The Most Impressive Unbeaten Runs in the Premier League
Following Liverpool’s recent 44 match unbeaten run, we look at some other impressive unbeaten runs in Premier League history.
At the end of last month Liverpool’s surprise 3 – 0 defeat at Watford ended the team’s 44-game unbeaten run in the Premier League. It was a remarkable run but the team missed out on setting a few records. Their last defeated was on 3rd January 2019 when they lost 2 – 1 to Manchester City, meaning they had an unbeaten run of 422 days.
It was a huge achievement, but it is not the only impressive unbeaten run in Premier League history. Here we take a look at a few more highly impressive performances.
Arsenal (2003-04) – 49 Matches
For a very long time it was only fans of Preston North End who could claim that their team was the only one in the history of English football to go for an entire season without losing a match. The club, which is now in the Championship, managed the remarkable achievement back in the first season of the football league in 1888-89.
It took 115 years for another team to achieve the same. The Arsenal squad from the 2003-04 season, nicknamed The Invincibles and home to players such as Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Patrick Viera, Ashley Cole and Fredrick Ljungberg, where to the next to pull it off.
Their unbeaten run, which included two games from the 2002-03 season and nine games from the 2004-05 season, lasted for 49 games stretching from 7th May 2003 to 24th October 2004. In other words, they dominated the league for a year and a half.
Like every unbeaten streak, it had to come to an end and it did so in a match nicknamed the Battle of the Buffet at Old Trafford. There were two goals in a controversial second half of the game, which were enough to end one of the most impressive runs of all time.
Liverpool (2019-20) – 44 Matches
Liverpool were widely expected to perform well this season having won the UEFA Champions League last season, but very few expected them to dominate in quite such an impressive manner over the last few months.
The team went 44 Premier League games without losing a single one of them and they only dropped points in a draw with Manchester United. Even more impressively, had they not lost the one game last season, against eventual champions Manchester City, they would have far surpassed Arsenal’s unbeaten streak and gone 66 games without a loss.
Their unbeaten run began on 12th January 2019 and lasted well over a year. Perhaps even more impressive is that Liverpool have not lost at home since April 2017 when they lost 1 – 2 to Crystal Palace.
While Liverpool will not be breaking this particular record this season, they still deserve a great deal of admiration for such an impressive run.
Chelsea (2004-05) – 40 Matches
When Jose Mourinho joined Chelsea, he had a truly impressive start to his time in the Premier League. In his first season at the club, he led them to their first Premier League title win and helped to break the dominance of clubs such as Arsenal and Manchester United.
Chelsea began the season well, going eight games without a defeat but they soon lost at the Etihad to Manchester City. However, they then got back on track and they went an impressive 29 games without losing in the Premier League eventually winning the title with three games to spare.
In the next season, 2005-06, they again got off to an excellent start and won their first nine games, to extend their undefeated run to 40 matches before eventually losing at Old Trafford to Manchester United on 6th November 2005 in a very close 1 – 0 match.
Arsenal (2001-02) – 30 Matches
Arsenal’s ‘Invincible’ season is not the only time that they have had an impressive unbeaten streak. After taking over at the club in the middle of the 1996-97 season Arsene Wenger succeeded in making them into serious title contenders, even if they regularly finished second to Manchester United during that period.
In the 2001-02 season they managed to win the title by seven points, making it just their second title in the Premier League era. Their success included a 20-game unbeaten streak that was inspired by a dismal 3 – 1 defeat to Newcastle United at Highbury earlier in the season. Their excellent form continued well into the next season as they went on to win the first nine games of the season.
In the end Arsenal were defeated by a 16-year-old Wayne Rooney who scored his first Premier League goal in the 90th minute of a game that ended 2- 1 at Goodison Park. It was a major win for Everton and a true blow to Arsenal who then went on to lose at home to Blackburn Rovers in their next match.
Manchester City (2017-18) – 30 Matches
The last decade has seen Manchester City become one of the dominant forces in the Premier League; they won their first title in the 2011-12 season and have won three more since then. However, it is under Pep Guardiola’s management that they have been at their most impressive.
It was in the 2017-18 season that the team was at its best and set a number of Premier League records including the most points, (100), the most away points (50), the most wins (32), the most away wins (16), the most goals (106), the best goal difference (+79) and the most consecutive victories (18).
At the same time, they managed to go 30 matches in the Premier League without losing a game, of which they won 26. At times they looked undefeatable, and like Liverpool this season, many thought that they would go the entire season unbeaten.
However, it was Liverpool that eventually ended the unbeaten streak. It was a hugely exciting match at Anfield in January 2018 that Liverpool eventually won 4 – 3.
Manchester United (1998-99) – 29 Matches
1999 was a record breaking year for Manchester United. They won the Premier League, the FA Cup and the Champions League in the same season to become the first and only English team to win the continental treble.
This remarkable achievement made the team internationally famous and much of it was down to the incredible abilities of Sir Alex Ferguson. Furthermore, during this period they managed an unbeaten run of 29 Premier League games.
The run began after a number of poor results just before the winter break. The team drew three games in a row and then lost 2 – 3 at home to Middlesbrough. However, following that surprise defeat, they did not lose a single game and went on to win their fifth Premier League title.
They also began the next season strongly and extended their unbeaten run to a total of 29 games. The run came to an end in October 1999 when Chelsea put on a stunning performances at Stamford Bridge to beat the title holders 5 – 0. However, despite the defeat, United went on to win the title once again.
Chelsea (2007-08) – 29 Matches
Since the turn of the millennium, Chelsea have had a number of highly successful seasons and won a number of trophies. The 2007-08 season was on track to be one of their best ever seasons. They were among the favourites to win the league right up until the last day, they reached the Champions League final, and the League Cup final as well.
However, things did not turn out well and despite their best efforts, they ended the season without a trophy for the first time in four years. They finished second in the league to Manchester United and lost the Champions League final to them in Moscow. They then lost again to United on penalties in the Community Shield and lost in the final of the League Cup to Tottenham Hotspur.
Despite this, they still finished the campaign very strongly and didn’t lose a single one of their last 21 games of the season. This good form continued into the 2008-09 season under the management of Luis Felipe Scolari, giving them an unbeaten run of 29 games in the Premier League.
In the end, Liverpool brought the unbeaten run to an end when they won 1 – 0 at Stamford Bridge in October 2008.
Manchester United (2010-11) – 29 Matches
Manchester United have had a number of impressive unbeaten runs and one of them was in the 2010-11 season. It was the second time that they managed to go 29 games unbeaten in the Premier League.
The season began strongly with the team manging to go unbeaten in the league for a very long time. The unbeaten run included five games from the previous season but in the end, when they lost they were one game short of becoming the fifth team ever in the Premier League to reach 30 consecutive games undefeated.
The defeat came at the hands of Wolverhampton Wanderers in February 2011. The bottom placed team produced an impressive comeback in the first half of the game to win it 2 – 1 and destroy Sir Alex Ferguson’s hopes of beating the record of his 1999 treble winners.