Premier League

Five teams who spent most days at top of Premier League table without winning it


May 23 2023
teams who spent most days at top of Premier League table without winning it

The Gunners gave their everything to deny Manchester City from winning the 2022-23 title.

Manchester City won the 2022-23 season of the Premier League after fending off a strong title charge by Arsenal. Mikel Arteta’s men came close to ending a 20-year title drought. However, Pep Guardiola’s men were a class apart and won their third successive league title by showing incredible quality.

The title race was a two-horse race between Arsenal and Manchester City. At a point, the Gunners were the favourite to end the campaign as the champions. But, as MCFC won the title for the ninth time in its history, it just goes to show how staying at the top is way more difficult than simply reaching the top.

Arsenal’s brilliant performance in the league was a reminder of the times when teams in the English top division failed to win the title despite staying at the top for several days. Here is a look at the five teams who spent most days at the top of the Premier League table without winning it:

5. Arsenal 2007-08: 156 days

In the 2007-08 season of the Premier League, Arsenal was on course of winning the league after a gap of four years. The Gunners were in a three-way race for the title and led the league table for 156 days.

Unfortunately for Arsene Wenger, the manager at the time, Arsenal finished third in the table in the end with 83 points. Manchester United won the league title with Chelsea finishing second.

4. Manchester United 1997-98: 187 days

Manchester United’s dominance in the Premier League is obvious by the fact that the club has won it 13 times since 1993. The Red Devils won the league title in four of the first five seasons and were on course to winning it for the fifth time in six.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s side led the league table for 187 days during the 1997-98 season of the Premier League. However, Arsenal won the league by a single point in the end. MUFC had 77 while the Gunners had 78 points as they secured their first-ever Premier League title.

3. Arsenal 2002-03: 189 days

Arsenal were on top of the league table for 189 days back in Premier League’s 2002-03 season. That is the third-highest number of days for an English team to lead the table without winning it.

Arsene Wenger was close to securing a second successive league triumph after winning the 2001-02 season. However, a collapse in the business end saw the Gunners give up the title to Manchester United which won it by a gap of five points.

2. Newcastle United 1995-96: 212 days

Newcastle United were a strong force back in the initial seasons of the Premier League that was initiated in 1992-93 season onwards. During the 1995-96 season of the league, NUFC were huge favourites to win the competition.

However, after leading the table for 32 match days spanning 212 days, Newcastle United lost the title to Manchester United. Interestingly, NUFC went on to finish second to MUFC in the 1996-97 season as well.

Five teams who spent most days at top of Premier League table without winning itTeams who spent most days at top of Premier League table without winning it

1. Arsenal 2022-23: 248 days

Arsenal has set a new record for spending most days on top of the Premier League title without winning it. The Gunners sat on the top of the table for 248 days before suffering a slump in the run-in to the season. 

They won only two of their eight matches until Pep Guardiola’s men overtook them to win the league with three matches to go. Manchester City’s performances and Arsenal dropping points in key fixtures were major factors in handing a third-consecutive league title to the Cityzens.

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