Shocking Starts: Unveiling the 5 Biggest Opening Week Upsets in Premier League History

Introduction: The Premier League, known for its unpredictability and nail-biting competition, has witnessed its fair share of opening week upsets over the years. From underdog triumphs to unexpected defeats, the league’s inaugural matches often set the tone for the entire season. In this blog post, we delve into the archives to uncover the 5 biggest opening week upsets in Premier League history that left fans and pundits alike in awe.

Leicester City’s Stunner (2015/16)

Undoubtedly, the 2015/16 season will forever be etched in the memories of football enthusiasts as the year Leicester City defied all odds to clinch the Premier League title. However, their journey began with a jaw-dropping opening week upset against Sunderland. The Foxes, expected to struggle that season, showcased the resilience that would later define their historic campaign by securing a 4-2 victory.

Swansea City’s Debut Delight (2011/12)

In their Premier League debut season (2011/12), Swansea City, led by manager Brendan Rodgers, made an indelible mark by stunning the footballing world. Their opening day clash against Manchester City was pegged as a David vs. Goliath encounter. However, the Swans played sublime football, emerging victorious with a 1-0 scoreline, courtesy of a goal from striker Scott Sinclair.

West Ham United’s Theater of Dreams Triumph (2016/17)

On the opening day of the 2016/17 season, West Ham United traveled to Old Trafford to face Manchester United. Despite being the clear underdogs, the Hammers shocked everyone with a resounding 2-1 win. Slaven Bilić’s side showcased defensive solidity and clinical finishing, handing Jose Mourinho a surprising defeat in his first league game as United’s manager.

Barnsley’s Bold Entry (1997/98)

The 1997/98 season witnessed one of the most astonishing opening week upsets when newly-promoted Barnsley faced off against Premier League giants Liverpool. Despite the odds stacked against them, Barnsley secured a stunning 1-0 victory. Neil Redfearn’s goal was enough to send shockwaves through the footballing community and announce Barnsley’s arrival in the top-flight.

Wigan Athletic’s Whirlwind (2005/06)

In their maiden Premier League season (2005/06), Wigan Athletic, led by manager Paul Jewell, scripted a fairy-tale start by defeating Everton 2-1 on the opening day. Few expected Wigan to make a mark, but goals from Jason Roberts and Lee McCulloch sealed a historic victory. Wigan’s impressive debut season saw them finish 10th in the league, surpassing all expectations.


The Premier League’s opening week has been a stage for countless surprises, with underdogs rising to the occasion and giants being humbled. The 5 biggest opening week upsets in Premier League history highlighted in this blog post serve as a testament to the league’s inherent unpredictability, keeping fans on the edge of their seats and reminding us all that in football, anything can happen.