Match of the Day Top 10 podcast: Lineker, Shearer & Richards rank biggest Premier League upsets

Some results are more memorable than others. But which games have produced the greatest upsets in Premier League history?"
This is the latest topic Gary Lineker, Alan Shearer, and Micah Richards discuss on the Match of the Day Podcast Top 10.

Listen to BBC Sounds' podcast to hear their final selections. You can also rank yours at bottom of page.

Liverpool 0-1 Barnsley

Although Liverpool trailed 1997-98 pace-setters Manchester United (Blackburn Rovers) and 1997-98 early season pace-setters Blackburn Rovers by a few points, they were still expected beat a Barnsley team that had only won three of their 14 first games since being promoted. Danny Wilson's team won a spectacular victory at Anfield on 22/11/97. Steve McManaman captained Liverpool that day, while Michael Owen was at the front. Liverpool fans weren't disappointed. This result saw Everton, a neighbour, fall to the bottom.

Shearer: What are my memories of this game? To be honest, not much! Ashley Ward was the one who scored it. It was dramatic, I'm sure. Barnsley had a difficult start to that season.

Richards: If I'm completely honest, I don't recall the game very well.

Lineker: We are glad to see that you both did your research!

Burnley 1-0 Manchester United (Richards: 7th, Shearer 9th)

Burnley lost 2-0 to Stoke City in the opening weekend 2009/10 season, when they played Manchester United, the defending champions, in their Premier League home match. This was after being promoted via play-offs. The Clarets won a historic victory on 19 August 2009, thanks to Robbie Blake's goal. The Clarets would win their next match against Everton, but Owen Coyle would surprise the club by moving to Bolton Wanderers.

Shearer: It's hard to imagine the atmosphere at Turf Moor. It's Manchester United's first Premier League home match. It was a fantastic result for Burnley.

Richards: It was not a huge upset.

Norwich City 3-2 Manchester City

This was something that no one saw coming. When Norwich hosted Manchester City at Carrow Road, 14 September 2019, they had already lost four of their five league and cup matches. Within half an hour, the Canaries had 2-0 lead thanks to Todd Cantwell and Kenny McLean goals. Sergio Aguero cut the deficit at the half-hour mark, but in an exciting match Teemu Pukki restored a two-goal advantage, before Rodri established a grandstand finish.

Shearer: It was a match of the day game that I used to analyse and the way Norwich fell from the back was amazing. It was one those games that worked out for them. Now, I see Norwich and realize that you are making the exact same mistakes as when you were in Premier League. Why?

Leicester City 5-3 Manchester United

21 September 2014: Manchester United's Louis van Gaal had already suffered a tough start to the season. Their problems grew worse when Nigel Pearson's Leicester pulled away to win the eight-goal thriller. Tyler Blackett was dismissed on a terrible day for United. The Red Devils were now second to Hull City on the Premier League table.

Shearer: Manchester United led 3-1 with 30 minutes remaining. The win was 2-0 to 3-0. As Leicester won the game, I could hear the excitement in his voice.

Lineker: Around this time, people started to say that Vardy was a bit of an annoying person. It's still difficult for me to grasp the success of Leicester. I still think about their title win when I look back. It was my expectation that Leicester would lose that season, but it didn’t.

Manchester City 2 & 3 Crystal Palace (Richards 5th, Shearer 7th)

Andros Townsend scored a stunning 30-yard volley that helped Crystal Palace to cause one of the biggest shocks in 2018-19 season. They won their first win against Manchester City for 28 year and ended the defending champions' 100% home record. It looked like the game was going according to plan when Ilkay Gundogan scored for the hosts and Jeffrey Schlupp equalised. Townsend took the lead for the visitors with a brilliant goal, and Luka Milivojevic scored a penalty to make it 3-1. Kevin de Bruyne scored a late goal for City, but Roy Hodgson’s Palace held on for an amazing win.

Richards: Andros Townsend was a brilliant goal. City had a great run at Etihad Stadium. It's impossible for City to stop playing there once they start to play. It was a remarkable goal, and Palace deserved it.

Lineker: When I was in the Match of the Day office, everyone would jump up and say 'wow!' whenever they saw something extraordinary. Townsend's goal was one such moment.

