7 memorable moments of Irish footballers at Premier League clubs

Throughout football history, there have been plenty of interesting moments of Irish footballers at Premier League clubs.

7 memorable moments of Irish footballers at Premier League clubs.
Credits: Flickr / Gordon Flood; commons.wikimedia.org

Since its inception in 1992, the Premier League has been a happy hunting ground for many talented Irish footballers who have successfully plied their trade there over the decades.

There have been many memorable moments provided by Irish footballers in the Premier League for both positive and negative reasons.

These moments serve as a testament to the significant contribution that Irish footballers have made and continue to make in the most popular league in the world.

This article will list the top seven most memorable moments of Irish footballers at Premier League clubs.

7. Richard Dunne’s own goals record – a defensive giant

Richard Dunne holds the record for own goals.
Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

Richard Dunne should be rightfully remembered as one of Ireland’s best and most reliable defenders. His heroic performance against Russia in Moscow in 2011 is a testament to this.

However, he also holds the unfortunate record for the most own goals scored in Premier League history.

Despite this record, Dunne remains a respected figure at Manchester City, where he won the club’s Player of the Year award on three occasions.

6. Robbie Keane’s extraordinary Leeds debut – Keane at the double

Robbie Keane is widely regarded as one of the best Irish players ever, indeed ranking second on our list of the best ever Irish footballers. Even from his debut, it seemed like he was destined for greatness.

He made his debut for Leeds United in 2001 against Manchester City, a game which saw him score twice. Keane played for many clubs and became the Republic of Ireland’s top goalscorer.

5. Shay Given’s clean sheets – a goalkeeping great

Shay Given was an absolute stalwart between the sticks for the many clubs he represented in the Premier League, particularly Newcastle United, for whom he made over 300 appearances. He was also a regular for the Irish national team.

Widely regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League in his prime, the Donegal man kept 113 Premier League clean sheets in his career. He remains the only Irish player to break 100 clean sheets in the Premier League era.

4. John O’Shea’s performance as a goalkeeper – an extremely versatile player

John O’Shea was a defender well known for his versatility, a skill he repeatedly proved over his many years as a regular in the Manchester United team.

This was proven best in 2007 when, while United were playing against Spurs, their goalkeeper Edwin Van Der Saar was injured with all three available substitutions already made.

O’Shea stepped into the goalkeeper role and impressed everyone with his performance as a shot-stopper. He may have had the skills to play Gaelic football, too, which we compare with soccer as some of the best sports in Ireland.

3. Roy Keane’s row with Patrick Vieira – a bitter rivalry

The rivalry between Cork’s Roy Keane, who is one of the most successful Irish athletes of all time, and Patrick Vieira is the stuff of legend, as both perfectly epitomised the intense Manchester United-Arsenal rivalry during the early 2000s.

This rivalry came to a head in 2005 when the two got into a heated row before the start of a match in the Highbury tunnel.

Vieira attempted to intimidate United defender Gary Neville, and Keane stepped in to defend his teammate, leading to an altercation between the two midfield giants. 

2. Damien Duff’s double against Barcelona – an outstanding winger

Damien Duff was an integral part of Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea team that won back-to-back Premier League titles in 2004-05 and 2005-06. His pace, dribbling, and ability to deliver clinical crosses proved vital to Chelsea’s success.

A particular moment which demonstrated Duff’s importance at Chelsea was in a 2005 Champions League clash with Spanish giants Barcelona. Duff scored two brilliant goals to help Chelsea secure their place in the quarter-finals.

1. Roy Keane’s performance against Juventus – embodied everything great about Roy Keane

In first place on our list of the top seven most memorable moments of Irish footballers at Premier League clubs is Roy Keane’s iconic performance against Juventus in the Champions League in 1999.

His performance in the semi-final clash against the Italian side perfectly embodied why he was regarded as such a legend of the game.

During the match, he managed to spur Manchester United to a comeback victory despite facing a looming suspension for the final.

That concludes our article on the most memorable moments of Irish footballers at Premier League clubs. Are there any other memorable moments of Irish footballers at Premier League clubs that you think deserved a place on our list?

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