Some of the teams mentioned just could not hold onto their standards in the following season.
Over the years, Premier League has produced some nail biting title races. From the 2011-12 season where Sergio Aguero led Manchester City to their first ever title through an injury time goal in the last match of the season to Blackburn Rovers making it difficult for Manchester United in the 1994-95 season, it’s safe to say that the English top flight has rarely disappointed. However, the Premier League has also experienced several weak title defence by clubs, which has been infamous to say the least.
The unpredictability and the quality of the league is such that only Manchester United have won it three times in a row and apart from them, only Chelsea and Manchester City have been able to successfully defend their title. On that note, let’s take a look at the times where the reigning Premier League champions disappointed everybody with their title defense.
5. Blackburn Rovers (1995-96)
It’s hard to believe that the current Championship club were Premier League title holders once and they remain the only one in history to be relegated after lifting the trophy. Blackburn Rovers beat Manchester United in the 1994-95 season to the Premier League title in the last matchday of the season. However, the Red Devils weren’t the ones to let go of the defeat.
The very next season, Manchester United lifted the club’s 10th league trophy with 82 points. The major story was their point difference from the defending champions. The Blue and Whites finished the season at the 7th position with just 61 points. This remained the worst ever title defense in the Premier League for nearly two decades!
4. Manchester United (2013-14)
Sir Alex Ferguson retired after winning his 13th Premier League title in 2013. What followed was a crisis for the club. The tactician went away and referred David Moyes to take over from him and the club signed him on a six-year deal. Under David, Manchester United signed a couple of players with inflated prices in Marouane Fellaini and Juan Mata, were knocked out of the UCL quarterfinals and finished seventh.
While the Red part of Manchester was burning, Manchester City were enjoying their second title in three years. They amassed 86 points – 22 points more than the Red Devils. Karma for the 1995-96 victory?
3. Chelsea (2017-18)
Antonio Conte was the new man at the helm in 2016. A rocky start with a few losses made the Italian bring back his iconic defensive and counter-attacking football to England. Fast forward a few months and Chelsea lifted the trophy with a seven-point margin.
On an interesting note, Antonio Conte did a double over Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola, the first ever manager to do that and the Spaniard did give a befitting reply. In the 2017-18 season, City spent a large chunk of their transfer sum on defenders and they just took away the league.
Manchester City registered 100 points and won the league with a 19 point margin. They did a double over Chelsea and were 30 points ahead of them. The season resulted in the departure of Antonio Conte.
2. Chelsea (2015-16)
Jose Mourinho’s third Premier League title in the 2014-15 season came on the back of excellent team performances and the duo of Diego Costa and Eden Hazard. They only lost three games and won 15 home games. Jose’s men were fearless and a lot was expected of them.
However, 2015-16 season was the start of the end of Jose. Yet another rocky third year at Chelsea saw him being sacked even before the midpoint of the season and Chealse stumbled to their own wounds.
The Premier League winners during that season were a surprise package! The year of the underdogs as it is commonly known, Leicester City rose amidst the struggling Big Six and went off with the title. They registered 81 points, 31 away from the defending champions.
1. Leicester City (2016-17)
If you look through a broader perspective, the Premier League produced some exciting seasons following the Foxes’ triumph in 2015-16. Teams rose to the occasion, defeated many teams and went back to mediocrity in the very next attempt. In Leicester’s case, it was down upon their transfer policy.
Following the success, they sold their most crucial player N’Golo Kante to Chelsea and everything fell apart for the champions. Although they did make a few notable signings, nothing worked out well. Chelsea, on the other hand, utilized Kante to the fullest and won the trophy. Conte used a double shifting pivot of Nemanja Matic and N’Golo Kante and stunned managers like Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho and Jurgen Klopp.
Chelsea amassed 93 points and Leicester City? They finished 12th with 44 points. A 49 point difference, one of the biggest in the history of football.