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The highest points totals without winning the Premier League

Arsenal ended the 2023/24 campaign as Premier League runners-up for the second straight season, with Mikel Arteta’s team again falling just short in the title race.

The improving Gunners have learned just how hard it is to topple Manchester City right now, after consecutive campaigns of consistency with no reward.

Following Arsenal’s runners-up finish this season, we’ve looked at the highest-ever points totals without winning the Premier League title.

5. Manchester United – 1994/95 (88 points*)

Manchester United were the dominant force across the first decade of the Premier League era and won each of the first two editions of the rebranded top flight.

Blackburn Rovers were the first team to stop Sir Alex Ferguson’s side from winning the title, as the big-spending Lancashire side pipped the defending champions to the Premier League in 1994/95.

On a dramatic final day, Blackburn lost at Liverpool but Manchester United’s draw with West Ham saw the Red Devils fail to overhaul the leaders. Ferguson’s side finished a point behind Blackburn, on 88 points.

*The Premier League was a 42-game season in 1994/95.


=3. Manchester United – 2011/12 (89 points)

Manchester United were again runners-up in 2011/12 after the most dramatic conclusion to a Premier League season ever.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s side had held an eight-point advantage with six games to go, but a stuttering run-in saw Manchester City move above them on goal difference heading into the final weekend.

The Citizens needed to beat relegation-threatened QPR in their final fixture to seal their first top-flight crown in 44 years but found themselves 2-1 behind heading into stoppage time.

Edin Dzeko equalised on 92 minutes before Sergio Aguero slammed home an iconic winner to snatch the title in the final seconds of the season. City’s win rendered Manchester United’s victory at Sunderland meaningless, with the latter missing out on the Premier League on goal difference.

=3. Arsenal – 2023/24 (89 points)

Arsenal also achieved 89 points without winning the Premier League in 2023/24, the third-highest return in the division’s history.

The North Londoners spent 248 days at the top of the Premier League the previous campaign and still ended up empty-handed, before returning in 2023/24 with renewed hope. The club-record arrival of Declan Rice and the signing of Kai Havertz from Chelsea strengthened the squad, which took the title race to the final weekend.

However, Arsenal ended the season two points behind Manchester City in the title race, despite a season that saw the Gunners set a club record of 28 wins – more than their 2003/04 Invincibles team.

2. Liverpool – 2021/22 (92 points)

Liverpool have endured the most agonising near misses in Premier League title races.

Jurgen Klopp’s side chased a quadruple deep into the final weeks of the 2021/22 season, winning both the FA Cup and League Cup and competing for the Premier League alongside Manchester City.

Liverpool lost just twice in the Premier League all season and won 16 of their final 18 games during the run-in, though missed out to Manchester City by a single point. On an unforgettable final day, the Citizens came from two goals down to beat Aston Villa at the Etihad and seal the title.

1. Liverpool – 2018/19 (97 points)

Liverpool are responsible for the highest points total without winning the league in English football history.

The Reds recorded a whopping 97 points during the 2018/19 season but ended the campaign as Premier League runners-up to Manchester City (98 points).

Jurgen Klopp’s side suffered just one defeat all season, to their title rivals at the Etihad, and ended the campaign with nine consecutive wins as the title race went to the wire.

Incredibly, their 97 points would be enough to be crowned champions in all but three seasons across the entire 135-year history of the English Football League.

Read – The most successful English football clubs in history

See more – Premier League 2023-24: The most disappointing transfers

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