‘I’d never seen anything like it’: Gary Neville admits Sergio Aguero’s last-gasp strike to make Man City champions in 2012 ‘has to be’ his most iconic Premier League moment, while Jamie Carragher opts for Liverpool ending their title drought
- Ex-Man United star Gary Neville has picked his iconic Premier League moment
- Neville selected Sergio Aguero’s title-winning strike for Manchester City in 2012
- Fellow former defender Jamie Carragher was also asked to pick his top moment
- Carragher chose the 2020 title win for Liverpool, where he spent all of his career
United legend Gary Neville, though, could not resist looking back on arguably the most dramatic moment in the history of the modern top flight – despite the strike denying his former side glory in the cruellest of fashion a season after his career at the club ended.
Neville, who won eight titles with the 20-time champions between 1996 and 2009, was asked to pick his most iconic Premier League moment to mark the 30th anniversary of the competition this season.
Sergio Aguero’s (right) strike to clinch the title for Man City in 2012 stands out for Gary Neville
The ex-Man United defender admitted that the goal was iconic rather than a personal favourite
Victory at Sunderland and the second-half lead QPR established at the Etihad Stadium had put United on course to finish top that year, only for Edin Dzeko to haul City level in added time and Aguero to add a 94th-minute second with a goal now immortalised by a statue outside the Cityzens’ stadium.
‘I couldn’t believe it,’ Neville told Sky Sports of a day when United’s painful 6-1 defeat at City earlier in this season came back to haunt them as they lost the title on goal difference.
‘I’d never seen anything like it – I know Martin [Tyler] says that on his commentary. I was obviously looking at it from the point of view of being in the best place in the world, to be a United fan in that stadium, and they’d thrown it away.
‘Some things just happen sometimes. It’s not my favourite moment by any stretch of the imagination – but in terms of the most iconic, it has to be.’
United could only follow the tense action from afar as City snatched top spot on the final day
While there may have been an admirable element of magnanimity to Neville’s choice, fellow stalwart Jamie Carragher’s beloved Liverpool provided the most memorable moment for the former centre-back.
Liverpool had their own 30-year anniversary to attend to as they stormed to their first title since 1990 two years ago, finishing 18 points clear of City.
‘I’d been there as a player,’ said the man who spent the entirety of his 17-year career at Anfield before retiring in 2013.
‘For Liverpool to finally win the Premier League, to commentate on that and be a part of it – it has to be mine.’
Jamie Carragher was enthralled to be broadcasting when Liverpool lifted the league in 2020
The dependable defenders were also challenged to name their toughest opponents during the many seasons they spent keeping elite attackers at bay.
‘It would have to be [Marc] Overmars, just for those battles for four or five years against Arsenal,’ said Neville of the fleet-footed Netherlands winger.
‘It was a massive problem – particularly at Old Trafford, with a massive pitch. They would be dropping the ball over my head and he would be darting inside.
‘I fancied myself against most, really, but the top ones: I remember playing against Luis Figo in the Champions League and you just thought, ‘absolutely unbelievable’.
Carragher had a fine career at Anfield but could not end the club’s long wait for a league title
‘[David] Ginola away from home, at Newcastle or Tottenham, caused me big problems: he scored a great goal at Newcastle against me and got me sent off at White Hart Lane.’
Carragher used his ‘brain and experience’, he says, to outwit and contain all but one player who starred alongside Overmars.
‘[Thierry] Henry, by a mile,’ the former England player said. ‘When someone’s got blistering pace — we weren’t blessed with [that], of course, so you’ve always got to be switched on.
‘It’s just out of your control. For me, Thierry Henry’s the best player in the Premier League.’