Twenty five memorable Premier League moments

Pepe Reina

Story highlights

  • EPL will be 25 years old on August 15
  • League is one of the most lucrative in world football

(CNN)As the English Premier League prepares to celebrate its 25th anniversary, we look at some of the most dazzling moments in a competition which entertains millions around the world.

From spectacular goals to incredible games, and touchline moments that will live long in the memory -- scroll down to see if you agree with our picks.

    May 13, 2012 -- That Aguero goal

      Sergio Aguero Manchester City
      Manchester City and Manchester United started the final day of the season level on points. With minutes of their respective games remaining, United were set to become champions once more. But then came the twist: Edin Dzeko scored for City in stoppage time to level at home against QPR, giving Roberto Mancini's men hope -- but they needed to win.
        With the last kick of the match, along came Sergio Aguero, dancing into the box... Mario Balotelli found the Argentine, who struck low into the bottom-left corner. Ecstasy for the men in blue. City won the title for the first time in 44 years.

        October 19, 2002 -- Rooney makes his mark

          Wayne Rooney
          Fifteen years ago Wayne Rooney was an unknown teenager playing for his boyhood club earning £80 a week. Reigning champions Arsenal, seven points ahead at the top of the table, unbeaten in 30 league games, were the visitors at Goodison Park.
          But in four glorious touches Rooney would ruin Arsenal's unbeaten streak. With his first touch, 40 yards from goal, he picked the ball out of the sky and then spun 360 degrees, evading the backtracking Lauren. His second touch was a kick ahead to himself. And after his third touch, Rooney glanced up, raised his left arm, took aim and the ball gloriously hit the underside of the crossbar before dropping into the net. A star was born.

          April 3, 1996 -- The greatest game in history?

          Stan Collymore
          This was a brilliantly entertaining match on a floodlit night at Anfield. Both teams were challenging for the title, neither could really defend. Newcastle desperately needed to win after seeing a 12-point lead over Manchester United at the top of the table swing into a three-point deficit.
          From 1-0 to the hosts to 1-1; 1-2, 2-2, 2-3, 3-3 and then, in stoppage time, Reds striker Stan Collymore beat Newcastle goalkeeper Pavel Srnicek. Liverpool manager Roy Evans would later describe the game as "kamikaze football." The teams would play out another 4-3 thriller the following season, but the first time is always the best.

          May 12, 2013 -- Fergie bows out in style

          Sir Alex Ferguson
          In his final season in charge of the one of the world's most famous clubs, Sir Alex Ferguson -- the most successful football manager in British history -- bowed out with a Premier League title. Ferguson ended his reign with 49 trophies: 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups, four League Cups and two Champions League titles, to name but a few.
          His last league title -- United's 20th -- was perhaps his easiest, the title secured with a month of the season still to go -- only once (2001) had a Ferguson side won the league any earlier. The Premier League trophy was carried out by two of his former captains, Steve Bruce and Bryan Robson, and it was the manager who received the honor of lifting the Premier League trophy into the Manchester night sky.

          April 27, 2014 -- Gerrard's slip

          Steven Gerrard
          Liverpool were in swashbuckling form and seemed on course to secure a first league title for 24 years. They had won 11 consecutive matches and were unbeaten in 16 when Jose Mourinho's Chelsea came to Anfield. But a Steven Gerrard error would cost them dearly that season.
          Inside his own half, the captain slipped, lost possession and Chelsea's Demba Ba capitalized, putting the Londoners on their way to a 2-0 victory. Liverpool's title charge came to a halt after that loss. A disastrous draw at Crystal Palace followed and Manchester City clinched the title. "There's not a day that doesn't go by that I don't think about what if that didn't happen," Gerrard has said.

