The Closest Title Races In Premier League History

The Closest Title Races In Premier League History
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Since the 1992 inception of the Premier League, the title race has gone down to the final day of the season nine times.

  • 1994/95: Blackburn won the title by 1 point over Manchester United
  • 1995/96: Manchester United won the title by 4 points over Newcastle
  • 1998/99: Manchester United won the title by 1 point over Arsenal
  • 2007/08: Manchester United won the title by 2 points over Chelsea
  • 2009/10: Chelsea won the title by 1 point over Manchester United
  • 2011/12: Manchester City won the title on goal difference over Manchester United
  • 2013/14: Manchester City won the title by 2 points over Liverpool
  • 2018/19: Manchester City won the title by 1 point over Liverpool
  • 2021/22: Manchester City won the title by 1 point over Liverpool

The first final day decider was at the end of the 1994/95 season when Blackburn went into their final day fixture at Liverpool, two points clear of Manchester United who needed to beat West Ham at Upton Park to win their third successive title.

But Hammers goalkeeper Ludek Miklosko continually frustrated United with a string of vital saves in a game that finished goalless. Blackburn lost 2-1 at Anfield, but they still managed to get their hands on the trophy for the first and only time.

The following season saw United and Newcastle go head-to-head on the final day of the season.

Newcastle's 12-point advantage earlier in the campaign was wiped out by United who held a two-point lead over Kevin Keegan's side at the start of the final day.

The Red Devils took care of business with a comfortable 3-0 win at Middlesbrough while the Magpies were held to a 1-1 draw at St James' Park by Tottenham to hand United their third title in four seasons.

The last dramatic climax of the 20th century came in May 1999 when the Premier League trophy was headed to either Old Trafford or Arsenal's Highbury.

Manchester United were playing with the burden of trying to become the first English team to win the treble – the league, FA Cup and European Cup.

The first leg of that historic achievement came at home to Tottenham while the Gunners hosted Aston Villa. Arsenal were given a helping hand by their arch rivals Spurs who took the lead before United levelled through David Beckham just before half-time.

Andy Cole's goal early in the second half gave United the advantage they needed and held on to win the title by a point as Arsenal ended their campaign with a 1-0 win.

Nine Year Wait For Another

The league had to wait until 2008 for the first dramatic finish of the 21st century. For the third successive season, United and Chelsea were battling it out for the title.

It was also the first time in the history of the Premier League in which two sides went into their final game level on points with goal difference giving United an advantage.

United knew victory at Wigan would likely secure their 10th Premier League title while Chelsea needed to beat Bolton and hope their rivals dropped points at the JJB Stadium.

A Cristiano Ronaldo penalty just after the half hour mark set United on their way with Ryan Giggs adding a second 10 minutes from time to end Chelsea's championship challenge. Chelsea, for their part, could only draw 1-1, meaning United won the title by two points.

Two seasons later, the same two teams contested the title. But this time, it was the Blues who held the upper hand with a one-point cushion over the Red Devils.

ancelotti chelsea

Wigan again played a role on the final day providing the opposition for Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

A sixth minute goal from Nicolas Anelka eased any worries Chelsea may have had and Gary Caldwell's dismissal made life a lot easier for Carlo Ancelotti's side who went on to wrap up the title with an 8-0 win.

United's 4-0 win over Stoke at Old Trafford was in vain as the Blues celebrated their third Premier League title on home soil.

Aguero The City Saviour

The most storied Premier League title race was decided on May 13, 2012 when the two Manchester clubs fought for the right to be called champions.

Both clubs were tied on 86 points after 37 rounds of fixtures, but what happened in the final 90 minutes will live long in the memory of City supporters.

Wayne Rooney gave the Red Devils a 20th minute lead at Sunderland which swung the title United's way.

Pablo Zabaleta's goal put City in control against Queens Park Rangers and the Citizens were within touching distance of their first domestic title since 1968.

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But City fans were put through the wringer as QPR, battling to stay in the league, stunned the hosts by scoring twice to lead 2-1.

It was a lead they held on to until injury time. United's game at Sunderland ended in a 1-0 win and as they acknowledged their fans afterwards, the most dramatic end to a season unfolded.

Edin Dzeko's equaliser sent the Etihad crazy and there was plenty of time for the most famous commentary since Kenneth Wolstenhome uttered the words 'They think it's all over, it is now' in July 1966 as England won the World Cup on home soil.

Martin Tyler, the voice of the Premier League, described the denouement with one word, or rather, one name 'A-G-U-E-R-O-O-O-O-O!'

It was the first time since Arsenal's last-gasp glory 23 years earlier, that the title had been decided by goal difference.

Once City had secured their first Premier League title, five more followed in the next decade.

Aguero At It Again

Two years after writing his name in City's folklore, Sergio Aguero and his City team-mates were popping bottles of Champagne on the final day of the season to mark their second Premier League title, but only after another nerve-wrecking afternoon.

Liverpool were their nearest rivals this time and Manuel Pellegrini's side led the league by two points ahead of Judgement Day.

Liverpool came from a goal down to beat Newcastle 2-1 but it didn't matter as City held their nerve to beat West Ham 2-0 at the Etihad.

Then in 2018/19, City - now with Pep Guardiola in charge - were leading the race after 37 matches by a point from Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool.

All City had to do was win their final game at Brighton and the glory was theirs once again. However, after 27 minutes, the title looked to be heading to Anfield with Liverpool a goal up against Wolves at Anfield while City trailed by the same score.

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But things did not stay that way for long. Straight from the kick-off following Glenn Murray's goal, City equalised through Aguero who proved once again he was the man for the big occasion.

Three more goals followed as City finished the cream of the crop to deny Liverpool the title despite the Reds losing just one league game all season.

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City In Liverpool’s Way Again

Man City and Liverpool have battled it out on the final day on three occasions, more times than any other Premier League rivals. On all three occasions, City have held the upper hand heading into the last round and on each occasion they have held their nerve – just about, in the case of the 2021-22 campaign.

Although Liverpool were never top of the table at any point during the final day in 2021-22, for long stretches City were only top on goal difference, making it one of the closest Premier League title races there has ever been.

All City needed to do on the final day was beat Aston Villa at home to be assured of the title. Simple, right? Except when they found themselves 2-0 down with 20 minutes remaining it really felt as though it would be third time lucky for Liverpool.

The Reds weren’t having everything their own way at Anfield though – they also had to win and hope for Villa to hold firm – but were being held by a stubborn Wolves side in front of an anxious home support, who had word of Villa’s exploits at the Etihad.

That anxiousness spread to the field of play, with a below-par Liverpool finally netting two late goals to seal a 3-1 win, but by the time they had taken control of their own game, City had already completed a remarkable comeback with three goals in five second-half minutes.

They saw out a narrow win to retain their title – a fourth in five years. For Liverpool, it put an end to their hopes of a quadruple.