Crystal Palace 3-3 Liverpool (Richards 6th, Shearer 3rd).

Liverpool lost a three-goal lead at Crystal Palace in the 11th minute and their Premier League title hopes for 2013-14 were severely damaged. In their penultimate league match of the season, the Reds led by 3-0 at Selhurst Park. However, Dwight Gayle was able to make a dramatic late Palace comeback. Although Liverpool was on top of the table, the point was not enough. Title rivals Manchester City still had a game and would win the league.

Richards: Liverpool had already lost to Chelsea at home in the previous match. The damage was done. Manchester City won the league by two goals. City was the better team with a higher goal difference, even though Liverpool beat Palace. Because Steven Gerrard is at the top of his game, I wanted him to win a Premier League title.

Shearer: Luis Suarez was in tears the night before. Gerrard went over to console Suarez and block the camera after the last whistle.

Manchester United 8-2 Arsenal (Richards 1st, Shearer 8th)

Arsenal was humiliated by Manchester United's brutal win over Arsene Winger's team at Old Trafford, 28 August 2011. This was Arsenal's worst defeat in 1896, with Wenger having to send out a temporary side that had been injured and suspended. Wayne Rooney scored a hat trick, while Ashley Young scored two spectacular goals. United's other scorers were Nani, Danny Welbeck and Park Ji-sung.

Richards: If you are a top club, you can't concede eight goals. Because that was an upset, I can't believe Manchester City's 6-1 win over Manchester United in 2011.

Shearer: Arsenal suffered a lot of injuries, so they signed four to five players after the game. It was quite surprising for Manchester United to score eight goals and then humiliate Arsenal as they did. It wasn't a surprise that United beat Arsenal in the Premier League's biggest upsets.

Watford 3-0 Liverpool

Liverpool had the title in their hands when they swept up at Vicarage Road on February 29, 2020. Jurgen Klopp's team had won 18 Premier League games, and another victory against Watford would have set the record for the longest winning streak in English top flight. They couldn't get going against the Hornets team, which started the game in the relegation area. Ismaila Sarr scored twice and Troy Deeney added another. Liverpool was 22 points ahead of Manchester City, despite this loss.

Lineker: This was Liverpool's first league loss of the season. They looked like they might be able to do the Invincibles thing.

Shearer: Troy Deeney won the Liverpool match that afternoon, he was at his best. Given the runaround, you never saw the Liverpool defense, which had Virgil van Dijk inside it. This rarely happens.

Southampton 3-1 Manchester United

It is still one of the most unusual incidents in Premier League history. Manchester United, trailing Southampton 3-0 at home, changed their strips in the second half of 1996. They started the match at The Dell wearing grey shirts and shorts. However, they changed to their third strip in white and blue because they couldn't pick each other out.

Shearer: I would like to know the identity of the man who entered the Manchester United dressing room and said, 'I can’t pick anyone out because of the color of the shirts. Can you imagine Fergie's reaction to this?

Lineker: Many teams have played in gray since then and have done well.

Richards: This is definitely not permitted [changing your kit]. This is something I don't recall anyone doing.

Bradford City 1-0 Liverpool (Richards 4th, Shearer 1st).

David Wetherall. After the events of 14 May 2000, a name that will be forever linked to Bradford City legends. Liverpool had to win in order to qualify for Champions League. Gerard Houllier's Reds were forced to accept a Uefa Cup spot as Wetherall won the winner. This kept Bradford in the Premier League and sparked a massive party at Valley Parade. Boss Paul Jewell would soon leave the club to join Sheffield Wednesday.

Shearer: Bradford needed to achieve a result in order to remain up. Liverpool needed to achieve a result in order to be among the top three for the Champions League. They were not able to qualify for the Champions League and Bradford was selected instead. It was quite dramatic.

Richards: To be fair, this should have been higher up on my list. It is huge to win a game in order to remain in the league.

Lineker: The Match of the Day Top 10 Great Escapes Podcast didn't do Bradford and Liverpool justice. We have the chance to apologize to Bradford fans and make it number one on the most popular Premier League upsets podcast.

These Premier League upsets are ranked from most shocking to least surprising First 1 Second 3 Fourth 4 Fifth 6 Sixth 7 Eighth 9 Tenth 10 Confirm your selection