Has The Premier League Top Four Only Included Teams from London and Manchester?

At the time of writing, the top four in the Premier League table is made up of two teams from London (Arsenal and Tottenham) and two from Manchester (United and City).

Premier League Top Four Feb 2023

This raises the question, have there been any Premier League seasons when only teams from London and Manchester have filled the top four spots? Well, let’s take a look.

Towns in the Premier League Top Four By Season

Season London Clubs Manchester Clubs Others
2021/22 2 1 Liverpool
2020/21 1 2 Liverpool
2019/20 1 2 Liverpool
2018/19 2 1 Liverpool
2017/18 1 2 Liverpool
2016/17 2 1 Liverpool
2015/16 2 1 Leicester City
2014/15 2 2
2013/14 2 1 Liverpool
2012/13 2 2
2011/12 2 2
2010/11 2 2
2009/10 3 1
2008/09 2 1 Liverpool
2007/08 2 1 Liverpool
2006/07 2 1 Liverpool
2005/06 2 1 Liverpool
2004/05 2 1 Everton
2003/04 2 1 Liverpool
2002/03 2 1 Newcastle United
2001/02 1 1 Newcastle United, Liverpool
2000/01 1 1 Liverpool, Leeds United
1999/2000 1 1 Leeds United, Liverpool
1998/99 2 1 Leeds United
1997/98 2 1 Liverpool
1996/97 1 1 Newcastle United, Liverpool
1995/96 0 1 Newcastle United, Liverpool, Aston Villa
1994/95 0 1 Blackburn Rovers, Nottingham Forest, Liverpool
1993/94 1 1 Blackburn Rovers, Newcastle United
1992/93 0 1 Aston Villa, Norwich City, Blackburn Rovers

So there we have it, perhaps surprisingly, the top four has been made up of teams solely from London and Manchester on five occasions. Interestingly, despite there being only two Manchester clubs (in the top flight at least), one of them has finished in the top four in every season since the Premier League began; the same cannot be said for London clubs, who missed out on top-four finishes in three of the early Premier League campaigns (though there has been at least one present in the top four from 1996/97 onwards.

Perhaps unsurprisingly given they have more clubs to pick from, London clubs have finished in the top four in the Premier League more times than Manchester clubs: 47 to 37. So let’s take a closer look at the seasons in which Manchester and London occupied the top four spots in the table.


  • Champions – Chelsea
  • Second – Manchester City
  • Third – Arsenal
  • Fourth – Manchester United

The most recent Premier League season in which the top four featured only teams from London and Manchester was 2014/15, when Chelsea were crowned champions. Jose Mourinho was Chelsea manager in his second stint at the club and he led his side to the title to add to the two Premier League triumphs he had masterminded in his first spell at the club.


  • Champions – Manchester United
  • Second – Manchester City
  • Third – Chelsea
  • Fourth – Arsenal

The 2012/13 season was the last time Manchester United won the Premier League title… and it’s no coincidence that it was Sir Alex Ferguson’s last season in charge of the Red Devils. Since then, city rivals Man City have been crowned champions five times, twice with United finishing as the runners-up.


  • Champions – Manchester City
  • Second – Manchester United
  • Third – Arsenal
  • Fourth – Tottenham

It was another one-two finish for the Manchester clubs in 2011/12, with the north London duo of Arsenal and Tottenham trailing in their wake. It marked Manchester City’s first top-flight title since the 1960s and proved to be the first of many. Since this season, the Citizens haven’t finished lower than fourth place in the Premier League.


  • Champions – Manchester United
  • Second – Chelsea
  • Third – Manchester City
  • Fourth – Arsenal

Another season that ended with champions hailing from Manchester, with United taking the spoils this time around. Chelsea were nine points adrift in second, ahead of Man City on goal difference, with Arsenal completing the top four three points further back.


  • Champions – Chelsea
  • Second – Manchester United
  • Third – Arsenal
  • Fourth – Tottenham

The 2009/10 season was unique as – at the time of writing – it was the only Premier League campaign that ended with three London teams in the top four. Since City’s emergence as a major force they, along with United and Liverpool, have generally prevented another London treble. It was this year that Chelsea won their first post-Mourinho top-flight title (under Carlo Ancelotti), edging it by a point ahead of Man United.

