Arsenal’s last-gasp win over Luton Town on Tuesday was the latest incredibly entertaining Premier League match we’ve seen this season – and we’re not even at the midway point of the 2023/24 campaign.
The wild encounter continued a notable trend this term, which is goals and lots of them. There have been 3.16 goals per game so far, which would be the highest rate of scoring in Premier League history if it were to continue.
There were seven here as the Gunners eventually overcame the lowly Hatters in a match that was not high on quality, but bore the hallmarks of a classic.
You had the underdog punching well above their weight against one of the country’s establishment football clubs, both sides trading goals back and forth as an upset looked on the cards, before late drama as one side gets the winner with the last act of the game.
It was sensational stuff, but given what we have already seen it might not go down as the best match of the season. In fact, it might not even be the best match of the past week.
We’ve looked back over the season to pick out five other ties that kept us on the edge of our seats.
Five of the best Premier League games in 2023/24 so far:
Man Utd 3-2 Nottingham Forest
Manchester United had an ominous start to the Premier League campaign when they secured an undeserved 1-0 win over Wolves on the opening day, before losing 2-0 to Spurs the following week.
Erik ten Hag could not afford defeat in his third match of the season, but Nottingham Forest rocked them early doors with two goals in the opening four minutes at Old Trafford.
It was a stunning start from Steve Cooper’s men, but Christian Eriksen got one back in the 17th minute. Yet the Red Devils struggled to break the visitors down until Casemiro tapped in an equaliser shortly after the interval.
The momentum was with Man United, especially after Joe Worrall was sent off for pulling down Bruno Fernandes as he was through on goal. It only got worse for Forest when the Portuguese converted from the penalty spot after Danilo took down Marcus Rashford in the box.
It was a classic United comeback, but in reality it just papered over the cracks, which continue to widen as the season goes on.
Spurs 1-4 Chelsea
Although the final scoreline suggests a one-sided affair, this was a highly enthralling contest from which Tottenham nearly secured a result despite having two men sent off at home.
Ange Postecoglou’s troops looked far more dangerous in attack than Chelsea in the opening 20 minutes, but what should have been a relatively straightforward game turned into a chaotic night of drama.
This is one of the few times when VAR actually added to the drama rather than detract from it, starting with a goal for the Blues that was ruled out for handball. Not long after, they had the ball in the net again, but this time it was called offside – but the review resulted in Cristian Romero being sent off for a reckless challenge in the box.
Cole Palmer converted the penalty to make it 1-1, but there was still an hour plus added time to go – leaving plenty of time for things to get even wilder.
Tottenham were reduced to nine men ten minutes into the second half after Destiny Udogie lunged in on Raheem Sterling while on a booking. The tide had now completely turned in Chelsea’s favour.
Despite this, Spurs continued to play an extremely high line in what appeared to be a death wish. And yet, Chelsea were seemingly stumped, unable to create any meaningful chances despite the ocean of space afforded to them.
That was, until Nicolas Jackson tapped in from close range in the 75th minute. The hosts searched for an equaliser, but in the end they gifted the Senegalese striker the easiest hat-trick of his career.
Chelsea 4-4 Man City
Having just won the Treble last season, Pep Guardiola’s side came into this game at Stamford Bridge as clear favourites, yet they were uncharacteristically loose in defence – which allowed for a much more exciting game than their manager would have liked.
City were handed a soft penalty for Erling Haaland to open the scoring in the 25th minute, but that was cancelled out soon after by Thiago Silva when the Brazilian glanced a header from a corner past Ederson.
The hosts went ahead when Raheem Sterling scored against his former side in what must have been a sweet moment for the winger, adding a little bit of spice to the evening. But Manuel Akanji scored a header of his own in stoppage time to ensure it would be all square at the half.
City wasted no time in retaking the lead after the break as Haaland bungled the ball home. Chelsea refused to lie down though, and Jackson capitalised on a loose ball for their third of the night.
With time ticking down, Rodri smashed the ball goalward only for Silva to deflect it past the helpless Robert Sanchez. There was very little time left for Chelsea to respond, yet there was still one more major moment in a game full of them.
Deep into injury time Ruben Dias inexplicably took Armando Broja down in the box, with the referee having no other choice but to point to the spot. Cole Palmer, the former City academy graduate, duly converted to cap off a crazy night.
Liverpool 4-3 Fulham
Sunday afternoon bore witness to a number of highly entertaining encounters – so, of course, Sky Sports aired a dull 1-1 draw between West Ham and Crystal Palace.
The pick of the bunch from the 2pm slot was Liverpool‘s manic win over Fulham in a seven-goal thriller. It was far from the Reds’ best performance as they had to depend on a series of stupendous strikes to bail them out, but they dug deep to pull out a big result.
Most punters would have tipped Jurgen Klopp’s men to waltz to victory after Trent Alexander-Arnold’s long-range wonder goal went in off Bernd Leno after thwacking the post. (It goes down in the record books as an own goal, but the right-back-come-central-midfielder deserves the recognition for the strike.)
Harry Wilson came back to haunt his old club just minutes later, though, to let the Anfield crowd know the Cottagers wouldn’t go down without a fight.
Alexis Mac Allister re-established the home side’s lead with a thunderbolt of his own, but they yet again conceded an equaliser as Kenny Tete poked the ball past Caoimhín Kelleher deep into injury time. Fulham thought they had gone ahead just moments later, but Tim Ream was ruled offside.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 4, 2023
The west London outfit had to wait until the 80th minute to do so when Bobby De Cordova-Reid headed home at the back post. Mayhem ensued not long after.
The lesser-spotted Wataru Endo side footed the ball into the top corner for his first league goal since joining Liverpool from Stuttgart, before Alexander-Arnold smashed home the winning goal just a minute later to send the home fans into raptures.
Man City 3-3 Spurs
It’s perhaps not the greatest sign for Man City that they have been involved in more than one goalfest they failed to control, but in fairness to them they got absolutely footballed here, as is always the case when they face Tottenham.
Son Heung-min was the busiest man on the pitch early on, opening the scoring after just six minutes before putting it in his own net just moments later. It set the stage for a back-and-forth contest that would go right to the wire at the Etihad.
Some lovely interplay between Julian Alvarez and Phil Foden saw City take the lead after half an hour, which they seemed to have a firm grasp on for much of the game. The Argentine even came close to extending that lead, but his shot came off the post.
While hosts were the superior side, there was no urgency in their play to get another goal. That would turn out to be a mistake when Giovani Lo Celso equalised in the 69th minute with a wonderful strike from the edge of the box.
The beast was finally awoken as they went after Spurs’ throat, culminating in Jack Grealish getting his first goal of the season. It was the least City deserved, but there was still one more sting in the tail.
Just as the game was about to enter injury time, Dejan Kulusevski headed the ball past Ederson to continue Tottenham’s remarkable recent against the Premier League champions, which has seen them lose just one of their last five meetings.
City did have one last chance, or at least they would have had Simon Hooper allowed advantage to accrue following a foul on Haaland. The Norwegian, who had played the ball over the top to the on-running Grealish, was fuming when it was called back for the free.
While City can feel rightly aggrieved at the decision, they had plenty of chances to win this game, having created far more chances, but Haaland was uncharacteristically profligate in front of goal.