Goals pay the rent but do not necessarily make a great game – although those Manchester City fans who turned up at Old Trafford to watch THAT 6-1 drubbing of their bitter rivals will argue otherwise.
What makes a great match is a combination of occasion, players, atmosphere, stakes, background, resulting fallout – and for those not lucky enough to be there, the commentary.
We have all been at a match, thinking “this is the greatest game I have ever seen” but not all them are goal-soaked classics.
A 0-0 draw with the goal frames worn out and both keepers being nominated for the VC can be just as enthralling.
For the most part, we measure greatness on goal volume, even though Portsmouth 7 Reading 4 back in 2007 was remarkable for the scoreline rather than the quality of football.
But sometimes a match leaves you breathless, shaking your head in disbelief, barely able to accept what two teams have just served up.
Here are five such Premier League encounters.
Newcastle 4 Arsenal 4 – February 2011
Two up after three minutes through Theo Walcott and Johan Djourou, Arsenal then extended their lead to 4-0 by the 26th minute with a Robin van Persie double.
And although the Gunners had Abou Diaby red-carded on 50 minutes, almost 20 minutes later they still held a four-goal advantage.
Joey Barton’s penalty looked like scant consolation and even when Leon Best added a second for the home team on 75 minutes, the points still looked to heading back to London.
But Barton’s second penalty in the 84th minute was followed two minutes from time by Chiek Tiote’s 30-yard equalizer.
Kevin Nolan then almost won it for the Magpies but the ball just beat the post.
Tottenham 3 Manchester United 5 – September 2001
Dean Richards, Christian Ziege and Les Ferdinand powered Spurs into a 3-0 half time lead against the champions and it could - and should - have been more.
Whatever level Sir Alex Ferguson set the hairdryer at during the interval was obviously correct because their second 45 minutes bore no resemblance to their first.
Andy Cole netted within a minute of the restart to set the tone. Laurent Blanc and Ruud van Nistelrooy brought United level before Juan Sebastian Veron gave the visitors a 4-3 lead.
With shattered home supporters leaving White Hart Lane, David Beckham topped things off with a stunning fifth.
Liverpool 4 Newcastle 3 – April 1996
Kevin Keegan’s Newcastle had already squandered a 12-point lead at the top of the table but went to Anfield with a good chance of winning the title.
A see-saw match that summed up Toon life under Keegan saw them leave with nothing and kept Liverpool in the title running.
Robbie Fowler put the Reds ahead then levelled after goals from Les Ferdinand and David Ginola had put the Magpies ahead.
Faustino Asprilla edged Newcastle ahead once more before Stan Collymore equalized in the 68th minute.
It was end to end stuff before Collymore won it for Liverpool two minutes into stoppage time, Keegan barely able to contain his misery in the dugout.
Arsenal 4 Tottenham 4 – October 2008
Life under Harry Redknapp kept getting better and better for Tottenham fans following the sacking of Juande Ramos.
Twice the Gunners had two-goal leads and were 4-2 up in the 89th minute but Spurs snatched a point in stoppage time through Aaron Lennon.
Ex-Arsenal man David Bentley had given Spurs the lead with a stunning 30-yarder before Mikael Silvestre levelled.
William Gallas and Emmanuel Adebayor – both of whom would later play for Tottenham then fired the home side 3-1 ahead.
Darren Bent’s reply for Spurs was snuffed out within 60 seconds by Robin van Persie before Jermaine Jenas curled home in the last minute then Lennon reacted first to score after Luka Modric’s shot had hit the post.
Manchester City 3 QPR 2 – May 2012
The yardstick against which all great games will be measured.
Everything at stake: A win for City would see them crowned champions for the first time since 1968 while QPR needed something from the match to be sure of avoiding relegation.
Of course, City could lose or draw and claim the title as long as Manchester United did not win at Sunderland.
But as news of Wayne Rooney’s goal for United filtered through, Pablo Zabaleta soothed home nerves by putting City 1-0 up.
QPR hit back after the break, Djibril Cisse and Jamie Mackie putting them 2-1 up after Joey Barton had been sent off.
City fans were leaving in tears and shock as the match entered five minutes of stoppage time and United’s victory was confirmed as was QPR’s safety following other results.
Edin Dzeko equalized for City two minutes in only for Sergio Aguero to clinch the most dramatic of victories three minutes later with a rasping shot to clinch the title.