This was also the first time the top four had included only sides from Manchester and London, something that – as we have seen – became rather more common in the following years. That this did not happen sooner was partly due to Man City having been out of the Premier League. However, it was also arguably because in its early days, the Premier League was just more competitive (as shown by some of the teams mentioned in the table above, namely Aston Villa, Leeds United and even Norwich).

Top Four Conclusions

Since the Premier League began in 1992/93, the title has been won by teams from either London or Manchester on 27 occasions (the other three having been won by Liverpool, Leicester and Blackburn Rovers). It is therefore not a massive surprise that the top four has been made up of teams from London and Manchester on several occasions. This has been especially the case since the resurgence of Manchester City, who spent five seasons out of the top flight in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Although, at the time of writing, the last time London and Manchester shared the top four spots was a while ago. The recent improvement of Manchester United and indeed Arsenal, and the drop in form of Liverpool, who were the side to so often break the London-Manchester duopoly, means that we could see London and Manchester dominating the Champions League positions regularly in the coming years. We shall see …

Most Successful Teams In The Champions League

Champions League Flag

Ahead of its post-winter return, we thought we’d take a look at the most successful teams in the history of the UEFA Champions League. The UCL was introduced in the 1992/93 season when the European Cup was revamped and rebranded. Although many articles and lists relating to teams that have been crowned European champions combine the stats from the Champions League and its predecessor (which began in 1955), here we are examining only the data in the Champions League era, i.e. from the 1992/93 season to the present day.

First we’ll give a quick rundown of all the winners of the competition, then we’ll take a closer look at the most successful teams in the Champions League.

Which Teams Have Won the Champions League: 1992/93 to 2021/22

Season Winners Runners-up
1992/93 Marseille Milan
1993/94 Milan Barcelona
1994/95 Ajax Milan
1995/96 Juventus Ajax
1996/97 Borussia Dortmund Juventus
1997/98 Real Madrid Juventus
1998/99 Manchester United Bayern Munich
1999/2000 Real Madrid Valencia
2000/01 Bayern Munich Valencia
2001/02 Real Madrid Bayer Leverkusen
2002/03 Milan Juventus
2003/04 Porto Monaco
2004/05 Liverpool Milan
2005/06 Barcelona Arsenal
2006/07 Milan Liverpool
2007/08 Manchester United Chelsea
2008/09 Barcelona Manchester United
2009/10 Inter Milan Bayern Munich
2010/11 Barcelona Manchester United
2011/12 Chelsea Bayern Munich
2012/13 Bayern Munich Borussia Dortmund
2013/14 Real Madrid Atletico Madrid
2014/15 Barcelona Juventus
2015/16 Real Madrid Atletico Madrid
2016/17 Real Madrid Juventus
2017/18 Real Madrid Liverpool
2018/19 Liverpool Tottenham Hotspur
2019/20 Bayern Munich Paris Saint-Germain
2020/21 Chelsea Manchester City
2021/22 Real Madrid Liverpool

Real Madrid

  • Champions League Titles – 8 (1998, 2000, 2002, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2022)
  • Runners-up – 0

There really is no disputing Real Madrid’s position as the kings of European football. Okay, they may have got a head start on their rivals by bagging the first five European Cups. But they have shown that they are almost as dominant in the Champions League era. The fact they have never lost a CL final certainly speaks volumes, as do their eight victories in the competition, double that of their nearest challenger.


  • Champions League Titles – 4 (2006, 2009, 2011, 2015)
  • Runners-up – 1 (1994)

Although Barcelona have only won the fifth-highest number of European titles when you include European Cups, they are in second place when we look at just Champions League titles. In fact, they only ever won one European Cup, and that was in the final year the tournament took place in that format and under that name. It’s therefore fair to suggest that Barca have long lived in the gigantic shadow cast by rival Real Madrid when it comes to European titles. But at least they’ve got a few of their own in the Champions League era.


  • Champions League Titles – 3 (1994, 2003, 2007)
  • Runners-up – 3 (1993, 1995, 2005)

Although Milan are second behind Real when it comes to European titles overall (i.e. including European Cups), they have to settle for joint-third place in the Champions League era (alongside Bayern Munich). Milan played two finals against Liverpool, including the so-called Miracle of Istanbul that Liverpool won on penalties after being 3-0 down at half time and battling back to 3-3 by the final whistle. Milan got their revenge in Athens in 2007, however, when they beat Liverpool 2-1 to win the tournament. Indeed, that was the last time Milan went all the way in the Champions League.

