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Premier League Records: Longest unbeaten runs

In 2003/04, Arsenal became the first team to complete a Premier League season unbeaten, but how long was their unbeaten run in the end? And who else has put together the longest unbeaten runs? Read on to find out...

Football

Longest unbeaten runs in the Premier League

Team (date)Unbeaten run
Arsenal (May ’03—Oct ’04)49 games
Liverpool (Jan ‘19—Feb ‘20)44 games
Chelsea (Oct ’04 —Oct ‘05)40 games
Arsenal (Dec ’01—Oct ’02)30 games
Manchester City (Apr ’17—Jan ’18)30 games

Arsenal’s unbeaten run actually spanned three seasons, from the end of the 2002/03 campaign through to the early stages of the 2004/05 term.

The Gunners’ legendary run however very nearly ended before it had begun, when Manchester United were given a stoppage-time penalty at Old Trafford with the score 0-0, only for the ultra-reliable Ruud van Nistelrooy to see his effort smash off the crossbar.

It was as close as Arsenal would come to losing that season, and they took 25 points from a possible 27 to start the following campaign before returning to Old Trafford. 

If they had a slice of luck in the previous year’s clash, they had none in 2005. On the wrong end of a number of contentious refereeing decisions, a harshly awarded penalty – this time converted by Van Nistelrooy – and a late Wayne Rooney goal was enough to bring the run to a halt.

Prior to Arsenal’s 49-game run, it was actually the Gunners who held the previous record with 30. A resurgent Arsenal were unbeaten for the whole second half of the 2001/02 campaign, winning the final 13 games to overhaul Manchester United, winning the title at Old Trafford no less.

The Gunners were unbeaten in their first nine games of the 2002/03 season, becoming the first side to go unbeaten for 30 games (eclipsing Manchester United’s record of 29), when a 16-year-old Rooney came off the bench to end the Gunners’ streak.

The arrival of Jose Mourinho at Stamford Bridge signalled a new era in West London, with the Blues almost impossible to beat under the Portuguese. Chelsea would lose their ninth game of the season to Manchester City, but wouldn’t lose again, going a full 12 months unbeaten – a run that eventually stretched to 40 games.

In 2018, Manchester City’s Centurions became the fourth side to reach 30 games unbeaten, and having taken 62 points from a possible 66, the question was whether they could go the whole season unbeaten. Liverpool, however, dashed City’s dreams when a 10-minute spell saw Liverpool score three goals and end the would-be-champions’ run.

Liverpool themselves looked set for an unbeaten season in 2020. Having pushed Manchester City all the way the previous term, amassing 97 points, the Reds won 26 of their first 27 games, drawing to Manchester United. But an inspired performance from Watford saw the Hornets score three times in a little over 15 minutes to end their run five short of Arsenal’s record.

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