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Sport and Fitness

7 best Premier League title races to date

Words by Nathan Irvine

As Manchester City and Liverpool take the 2018/19 EPL down to the wire, we look back on the greatest title races ever.

Manchester City or Liverpool – who are you backing for the EPL 2018/19 title? It’s easily one of the closest battles in years. Each match brings us closer to the answer and the football world is tuning in as though it’s the final season of Game of Thrones. But with slightly less violence.

As we wait for the May 12 finale with bated breath, our minds wander back to other great Premier League seasons.

Here, in no particular order, are our favourite EPL title races.

 

7

7

Arsenal vs. Manchester United | 1997-98

7 best Premier League title races to date

After a run of three defeats at the tail end of 1998, it seemed as though Arsenal’s title push was over before the Christmas cards arrived.

 

Manchester United were sitting pretty at the top of the pile, and the Gunners were in sixth and out of contention. But Dennis Bergkamp, Patrick Vieira and co. dragged the London club to the top of the table and even beat the Red Devils away at Old Trafford.

 

Arsenal eventually bagged the title by a paltry one point.

6

Blackburn Rovers vs. Manchester United | 1994-95

7 best Premier League title races to date

Again, Manchester United were pipped at the post by a solitary point. This time, it was Lancashire neighbours, Blackburn Rovers that caused the damage.

 

Led by a mind-boggling 34 league goals from Alan Shearer, the unfancied Rovers secured the title in dramatic fashion.

 

On the final day, Kenny Dalglish’s charges lost 2-1 to Liverpool meaning United needed to get a win at home to West Ham. However, luck was on Rovers’ side as Mancunian side could only muster a 1-1 draw. The rest is history.

5

Leicester City vs. logic | 2016-17

7 best Premier League title races to date

Easily one of the best Premier League title races in years. And an absolute fairytale for Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester City.

 

The Foxes didn’t just win the league, they trounced the competition so comprehensively it was borderline unbelievable. They finished the season a whopping ten points ahead of second place Arsenal.

 

What will live long in the memory is how everyone thought Leicester’s luck would run out eventually, but it never happened. Vardy and Mahrez just kept on scoring, much to everyone’s surprise.

4

Manchester United vs. Arsenal | 1998-99

7 best Premier League title races to date

Having suffered a one-point league title loss in the previous season to Arsenal, Manchester United returned the favour in the following one.

 

It was another case of final day drama. But this time Ferguson’s men were on the right side of the results, in what would prove to be his most successful season in charge.

 

You see, the league title win was part of the treble as United won the FA Cup and Champions League, too. A feat that is yet to be replicated in English football.

3

Chelsea vs. Arsenal | 2004-05

7 best Premier League title races to date

It wasn’t even close. Some cheeky chap called José Mourinho rolled into town and showed the rest of the league how to blow away the competition.

 

The significance of this win, the first in Chelsea’s EPL history and one achieved with vault tight defence that grabbed 25 clean sheets, was huge for a reason. Arsenal had just completed the “Invincible” season on the way to the title, and didn’t lose a game.

 

Mourinho’s well-oiled machine smashed their way to 95 points, while Arsenal languished way behind with 83. José had arrived.

2

Manchester City vs. Manchester United | 2011-12

7 best Premier League title races to date

Have you noticed just how many time Manchester United have been on the receiving end of tight title races? This time it was the blue half of Manchester that served up the heartache.

 

Again, it was on the season finale. Again it looked as though United might snatch it. Two stoppage time goals against QPR turned around the fixture for City as they came from behind to win 3-2.

 

It’s easily the most dramatic title Premier League title win to date.

1

Manchester United vs. Newcastle United | 1995-96

7 best Premier League title races to date

The season that some football historians have labelled the dawn of mind games in the sport.

 

Behind Newcastle United by ten points going into the second half of the season, Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson suggested smaller teams might try as hard against the Geordies as they did his men.

 

Newcastle coach Kevin Keegan could, and probably should have let the remark die. But he didn’t. In fact, he had a post-match meltdown, which many believe contributed to the Red Devils reeling his team back in and snatching the title.

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