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Who has managed the fewest defeats in a Premier League season

Which sides have dominated the division in recent years?

The Premier League is the most competitive league in the world, where anyone can beat anyone from top to bottom. Most of the time, anyway.

Sometimes, there are sides that defy this pattern, and put together unbeaten runs that make the division look easy, and leave other very good sides in their wake.

Unsurprisingly, they tend to win the competition (but not always!), but which sides have managed it in the most impressive fashion. We took a look at the sides with the fewest losses in a single season.

6. Leicester City (2015-16)

Played 38. Won 23. Drawn 12. Lost 3.

The fairytale of the Premier League era, Leicester City lost just three times on their way to Premier League glory in 2016, though they only managed to win just over half of their games.

Spearheaded by Jamie Vardy smashing the record for goals in consecutive league games (12) and with N’Golo Kante demonstrating just why he was one of the world’s best, Leicester’s season began with Pizzas for a win and ended in Premier League glory.

5. Manchester United (1998-1999 AND 1999-2000)

The only side on the list twice, Manchester United managed the same record of losing just three times (then a record) in back to back seasons of domination.

The Red Devils were run close in their first effort, winning by just a single point ahead of Arsenal (who lost four times), but their second attempt was a landslide, with Sir Alex Ferguson’s side winning the Premier League by a handsome 18 points ahead of their nearest rivals.

98-99 was a memorable season for other reasons too, with United becoming the first side to win the ‘treble’ after beating Bayern Munich in the Champions League final, as Sir Alex Ferguson cemented his legacy as one of the all time great managers.

4. Manchester City (2017-18)

Played 38. Won 32. Drawn 4. Lost 2.

Another record-breaking season for so many reasons, Manchester City became the first side to hit 100 points when they swept all before them in 2018, a final-day goal from Gabriel Jesus ensuring that they managed triple figures.

They also scored over 100 goals, with their 106 strikes another Premier League record, conceding just 27 times.

19 points clear of second-placed Manchester United, they only tasted defeat against the Red Devils and at Anfield against Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool.

3. Liverpool (2018-19)

Played 38. Won 30. Drawn 7. Lost 1.

Losing just once all season and racking up 97 points, Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side may have been the unluckiest in Premier League history, coming second to Manchester City by just a single point.

The Reds swept all before them, only falling to eventual Champions City, but draws ultimately cost them. Seven stalemates compared with City’s two meant that, even though they lost four times, Guardiola’s side walked away with the Premier League trophy.

It was still an excellent season for Klopp’s side, who lifted the Champions League trophy and saw the likes of Alisson, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane all reach world-class status in the eyes of billions, with Mane and Salah sharing the golden boot in a three-way tie with Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

2. Chelsea (2004-2005)

Played 38. Won 29. Drawn 8. Lost 1.

Jose Mourinho’s first season in charge saw records tumble left right and centre. Only a single defeat, 1-0 against Manchester City, stopped them from going through the entire season unbeaten, but they still came out well on top in the final standings.

12 points clear of Arsenal come the end of the campaign, they conceded just 15 times, a Premier League record that still stands today, while Petr Cech managed an astonishing 24 clean sheets.

Marshalled by John Terry and Frank Lampard, the core of the side went on to become Stamford Bridge legends, and though the club have tasted success since, no Premier League title has quite beaten that of 05.

1. Arsenal (2003-2004)

Played 38. Won 26. Drawn 12. Lost 0.

One of the greatest Premier League sides of all time, Arsene Wenger’s crowning moment in charge of Arsenal was lifting the Premier League trophy having gone unbeaten through an entire 38 game season, the only time that it has happened in the league’s history.

Even more impressively, the Gunners boss had called it.

“It’s not impossible to go through the season unbeaten and I can’t see why it’s shocking to say that,” Wenger said, technically on 20 September 2002 “Every manager thinks that but they don’t say it because they’re scared it would be ridiculous.”

Led by midfield general Patrick Vieira and spearheaded by Thierry Henry, they achieved a feat that has not been managed since, and may never be again.


Picture of Ben Browning

Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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