It’s advantage Liverpool in the title race after Jurgen Klopp’s side opened up an eight-point gap at the top of the Premier League with victory over Manchester City, the only blemish on their impressive start to the season being a draw at Manchester United in October.
Their almost flawless start has raised expectations that the Premier League title could finally be heading to Merseyside, but where does it rank amongst the best ever starts to a league campaign?
Here are the six best league starts after 12 games in English football history…
Tottenham – 1960/61 (34 points)
Silverware has been a little harder to come by for the North London side in recent years, though in the early sixties it was Spurs who were the team to beat in English football’s top flight. The club would win a famed domestic double in the 1960/61 season, in which a fast start built the club an unassailable advantage at the top of the division.
Bill Nicholson’s team would begin the campaign with 11 successive victories, their run eventually halted by a draw with Manchester City at White Hart Lane in their 12th fixture.
It would matter little, however, as the club would go on to be crowned champions ahead of Sheffield Wednesday, the second and so far last time the club have won a league title.
* points total adjusted from two points to three per win
Manchester United – 1985/86 (34 points)
Ron Atkinson’s Manchester United side entered the 1985/86 season with hopes of finally ending their 20-year wait for a league title, hopes that were further raised following a brilliant start to the season that saw the club win their first 10 league matches.
A draw at Luton was the only blemish on their record after 12 fixtures, whilst they remained unbeaten for their first 15 until defeat at Sheffield Wednesday. Their run would not last, however, as a torrid run of form over January and February saw them slip from the top, eventually finishing a disappointing fourth.
Liverpool – 1990/91 (34 points)
The second side on our list to enjoy a fast start, only to tail off and miss out on the league title. Liverpool were the reigning champions heading into the 1990/91 season and began the defence of their crown in style, winning 11 of their first 12 fixtures with a draw at Norwich their only dropped points.
That run included a 4-0 hammering of Manchester United, whilst the likes of Everton and Tottenham were beaten away from home. Eight defeats over the remainder of the season would ultimately cost them the title, manager Kenny Dalglish resigning in the February of 1991 as the club finished nine points behind champions Arsenal.
Manchester City – 2011/12 (34 points)
Having emerged as a true contender in English football following their billionaire takeover, 2011/12 would finally become the season that Manchester City were crowned champions of England once again.
Their substantial investment built a side capable of challenging, and they began the new campaign with 11 wins in 12 fixtures, a run of form that included a 5-1 win at Tottenham and that 6-1 thrashing of Manchester United at Old Trafford.
They would suffer dips of form throughout the campaign but stayed largely consistent, a run of six successive wins at the end of season snatching the title on goal difference courtesy of Sergio Aguero’s infamous late goal.
Manchester City – 2017/18 (34 points)
Arguably the greatest league season in English football history, Manchester City would become the first Premier League side ever to reach 100 points after a stunning campaign to win the title in 2017/18.
Their run would begin with 11 wins and one draw from their opening 12 fixtures, a 1-1 home draw with Everton their only blemish on a run which saw them thrash the likes of Liverpool (5-0), Watford (6-0), Crystal Palace (5-0) and Stoke (7-2).
Pep Guardiola’s side would lose just twice all season, setting a number of records including most wins (32), most goals (106) and most consecutive victories (18). They would finish a huge 19 points clear of nearest challengers Manchester United, another Premier League record.
Liverpool – 2019/20 (34 points)
Liverpool’s start to the new season is the equal best of any recorded in English football history, having amassed 34 points from their 12 fixtures so far. Jurgen Klopp’s side have raced into an early lead in the title race, having won 11 times so far including victories over Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea, Leicester and Manchester City.
Their only dropped points so far came at Old Trafford, Adam Lallana’s late goal salvaging a point and their unbeaten start. Hopes have been raised that the club can end their long wait for a league title this season, with no team having ever started better.
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