Sunderland’s 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge on Saturday saw the Premier League’s bottom club defeat a Chelsea team that knew a 100 per cent finish to the campaign would have handed them the title.
Here, we look at the games this season which have seen unfancied teams beat their more illustrious rivals and, in some cases, turned the title race on its head.
Arsenal 1 Aston Villa 3 - August 17
The shocks began on the very first day of the season as Paul Lambert’s Villa came away from the Emirates with an unlikely victory. Olivier Giroud put the Gunners ahead early, but Christian Benteke scored twice before Laurent Koscielny was dismissed and Antonio Luna added a third. The result heaped early pressure on Arsene Wenger and, while the signing of Mesut Ozil and an impressive run had Arsenal in contention until after Christmas, their title challenge faded away.
Cardiff 3 Manchester City 2 - August 25
The Bluebirds marked their first ever Premier League home game with an unexpected win over the champions of 2012. City came in with a new manager and big expectations after a lavish summer outlay, but two late goals from Fraizer Campbell meant the points stayed in south Wales. Edin Dzeko had fired Manuel Pellegrini’s men in front, but Aron Gunnarsson’s equaliser and Campbell’s double meant that Alvaro Negredo’s first City goal could not prevent an early upset.
Manchester United 1 West Brom 2 - September 28
David Moyes’ reign as Manchester United boss had already got off to a shaky start, but few predicted the Baggies would claim their first win at Old Trafford since 1978. Morgan Amalfitano opened the scoring and, although Wayne Rooney had United quickly level, Saido Berahino condemned Moyes’ men to their third league defeat of the season and a poor start to the campaign from which their title and top-four hopes would never recover.
Hull 3 Liverpool 1 - December 1
Liverpool travelled to the KC Stadium without in-form striker Daniel Sturridge, who had damaged knee ligaments, and they missed the England striker as newly-promoted Hull handed them a defeat. Jake Livermore had the Tigers ahead before a Steven Gerrard free-kick levelled the scores, but David Meyler’s strike and a Martin Skrtel own goal handed City their first ever win over the Reds.
Chelsea 1 Sunderland 2 - April 19
The bottom-of-the-table Black Cats had held title-contenders Manchester City to a 2-2 draw just three days earlier and once again they delivered an upset against a team with ambitions to be champions. Samuel Eto’o had Chelsea ahead, but Connor Wickham capitalised on an error from Mark Schwarzer before Liverpool loanee Fabio Borini netted from the penalty spot to inflict a first home league defeat on Blues boss Jose Mourinho.