The 2008–09 Premier League season (known as the Barclays Premier League for sponsorship reasons) was the 17th season since the establishment of the Premier League in 1992. Manchester United became champions for the 11th time on the penultimate weekend of the season, defending their crown after winning their tenth Premier League title on the final day of the previous season. They were run close by Liverpool, who had a better goal difference and who had beaten United home and away, including a dramatic 4-1 victory at Old Trafford, but who were undone by a series of disappointing draws. The campaign – the fixtures for which were announced on 16 June 2008 – began on Saturday, 16 August 2008, and ended on 24 May 2009. A total of 20 teams contested the league, consisting of 17 who competed the previous season and three promoted from the Football League Championship. The new match ball was the Nike T90 Omni.
Starting with this season, clubs were now allowed to name seven substitutes on the bench instead of five. This season was also different in that there was no New Year's Day game, as is traditional. This was because the FA Cup Third Round is traditionally played on the first Saturday in January, which in 2009 fell in the usual spot for New Year's league games. September saw Manchester City taken over by the Abu Dhabi United Group, transforming them into one of the worlds wealthiest football clubs, securing the signing of Robinho for a British record £32.5 million just seconds before the 2008 summer transfer window closed in the process.
The first goal of the season was scored by Arsenal's Samir Nasri against newly promoted West Bromwich Albion in the fourth minute of the early kick-off game on the opening day of the season on 16 August. Gabriel Agbonlahor of Aston Villa scored the first hat-trick of the season against Manchester City, scoring three goals in the space of seven minutes. Manchester United clinched the 2009 Premier League title with a scoreless draw against Arsenal on 16 May 2009, their 11th Premier League title, and 18th League title overall, drawing level with fierce rivals Liverpool who finished as runners-up. It is the second time they clinched the title for three consecutive years, the first being in 2001.
West Bromwich Albion were the first team to be relegated to the Championship after losing 2–0 at home to Liverpool on 17 May 2009. They were joined in the Championship by Middlesbrough and Newcastle United on the last day of the season after Middlesbrough's defeat at West Ham United and Newcastle's 1–0 defeat at Aston Villa. It meant that Hull City and Sunderland stayed up despite home defeats to Manchester United and Chelsea respectively. The fact that Hull City avoided relegation (along with Stoke City - who stayed up relatively comfortably under the shrewd stewardship of Tony Pulis), meant it was the first time since the 2005–06 season that more than one promoted club maintained their Premier League status. Aston Villa, Everton and Fulham all secured European football for the 2009–10 season through their league position.
Season 2008-09 matches (grid view)
Season matches ordered by date
Full standing - Home, Away, Total
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