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Premier League 2021-22 review: the season’s best photos

Our photo editor selects his favourite frames – including epic celebrations, crunching tackles and a bizarre banner featuring the ‘Moyesiah’

This season we’ve received more than 800,000 Premier League pictures from staff, agency and freelance photographers. Here are some of the most emotive, arresting and creative images which capture the narrative of another explosive top-flight campaign.


August

The Premier League season began in explosive style on 13 August as Brentford, celebrating their return to the top flight after a 74-year absence, beat Arsenal 2-0. But the standout result of the opening weekend was Tottenham’s victory over champions Manchester City two days later, courtesy of Son Heung-min’s goal. Indeed, Tottenham were the only team to win all three league games in August. Meanwhile, £100m man Jack Grealish bundled home his first goal for City, and Michail Antonio led West Ham’s early-season charge.

Crystal Palace’s Conor Gallagher scores during a 2-2 draw with West Ham
Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace celebrates his side’s comeback at the London Stadium
Ferran Torres and Pierre-Emile Højbjerg tussle for the ball during the match between Tottenham and Manchester City at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on the opening weekend.
Mohamed Salah of Liverpool controls the ball against Norwich during a 3-0 win at Carrow Road.
West Ham United’s Michail Antonio celebrates scoring his side’s third goal against Leicester by raising a cardboard cutout of himself. The Hammers won 4-1.
Supporters of Chelsea fill a special safe standing area – albeit they weren’t permitted to stand for a few more months.
Manchester City’s Jack Grealish celebrates after scoring in a 5-0 drubbing of Norwich
Vicente Guaita, the Crystal Palace goalkeeper, punches clear during a 3-0 defeat at Chelsea

September

Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring his second goal of the game during a 4-1 win over Newcastle at Old Trafford

Twelve years since his last performance for the Red Devils, Cristiano Ronaldo inevitably scored on his return to Manchester United as they swept aside Newcastle. Elsewhere, Tottenham suffered a crushing month with 3-0 defeats to Crystal Palace and Chelsea as well as a 3-1 reverse in the north London derby at Arsenal; Everton’s promising home form under Rafael Benítez continued with wins over Norwich and Burnley; and a 95th-minute equaliser by Neal Maupay for Brighton against bitter rivals Palace led to ugly scenes in the tunnel. The world of football also paid tribute to Jimmy Greaves, the former Tottenham, Chelsea, West Ham and England striker, who died aged 81.

Raúl Jiménez of Wolverhampton Wanderers attempts a rabona during their 2-0 defeat at home to Brentford
Mikel Arteta celebrates as Arsenal score their second against Tottenham
A fan invades the pitch after West Ham score late to win 2-1 at Elland Road
Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace clashes with Japhet Tanganga of Tottenham during Palace’s 3-0 win at Selhurst Park.
Bubbles float around the London Stadium as players and fans pay tribute to Jimmy Greaves before West Ham’s match against Manchester United
Antonio Rüdiger celebrates scoring as Chelsea beat Tottenham 3-0 away from home.

October

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah runs past several Watford defenders before he scores their fourth goal during a 5-0 win.

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah was the star of October, winning both player of the month and goal of the month. The Egyptian produced a mesmeric strike during a 5-0 drubbing of Watford – he waltzed between three defenders, Cruyff-turned another and then swept his shot into the far corner. Salah then scored a 12-minute hat-trick against Manchester United, which weakened Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s hold on the manager’s job. Salah also netted against Manchester City at Anfield, in a game which ended 2-2 following Kevin De Bruyne’s deflected 81st-minute strike. Elsewhere, the footballing landscape shifted dramatically as struggling Newcastle suddenly became enormously rich after being controversially taken over by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund – much to the delight of most Magpies fans.

A rainbow forms over the stadium during a minutes silence for Remembrance Day at the match between Manchester City and Crystal Palace.
Conor Gallagher of Crystal Palace collides with Phil Foden of Manchester City during a game that Palace won 2-0.
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær is interviewed before the Premier League match at Tottenham Hotspur. United won 3-0.
Kelechi Iheanacho of Leicester City runs into Harry Maguire of Manchester United as Leicester win 4-2.
Newcastle fans dressed in homage to the club’s new owners in the Gallowgate End celebrate as their team scores against Tottenham at St James’ Park. Tottenham won 3-2
Tottenham’s Eric Dier draws attention to a medical emergency in the stands at Newcastle.

November

Kurt Zouma of West Ham scores his side’s third goal against Liverpool at London Stadium. West Ham won 3-2.

Steven Gerrard took over at Aston Villa following Dean Smith’s departure in the wake of five straight defeats. Ollie Watkins and Tyrone Mings scored in the final six minutes as they dispatched Brighton to hand Gerrard victory in his first match in charge. Elsewhere, Antonio Conte took over from Nuno Espírito Santo at Spurs, but his first Premier League game at the helm was a 0-0 draw at Everton. The biggest result of the month came when West Ham dented Liverpool’s title aspirations – and moved above them in the table – with a 3-2 win at the London Stadium.