Bayern Munich

  • Champions League Titles – 3 (2001, 2013, 2020)
  • Runners-up – 3 (1999, 2010, 2012)

Like Milan, Bayern have won the Champions League three times and lost in the final three times. Unlike Milan, the Bavarians have continued to be successful in recent times. The German side last won the tournament in the 2019/20 season when they beat Paris Saint-German (who have never won either the Champions League or the European Cup). Bayern have lost in the final to English opposition twice: to Chelsea in 2011/12 and to Manchester United in 1998/99, when two late United goals did the business for Alex Ferguson’s men at Camp Nou in Barcelona.


  • Champions League Titles – 2 (2005, 2019)
  • Runners-up – 3 (2007, 2018, 2022)

Liverpool have enjoyed success in this competition in both of its guises but their record was certainly stronger prior to the 1990s rebrand. Even so, their two wins from five CL finals make them the most successful English side in the modern era. Under Jurgen Klopp they have made three out of five finals between 2018 and 2022, a fine achievement. Despite enduring a torrid 2022/23 season domestically, they won five out of six games in Champions League Group A. Might they be set to make it through to yet another big final?

Manchester United

  • Champions League Titles – 2 (1999, 2008)
  • Runners-up – 2 (2009, 2011)

Speaking of the Red Devils, they have won the Champions League twice (to add to their European Cup from 1968). After their heroics against Bayern in 1999, Man United also beat Chelsea in the 2007/08 final in Moscow. After a tight game, it all came down to penalties, and as it turned out, three of the game’s most loveable (!) players – Cristiano Ronaldo, Nicolas Anelka and John Terry – all failed to convert their spot-kicks, much to the amusement of many a neutral, especially when Terry completely fluffed his lines. United won 6-5.

United have also lost twice in Champions League finals, going down on both occasions to the great Barcelona side of the era. In both finals (2008/09 and 2010/11) Barcelona were the better side and the scorelines (2-0 and 3-1) reflected the way the games played out, much to Ferguson’s disappointment.


  • Champions League Titles – 2 (2012, 2021)
  • Runners-up – 1 (2008)

We mentioned Chelsea’s loss to Man United above, but they’ve won the Champions League as many time as the Manchester side: in the 2011/12 season when they beat Bayern Munich on their own patch on penalties, and in the 2020/21 season when they got the better of Manchester City (who, like PSG, have also never won a Champions League or European Cup – for now at least). Chelsea went into the final against City very much the underdogs, but they put in an excellent tactical performance to sneak a 1-0 victory and frustrate City fans.

Best Champions League Sides: Conclusions

Whether you choose to include European Cups or – as we have – exclude them, there’s only one European side at the top of the footballing tree: Real Madrid. Given that some of the biggest-spending clubs of recent years are yet to win even a single European title, we can’t see that changing any time soon. But there’s certainly scope for Barcelona and – perhaps more likely – the ever-consistent Bayern Munich to close the gap on Real in the coming decade or two if they can kick on in the Champions League.

How Has the British Transfer Record Progressed in the Premier League Era?

Over the Premier League era, which began in the 1992/93 season, there have been some monumental transfers to and from the league and these have only gotten bigger over the years. Many of these transfers have been for world-class players who have lived up to the massive expectations put on them.

However, many have not succeeded and have not been the exciting signings they were thought to be. The most recent British transfer record came this season in the 2023 January transfer window with the young Word Cup-winning Argentine making a move from Benfica in Portugal to Chelsea in the Premier League.

Enzo Fernandez made the move from Benfica for a staggering £107 million pounds, making him the most expensive player to ever move to the EPL. Before winning the Qatar World Cup with Argentina, Fernandez was already an exciting young talent, having made a move from River Plate in Argentina to play for Benfica in the summer of 2022.

He impressed with the Portuguese giants and many clubs were monitoring him even before Qatar, and he was likely to be a target signing for many in 2023. When he got the call up to the Argentina squad for the Qatar World Cup his chances of a big move only increased. With Argentina Fernandez won the World Cup and earned himself the Young Player of the Tournament award for his outstanding displays throughout the tournament. This of course further increased his market value and what Benfica were asking for him.

