From the very first weekend of the season when Ashley Young fell foul of a mischievous bird, the 2014/15 Premier League promised to be a strange one, and come the final weekend of the season it certainly hasn't disappointed.
While Chelsea all-too predictably marched to the title, elsewhere the unexpected and bizarre were triumphing. Memorable moments from past seasons include Alan Pardew's touchline head-butt, Kieran Gibbs' red card for Alex Oxlade Chamberlain's hand ball and Eric Cantona's shocking drop-kick on a fan.
So here, we dish out some alternative awards from 2014/15, recognising the weirdest moments from the last nine months that have stunned, thrilled and entertained us in equal measure.
In among this year's gongs are The Alan Pardew award for bonkers behaviour, the delusional boaster award and our winner of the most topical goal celebration.
Premier League 2014/15 memorable moments
Premier League 2014/15 memorable moments
1/12 Comical tackle of the season
Phil Jones’ commitment has never been in question – but he really went the extra mile in May’s Premier League clash against Arsenal. Having slipped with Olivier Giroud on his shoulder, the defender managed to nod a header away – despite lying flat on the ground. Former Gunners defender Martin Keown labelled him as a “comical stuntman” – and it’s hard to disagree on this showing.
2/12 Unluckiest player of the season
In the opening match of the season, Ashley Young may have seen Ki Sung-Yeung’s goal and thought it was going to be a bad day – but little did he know, it was about to get a whole lot worse for him. Whilst berating team-mates for their defending, videos appear to show bird excrement falling from the sky and straight into the midfielder’s mouth – something he still denies, of course.
3/12 Best free-kick
“It was a boring game and I livened it up. My mates think I’m a legend” – the words of Jordan Dunn, the pitch invader who ran on to take a free-kick in August’s match between West Ham and Spurs. His effort was arguably better than many seen on the pitch that day, but Dunn was subsequently fined £305 for his moment of madness.
4/12 Best worst celebration
Charlie Adam’s reaction to scoring one of the goals of the season? A not-so-great robot celebration – which led team-mate Peter Crouch to judge it as “horribly wrong”. Adam had just scored from his own half against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, but many will remember the goal for other reasons.
5/12 Worst attempt at a head-butt
An addition to the historic list of on-field battles between Manchester United and Arsenal, Gunners midfielder Jack Wilshere took umbrage with opponent Marouane Fellaini – and appeared to head-butt the Belgian. Wilshere’s nine inch height disadvantage meant that his strike failed to meet its target, however, probably helping him to avoid an FA ban.
6/12 Strangest complaint
Match officials will carry out a number of checks before every match – ensuring twenty-two are on the field of play, checking there are no holes in the nets and so on – but in October, before Leicester’s match at Swansea, the away team’s goalkeepers became convinced that the crossbar was too high and complained to the officials. Checks were made – and the goals were found to be the correct height.
7/12 Biggest loser at mind games
After West Ham’s 1-1 draw with Manchester United in February, Hammers chief Sam Allardyce accused his opponents of purely playing long-ball football – much to the Dutchman’s anger. Instead of brushing the comments off, Van Gaal produced a document to suggest it was actually Allardyce’s men who lumped the ball forward more often. Big Sam’s efforts to get under the skin of his counterpart had worked.
8/12 The Alan Pardew award for bonkers behaviour from a manager
In February, the pressure was starting to mount on Leicester boss Nigel Pearson – and things threatened to come to a head during his side’s 1-0 home defeat to Crystal Palace. Eagles midfielder James McArthur had collided with the hot-headed manager on the touchline, and instead of helping him to his feet, Pearson appeared to strangle the 27-year-old. He subsequently escaped punishment by the FA.
9/12 Most topical celebration
On the day of Manchester United’s victory over Spurs in March, a video emerged showing the United Wayne Rooney skipper being knocked to the ground in a boxing match in his own home by ex-team-mate Phil Bardsley. He went on to celebrate his goal in the 3-0 win with a celebration imitating his own knock-out.
10/12 Weirdest press conference/best name calling
Nigel Pearson has always been a manager who will back his players – even if it means ostracising himself from the media. A journalist had asked Pearson to explain his comments that his side had faced a high level of criticism and negativity, and instead of giving a reasoned answer, Pearson labelled the reporter as an “ostrich” and said his “head must be in the sand”.
11/12 The delusional boaster award
Step aside Jose Mourinho – you’re not the best coach in the Premier League, according to Newcastle boss John Carver. His suggestion for the mantle? Himself. Speaking recently, on the back of eight straight defeats, Toon boss Carver made the bold statement – perhaps to deflect attention onto himself and away from his struggling squad.
12/12 Playground moment
Cesc Fabregas has always been able to pick a pass – and showed this more than ever in May’s away trip to West Brom. During a break in play, the Spaniard’s 20-yard punt hit opponent Chris Brunt on the head whilst referee Mike Jones was dealing with another incident. Jones saw Fabregas’ strike and showed him a straight red card – but his three-match ban has since been reduced to just one, after Chelsea successfully argued the initial punishment was excessive.
But which one was your favourite? Vote for your moment of the year in the poll below:
Use the comments below to let us know if you think there were any other moments that deserved our recognition.
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