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Has a team ever come from second to win Premier League title on final day?

Published at :May 18, 2024 at 7:34 PM
Modified at :May 18, 2024 at 7:34 PM
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(Courtesy : Premier League)

Govind


Arsenal are gunning to overtake the leaders on the final day of the 2023-24 season

The 2023-24 Premier League season is coming close to the end. Only the final gameweek remains where every match will be played out simultaneously. Now will it have any effect on the bottom of the league table? Most likely no. Sheffield United and Burnley are officially relegated while the third side on the way to the EFL Championship is Luton Town. Until and unless, Nottingham Forest ruins their 12-point advantage based on goal difference, the Hatters will be axed on the final day.

If we have a look at the UEFA Champions League group stage spots for next season, a surprise entrant has made its way. Aston Villa managed to secure a top-four spot ahead of Tottenham Hotspurs, Chelsea, Newcastle United and Manchester United. The Villans under Unai Emery made a blockbuster comeback to the grandest of European competition after last participating in the 1982-83 season.

Spurs, Chelsea and Newcastle are still chasing the fifth and sixth spot confirmations to secure a place in the UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League respectively for next season. United can’t do much with points alone as their goal difference can’t battle the others in the race.

Now, the most important of all – the title race. Yes, it is not over yet. The thrills of the 2023-24 season of the PL are on the next level. We now have Arsenal and Manchester City still quite open in the title race. A win for City against West Ham United will clearly mean handing the trophy to Pep Guardiola and Co.

But what if they are hit with a draw or even a defeat? Matters can change by the final whistle. If Arsenal manages to secure a likely win against Everton, in those circumstances, Mikel Arteta’s men will end a 20-year wait to lift the title. The last time the Gunners lifted the PL title was back in the 2003-04 season.

No team in the Premier League history has come from behind to win the title on the final day

Has a team ever come from second to win a Premier League title on the final day? Technically the answer is a big ‘NO’. The Premier League first kicked off in the year 1992 and since then no team have won the title from the second place on the final day of the competition.

Excluding the upcoming final-day title battle, the PL has witnessed a similar fate previously for exactly nine times.

Talking about the title race of 2023-24, something similar happened in the earlier years

Just in the third season of the league’s existence, the league title was still up for grabs on the final day. The 1994-95 season saw Blackburn Rovers deny Man United a third successive triumph. Just like the ongoing season, Blackburn Rovers and Man United were separated by just two points on the final day.

Despite losing 2-1 to Liverpool, the Blue & Whites ended up celebrating the title win with a point in hand. This happened because United ended up drawing their particular fixture against West Ham United with a 1-1 scoreline.

But the following season, 1995-96, was a brighter one for the Red Devils. This time United were heading into the final game with a two-point advantage over Newcastle United. Newcastle couldn’t do much with a 1-1 draw against Tottenham as United won their tie 3-0 against Middlesbrough.

Manchester United then started to end up in such situations four more times. The 1998-99 and 2007-08 season’s final day saw them win the title over second places Arsenal and Chelsea respectively. But in the 2009-10 and 2011-12 seasons, they were running for the title from second place. Guess what? They failed to capitalise on both occasions as Chelsea and Man City won those seasons’ titles respectively.

Further, the 2013-14, 2018-19 and 2021-22 seasons also saw no euphoric moment for the second-placed sides, even though they had chances to claim the title on the final day.

Arsenal can find optimism from before the Premier League era

Before the Premier League even existed, back in the 1988-89 season, it was Arsenal who claimed the English top-flight title by coming from behind. Yes, it did happen. It was Liverpool who were ahead of the Gunners on the final day. The fantastic part was that both the first and second-placed teams battling for the title were the opponents in the final week.

The Reds needed just a draw to conquer the title at home. But they failed to do so. The Gunners did their bit perfectly, they needed a win with a two-goal lead to get level on the goal difference. And by the final whistle, Arsenal won the game 2-0. The league title was however then decided on goals scored which Arsenal had plenty.

That title win for Arsenal ended their 18-year wait. Now the question is – can they win the title in the PL era once again from behind on the final day?

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