Admit it, you love a good football story. Whether it’s a long drawn-out novel from your mate about his recent footballing endeavours, the unbelievable story of how Blackburn won the title in 1995 (yes, they actually won the EPL title), or that moment in history when Eric Cantona tried kung fu on a rabid Palace fan, there will always be stories from the past that allow us to reminisce about how great football was back then.
With the 2008-09 Premiership season less than a month away, we only thought it was right to take a look back at some of the insane and impossible moments from the past 20 years of the Premier League. Each week, we will highlight a particular moment in history that may have gotten pushed aside. Where were you when the moment happened?
December 29, 2007 — Tottenham/Reading
On paper, the match wasn’t really worth a look unless you were a Reading or Spurs supporter. The clubs were 12th and 13th in the table at the time, and from the looks of it, most supporters could have never imagined that an afternoon at White Hart Lane could produce one of the most amazing second half finishes of the 2007-08 Premier League season.
The first 45 minutes of the match produced little in the way of fireworks. Dimitar Berbatov scored within the first 10 minutes of the match to give Tottenham the early lead, before Reading equlaised less than 10 minutes later with a goal from Kalifa Cisse (all thanks to a Paul Robinson howler). The rest, as they say, is history.
After coming out of the dressing room for the second half, the next 45 minutes provided some of the most entertaining football of the entire season. Ivar Ingimarsson would head Reading in front, 2-1. It was in the 53rd minute of the match, when Ramos replaced Ledley King for Jermaine Defoe that things really got interesting.
With a swift kick of his right foot, Berbatov sent the White Hart Lane faithful into a frenzy with an equaliser to square the match, 2-2. With the game looking more and more uncertain, Reading’s Dave Kitson did his best to make sure his club would leave with nothing less that a draw, after he scored two goals in the span of five minutes to give Reading the 4-3 lead (Berbatov scored in the 73rd to bring the score level at 3-3).
With Reading leading the match with only 15 minutes to play, Tottenham would once again prove why they were one of the most exciting teams to watch last season, as Berbatov and Co gave Reading more than they could handle down the stretch. A Steed Malbranque goal in the 76th minute — just two minutes after Kitson gave Reading the lead — allowed Spurs the chance to put Reading away with their defence in disarray.
Jermaine Defoe — the catalyst for the entire offensive barrage in the second half — would be the hero on the day, as the striker slid in with a diving header to tuck away Robbie Keane’s missed spot-kick. With Reading mentally deflated, Berbatov would answer the cheers one last time in the 83rd minute with a cracking goal that came from a volley from the edge of the area. The goal would give Berbatov his fourth goal of the match — a double brace — and the opportunity to be part of what would go down as one of the best finishes of the season. In the end, Tottenham managed to come back on three different occasions before taking the lead for good.
The eight goals in the final 37 minutes of the match was nothing short of magnificent. Both defences gave way to an offensive clinic that may have only been bested by the Reading’s 7-4 match against Pompey earlier in the season.
Sometimes we fans need a game like this to remind us why the Premier League has the best football in the world. The Reading and Tottenham match did just that with some of the best offensive football of the season.