On the field there has been many memorable bust-ups down the years as the passions boil over.
Here Matt Wise takes a look back on the five best bust-ups of the Premier League era
Bowyer picks a fight with his own teammate
It is bad enough to witness opposing players going at it during a game, but it is an entirely different scenario when players from the same team fight one another. This is exactly what we saw back in 2005 when a fight broke out between Newcastle’s Lee Bowyer and Keiron Dyer. Both players received red cards as a result of their actions. But thankfully, they settled their differences and became friends again shortly after the game. However, a three month ban followed for the pair to look forward to.
Van Nistelrooy bullied by Arsenal defenders
Manchester United and Arsenal’s rivalry was well documented at the time around the turn of the century.
Their encounter in 2003 was fiery to say the least. Jens Lehmann received his marching orders, sparking flared tempers, and van Nistelrooy became the subject of Arsenal’s frustrations.
The visitors were unhappy with the Dutchman’s ‘cheating’ when attempting to get Vieira sent off (and succeeded). Van Nistelrooy missed a penalty, prompting a group of Arsenal players including Martin Keown, Ray Parlour and Lauren to taunt him aggressively, pushing and shoving him. Van Nistelrooy looked intimidated, and was forced to run from the situation.
Aguero’s shocking tackle sparks mass brawl against Chelsea
Manchester City’s frustrations grew as the game went on in their clash with Chelsea in December of 2016.
City missed multiple chances to extend their lead at 1-0 up, and allowed themselves to be repeatedly countered, losing the game 3-1.
Sergio Aguero was unable to control his temper, and jumped in studs up on David Luiz.
Luiz was lucky to escape with just an ice pack strapped to his knee, in what could have been a leg breaker. Aguero knew exactly what was coming: a red card. In defence of his teammate, Nathaniel Chalobah came rushing over and shoved Aguero to the floor, sparking a brawl which in the end, included staff from both sides.
It was real ‘handbags’ at this point. Fernandinho also became involved, after taking the bait Fabregas dangled in front of his eyes, and ended up repeatedly pushing the Spaniard until he fell over the advertising boards. It was undoubtedly a bad day at the office for Manchester City.
Eric Cantona ‘Kung Fu’ kicks a Crystal Palace supporter
This is by far the most bizarre and shocking bust-ups which has taken place in a Premier League game.
Violence between players and fans is not something we see very often.
Having seen red for the fifth time is his Manchester United career, Cantona was seething. He could not help himself when being taunted by a Palace fan in the stands, and proceeded to attack the man ‘Kung Fu’ style.
It was left for the Manchester United kit man to usher the Frenchman away, before he caused any more damage.
Barton loses his cool (again)
What would a ‘top five premier league fights’ list be without featuring Joey Barton?
He had a day to forget against his former club when he received a straight red card for elbowing Carlos Tevez while playing for QPR.
Both City and QPR players surrounded the referee, adding to Barton’s frustrations. He then proceeded to kick out at Sergio Aguero, muster an attempt at a headbutt on Vincent Kompany, and go for Mario Balotelli. A day in the life of Joey Barton.