Everton and Spurs should be embarrassed: ranking every current PL club’s greatest unbeaten run
Everton and West Ham should be embarrassed by Brentford’s ongoing unbeaten run, with Tottenham not far ahead. Man Utd are holding off a surprise challenger.
20) Bournemouth – 7 (December 2017 to February 2018)
After an eight-game winless run, culminating in consecutive scoreless defeats to Man Utd, Liverpool and Manchester City, it suddenly clicked for Eddie Howe and Bournemouth around the turn of the year. The Cherries became masters of the late goal, equalising in the 93rd and 79th minute of draws with West Ham and Brighton, and scoring winners in the 88th, 74th and 79th minutes against Everton, Arsenal and Stoke respectively. They also beat Chelsea 3-0 at Stamford Bridge.
Ended by: Huddersfield, obviously. Alex Pritchard inspired an unlikely 4-1 victory for the Terriers.
19) Crystal Palace – 8 (November to December 2017)
Taking full advantage of a kind fixture list, Roy Hodgson began to drag Crystal Palace clear of the relegation zone after replacing Frank de Boer in September following a dreadful start. Draws with Everton, West Brom, Brighton, Bournemouth and Swansea were complemented by wins over Stoke, Watford and Leicester.
Ended by: Arsenal, with Alexis Sanchez scoring twice in a 3-2 win at Selhurst Park. Palace’s run was bookended by north London-related misery, starting as it did after a 1-0 defeat to Spurs.
16=) Brighton – 9 (April to August 2022)
Phenomenal as their operation has been in almost every aspect recently, Brighton have still not taken an unbeaten Premier League run into double figures. Their best effort was engineered by Graham Potter across the end of last season and start of this campaign as the Seagulls twice beat Man Utd and West Ham, also sticking it to Leeds and Wolves.
Ended by: Fulham, with Lewis Dunk rising to joint-fifth for all-time Premier League own goals. He remains one behind Jamie Carragher, Phil Jagielka and Martin Skrtel, with Richard Dunne enjoying a solid lead.
16=) Fulham – 9 (November 2008 to January 2009)
Hodgson again. And draw-heavy again. Six stalemates included four without a single goal, as particularly creditable as those points against Liverpool and Chelsea were. There was also enough time to beat Newcastle, Spurs and Middlesbrough.
Ended by: West Ham, with the most routine of 3-1 wins at Upton Park.
16=) Southampton – 9 (November 2002 to January 2003)
With James Beattie in devastating form, Southampton rose as high as fifth after an excellent couple of months which started with a thrilling 3-2 win over reigning champions Arsenal and, as these runs apparently must, included a win over Spurs.
Ended by: Liverpool, who stopped an 11-game winless Premier League run after Emile Heskey’s first goal in 19 matches.
#OTD in 2003:
After eleven games without a win, Liverpool finally taste victory again thanks to Emile Heskey scoring on the South Coast against Southampton #lfc #onthisday #20yearsago pic.twitter.com/52Xn6cnTze
— Liverpool On This Day (@OnThisDayReds) January 18, 2023
15) West Ham – 10 (February to May 2016)
Sitting, as they do, in the top 10 of the all-time Premier League table, West Ham probably ought to have gone longer than 10 straight games unbeaten at some point. But they are, for their innumerable sins, West Ham, so the Dimitri Payet-inspired excellence towards the end of the 2015/16 season remains their best effort. The Frenchman scored or assisted nine of the 22 goals the Hammers scored in a sequence which saw them draw 3-3 with Arsenal, 2-2 against Chelsea, Crystal Palace and Leicester and beat Everton and Spurs (obviously) in a spirited charge towards Champions League qualification.
Ended by: Francesco Guidolin’s Swansea, who tormented right-back Michail Antonio and ended those lofty European aspirations. Seven years is a long time.
13=) Wolves – 11 (September to December 2019)
Six matches without a win at the start of the 2019/20 Premier League campaign became 11 without defeat for a Wolves side acclimatising to the challenge of balancing European football with domestic objectives. Manchester City were vanquished by Adama Traore at the Etihad, Arsenal were held at the Emirates and even Patrick Cutrone scored in a win over West Ham.
Ended by: Spurs, who broke the curse and reversed their time-honoured role with a last-gasp 2-1 victory at Molineux.
13=) Everton – 11 (March to August 2012)
That is frankly pathetic from a Premier League ever-present. Everton have lost more games than any other team in the competition’s history so perhaps it is to be expected that their best league run without defeat barely stretched over a couple of months. Across his penultimate and final seasons at Goodison Park, David Moyes engineered 4-0 wins over Sunderland and Fulham, 3-1 victories against Newcastle and Aston Villa and two seismic results against Man Utd: the Marouane Fellaini 4-4 draw and a 1-0 win at Goodison Park, in which Fellaini scored. If you can’t beat them, sign/appoint them.
Ended by: West Brom, in a suitably pitiful conclusion.
11=) Brentford – 12 (October 2022 to March 2023)
On they went, adding a Fulham side with genuine European aspirations to their impressive list of scalps: Manchester City, West Ham, Liverpool, Bournemouth and Southampton. With draws against Tottenham and Arsenal in between, it was a phenomenal achievement from Brentford and Thomas Frank, though it ended with defeat to Everton.
11=) Leicester – 12 (February to May 2016)
It had to come at some point in the title season and the brilliance of how Leicester held their nerve in 2015/16 is perhaps overlooked. Inspired by Arsenal actually celebrating like they had won the Premier League, the Foxes put that Valentine’s Day disappointment (we’ve all been there) to one side and ended the campaign with eight wins, four draws and five clean sheets in 12 matches.
Ended by: Newly-promoted Hull, who became the first side to beat the reigning champions on the opening day of the subsequent Premier League season.
8=) Aston Villa – 14 (May to November 1998)
Top at Christmas, even as the scent of transfer-related managerial gun violence hung heavy at Villa Park. John Gregory’s side made a storming start to the 1998/99 season despite the sale of Dwight Yorke to Man Utd, beating Newcastle and Spurs (obviously), while being held by Everton, Leeds and West Ham. Dion Dublin scored a hat-trick against Southampton. It was great fun.
Ended by: Liverpool. Robbie Fowler scored a hat-trick. It was great fun.
8=) Leeds – 14 (August to December 1993)
The champions of 1992 barely avoided relegation in 1993 but were revitalised by the signings of Brian Deane, David White and David O’Leary heading into 1994. After successive defeats to Norwich, Arsenal and Liverpool in August, Leeds pulled into a distant second behind Man Utd with nine wins and five draws.
Ended by: Norwich, who were no longer at the absolute height of their powers but nevertheless remained an excellent side.
8=) Tottenham – 14 (December 2017 to April 2018)
A dreadfully low number for an intermittent title challenger and supposed member of the elite? Or a wonderfully impressive figure for a side who suffered the distinct disadvantage of not being able to play Spurs? It’s difficult to say. Perhaps most surprising is that Tottenham set this bar on the long way down from their peak. Their Champions League future under threat in December 2017, Mauricio Pochettino’s side pulled themselves together to thrash Burnley, Southampton, Everton and Bournemouth, edging past Arsenal and Chelsea in a four-month stretch which returned them to the comfort of the top four.
Ended by: Manchester City, who actually inadvertently kicked off the run by beating Spurs 4-1 in December before ending it with a 3-1 win at Wembley in April.
7) Newcastle – 17 (September 2022 to February 2023)
Taking them as high as second with a dismantling of Leicester on Boxing Day, Newcastle supporters eventually allowed themselves to dream during the first full season of Saudi investment. But a threadbare squad, the loss of momentum, the need to focus on other competitions and Miguel Almiron’s enchantment wearing off meant it all petered out from there. The Magpies drew five of those last six games, winning the other 1-0, as their table descent began.
Ended by: Toxic rivals Liverpool, who actually inadvertently kicked off the run by beating Newcastle 2-1 in September before ending it with a 2-0 win at St James’ Park in February.
6) Nottingham Forest – 25 (February to November 1995)
Thirteen games unbeaten to end the 1994/95 season inspired them to a third-placed finish, while 12 matches without defeat to start the 1995/96 campaign suggested something similarly great was in the offing for Frank Clark’s side. It was not to be, although coming ninth was commendable.
Ended by: Blackburn, who hammered their visitors 7-0.
READ MORE: Lars Bohinen on leaving Nottingham Forest for Blackburn and scoring in the 7-0 a month later
5) Man Utd – 29 (April 2010 to February 2011)
Missing out on the title by a point to Chelsea in 2009/10 cajoled Sir Alex Ferguson and Man Utd into quite the response. They closed that campaign out with a draw and four wins before opening the next by sweeping all before them. Dimitar Berbatov developed a hat-trick fetish and they were top from November onwards.
Ended by: Wolves, the bottom side falling behind in the third minute yet recovering to end any Invincible talk.
4) Manchester City – 30 (April 2017 to January 2018)
One season of goading Pep Guardiola about not coaching tackles and – hat tip to Stan Collymore – thinking ‘he’s going to turn up and outplay everybody in the Premier League,’ was all the Spaniard’s critics were permitted. Even by the end of his debut campaign, things started to click at Manchester City, but it was during 2017/18 when it all went a bit silly. Eighteen consecutive wins remains a Premier League record as the eventual Centurions dropped just four of a possible 66 points.
Ended by: Liverpool, who ran out 4-3 winners in a sensational game at Anfield.
3) Chelsea – 40 (October 2004 to November 2005)
Conceding just 15 goals and keeping a ludicrous 25 clean sheets across a Premier League season doesn’t half lend itself to a sizeable unbeaten run. Chelsea built two title-winning campaigns on this sequence, trouncing the competition in 2004/05 and establishing the healthiest of leads in their subsequent defence.
Ended by: Man Utd, fresh from humiliation against Middlesbrough, stunned the champions – even if Jose Mourinho reckoned “the difference between us was only luck to be fair”.
2) Liverpool – 44 (January 2019 to February 2020)
After completely bottling it by dropping eight points of a possible 51 to hand Manchester City the title, Liverpool at least harnessed those 17 unbeaten Premier League games – and a Champions League trophy – into an unstoppable march in 2019/20. They stormed to an unassailable lead with 26 wins in their first 27 matches, a 1-1 draw with Man Utd the only blot on an otherwise improbably perfect copybook. But they fell short of history…
Ended by: Watford. Nigel Pearson’s Watford. Relegation’s Watford. Liverpool looked very much vincible in a 3-0 defeat as Ismaila Sarr took the mick out of the champions-elect.
1) Arsenal – 49 (May 2003 to October 2004)
What a magnificent team. What a stunning achievement. The numbers involved really are worth revisiting. The record might stand forever.
Ended by: Man Utd, as a well-timed Wayne Rooney tumble, some Ruud van Nistelrooy narrative and a bit of pizza gave Arsene Wenger a sense of eternal injustice.
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