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Six most prolific starts to a Premier League campaign

Manchester City’s blistering start to the new season continued last weekend with an eight goal thrashing of Watford at the Etihad, with Pep Guardiola’s side coming within one goal of equalling the Premier League’s all-time record for biggest winning margin.

The champions have been in ruthless form in front of goal during the opening weeks of the new season, but how does their start compare to the most prolific in the division’s history?

Here are the six most prolific starts to a Premier League campaign after six games…

Arsenal – 21 (2004/05)

Fresh off their famed Invincible season the year prior, defending champions Arsenal began the 2004/05 season in prolific fashion.

Arsene Wenger’s side began the new campaign with five successive wins, thrashing Everton 4-1 at Goodison Park on the opening day before beating Middlesbrough in an entertaining 5-3 encounter at Highbury.

Tragic former Spain international Jose Antonio Reyes would score in each of those five wins, as Arsenal beat Blackburn (3-0), Norwich (4-1) and Fulham (3-0) before a 2-2 draw at home to Bolton to their tally to 21 goals.

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Chelsea 21 – (2010/11)

Having notched up a then record 103 Premier League goals to claim the title the previous season, Carlo Ancelotti’s Chelsea side started the new campaign with a 6-0 thrashing of West Brom at Stamford Bridge.

Reigning Golden Boot winner Didier Drogba would net a hat-trick against the outclassed Baggies, before Chelsea thumped Wigan to make it back-to-back 6-0 wins.

Wins over Stoke (2-0), West Ham (3-1) and Blackpool (4-0) would follow, before the Blues were held goalless for the first time with a 1-0 defeat at Manchester City.

Despite their impressive start of 21 goals in six games, Chelsea would score just 69 goals in total for the season, finishing nine points behind champions Manchester United.

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Manchester City – 21 (2017/18)

Pep Guardiola’s all-conquering Manchester City side would smash the Premier League record points total in 2017/18, as well as the scoring more goals than any other side in the division’s history (106).

Key to their title-winning campaign was a run of five wins in their opening six fixtures, which included consecutive thrashings of Liverpool (5-0), Watford (6-0) and Crystal Palace (5-0).

Sergio Aguero would score a hat-trick in that convicting win at Vicarage Road, the Argentine scoring six times in six games as City netted 21 goals to begin their record-breaking campaign.

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Newcastle – 22 (1994/95)

Arguably one of the most iconic Premier League sides not to win the title, Kevin Keegan’s Newcastle team were known as the great entertainers during a successful spell on Tyneside in the mid-nineties.

Having shocked the division to finish third upon their return to the top flight the previous season, the North East side made a flying start to their second Premier League campaign by winning each of their first six games to take an early lead at the top.

Those six games saw Keegan’s side plunder 22 goals with Andy Cole, on the back of a Premier League record 34 goals the previous season, scoring six times.

Their prolific start would ultimately slow down, as they faded following Cole’s mid-season departure to rivals Manchester United to finish sixth.

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Manchester United – 22 (2011/12)

A season that would ultimately end in late, late heartbreak for Manchester United had begun so promisingly in 2011/12, including one of the most memorable results in Premier League history.

Having recorded back-to-back wins over West Brom and Tottenham in their opening two fixtures, United would hit eight past a hapless Arsenal at Old Trafford, Wayne Rooney scoring a hat-trick as Arsene Wenger’s side were dispatched 8-2.

Rooney would score a second successive hat-trick against Bolton in the very next fixture, before a win over Chelsea and draw with Stoke.

Despite Sir Alex Ferguson’s side’s quick start to the campaign they would miss out on the title by the narrowest of margins, Sergio Aguero’s dramatic stoppage-time goal sealing the title for rivals Manchester City on the final day of the season.

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Manchester City – 24 (2019/20)

Manchester City’s blistering start to the new campaign is a Premier League record, with no team having previously scored more than their tally of 24 goals after six fixtures.

A 5-0 thrashing of West Ham began their run, before scoring at least twice against Tottenham, Bournemouth, Brighton and Norwich. Their most recent outing saw them eclipse Manchester United’s total from eight seasons ago, that eight goal battering of Watford at the Etihad.

Sergio Agüero has once again been key to their start, the Argentine scoring eight times in just six appearances to lead the early standings for the Golden Boot. The 31-year-old is looking to become the first player in the division’s history to score 20+ goals in six successive seasons this season, and judging by both his and City”s prolific start he looks likely to achieve the feat.

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