          May 2, 2016 -- One of the greatest stories of all time

          Leicester City
          This was a season which captured the imagination of the world. Leicester City had started the campaign as 5,000-1 outsiders for the title after almost being relegated the season before and Claudio Ranieri was seen as an uninspired choice to replace Nigel Pearson, who was sacked prior to the start of the campaign.
          But Ranieri and his team of bargain buys and journeymen started the season brilliantly and, incredibly, sustained their challenge. At the end of March they became odds-on favorites for the first time and, in May, won the first top-flight title in the club's history. The next season, Ranieri was sacked as Leicester struggled, but for one one glorious period the Foxes had made people think anything was possible.

          October 17, 2009 -- Beach ball madness

          Pepe Reina
          When is a goal not a goal? A Liverpool-branded beach ball, thrown from the visiting section of the Stadium of Light, glided onto the pitch during the opening few minutes of Sunderland's encounter with Liverpool. So far, so uninspiring. But when Darren Bent's strike beat Liverpool's Jose Reina with the help of a sizable deflection off said beach ball debate raged, especially as it had secured the Black Cats a 1-0 victory.
          Liverpool's players protested, other referees criticized the decision. For those in any doubt, FIFA's laws of the game state "the referee should stop, suspend or abandon the match because of outside interference of any kind", which meant the goal should have been ruled out and the match restarted with a drop ball.

          April 21, 2001 -- The worst tackle of all time?

          Roy Keane Alf Inge Haaland
          Roy Keane's challenge on Manchester City's Alf Inge Haaland has been described by the City player himself as the "worst tackle ever." The feud between the pair began in September 1997 at Elland Road. Keane, then United's midfielder, had swung at Haaland, then playing for Leeds, and subsequently injured his own knee ligaments. The Norwegian stood over Keane, apparently telling him to stop feigning injury.
          In his first autobiography, Keane wrote: "I'd waited almost 180 minutes for Alfie, three years if you look at it another way. Now he had the ball on the far touchline. I'd waited long enough. I hit him hard. The ball was there (I think)."
          The midfielder was given a five-game ban and a record £150,000 fine from the Football Association. Three operations and two unsuccessful years of rehabilitation later, Haaland's contract with City was terminated. In his most recent autobiography, Keane said he had no regrets over the tackle and denied he deliberately tried to injure Haaland.

          January 16, 1999 -- The wrong dugout

          Ron Atkinson
          "I'm waving, I haven't got a clue where I am," is how Ron Atkinson described the moment he realized he was in the opposition team's dugout. Former Manchester United manager Atkinson was in Barbados when he received a phone call asking if he could manage struggling Nottingham Forest.
          After an overnight flight, the Englishman was faced with leading his new club out against Arsenal. The cameras and photographers were waiting to capture Forest's new manager, little did they know they would capture one of the funniest moments in the league's history.

          May 14, 1995 -- Blackburn win the title at Anfield

          Alan Shearer
          The season that will be remembered for when Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton's goals took Blackburn Rovers to a first league title for 81 years. Between them, Shearer and Sutton (nicknamed "The SAS") scored 49 of Rovers' 80 league goals. The club's rise through the divisions had been remarkable.
          Former Liverpool great Kenny Dalglish became the club's manager when they were in the bottom half of the second tier of English football. Aided by the millions of benefactor Jack Walker, and Dalglish's canny signings, they won promotion to the new Premier League at the first attempt.
          In their first season in the top flight they finished fourth, then were runners-up to Manchester United before being crowned champions in 1995, pipping United on the last day of the season by a point despite defeat by Liverpool.

          May 15, 2004 -- Arsenal's 'Invincibles'

          Arsenal celebrate winning the title
          Arsene Wenger's team of the 2003-04 vintage is the first to win the Premier League title having not lost a game. They played 38 league games, won 26 and drew 12, scored 73 goals and conceded just 26, for a total of 90 points.
          Captained by Frenchman Patrick Vieira, the team consisted of some of the greats of the Premier League era: Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Ashley Cole and Sol Campbell.
          Winning the title by 11 points, they were the first team since Preston North End in 1889 to achieve the feat in the top flight, having played 16 matches more.

          October 24, 2004 -- Battle of the Buffet