.

Trailblazer Welch

Fulham v Burnley – Premier League – Craven Cottage
Referee Rebecca Welch (Bradley Collyer/PA)

In a season of much-debated decisions by officials, Rebecca Welch made history just before Christmas when she become the first female Premier League referee after she took charge of Burnley’s 2-0 win at Fulham.

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

Welch will end the season officiating 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 levels of his general play is so poor,” Sky Sports pundit Keane said. “He’s almost like 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 forward had the last laugh with another title on Sunday.

Late, late show

  • Dejan Kulusevski vs Sheffield United - 99 mins, 53 secs
  • Cole Palmer vs Manchester United - 101 mins, 41 secs

The Premier League’s decision to follow IFAB guidance over stoppage time has contributed towards a plethora of dramatic finishes.

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

The strike was clocked as the latest winner in Premier League history but it was topped by Chelsea attacker Cole Palmer in April after he netted in the 102nd minute to down Manchester United.

Klopp v Salah

Jurgen Klopp’s announcement in January that he would leave Liverpool at the end of the season sent shockwaves around the world and initially produced an emotionally charged reaction by the team.

The injury-hit Reds navigated a lengthy list of absentees to clinch the Carabao Cup in February and remain in contention for the quadruple before a 4-3 FA Cup loss at Manchester United in March sparked 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 at that stage a pivotal clash in the battle for survival. The Toffees claimed a crucial three points after Idrissa Gueye and Dwight McNeil goals.

When the full-time whistle was blown, Forest quickly grabbed hold of the narrative with a remarkable post on X about VAR official Stuart Attwell.

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

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