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The lowest Premier League points totals needed for Champions League qualification

The race for Champions League qualification continues to take twists and turns, with Aston Villa’s slip-up against Brentford allowing Tottenham to take the initiative.

Manchester United’s hopes appear to be fading after one win in six league games, though the Red Devils will not give up until Europe’s elite is mathematically impossible. Erik ten Hag’s team have seven games remaining and can reach 70 points with a perfect record across the run-in.

We’ve decided to look at the lowest points totals a team has required to secure a place in the Champions League.

The lowest points totals needed for Champions League qualification:

5. Chelsea (2002/03), Arsenal (2005/06), Chelsea (2020/21) – 67

Three teams have reached the promised land of the Premier League with 67 points won, with Chelsea the first to do so in 2002/03.

Jesper Gronkjaer’s goal secured a final-day win over Liverpool in a winner-takes-all shootout for Champions League qualification, a goal that would change English football forever. The appeal of Champions League football persuaded Roman Abramovich to purchase the cash-strapped Blues, a transformative takeover that turned the west Londoners into a European superpower.

Arsenal also qualified for the Champions League with 67 points in 2005/06. In the club’s final season at Highbury, the Gunners overhauled Tottenham on the final weekend of the campaign, after the Spurs squad were struck down with illness ahead of their clash with West Ham. Famously dubbed Lasagnegate, the slip from Spurs saw a Thierry Henry-inspired Arsenal leapfrog their north London rivals into the top four.

Chelsea secured a Champions League place with 67 points again in 2020/21. Thomas Tuchel led the Blues into the top four after taking over from Frank Lampard, whilst also leading Chelsea to Champions League success.

Moments that made the Premier League: Chelsea’s final-day victory ushers in the Abramovich era

4. Chelsea and Manchester United (2019/20) – 66

Chelsea and Manchester United both finished inside the Premier League’s top four in 2019/20, level on 66 points.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first full season in charge of Manchester United ended with a place in Europe’s elite, while Frank Lampard led Chelsea into the top four despite a transfer ban at Stamford Bridge and the departure of Eden Hazard.

3. Manchester City (2015/16) – 66

Manchester City snuck into the Champions League places in 2015/16, securing fourth ahead of Manchester United on goal difference.

Their 66 points is the club’s lowest league total since 2008/09, the first campaign after their Abu Dhabi-led takeover by Sheikh Mansour. The disappointing domestic campaign saw Manuel Pellegrini depart after three seasons in charge, with Pep Guardiola named as his replacement at the Etihad.

2. Everton (2004/05) – 61

Everton beat Merseyside rivals Liverpool to a Champions League place in 2004/05, ending the campaign three points clear of their neighbours to secure a Premier League top-four finish for the first time.

The Toffees suffered heartbreak in their bid to compete alongside Europe’s best, however, after losing to Villarreal 4-2 on aggregate in the Champions League’s third qualifying round, missing out on a place in the group stage.

Despite missing out on qualification through their league finish, Liverpool were given special dispensation to enter the Champions League in the first qualifying round, having been crowned European champions in 2004/05.

1. Liverpool (2003/04) – 60

The lowest points total needed for Champions League qualification is 60 points, a haul that saw Liverpool finish fourth in 2003/04.

That bodes well for Tottenham and Aston Villa, who are each already on 60 points this season with seven and six games remaining respectively.

Incredibly, Liverpool went on to win the Champions League the following season under new manager Rafael Benitez.

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A memorable run saw the Merseysiders eliminate Bayer Leverkusen, Juventus and Chelsea in the knockout rounds, before an astonishing comeback from 3-0 down to beat AC Milan on penalties in the Istanbul final.

Read – Premier League Team of the Week – Matchday 32

See more – Premier League weekend: Five things we learned

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