Liverpool extended their advantage at the top of the Premier League to a quite frankly ridiculous 16 points with their 2-0 win over old foes Manchester United last Sunday.
It would now take a monumental collapse for the Merseyside club not to end their long wait for a league title, in what will be disappointing news for those hoping for a thrilling title race as the season reaches its conclusion.
It is not the first time in the league’s history that the leaders have raced clear and gone on to win the championship, here are five of the most boring title races in Premier League history…
Manchester United might have entered the 1999/2000 season as European champions and treble winners, though their dominance of English football would reach new levels the following season.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s side would pip Arsenal to the title by just a single point the previous season, with Chelsea just a further three back, though there would be no such tightness the following year as the Red Devils romped home to make it back-to-back successes.
United would win their final 11 games in succession to finish with a then-record 91 points and 18 points clear of Arsenal at the season’s end, their dominance of English football at perhaps its strongest ever point at the turn of the millennium.
When a team completes the entirety of a Premier League season unbeaten, it’s fairly sure they’ll end up as champions in comfortable fashion and so it proved with Arsene Wenger’s famed ‘Invincibles’ Arsenal side of 2003/04.
Despite seeing both Chelsea and Manchester United lead at various stages of the season, the Gunners relentlessness saw them finish easily ahead of the chasing pack, finishing 11 points clear and winning the title with four games to spare.
Thierry Henry would be the star for the north London side, scoring 30 league goals to scoop a PFA Player’s Player and FWA Footballer of the Year double, Arsenal finishing on 90 points – just one short of the aforementioned record set by Manchester United four years earlier.
Billionaire-backed Chelsea had shown signs of their progression the previous season following Roman Abramovich’s takeover in 2003, but the arrival of Jose Mourinho in the summer of 2004 would elevate the club to a new status as English football’s finest.
The Portuguese’s first season in charge saw the Blues end a 50-year wait for a top-flight league title, breaking the then Premier League points record by finishing on a huge haul of 95, losing just once throughout a memorable campaign.
Frank Lampard’s double at Bolton would secure the title and spark wild celebrations, Chelsea winning the title with three games to spare and eventually finishing 12 points clear of runners-up Arsenal.
Chelsea’s dominance was such that they would concede just 15 goals all season, a record low that still stands, their water-tight defence seeing the club crowned champions in style.
Having departed the club as the most successful manager in Chelsea’s history in 2007, Mourinho would return for a second spell in charge at Stamford Bridge six years later and deliver further success to the west London side.
The ‘Special One’ would deliver a third Premier League title to the club in 2014/15, his side hitting the top in the first month of the season and not looking back as they finished eight points ahead of nearest challengers Manchester City.
Such was their form, they would top the table at the end of each calendar month, City’s January wobbles giving Mourinho’s side a comfortable lead they never looked like relinquishing.
A spine reinforced by the additions of Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas proved too strong for the competition, whilst John Terry became the first player since Gary Pallister to play every minute of a title-winning campaign.
No team has ever spent more days (274) top of the Premier League in a single season.
The 2017/18 season would see Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City embark on arguably the greatest league campaign in English football history, setting a whole host of records as the Spaniard won a domestic title in a third different country.
City would win 19 of their first 20 games to develop a huge lead at the top, including thrashings of Liverpool (5-0), Watford (6-0) and Crystal Palace (5-0) in succession, creating an advantage they never looked in danger of losing.
Their relentless drive to success would see the club finish with a Premier League record 100 points, whilst they also set new landmarks for most wins (32), most goals (106) and most consecutive wins (18).
Such was their dominance they would finish a staggering 19 points clear of rivals Manchester United, the biggest winning margin in the history of the division.
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