Manchester City fans look on as the team bus arrives during a snow shower prior to the match against West Ham United at the Etihad Stadium. City won the match 2-1.
Divock Origi of Liverpool misses a late chance to equalise as Craig Dawson and Ben Johnson defend for West Ham at the London Stadium.
Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard celebrates the opening goal scored by Ollie Watkins against Brighton. Villa won 2-0.
Light streams down on Marcus Rashford at Stamford Bridge. The game between Chelsea and Manchester United ended 1-1.
Norwich City’s goalkeeper Tim Krul in action against Southampton. Norwich won 2-1.
Allan Saint-Maximin of Newcastle celebrates after scoring against Brentford at St James’s Park. The game ended 3-3.

December

A fan of West Ham United holds up a banner in homage to manager David Moyes at Turf Moor.

Manchester City hit the afterburners in December, scoring 22 goals and opening up an eight-point gap at the top of the table courtesy of 10 straight wins. Their 7-0 drubbing of Leeds was the high point, but a rollercoaster 6-3 win over Leicester was more memorable as Leicester clawed their way back from 4-0 down to 4-3. Two days later, Brendan Rodgers’ side would defeat Liverpool 1-0 through Ademola Lookman’s goal. Elsewhere, West Ham beat Chelsea as David Moyes, dubbed “the Moyesiah”, continued to make progress with the Hammers, while Manchester United began life under interim manager Ralf Rangnick.

Fog inside the stadium during Wolverhampton Wanderers v Chelsea at Molineux. The match ended 0-0.
Raphinha of Leeds United is challenged by Gabriel of Arsenal at Elland Road. The visitors won 4-1.
Takehiro Tomiyasu, Gabriel and Alexandre Lacazette of Arsenal argue with the linesman as a goal is ruled offside against Southampton. Arsenal still won the match 3-0.
A young Leicester City fan carrying an image of Kasper Schmeichel’s head before a match against Newcastle on December 12 that Leicester won 4-0.
Mohamed Salah of Liverpool before the Premier League match between Liverpool and Newcastle. The hosts won 3-1.
Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva’s boot comes off against Leeds in a game City won 7-0.
Son Heung-min of Tottenham prepares to take a throw-in against Liverpool at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The match ended 2-2.
Chelsea goalkeeper Édouard Mendy dives but cannot stop a cross from Arthur Masuaku. The goal gave West Ham a 3-2 victory.

January

Everton manager Rafael Benítez looking understandably concerned at Carrow Road as Norwich win 2-1

Goals in the 95th and 97th minute from Steven Bergwijn earned Tottenham a miraculous win over Leicester at the King Power Stadium and triggered pandemonium in the stands. Elsewhere, Everton’s patience with Rafael Benítez ran out following defeat to Norwich, Newcastle signed Kieran Trippier from Atlético Madrid as they looked to buy their way out of the relegation zone, and when Brentford met Wolves their match was bizarrely interrupted as a drone flew overhead.

Stewards and fans collapse in a heap as Steven Bergwijn celebrates scoring Tottenham’s third goal against Leicester following a remarkable late comeback
Newcastle’s Kieran Trippier, pictured against Leeds.
Wolves GR esports team compete in the Le Mans 24 Hours virtual race at Molineux at the same time as Wolves are playing against Southampton
Aaron Ramsdale of Arsenal and Rúben Dias of Manchester City collide on New Year’s Day as City win 2-1 at the Emirates.
Arsenal’s Alexandre Lacazette under pressure from Burnley’s defenders during a goalless draw at the Emirates.
Adama Traoré of Wolves celebrates after scoring his team’s third goal against Southampton at Molineux.
Chelsea fans torment Manchester City with inflatable Champions League trophies at the Etihad Stadium. City had won the game 1-0.
Fans hold scarves aloft in memory of former manager Graham Taylor as fireworks go off at Vicarage Road ahead of the match against Norwich.

February

Oleksandr Zinchenko of Manchester City embraces fellow Ukrainian Vitalii Mykolenko of Everton

February was marked by two heartwarming moments. Christian Eriksen returned to professional football for the first time since his cardiac arrest while playing for Denmark at Euro 2020. The midfielder came on as a 52nd-minute substitute for Brentford against Newcastle. On that same day, Ukrainians Oleksandr Zinchenko and Vitalii Mykolenko shared an emotional embrace before the match between Manchester City and Everton following Russia’s invasion of their homeland. Fans and players around the Premier League showed support for their country.

Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard is challenged by Junior Firpo as Leeds lose 4-2 at Elland Road.
New Brentford arrival Christian Eriksen pictured during the match against Newcastle
Jeffrey Schlupp takes on Kristoffer Ajer during the Premier League match between Brentford and Crystal Palace at the Brentford Community Stadium.
A Newcastle supporter wearing a shirt celebrating Joelinton ahead of the 1-1 draw at West Ham
Brighton’s Marc Cucurella goes down against Aston Villa at the Amex Stadium in a game which the visitors won 2-0.
Leeds fans aim chants at Manchester United supporters at Elland Road

March

Tottenham’s Cristian Romero celebrates after Harry Maguire scores an own goal, though Manchester United still ended up winning 3-2.

A lone ‘Just Stop Oil’ protestor interrupted the match between Everton and Newcastle by cable-tying himself to a goalpost – leading to the absurd footage of an overzealous steward using giant bolt cutters to free him. There was another amusing moment at Brentford v Norwich when Brandon Williams lashed out at an opponent, only to realise it was Christian Eriksen. Instead of berating him, Williams smiled and gave him a cuddle. And who could forget the grief West Ham’s Kurt Zouma received after footage emerged of him kicking a cat? Elsewhere, Liverpool closed the gap on leaders Manchester City to a single point, having been 12 points behind on New Year’s Day, courtesy of scintillating performances from Luis Díaz, while Sean Dyche’s Burnley ended the month four points adrift of safety, and Roman Abramovich signalled his intention to sell Chelsea following sanctions imposed by the UK government over the war in Ukraine.

Luis Díaz scores his side’s first goal but is poleaxed by the Brighton goalkeeper as Liverpool win 2-0
A protester ties himself to the goalpost during the match between Everton and Newcastle at Goodison Park
Brandon Williams of Norwich City hugs Christian Eriksen of Brentford during their clash at Carrow Road. Brentford won 3-1.
Liverpool fans hold up an inflatable cat to mock West Ham’s Kurt Zouma, as their team win the game 1-0
Manchester City v Manchester United sees players gather around the centre circle as a banner is displayed reading: ‘No War’
Chelsea fans watch the match under a banner celebrating Roman Abramovich during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge.
Martin Dubravka makes a fingertip save from Mohammed Salisu as Newcastle win 2-1 at Southampton
Burnley manager Sean Dyche suffers as Chelsea win 4-0 at Turf Moor.

April

Pep Guardiola shares a joke with Trent Alexander-Arnold of Liverpool during their match. The game ended 2-2 at the Etihad.

Title rivals Manchester City and Liverpool went into their second clash of the season knowing that victory for either side would give them a critical points advantage with just seven games remaining. As it happened, they shared another 2-2 draw, with City in electric form in the first half. Much to public consternation, Burnley dumped Sean Dyche – and then they began to win. Elsewhere, Everton dropped into the relegation zone and Brighton, another team whose form had fallen off a cliff, halted a run of six consecutive league defeats, while Norwich’s long anticipated relegation from the top flight was confirmed by defeat at Villa.

Burnley’s players celebrate after Josh Brownhill scores their second goal in a 2-1 defeat of Watford at Vicarage Road
Leeds fans hold their trainers up in the air for a rendition of ‘Shoes off if you hate Man U’ during their match against Manchester City at Elland Road
Everton’s Richarlison battles against a massed defence at Anfield as Liverpool win 2-0
Brentford’s David Raya saves from Emmanuel Dennis as Watford lose 2-1.
Newcastle’s Dan Burn tackles Mohamed Salah as Liverpool win 1-0.
A young Norwich City fan cries after his side were relegated from the Premier League after defeat to Aston Villa.

May

Manchester City fans invade the pitch after their side won the Premier League following the dramatic 3-2 victory over Aston Villa.

As the Premier League season reached its climax, Everton and Leeds scrambled to safety at the expense of Burnley, while Tottenham leapfrogged Arsenal to claim fourth spot. But the biggest drama was shared between the top two sides, Manchester City and Liverpool, as they both looked destined to choke. The title rivals entered the final day separated by just a point, with City knowing that a win over visitors Aston Villa would seal the crown. In a scarcely believable scenes, City fell two goals behind to Villa, while Liverpool struggled to overturn a dogged Wolves side at Anfield. Then, in the space of six inspired minutes, Guardiola’s side roared to a 3-2 victory to clinch their fourth title in five years.

West Ham’s Mark Noble gets emotional on the subs bench before the fixture against Manchester City, his final home game for the Hammers. The match ended 2-2.
Tottenham’s Harry Kane sends Arsenal keeper Aaron Ramsdale the wrong way to open the scoring from the penalty spot during a 3-0 win.
Everton’s Richarlison celebrates with a flare after scoring the only goal against Chelsea at Goodison Park.
Arsenal’s Gabriel tries to prevent a corner while battling with Newcastle’s Matt Targett. Newcastle win 2-0 to dent Arsenal’s top-four hopes.
Leeds United’s Raphinha celebrates survival in the stands with the fans after their Premier League match at Brentford.
Jack Cork of Burnley reacts with dismay at Turf Moor as Burnley’s defeat to Newcastle condemned them to relegation.
Fernandinho of Manchester City lifts the Premier League trophy.

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