And so another Premier League season is almost over.
The title race is going down to the wire, the Champions League qualifiers are still to be decided, and the fight against relegation is keeping us gripped until the end, too.
But that doesn’t even begin to tell the story of what has been a memorable – and, at times, wild – campaign, not least for those of us permanently online.
From Harry Maguire – or was it his people? – trolling one of his Leeds-supporting mates to the warming returning of Christian Eriksen, there have been lots of big social moments to remember.
Here are some of the best:
1. Palace royalty
Crystal Palace included Nan Pam – their oldest fan – in their pre-season kit launch…
2. Pogba performs on the big stage
After helping Manchester United beat Newcastle 4-1, Paul Pogba headed off to Parklife to appear on stage with Burna Boy.
You could sense the fumes emitting from some of the game’s leading pundits…
3. One for the traditionalists
Burnley treated us to a real throwback in the early weeks of the season…
4. In good company
In October, a Saudi Arabian-backed £305m takeover of Newcastle United went through.
They were welcomed by some bona fide Geordie royalty…
5. Theatre of nightmares
While things soon started to look rosy for the Magpies, Manchester United suffered a stinging 5-0 home defeat by fierce rivals Liverpool.
These were the scenes at half-time…
A 4-0 defeat at Anfield in April meant a 9-0 aggregate defeat for United. Ooft.
6. Rice, Rice baby
Possibly the social moment of 2021 (and perhaps since records began) came when West Ham midfielder Declan Rice rapped live on Twitter to thousands of viewers – including his club, the pizza firm Domino’s, Burger King and the NFL…
7. Spider-Man was all over Tottenham web
For a short while, an unlikely friendship seemed to blossom between Tottenham forward Son Heung-Min and Spider-Man actor Tom Holland…
We didn’t really understand it, but it seemed wholesome enough.
Chelsea and Liverpool produced some incredible moments this season – with the teams not only meeting in both domestic cup finals, but taking both to penalty shootouts.
The drama wasn’t confined to the cup competitions, though, with a thrilling 2-2 draw in the league in January one of the matches of the season. The biggest benefactors were Manchester City, though the real winner – as the cliche goes – was football.
After facing off on the pitch, Blues goalkeeper Eduoard Mendy and Reds forward Sadio Mane both shared a flight as they headed off on a successful mission to the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon)…
9. Eriksen returns to the Premier League
One of the genuine feel-good stories of the season came when Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen returned to the Premier League by signing for Brentford…
Prior to joining the Bees he had not played in a first-team match since suffering a cardiac arrest during Denmark’s Euro 2020 match against Finland last June.
10. With friends like Maguire, who needs enemies?
A rare highlight in Manchester United’s turgid season came when they beat old foes Leeds at Elland Road in February. Captain Harry Maguire – who, it’s fair to say, has not had a season to remember – opened the scoring for the Red Devils.
And after the game he – or perhaps his people – found time to troll one of his Leeds-supporting mates…
11. Lacazette doesn’t forget
Arsenal were humbled 2-0 by Premier League debutants Brentford on the opening night of the season, but got a measure of revenge by winning the reverse fixture 2-1.
We feel like Gunners forward Alexandre Lacazette might have had this reply to Bees counterpart Ivan Toney sitting in his drafts that whole time…
12. Has Lukaku lost his touch?
Romelu Lukaku’s return to Chelsea prompted plenty of hype – he’d just helped Inter Milan win Serie A and had scored 30 goals in all competitions.
But the season hasn’t lived up to the billing, with one match in particular really painting a sad picture of his current form…
13. Hugs all round
Football can still provide nice stories sometimes – like when Brandon Williams nearly had fight with an opposition player, before realising that player was the afore-mentioned Eriksen and deciding he just needed a nice cuddle.
14. Can a rivalry be too friendly?
Back in April, before things got a little tenser, people were actually accusing Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and Manchester City counterpart Pep Guardiola of being too chummy. Ha!
Manchester United and Arsenal fans, in particular, seemed to miss the good old days when Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger made no attempt whatsoever to hide the rancour.
15. Hodgson stirs up a Hornets’ nest
The collective effort of three managers was not enough to save Watford from relegation, with Roy Hodgson ultimately taking them down at the ripe old age of 74.
And he got plenty of criticism for his reaction to the defeat at Crystal Palace that sent them down…
16. Short fuse
With Everton finding themselves in a relegation dog-fight, their fans rallied around to do what they could for the team.
At the beginning of May, Chelsea’s players and management were treated to a fireworks display outside the team’s hotel the night before playing at Goodison.
And the Toffees went and won the following day.
Perhaps buoyed by that success, the fans gave Brentford a similar welcome a fortnight later.
This time it didn’t have the desired effect – Everton had two players sent off and lost 3-2.
17. When is an undisclosed fee not an undisclosed fee
After a successful loan from Barcelona, Phillipe Coutinho committed to Aston Villa for the longer term for an undisclosed fee.
Or was it?
18. Legends clean up after themselves
The end of the season prompted some emotional farewells.
Perhaps most notably, Mark ‘Mr West Ham’ Noble said goodbye to the Hammers after spending his entire senior career with the club (barring a couple of short loan spells).
The East End boy was keen to leave the dressing room exactly as he found it.
We’re not crying, you are.
- ‘A man whose courage changed our national game’: Floodlights: Andy Woodward’s powerful story
- MOTD Top 10: The best Premier League derbies are debated and ranked