2022 Was a cracking year for the Premier League. The division saw its first-ever midseason break for a World Cup, thankfully though there was still more than enough time for plenty of dramatic storylines to unfold across the year. From superstar bust-ups, incredible individual achievements and memorable title triumphs, check out SinkorSwimSports as we run through our 5 best Premier League moments from 2022.
Ronaldo’s Explosive Interview
Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to Manchester United never really felt like a fairytale return, but the dismal end to the 2021/22 season and the arrival of Erik ten Hag in the summer was what kicked the wheels of his departure into motion. Having publicly announced he wanted to leave and ten Hag, by all accounts, happy to let him go, it was only the club’s hierarchy that kept him shackled at Old Trafford.
The 37-year-old spent the majority of the first half of the 2022/23 season on the bench, and the sour relationship between him and ten Hag reached an irredeemable low on October 19th when he refused to come on against Spurs, leaving the ground before the full-time whistle.
In hindsight, this was probably the moment Ronaldo’s United career came to a close, but it would be an interview with Piers Morgan a month later that would see the Portuguese striker’s contract ripped up. In a scathing assessment of everything from the appointment of Ralf Rangnick, the apparent lack of respect from ten Hag, the lack of ambition from the Glazers all the way to the club’s gym equipment, Ronaldo claimed he had been betrayed by the club and had seen no progression since his first stint.
On November 22nd, Ronaldo’s contract was terminated and he went into the 2022 World Cup as a free agent.
Son And Salah Share The Golden Boot
Erling Haaland’s monstrous form this season has meant the 2022/23 Premier League Golden Boot already looks wrapped up nicer than a present under a Christmas tree, but it was a very different story last season. Son Heung-min and Mohamed Salah ended the final day of the season level with 23 goals, with the award being shared for just the fifth time.
Son became the first Asian player to win the Premier League Golden Boot with 23 goals and 7 assists from 35 starts, whereas Salah managed to rack up 23 goals and 13 assists in just 30 starts.
Bergwijn’s Brace Gives Spurs A Dramatic Win
One of the 2021/22 Premier League’s most dramatic storylines was the hunt for the top four, which was only decided on the final day of the season. The likes of Man United and West Ham were in the running at times, however, it was North London rivals Spurs and Arsenal that would jostle for fourth down to the wire.
Both North London derbies produced stellar matches, and Arsenal’s implosion at the back end of the season ultimately gifted Spurs Champions League football. But, Antonio Conte’s side wouldn’t have been in a position to take advantage of their rivals’ slip-ups had they not come up clutch in a number of pivotal games during the campaign.
Arguably the most important of these games was in January 2022 when Spurs travelled to the King Power Stadium. Goals from Patson Daka and James Maddison had put Leicester 2-1 up going into the 95th minute before Steven Bergwijn (subbed on in the 79th minute) stepped up with two stoppage-time goals.
The 97th-minute winner sealed one of the most dramatic Premier League games of the season and took Spurs to just one point behind fourth.
A Dramatic Final Day
It’s rare in the Premier League to have so many storylines in play on the final day of the season, but the 2021/22 campaign delivered a hatful of them.
Everton, Burnley and Leeds came into the final round of fixtures both with a chance of being relegated, with the latter two being locked on 35 points apiece. Burnley were actually ahead of Leeds on goal difference, but a draw with Newcastle and Jack Harrison’s last-gasp winner against Brentford meant they were sent down to the Championship.
Man United’s Champions League aspirations had crumpled throughout the second half of the season, although the Red Devils very nearly found themselves missing out on even a Europa League spot. The side lost to Crystal Palace on the final day of the season, and would have been overtaken by West Ham for 7th had it not been for the Hammers losing 3-1 against Brighton.
Man City Seal The Title In Style
Of course, the most dramatic storyline unfolding across the final day of the season involved the two best teams in the division gunning for the title. Man City had actually come into 2022 with a thirteen-point lead in the title race before a ten-game winning streak for Liverpool cut the deficit to just a point.
With Jurgen Klopp’s men beating Wolves at Anfield, it was down to Steven Gerrard, Philippe Coutinho and Aston Villa to stop Man City. And, to be fair, it looked like a solid plotline was forming when the Brazilian put Villa 2-0 up.
But you see the measure of a champion when the chips are down, and City certainly showed their credentials in response. With shades of Sergio Aguero a decade earlier, three goals in five minutes flipped the game on its head and delivered the title in the most extraordinary way.
Red Bulls, James Anderson and Christian Pulisic enthusiast. Still unsure how Wes Brown wrangled himself a Champions League medal – Premier League, Cricket and Major League Soccer contributor at SinkorSwimSports.