Liverpool’s defeat at the hands of Burnley at Anfield last month brought to an end the club’s historic three-year unbeaten home run that defined the club’s dominance of the game. Few other clubs have been able to achieve such feats in the Premier League, one of the toughest competitions in the world.
We take a look at five top clubs who have made their home grounds a fortress over the years, and created the longest unbeaten home runs:
#4: Manchester United: December 1994 to November 1996 – 35 games & December 1998 to December 2000 – 36 games
Manchester United under Sir Alex Ferguson was a winning machine in the 90s – and the club made Old Trafford the site of many historic moments.
Denied a three-peat in the 94/95 season with a home defeat to Nottingham Forest, United set their sights on securing their fortress. A two-year unbeaten home run helped them clinch the Championship for two consecutive seasons, however, they were again denied a three-peat, this time by Chelsea in November 1996.
The 1998/99 campaign saw them become the first side in the history of English football to pick up a Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League treble, and they followed that up with another league title the following season. On the way, the club beat their previous home run record, cementing their status as the League’s finest team.
#3: Manchester City: December 2010 to December 2012 – 37 games
While their sister-club were basking in glory, Manchester City were looked upon as a side who never truly reached their potential in the 90s and early 2000s. That was before a billion-dollar investment gave a fresh boost to the club early in the last decade. The entry of Pep Guardiola might have made the club the powerhouse it is today, but even before that, City did have its moments.
The club’s wait for the Championship came to fruition with the arrival of Roberto Mancini, who built City’s title success on the top of a formidable home run that saw the club go 37 games unbeaten between December 2010 and December 2012. Sergio Aguero’s iconic goal during the final fixture of the 2012 season, which sealed the title for City, is an unforgettable moment in Premier League history.
#2: Liverpool: April 2017 to January 2021 – 68 games
Liverpool’s historic home run is doubly impressive considering that they were playing against some of the finest teams in League’s history, including Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City. The Reds haven’t lost a match since their defeat to Crystal Palace in April 2017, until they were handed a shock defeat by Burnley early this year.
The three-and-a-half-year run saw Liverpool lift the Champions League title before being crowned Premier League champions last season – ending a three-decade wait for the trophy. The Reds under Jurgen Klopp have made Anfield a fortress, their defeat to Burnley notwithstanding, and they would look to start a fresh home run. The defeat to Burnley might have damaged their prospects of retaining the title, as both the Manchester clubs sit comfortably ahead in the standings.
#1: Chelsea: February 2004 to October 2008 – 86 games
Liverpool and Manchester City might be the powerhouses of the League today, but they fall well short of the mighty run Chelsea amassed a record 86-game unbeaten home run at the Stamford Bridge between 2004 and 2008. What makes the feat incredibly impressive, however, is that Chelsea were upstarts in a League dominated by Alex Ferguson’s United and Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal, and it was this unbeaten run that brought a third contender to the top-flight of the League.
The record came under three different managers – Claudio Ranieri, José Mourinho and Luiz Felipe Scolari, and delivered them two consecutive League titles early in the period. It is Wenger’s ‘Invincibles’ who were the last team to defeat the Blues before the start of their home run, and it was Liverpool which ended the streak.
Special Mention: Arsene Wenger’s Invincibles
Although The Gunners do not feature in this list, they along with the four clubs mentioned above, form the top-flight of the Premier League. It is perhaps a testament to the club’s style of play – they dominated the game along with Ferguson’s United without ever setting up a record home-run. Nevertheless, Arsenal rightly earned the moniker of Invincibles after their historic 2003-04 season. They established a 49-game unbeaten streak in the Premier League, a record that holds to this day, going unbeaten in all of their 38 games in the 2003-04 season.
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