Liverpool’s stuttering title defence reached a new low as the Premier League champions were stunned at home to Burnley on Thursday night, Ashley Barnes’ late penalty inflicting more misery on the Reds who are now five games without a win.
Barnes’ winning goal also brought an end to the club’s impressive unbeaten run on home soil, with the Merseyside club having previously last tasted a league defeat at Anfield way back in April 2017.
After a run that lasted more than three calendar years was brought to a shock end, we look at how Liverpool’s undefeated run ranks amongst the best in the division’s history.
The five longest unbeaten home runs in Premier League history:
Manchester United – 35 games (December 1994-November 1996)
The nineties belonged to Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United, the club dominating the early seasons of the Premier League, emerging as a winning machine for much of the decade.
Having won consecutive titles in the previous two seasons United were in search of a three-peat in 1994/95, though a home defeat to Nottingham Forest in December dented their hopes in a season they eventually finished as runners-up to big-spending Blackburn.
That defeat, however, proved the catalyst behind a lengthy unbeaten run at Old Trafford, the club’s run stretching almost two years before losing to Chelsea in 1996, reclaiming the title following an unbeaten season at home in 1995/96.
Manchester United – 36 games (December 1998-December 2000)
Ferguson’s Manchester United team were still the finest in England at the turn of the millennium, winning three consecutive Premier League titles in addition to a famed continental treble in 1999.
Their unbeaten home run began in that infamous treble-winning season, a 3-2 home defeat to Middlesbrough proving their last at Old Trafford in almost exactly two years.
Few teams could live with a side containing the likes of David Beckham, Roy Keane and Paul Scholes, Ferguson’s dynasty perhaps at its strongest point during this period.
The club’s run stretched a huge 36 games before defeat to arch-rivals Liverpool in 2000, Danny Murphy scoring the only goal of the game in one of remarkably three winners the midfielder would net at the Theatre of Dreams.
Manchester City – 37 games (December 2010-December 2012)
Manchester City may firmly be established amongst the finest sides in world football at present, but a decade ago the club were just beginning to emerge from the shadows following their billionaire investment.
Roberto Mancini was man to finally end the club’s waits for both trophy and title success, City’s triumphs built on a formidable home record that saw the club go 37 games unbeaten between December 2010 and December 2012.
Their run began following defeat to Everton at the Etihad, stretching almost two years before Robin van Persie’s dramatic stoppage-time winner secured Manchester derby bragging rights for city rivals United.
City would, of course, score their own stoppage-time winner during that unbeaten run, Sergio Aguero’s iconic strike snatching the title on the final day of the season against QPR in May 2012.
Liverpool – 68 games (April 2017 – January 2021)
Liverpool‘s hugely impressive run at Anfield stretched more than three-and-a-half years, the defeat to Burnley their first since former striker Christian Benteke came back to haunt his ex-teammates with a brace for Crystal Palace in a 2-1 victory in April 2017.
Jurgen Klopp’s side bounced back from that defeat and have largely gone from strength to strength, transforming into one of Europe’s leading teams and being crowned as Premier League winners last season, a year after lifting the Champions League.
The run included three full Premier League seasons without a league defeat at Anfield before Burnley brought an abrupt end to the sequence, securing a memorable three points from what had become the division’s most daunting away trip.
Last season’s home form brought long-awaited title success as the Reds ended a three-decade wait to be crowned as champions, and Klopp’s side will now be hoping to make Anfield a fortress once more as they bid to recover from a difficult period and retain their crown.
Chelsea – 86 games (February 2004 – October 2008)
Liverpool’s record may be mightily impressive, but they still fell someway short of matching the Premier League record, Chelsea‘s astonishing 86-game unbeaten home run between March 2004 and October 2008.
Their record-breaking run came under the guidance of three different managers and delivered back-to-back titles, beginning in the final weeks of Claudio Ranieri’s reign, overseeing Jose Mourinho’s trophy-laden first spell at Stamford Bridge, before ending under the stewardship of Luiz Felipe Scolari over four years later.
Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ were the last team to defeat the Blues before their run, their 86-game record stretching until a Xabi Alonso winner for Liverpool in October 2008.