If the saying ‘start as you intend to go’ is anything to go by, a win on the opening weekend is imperative. But what is better than that is an entertaining, high-octane, high-scoring opening Matchday, especially if you end on the winning side.
The Premier League has given us a great dose of excitement on the opening weekend in the past so we will look at the highest-scoring matches of the opening weekend in the Premier League.
Spoiler alert: Seven seems to be the magical number on the opening weekend of the Premier League (as you will see).
7. Crystal Palace (1) vs Liverpool (6) – 1994/95
At the start of the 1994/95 season, Crystal Palace hosted Liverpool at Selhurst Park on Saturday, August 20, 1994, in front of an 18,084 capacity crowd.
Within the first 15 minutes, Liverpool racked up a two-goal lead with Jan Molby (12′ P) and Steve McManaman (14′) finding the back of the net. Robbie Fowler (45′) would add one more to give the Reds a 3-0 halftime lead.
Chris Armstrong (49′) pulled one back for the Palace early in the second half but Ian Rush’s brace (60′ & 74′) and McManaman (70′) scored within 14 second-half minutes to put the seven-goal thriller to bed.
6. Sheffield Wednesday (3) vs Tottenham Hotspur (4) – 1994/95
On the same day, of the same 1994/95 opening weekend Sheffield Wednesday and Tottenham Hotspur played out another seven-goal match at the Hillsborough Stadium.
Teddy Sheringham (19′) and Darren Anderton (30′) put two goals past Kevin Pressman in the Sheffield goal. Dan Petrescu (54′) and Colin Calderwood (66′, OG) equalised for the hosts before Nick Barmby (71′) and Jurgen Klinsmann (82′) restored Tottenham’s two-goal cushion.
David Hirst (83′) scored Sheffield’s third goal of the day to set up a tense final 10 minutes but Tottenham held on for an exhilarating victory.
5. Southampton (3) vs Nottingham Forest (4) – 1995/96
Southampton and Nottingham Forest met at The Saints’ former home ground of The Dell on the opening weekend of the 1995/96 Premier League season where another seven-goal fest ensued.
In a fist-for-fist encounter, Colin Cooper (8′) opened the scoring for Nottingham before Matthew le Tissier (10′, P) scored the first of his hat-trick to level the scores.
Ian Woan (36′) and Bryan Roy (42′) gave Nottingham a halftime lead before Le Tissier’s second-half brace (69′ P & 81′) and Roy’s (79′) second of the day ended the back and forth.
4. Everton (1) vs Arsenal (6) – 2009/2010
In the most recent highest-scoring opening day Premier League matches, Arsenal obliterated Everton at Goodison Park on the opening day of the 2009/10 season.
The Gunners were completely dominant away against the Toffees, racking up three goals per half through Denilson (26′), Thomas Vermaelen (37′), William Gallas (41′), Cesc Fabregas (48′ & 70′), and Eduardo da Silva (89′).
The only significance of Louis Saha’s 90th-minute consolation goal for Everton is that it gets that match onto this list of the highest-scoring opening weekend Premier League games.
3. Arsenal (3) vs Liverpool (4) – 2016/17
Liverpool were involved in another seven-goal opening Premier League match when they travelled to the Emirates Stadium for their first match of the 2016/17 season and instructively of the Jurgen Klopp era.
Theo Walcott (31′) and Phillipe Coutinho (45+1′) scored the only goals of the first half before the match burst to life with five goals in the second half.
Adam Lallana (49′), Coutinho (56′), and Sadio Mane (63′) scored Liverpool’s second-half goals while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (64′) and Calum Chambers (75′) contributed Arsenal’s quota to the seven-goal fest.
2. Arsenal (4) vs Leicester City (3) – 2017/18
For the second season in a row, Arsenal were involved in the highest-scoring opening weekend game in the Premier League, at the Emirates Stadium. But this time, they picked up the three points.
The Foxes travelled to London on Friday, August 11, 2017, but the Gunners took the initiative with Alexandre Lacazette’s second-minute opener.
Shinji Okazaki (5′), Jamie Vardy (29′ & 56′), Danny Welbeck (45+2′), Aaron Ramsey (82′), and Olivier Giroud (85′) were the other goalscorers on the day.
1. Liverpool (4) vs Leeds United (3) – 2020/21
Liverpool was involved in another high-scoring game on the opening weekend of the 2020/21 Premier League season when they welcomed Leeds United to the Anfield Stadium.
Jack Harrison (12′) and Patrick Bamford (30′) took the game to Liverpool in the first half despite Virgil van Dijk (20′) and Mohamed Salah (33′, P) keeping them at bay.
Mateusz Klich (66′) was on the verge of grabbing a well-earned point for Leeds until Salah’s 88th-minute penalty won it for Liverpool.
As you have seen seven-goal thrillers, Arsenal, and Liverpool are the right ingredients for creating the highest-scoring matches of an opening Premier League weekend.