When it came to the transfer window Chelsea came out on top against many top clubs and managed to secure his signature for a record £107 million, the most any player coming into the Premier League has ever cost. A player is worth whatever a club will pay for them but his real market value is undoubtedly far lower. Even so, with the Blues splashing the cash and Portugues clubs adept at extracting maximum value when they sell, the fee is far from a surprise.

Record Fee for Outgoing Player

Although Fernandez is the most expensive player to ever move to the English top flight, he is not the most expensive to ever leave. Brazilian ace Philippe Coutinho made the move from Liverpool to Barcelona in the January of 2018 for the mega sum of £105 million (various figures have been reported but we believe this is the base fee with around £30m of potential add-ons too), the most a player has been sold for in the Premier League. Indeed, at the time of writing this transfer is possibly (this depends on what currency is used as the measure, and the complexities of add-ons) the third-most expensive of all time.

Before his transfer to Barcelona Coutinho was considered one of the best players in the Premier League, if not the world, and consequently attracted the interest Barcelona. Coutinho went to Barca much to Liverpool fans’ frustration as it was a boyhood dream of his to play for the Catalan giants. Since Coutinho went to Spain he has not shown the same great form as he did for Liverpool and since has been on loan to Bayern Munich before being transferred back to the EPL for a fraction of what he left for. This shows that just because a player is a record transfer, it doesn’t always work out.

“Best” of British

Another noteworthy transfer is that of Jack Grealish, who is the most expensive British player ever with a transfer cost of £100 million. Grealish, at the time, broke the record for a fee paid by a Premier League side, with a move from Aston Villa to Manchester City in the summer transfer window of 2021.

This move sparked a lot of controversy as the club he left was one that he had played for and supported since he was a young boy. Not only this but Grealish was the captain of the club and leaving for another Premier League team upset many fans. However, on the flip side many other supporters felt Jack Grealish was far too expensive at the price of £100 million. So far at least, he has not lived up to the expectations with just eight goals and eight assists in 64 games for Manchester City.

Before Grealish, the last British player to be the most expensive transfer to or from the English top flight was Gareth Bale, who transferred from Tottenham to Real Madrid in 2013. Bale went for a fee of £85.3 million. At the time not only was Bale the most expensive player to leave the Premier League, he was actually the most expensive player in the world as well.

Unlike Coutinho who never lived up to expectations when leaving England for Spain, Bale was a huge success at Real Madrid. It might have ended acrimoniously but he scored 106 goals and registered 67 assists during his 258 appearances for the club. The Bale transfer is an interesting one to look back on. Although 10 years ago he was the most expensive player in the world, compared to 2023, his price is some distance off the most expensive transfer in the Premier League.

This just shows how much player prices have increased due to inflation and the growing money within the game, especially in England. Higher fees are not just because players are getting better – as can be seen in the Grealish and Coutinho cases!

Overall it is clear that players have been getting more expensive since the start of the Premier League era and that the prices will continue to increase. With the current British transfer record sitting at £107 million for Enzo Fernandez’s transfer to Chelsea the question is how long till it is broken? And who will be the next player to break it?

Premier League Fee Progression: Notable Transfers

The table below shows some notable transfers in the progression of the British transfer fee record during the PL era. This covers fees either paid or received by Premier League sides.

Fee Player Date New Club Old Club Notes
£107m Enzo Fernandez Jan 23 Chelsea Benfica Current record
£80m Cristiano Ronaldo Jul 09 Real Madrid Man Utd Previous record more than doubles
£30m Rio Ferdinand Jul 02 Leeds Man Utd World record fee for defender
£15m Alan Shearer Jul 96 Blackburn Newcastle World record fee
£5.5m Paul Gascoigne Jun 92 Spurs Lazio First record set in PL era

Best Premier League Performances by a Newly Promoted Side

The English Premier League is one of the most fiercely contested leagues in world football. For newly promoted teams to make a mark in this highly competitive arena is a testament to their skill, spirit, and determination. This season, we have seen two newly promoted sides – Fulham and Brentford – rise to the occasion and surpass all expectations with their impressive performances in the league (they are seventh and eighth respectively at the time of writing). Their performance has been attributed to the quality of their forwards – Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham) and Ivan Toney (Brentford) – and quick playing style.

Over the years, several newly promoted sides have left a lasting impression in the league with their scintillating displays. In this article, we will look back at some of the best Premier League performances by newly promoted teams and relive some of the most memorable moments in recent history.

