World Football

Five teams with most consecutive defeats at the start of Premier League season


August 19 2022
Five teams with most consecutive defeats to start the Premier League season

These outfits had the worst possible beginning to their campaigns.

Premier League is tough and can be ruthless from the first game week. Starting the season on the right note is absolutely vital as it sets the tone for the rest of the season. On several occasions, football teams tend to start the season on the wrong foot and concede consecutive defeats. During the 2021-22 campaign, Arsenal lost their opening three games, which was shocking for their global fanbase.

Thanks to the quality of the side, the Gunners picked up their performances soon and eventually finished fifth on the table. In the ongoing 2022-23 campaign, Manchester United could lose their third game on the trot when they face Liverpool on Monday night (22nd August). The Red Devils have lost their opening fixtures to Brighton and Brentford already. Erik ten Hag’s men will aim to avoid an embarrassing third defeat when they face their arch-rivals.

Starting the season with consecutive defeats is a rare occurrence but it has happened a few times in the past. Here is a look at the top five teams with the most consecutive defeats to start the Premier League season:

Southampton – 5 (1998-99)

Southampton began the 1998-99 season poorly. The side lost their opening five matches and had a difficult campaign because of the negative start. They lost to Liverpool (1-2), Charlton (5-0), Nottingham Forest (1-2), Leeds (3-0) and Newcastle (4-0) in the first five encounters.

However, Southampton amazingly avoided the drop by winning three and drawing two of their last five matches. The club finished 17th by the end of the season, narrowly avoiding relegation which saw Charlton, Blackburn and Nottingham Forest go down to the Premiership.

Sunderland – 5 (2005-06)

Sunderland began the 2005-06 Premier League campaign with five losses as well. In that unfortunate streak, the Black Cats lost to Charlton Athletic, Liverpool, Manchester City, Wigan, and Chelsea. A draw with West Bromwich Albion in the sixth game finally broke the streak.

The Black Cats avoided defeats in the next two games too but the season did not go according to plan. Eventually, Sunderland finished at the bottom of the league table and suffered relegation. The outfit collected only 15 points in the whole season.

Norwich City – 6 (2021-22)

Norwich City was in deep trouble from the very start of the 2021-22 campaign. They lost six matches consecutively. The club lost to Liverpool, Manchester City, Leicester City, Arsenal, Watford and Everton in the first six matches.

The next two games were draws and the club went on to lose two more matches after these two draws. Their first win came in the 11th fixture of the season against Brentford. With only 22 points in their bag, Norwich suffered relegation.

Portsmouth – 7 (2009-10)

Portsmouth - 7 (2009-10)
Pompey lost their first seven games during the 2009-10 season (Courtesy: Eurosport)

Portsmouth lost their first seven games during the 2009-10 season. This number remains the highest when it comes to consecutive defeats at the start of the Premier League term. The outfit lost to Fulham (0-1), Birmingham (1-0), Arsenal (4-1), Manchester City (0-1), Bolton (2-3), Aston Villa (2-0) and Everton (0-1).

Due to their terrible start to the Premier League season, Portsmouth finished bottom and got relegated to the second division after collecting a meagre 19 points. Avram Grant was unable to sheer the team out of the relegation zone.

Crystal Palace – 7 (2017-18)

Crystal Palace had an unthinkable start to their 2017-18 season of the Premier League. The side lost their first seven matches on the trot, matching the record for the worst start to a league campaign. Frank de Boer was the manager and lost all of his games before he got the sack. The outfit lost to Huddersfield, Liverpool, Swansea, Burnley, Southampton, Manchester City and Manchester United.

Despite the poor start to their campaign, Crystal Palace somehow survived relegation. In fact, thanks to Roy Hodgson’s heroics, the Eagles finished 11th on the league table, 11 points from safety.  

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