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Top Ten - Biggest wins

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  • 5 takes a look at the most comprehensive victories in the history of the Premier League

Every now and then the Premier League produces logic-defying performances which beggar belief.

We should not really be surprised by the English top flight's continued ability to produce such spectacles, given the calibre of players on display, but sometimes there are no words to do justice to the events on the field.

Football is driven by goals, with the very nature of the sport geared around the ability to find the back of the net.

We begrudgingly accept, however, that fixtures at the very highest level of the game are often decided by the finest of margins and action in the final third can sometimes be limited.

On occasions, though, that rule book is thrown out of the window in spectacular style as defences disintegrate and attackers enjoy the kind of afternoon they can normally only dream about.

Goals fly in from all angles, with scoreboards threatening to blow a fuse and reporters racing through pencils as they frantically scribble away in an effort to keep up with the action unfolding in front of them.

These are the games which really capture the imagination - at least for the players and supporters of the side in the ascendancy.

Tottenham followers enjoyed one such afternoon on Sunday, with Spurs putting nine past hapless Wigan, so here takes a look at a few other top flight fixtures which have seen the netting take a pummelling.

Manchester United 9 Ipswich 0 - March 1995

The most comprehensive victory in Premier League history was secured by the most successful side in the competition's history when Manchester United destroyed Ipswich at Old Trafford towards the end of the 1994/95 campaign. A record-breaking afternoon saw Andy Cole become the first man to bag five goals in a Premier League fixture, while Mark Hughes (2), Paul Ince and Roy Keane also got in on the act. The victory was not enough to help United to the title that year - as they were pipped to the post by Blackburn - but it put a significant nail in Ipswich's coffin, as the Tractor Boys duly finished bottom and slipped into the second tier without so much as a whimper.

Tottenham 9 Wigan 1 - November 2009

A remarkable contest at White Hart Lane saw no less than nine goals scored during a pulsating second half, with a Peter Crouch effort all that separated the two teams at the interval. Jermain Defoe went on to bag five during the second 45 minutes, becoming the first man to achieve such a feat. A Chris Kirkland own goal, a deserved strike from Aaron Lennon and late rocket from Niko Kranjcar underlined Spurs' dominance. Paul Scharner grabbed the Latics' solitary reply, but even that should not have stood after the Austrian used his hand to control the ball before rifling home.

Newcastle 8 Sheffield Wednesday 0 - September 1999

St James' Park bore witness to another five-star show in 1999, with Toon hero Alan Shearer stealing the headlines on this occasion. The most fearsome frontman in the history of the Premier League enjoyed a memorable afternoon in front of his adoring Tyneside public as he cut the Owls to pieces. His five goals included two penalties, and five trademark one-armed celebrations. Aaron Hughes set the ball rolling in a one-sided contest, while Kieron Dyer and Gary Speed also netted in the second half.

Nottingham Forest 1 Manchester United 8 - February 1999

United, not happy with holding the overall biggest win record, also lay claim to the most comprehensive victory away from home. They made light work of a lacklustre Forest side in 1999, with the Reds eventually succumbing to the drop. Forest had threatened to make a contest of the City Ground encounter when Alan Rogers replied to an early strike from Dwight Yorke, but that was as good as it got for the hosts. Andy Cole went on to bag a brace, while Yorke grabbed his second of the game shortly after the hour mark to put United in complete control. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer then enjoyed the most spectacular of cameos as he stepped off the bench to grab four goals in the final 10 minutes.

Middlesbrough 8 Manchester City 1 - May 2008

Middlesbrough wrapped up their 2008/09 campaign in style with a resounding victory over City. Boro had given little indication over the course of the season that they were capable of such a feat, surprising even most of their own fans with their final day exploits. Stewart Downing bagged two, while Afonso Alves - in a rare display of class - went one better and claimed the match ball. Adam Johnson, Fabio Rochemback and Jeremie Aliadiere also found the target in the North East goal-fest. Elano's late effort for City counted for nothing, while Blues boss Sven Goran Eriksson was shown the door shortly after this humiliating defeat.

Arsenal 7 Everton 0 - May 2005

Arsenal were at their free-flowing best during this meeting with Everton, with six different players getting their name on the scoresheet. Dutch magician Dennis Bergkamp proved to the Toffees' tormentor in chief, as he scored one and laid on three others. Robert Pires (2), Robin van Persie, Patrick Vieira, Mathieu Flamini and an Edu penalty also breached a forlorn Everton defence. The Gunners went on to finish second in the table, but at least they gave the Highbury faithful plenty to shout about during their final home game of the season.

Blackburn 7 Nottingham Forest 0 - November 1995

Blackburn enjoyed playing against Forest during the 1995/96 campaign, scoring 12 goals over the course of their two meetings. The most comprehensive of their two successes came on home soil, as they eased to victory in the autumn of 1995. Alan Shearer was unsurprisingly among the goals for Rovers, with the England international grabbing an impressive hat-trick. Mike Newell and Graeme Le Saux also netted, while Lars Bohinen bagged a brace against his former employers.

Manchester United 7 Barnsley 0 - October 1997

Another entry from Manchester United on our list, with the Red Devils in seventh heaven during their meeting with Barnsley at the Theatre of Dreams in the 1997/98 campaign. Andy Cole was at his free-scoring best yet again, with his first-half hat-trick putting the game beyond the Tykes. Ryan Giggs found the target twice for Sir Alex Ferguson's side, while Paul Scholes and Karel Poborsky also boosted their goal account. Barnsley will hold plenty of fond memories from their one and only Premier League campaign, but it is safe to assume that this visit to Manchester will not be among them.

Arsenal 7 Middlesbrough 0 - January 2006

Another contest to feature hat-trick heroics, with the Gunners recording their second 7-0 success in the space of eight goal-laden months. Thierry Henry, the most celebrated striker in Arsenal's illustrious history, was the man to bag a treble, helping to inspire Wenger's men to glory. Robert Pires was also on target once again, while rare goals from Philippe Senderos, Gilberto Silva and Alexander Hleb rounded off the scoring.

Sheffield Wednesday 1 Nottingham Forest 7 - April 1995

Forest enjoyed a memorable return to the top flight in the 1994/95 campaign, securing a third placed finish in their first season back in the big time. One of their most impressive showings that term came at Hillsborough, as they decimated the beleaguered Owls. Stan Collymore, who was at the height of his powers at the time, was the key man for Forest as he bagged a brace. His strike partner in crime Bryan Roy also notched two, while Lars Bohinen, Ian Woan and Stuart Pearce also got their name on the scoresheet. Mark Bright found the target for Wednesday, but his effort was of scant consolation.

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