Newcastle United – 3rd in 1993/94

Premier League Table 93-94Newcastle United made a dream start to life in the Premier League after winning promotion from the old Division One. The Magpies took the league by storm, finishing third in the table and qualifying for the UEFA Cup. Their high-scoring attacking style of play, led by the dynamic duo of Andy Cole and Peter Beardsley, was a joy to watch and earned them many admirers. Newcastle’s impressive performances that season also saw several players, including Cole and Beardsley, earn international recognition.

Blackburn Rovers – 4th in 1992/93

Premier League Table 92-93Blackburn Rovers were another newly promoted side that greatly impacted the Premier League in their inaugural season. Under the management of Kenny Dalglish, Blackburn finished fourth in the league and secured a place in the UEFA Cup. They were led by the legendary Alan Shearer, who scored a decent 16 league goals in his first season in the top flight for Rovers and followed up with stunning hauls of 30+ league goals in each of the next three seasons for the club. Blackburn’s impressive performances that season set the tone for their future success, including winning the league title two years later.

Ipswich Town – 5th in 2000/01

Premier League Table 00-01Ipswich Town’s promotion to the Premier League was met with scepticism by many, but the Tractor Boys proved their doubters wrong with a sensational performance in the 2000/01 season. Ipswich finished fifth in the league, securing a place in the UEFA Cup, and their attractive, attacking style of play won them many admirers. The standout performer for Ipswich that season was Marcus Stewart, who scored an impressive 19 league goals, earning him the Premier League’s Golden Boot award.

Wolverhampton Wanderers – 7th in 2018/19

Premier League Table 18-19Wolves return to the Premier League after six years in the wilderness was triumphant. Under the management of Nuno Espirito Santo, Wanderers finished seventh in the league, securing a place in the Europa League. Wolves put in plenty of impressive performances that were built on a solid defence and a quick, counter-attacking style of play that often caught their opponents off guard. The standout performers for Wolves that season were Raul Jimenez, who scored 17 goals, and Portuguese sensation Ruben Neves, who bossed the midfield with his exceptional passing range.

Sheffield United – 9th in 2019/20

Premier League Table 19-20Sheffield United’s promotion to the Premier League in 2019 was met with much excitement, and the Blades did not disappoint in their debut season. Under the management of Chris Wilder, Sheffield United finished ninth in the league, ahead of established sides like Everton, West Ham and Burnley. The Blades’ impressive performances were built on a solid defence and an overlapping centre-back system that created many goalscoring opportunities. The standout performer for Sheffield United that season was Lys Mousset, who provided some crucial goals, while captain Billy Sharp chipped in with a handful of goals of his own.

Leeds United – 9th in 2020/21

Premier League Table 20-21Leeds United’s return to the Premier League after 16 years in the wilderness was highly anticipated, and the Whites put in a solid showing on their return to the top flight. Under the management of Marcelo Bielsa, Leeds finished ninth in the league just ahead of Everton and Aston Villa. Leeds’ impressive performances were built on a high-energy pressing style, quick transitions, and the goalscoring prowess of Patrick Bamford. That season, the standout performer for Leeds was Kalvin Phillips, who dominated the midfield with his exceptional passing range and defensive nous.

Wigan Athletic – 10th in 2005/06

Premier League Table 05-06Wigan Athletic’s promotion to the Premier League in 2005 was seen as a major upset, but the Latics more than held their own in their debut season in the top flight. Wigan finished 10th in the league, ahead of established sides like Aston Villa and Newcastle, and their performances that season earned them many plaudits. The standout performers for Wigan that season from an attacking perspective were Jason Roberts and Henri Camara, but it was the cohesiveness as a team that really served them well.

Leicester City – 14th in 2014/15

Premier League Table 14-15Finishing in 14th position in the Premier League might not sound all that impressive, even for a newly promoted side. Indeed, Leicester City’s promotion to the Premier League in 2014 and their relatively easy avoidance of relegation in their first season after promotion were met with little fanfare. But that 14th-place finish for the Foxes set up their chance to achieve one of the biggest upsets in football history the following season.

Under the management of Claudio Ranieri, Leicester won the league title in the 2015/16 season, defying odds of 5000/1. Their incredible journey was based on a solid defence led by Wes Morgan, quick transitions made possible by the intrepid tackles and spatial awareness of N’golo Kante, and the goalscoring prowess of Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez. Leicester’s title win is considered one of the greatest achievements in English football and a testament to the club’s fighting spirit.

