After more than two decades of the Premier League, it seems fitting to pay tribute to the first decade that laid the foundations to propel the Premier League onto the global stage it currently occupies.
Here are few of the great goals by the legends who have graced the game and some of the most memorable moments in the first decade from 1992-2002.
1. At the end of the 1991-92 season, the First Division, which was England’s top flight league at the time, was transformed into the Premier League. This coincided with an era of Manchester United dominance. In the inaugural nine seasons of the league, United would go on to be crowned League Champions an astonishing seven times.
It’s not surprising then to see that the start of the 1993 season was peppered with moments of genius from the talismanic Frenchman Eric Cantona and a young Ryan Giggs.
Little did people realize that Giggs’ goal against Tottenham was a sign of things to come.
2. Another great goal was scored by Ian Rush in the red of Liverpool FC.
He was amongst the last of the Liverpool players to win a league medal. Despite the emergence of Steven Gerrard and Michael Owen in the years to come, Liverpool’s clutch over the league trophy would come to a screeching halt.
United would go on to finish ten points clear of their nearest rivals and clinch the first top flight title and their first league trophy since 1967.
3. Matt Le Tissier’s class and talent were undeniable; these two goals scored against Wimbledon underlined his brilliance.
4. It wouldn’t stop; Le Tissier would continue to entertain the Southampton fans with his astounding shooting abilities. He was one of a kind, despite his obvious talent he chose to remain with Southampton FC, which gave him hero status.
5. A certain David Beckham would make his arrival on the big stage with this long range goal against Aston Villa.
6. This Cantona goal was quite possibly one of the most iconic goals ever scored since the inauguration of the Premier League in 1992. Eric Cantona played five seasons in English the top flight for United and in four of those campaigns, United were crowned league champions. He bowed out of the game at the age of 31, on a high.
7. With United still recovering from the loss of their star striker, Arsenal spearheaded by Dennis Bergkamp brought the league title to Highbury under the watchful eyes of Arsene Wenger.
8. Paolo Di Canio doesn’t just score goals, he scores truly great goals. Here is one he scored against Derby County. His volley against Wimbledon is quite possibly the best goal he’ll ever score. By far, one of the most difficult things to do in football is to hit a perfect volley. Four feet off the ground, Di Canio executes this one beautifully.
9. Nearly a decade of Premier League football and Manchester United had won 7 Premier League titles. Even without Cantona, Fergie’s fledglings had come of age and it was no more in doubt, their treble winning campaign in 1999 was a year to remember. It was the first time an English club had won all three trophies in a single season.
10. A brilliant Dennis Bergkamp goal against Newcastle United signified his importance to Arsenal. But that was not all. A young Thierry Henry had started to blossom under the stewardship of the professor.
There it is. A small encapsulated nugget of the first decade of the FA Premiership. There were many great goals scored but a few stand out.
Here’s the entire ‘Best of the best of the first decade of the Premier League’ video: