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Remembering the best ever starts to a Premier League season

Manchester City have made an ominous start to their Premier League title defence, with the champions having opened the new campaign with six straight wins.

Pep Guardiola’s side are just the second defending champions to have began their defence with six wins on the spin, but how does the Citizens’ strong start compare to the best in Premier League history?

Following Manchester City’s perfect start after six games, we’ve decided to look back at the best ever starts to a Premier League season.

Remembering the best ever starts to a Premier League season:

Arsenal – 5 wins (2004/05)

Arsenal’s joint-best start to a Premier League season came during the 2004/05 campaign. The Gunners entered the campaign as defending champions and continued on the form from their famed Invincibles season.

Jose Antonio Reyes scored in each of the club’s first five fixtures as Arsenal comfortably dispatched Everton, Middlesbrough, Blackburn, Norwich and Fulham, before Sam Allardyce’s Bolton side stopped the run by earning a 2-2 draw at Highbury.

Despite their impressive start, Arsenal ultimately had to settle for second place in the Premier League, though an FA Cup win provided some consolation.

Arsene Wenger’s team are among seven sides to have recorded five wins at the start of the new season, alongside Chelsea (2010/11 & 2018/19), Manchester United (2011/12), Manchester City (2015/16) and Arsenal (2022/23).

Remarkably, none of the sides who saw their winning runs end at five games went on to win the title.

Liverpool – 6 wins (2018/19)

Liverpool recorded six successive wins at the start the 2018/19 campaign, in a season which saw Jurgen Klopp compete for the league title for the first time.

Having hammered West Ham 4-0 at Anfield on the opening day, the Reds earned victories over Crystal Palace, Brighton, Leicester, Tottenham and Southampton before a draw with Chelsea ended their run in late September.

Their flying start saw Liverpool earn a then-club record 97-point haul in the Premier League, the highest ever points total for a runner-up after Manchester City pipped them to the championship by just a single point.

Their disappointment was short-lived, however, as victory over Tottenham in the Champions League final saw the club crowned champions of Europe for a sixth time.

Manchester City – 6 wins (2016/17)

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City reign began in perfect fashion as he notched up six successive wins at the start of the 2016/17 Premier League season.

Those six wins included derby success over arch-rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford, whilst three points were also secured against Sunderland, Stoke, West Ham, Bournemouth and Swansea.

It meant the Spaniard equalled the league record for best managerial start, though City failed to build on their excellent start and finished third.

Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham were the team to end City’s winning run, as an Aleksandr Kolarov own goal and Dele Alli strike inflicted the first league defeat of Guardiola’s reign at the Etihad.

Chelsea – 6 wins (2009/10)

The joint-best start by a new manager in the Premier League, Carlo Ancelotti began his Chelsea reign with six wins on the spin in 2009/10.

The Italian’s free-scoring Chelsea side dispatched of Hull, Sunderland, Fulham, Burnley, Stoke, and Tottenham to become the league’s early pacesetters, a position they would occupy at the end of the season as the west Londoners completed a domestic double with Premier League and FA Cup success.

Their run was surprisingly ended with a 3-1 defeat to Wigan at the DW Stadium, though it mattered little as they finished one point ahead of runners-up Manchester United to win the title, scoring a then-record 103 goals in the process.

Newcastle – 6 wins (1994/95)

Kevin Keegan’s entertaining Newcastle team began the 1994/95 season with a flawless six-game winning run, with Andy Cole scoring six times as the club racked up 22 goals over the opening weeks of the new campaign.

Leicester, Coventry, Southampton, West Ham, Chelsea and Arsenal were all beaten, before a 1-1 draw at Liverpool halted the momentum.

Hopes were high that the Magpies could win a first league title since 1927 after nine wins from their opening 11 Premier League fixtures. However, the departure of Cole to Manchester United in January proved a significant blow.

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Keegan’s side ended the season in sixth and missed out on Europe by just a single point after winning just 11 of their final 31 fixtures.

Manchester City – 6 wins* (2023/24)

Manchester City are up to six wins and counting after a perfect start to the new season, with Pep Guardiola’s side cruising to the top of the table.

City completed a historic Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League treble in 2022/23 to establish their position as the best club side in world football right now. Erling Haaland scored 52 goals in all competitions during their treble success and has started in similar fashion this time around, scoring eight times in six games so far this season.

City, as ever, appear the team to beat as the club look to become the first team in history to win four consecutive English top-flight titles.

Liverpool – 8 wins (2019/20)

After a club record points total and runners-up finish the previous season, Liverpool bounced back with a perfect Premier League record across the opening two months of the 2019/20 campaign.

Eight straight wins saw the Reds take an early lead at the top, before a 1-1 draw at Manchester United ended their winning streak. However, the draw at Old Trafford proved to be the only dropped points across the club’s first 27 games of the season as Liverpool compiled the best start to a season in the history of Europe’s top five leagues.

Their run following the setback at United included a joint-record 18 consecutive wins and saw Liverpool establish a 22-point lead at the top of the Premier League before their first defeat of the season at Watford in February 2020.

Jurgen Klopp’s team ended the season as champions on 99 points, winning the Premier League earlier than any other team with seven games to spare. It was the club’s nineteenth league title and the first since 1989/90.

Chelsea – 9 wins (2005/06)

Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea side marched to nine successive wins at the beginning of the 2005/06 season to register the best start in Premier League history,

Having ended the club’s 50-year wait for a league title the season prior, Mourinho’s side began in ominous form by winning their first six fixtures without conceding a single goal. Aston Villa’s Luke Moore may have broken that record, though his goal mattered little as Chelsea won 2-1 at Stamford Bridge.

A 4-1 thrashing of European champions Liverpool at Anfield followed, before putting five past Bolton to make it nine wins on the bounce.

Everton were the team to stop Chelsea making it ten, as James Beattie’s penalty secured the Merseyside club a 1-1 draw at Goodison Park in late October.

Chelsea’s early winning run provided the platform for the club to secure back-to-back titles, as the west Londoners finished eight points clear of Manchester United.

Read – Nineties Nostalgia: Five of the best Premier League games of the 90s

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