Easter weekend has always been an important time in the annals of football. Some of the biggest fixtures of the European season are set for this time. There is nothing quite like gathering the whole family together for an afternoon of football. Much like Boxing Day, this weekend has a special place in the fixtures calendar.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) April 14, 2022
Therefore, it is no surprise that there have been many exhilarating results from the said matches. Teams hate losing over Easter weekend but only one can win. Sometimes there are such results that it takes a whole week to absorb the shock from them.
In the spirit of Easter and chocolate eggs, FootTheBall presents the top five fixtures over the recent years.
Arsenal 0-3 Liverpool (2021)
A season that most Gunners would wish they could delete from their memory. Arsenal missed qualifying for Europe for the first time in 25 years and this result became part of a wider problem. Mikel Arteta would have been hoping for a more spirited showing against the rampaging Liverpool side.
Arsenal won’t be playing in Europe next season for the first time in 25 years.
They qualified for Europe in each of Arsene Wenger's 22 years at the club. pic.twitter.com/YM36kTV55b
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 23, 2021
To be fair, Arsenal did hold their much stronger opponents at bay for more than an hour. After that, the floodgates opened up once Trent Alexander-Arnold started weaving his magic. Diogo Jota grabbed a brace in between a customary goal for Mo Salah. The Gunners offered nothing in attack, magnified by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s quiet game.
— Amazon Prime Video Sport (@primevideosport) April 3, 2021
The Gabonese would be pushed out of the club in 2022 before going on to lead Xavi’s revival of Barcelona. However, on that day, it took a wholly abject performance from Arsenal to collapse. Liverpool marched on to seal Champions League qualification while Arsenal ended up in eighth place.
Sevilla 2-2 Barcelona (2018)
Ah, the old days when the Blaugrana had Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi. The pair left under a cloud in consecutive seasons but on Easter weekend 2018, there was no stopping the magic. The home side had raced into a two-goal lead, courtesy of Franco Vasquez and Luis Muriel who scored the second just after halftime.
50' – Luis Muriel celebrates in front of Lionel Messi after putting Sevilla 2-0 up vs. Barcelona.
— FORÇA BARÇA (@ForcaBarcaEN) August 10, 2018
Barcelona were staring at their first league defeat in almost a year before the Uruguayan gunslinger showed up. Suarez popped up from close range in the 88th minute to cut the deficit after a period of intense Catalan pressure. With the away side in the ascendancy, the recently anointed GOAT took centre stage a minute later.
⏰ 87’ – Sevilla 2-0 Barcelona
⏰ 89’ – Sevilla 2-2 Barcelona
😎 The Unbeaten Season Continues…
🏟️ Played: 30
✅ Won: 23
🤝 Drawn: 7
❌ Lost: 0 pic.twitter.com/Zl6BEVsjO4
— SPORF (@Sporf) March 31, 2018
Messi curled in a beautiful equaliser from outside of the penalty box, a feat he has achieved so many times in the past. Barcelona pushed for the winner in injury time but it was not to be. Both sides settled for a point each after a breathless end, with the Blaugrana going on to win the league title.
Robert Lewandowski deserved the Ballon d’Or in 2021. Everything proves the same
Borussia Dortmund 1-2 Eintracht Frankfurt (2021)
Before they were defeating Barcelona in the Europa League at the Camp Nou, Frankfurt were making waves in the Bundesliga. The Eagles, led by Andre Silva’s brilliant season, visited Signal Iduna Park.
Dortmund were aiming to battle RB Leipzig for second-place and were in search of a key win. The game got off to a poor start almost immediately as Nico Schulz headed the ball into his own net.
FT: Dortmund 1-2 Frankfurt.
A big blow for Borussia Dortmund as they are now 7 points away from a Champions League spot with just 7 games remaining. pic.twitter.com/x3lkg0ynXp
— 𝐀𝐅𝐂 𝐀𝐉𝐀𝐗 💎 (@TheEuropeanLad) April 3, 2021
Erling Haaland and Marco Reus were trying their best after the rude shock to get Dortmund level. However, Frankfurt held firm and kept the home side at bay. It took central defender Mats Hummels to level the score just before halftime. The second half was an even affair with both teams wasting good chances to go ahead.
Andre Silva's goal against Borussia Dortmund today was his 23rd goal for Eintracht Frankfurt this season.
It also takes him to 13 goals in his last 12 Bundesliga appearances.
— Footy Accumulators (@FootyAccums) April 3, 2021
Silva was still causing problems and it was the he who finally scored the winner. The striker headed home Filip Kostic’s cross to win the game. Special mention must go to Kevin Trapp as well who summoned that Easter spirit to make some great saves earlier on.
Can Borussia Dortmund be better off without Erling Haaland? They can be, for sure
Chelsea 2-5 West Bromwich Albion (2021)
The result of the season in the Premier League? It very well could be, given the context of the match and what has happened since. Chelsea were motoring along under new boss Thomas Tuchel, who had turned them into a defensive behemoth.
West Brom were staring relegation square in the face. The match started as off as expected, Christian Pulisic opening the scoring within 30 minutes. Then all hell broke loose.
5' – Thiago Silva is booked
27' – Chelsea take the lead
29' – Thiago Silva is sent off
45+2' – West Brom equalise
45+4' – West Brom take the lead
— bet365 (@bet365) April 3, 2021
Just two minutes after the goal, Thiago Silva was given his marching orders. The Brazilian defender received his second yellow card after a poor challenge on Okay Yokuslu. Silva had just returned from a long injury layoff and it showed. However, nobody was prepared for what West Brom would do next. The Baggies scored twice in first-half injury time through Matheus Pereira.
Callum Robinson vs. Chelsea [58 minutes]:
94% pass accuracy
5 ball recoveries
3 chances created
2 attempted take-ons
2 successful take-ons
2 fouls won
An efficient performance off the bench. 🟡🟢 pic.twitter.com/uBXmjqbZT4
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) April 3, 2021
Callum Robinson got in on the act past the hour mark to double the lead. Chelsea got one back through substitute Mason Mount but the misery was not over. Mbaye Diagne scored a fourth before Robinson grabbed his own brace in injury time.
A remarkable scoreline by all accounts and even more so now. Chelsea would go onto win the Champions League and West Brom were relegated.
Inter 2-2 AC Milan (2017)
Two bitter rivals from the same city going head-to-head with the game being decided in the last possible minute? Yes, please! Long before their Inter’s Serie A winning days or Milan’s resurgence under Stefano Pioli, the pair would be embroiled in an entertaining clash. Inter took a two-goal lead by halftime through Antonio Candreva and Mauro Icardi.
— Bola (@Bolanet) April 15, 2017
Milan were huffing and puffing to get up to speed till that point. However, the game’s complexion changed after halftime. Milan started dominating possession and getting more adventurous, desperate not to lose. The intense pressure on Inter’s goal finally paid off in the 83rd minute as Alessio Romagnoli’s poked finish. Inter were holding on and looked to have done enough to secure three points to overtake Milan in the table.
— AC Milan (@acmilan) April 15, 2017
Well, as the saying goes, “It’s not over till it’s over.” Veteran defender Cristian Ramos popped up in the seventh minute of injury time with an effort that looked to have crossed the line. Gary Medel tried his best to clear the ball but the referee confirmed what was already looking clear: Milan had their leveler. The two teams played out a second 2-2 draw of the season and this was the perfect ending to Easter weekend.