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Premier League moments: Eriksen’s return, time for change and a misjudged sub

Christian Eriksen’s comeback to football was one of the moments of the season (John Walton/PA)
Christian Eriksen’s comeback to football was one of the moments of the season (John Walton/PA)

It has been another eventful Premier League season on and off the pitch.

Close battles at the top and bottom of the table will go to the wire while takeovers and sanctions have generated a huge amount of comment and controversy.

Here, the PA news agency picks out seven memorable moments from the season.

Christian Eriksen’s return

Christian Eriksen makes his return to football
Christian Eriksen makes his return to football (Aaron Chown/PA)

The biggest feel-good moment of the season was undoubtedly Eriksen’s comeback to football with Brentford less than a year after suffering a cardiac arrest playing for Denmark at the European Championship.

The 30-year-old returned as a substitute in Brentford’s 2-0 defeat by Newcastle in February, receiving a huge ovation.

“If you take away the result, I’m one happy man,” Eriksen said. “To go through what I’ve been through, being back is a wonderful feeling.”

Chelsea in turmoil

Roman Abramovich's connections to Vladimir Putin had serious consequences for Chelsea
Roman Abramovich’s connections to Vladimir Putin had serious consequences for Chelsea (Adam Davy/PA)

From being one of the more stable clubs in the Premier League off the pitch, Chelsea’s future became very unclear on March 10 when owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK Government over his links to Russian president Vladimir Putin.

The move had immediate consequences for Chelsea in terms of their everyday operations and sparked a takeover battle that is yet to reach its conclusion.

Saudis invest in Newcastle

Newcastle's new owners were enthusiastically welcomed by a large number of fans
Newcastle’s new owners were enthusiastically welcomed by a large number of fans (Owen Humphreys/PA)

In October, the first big takeover of the season was one of the most controversial in Premier League history.

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund took a controlling 80 per cent stake to end Mike Ashley’s unpopular tenure and make the Magpies one of the richest clubs in the world.

Newcastle’s new owners, who quickly replaced manager Steve Bruce with Eddie Howe, successfully convinced the Premier League that the club would not be controlled by the state.

End of an era at Burnley

Sean Dyche's long reign at Burnley ended in April
Sean Dyche’s long reign at Burnley ended in April (Martin Rickett/PA)

Sean Dyche’s miraculous achievements at Turf Moor, keeping Burnley in the Premier League and securing European football despite a relatively small budget, were not enough to buy him time when the threat of relegation loomed large.

The decision of chairman Alan Pace was met with widespread derision but Mike Jackson, who stepped up from the under-23s to take temporary charge at short notice, secured 10 points from his first four games to give them a chance of survival.

Noble pays the penalty

Mark Noble missed from the spot against Manchester United
Mark Noble missed from the spot against Manchester United (Nick Potts/PA)

Mark Noble’s status as a West Ham hero is secure ahead of his final game for the club, but September 19 was a low point for the midfielder.

On the bench for the home clash with Manchester United, Noble was sent on in the 89th minute after the Hammers, who were trailing 2-1, were awarded a late penalty.

Noble had not missed a penalty since 2016 but David De Gea saved the spot-kick to earn United victory.

Support for Saka

Bukayo Saka embraces Tottenham's Eric Dier after receiving support from Spurs fans
Bukayo Saka embraces Tottenham’s Eric Dier after receiving support from Spurs fans (John Walton/PA)

Bukayo Saka was the subject of vile racist abuse on social media after missing a penalty in England’s Euro 2020 final defeat by Italy.

In his first match for Arsenal since the tournament, a pre-season friendly against bitter rivals Tottenham, a banner was erected pledging support from north London while he received applause from all sides of the ground when he came on as a substitute in the second half.

Top two show their class

Pep Guardiola (right) and Jurgen Klopp watch their sides go toe to toe
Pep Guardiola (right) and Jurgen Klopp watch their sides go toe to toe (Martin Rickett/PA)

Meetings between title challengers are often cagey affairs but the 2-2 draw between Manchester City and Liverpool in April was one of the matches of the season, with Jurgen Klopp’s side twice coming from a goal down to claim a point.

It was the same scoreline as their first meeting in October, when Mohamed Salah’s superb individual goal was the highlight, while Liverpool claimed victory in their FA Cup semi-final.

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