Best Promoted Sides: Conclusions

We’ve summarised some of the best Premier League performances by newly promoted sides in recent history. Each of these teams has a unique story and has left a lasting impression on the league through their ability to mix it with the best sides in the land. Whether it was through their attacking prowess, a solid defence, or a never-say-die attitude, these teams have shown that anything is possible in the Premier League with hard work, determination, and a bit of luck.

In conclusion, the Premier League is a league that never fails to surprise and entertain, and the performances of these newly promoted sides are a testament to its enduring appeal. As we look ahead to the future, we can be sure that there will be more fairy-tale stories, upsets, and scintillating performances, and we cannot wait to see what this current season brings.

How Many Teams Have Had 50+ Points At the Premier League Half Way Stage?

At the time writing, Arsenal are sitting pretty at the top of the Premier League having just beaten title rival Manchester United 3-2 in a thrilling game at the Emirates. At the halfway stage of the top-flight season, Mikel Arteta’s men have amassed a very impressive total of 50 points from their 19 games.

Premier League Table Jan 2023

That is the Gunners’ best halfway points tally in the Premier League era (and five more than they had earned at that stage of their ‘Invincibles’ season in 2003/04). But 50 points is not the most a Premier League side has chalked up at the halfway stage.

So let’s take at a look at the four sides who’ve earned more than 50 points in the Premier League by the halfway stage.

Manchester City 2017/18: 55 points

  • Won: 18
  • Drawn: 1
  • Lost: 0
  • Goal Difference: +48
  • Final Premier League Position/Points: Champions, 100 points

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City were on fire during the 2017/18 campaign and were already a whopping 13 points clear of nearest rivals Manchester United at the halfway stage of the campaign. They dominated from start to finish and their only disappointment will have been that they could not claim the UEFA Champions League as well. They ended the season on a record-breaking total of 100 points and having scored more goals than any other team in a Premier League season (106).

Given that Arsenal still have 57 points to play for, they could in theory better Man City’s points record, though it will be a tough ask, not least because they still need to play City home and away in the league. Mind you, given their current form anything looks possible, especially as their very young squad only looks set to get better.

Liverpool 2019/20: 55 points

  • Won: 18
  • Drawn: 1
  • Lost: 0
  • Goal Difference: +34
  • Final Premier League Position: Champions, 99 points

Under Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool finally and deservedly won their first Premier League title in the 2019/20 season, and they did so in some style. At the halfway stage, the Reds had matched Man City’s record of 55 points from a couple of years earlier. They, too, were well clear of the chasing pack, with Leicester on 42 points and Man City on 41, both of whom had played a game more than Liverpool.

Indeed, such was Liverpool’s dominance during the campaign, they looked well on course to break City’s 100-point record for the season. But it was Arsenal who spoiled things for them when – in Liverpool’s 36th game of 28 – the Gunners beat the Reds 2-1. Liverpool had to settle for a total of 99 points, which isn’t too shabby. And their fans weren’t too bothered given that it was their first top-flight title for 30 years.

Chelsea 2005/06: 52 points

  • Won: 17
  • Drawn: 1
  • Lost: 1
  • Goal Difference: +32
  • Final Premier League Position: Champions, 91 points

Having guided Chelsea to their first top-flight title in half a century the season before, the self-styled Special One Jose Mourinho proved it was no fluke when his side did the business once again a year later. They started the campaign in ludicrously good form, winning their first nine matches. They stuttered to a poor away draw at Everton in October and went down 1-0 to Man United in early November. But the Blues were still 11 points clear of Man United at the top of the table by the halfway mark.

Chelsea, in common with all the teams on this list, were not quite so effective in the second half of the season and suffered shock defeats to the likes of Middlesbrough, Fulham, Newcastle and Blackburn. But they did enough to win the title with a total of 91 points, eight more than Alex Ferguson’s Man United.

Liverpool 2018/19: 51 points

  • Won: 16
  • Drawn: 3
  • Lost: 0
  • Goal Difference: +36
  • Final Premier League Position: Runners-ups, 97 points

Liverpool were top at the halfway stage and looking good value for it too. They were unbeaten and there was a lot of talk of them emulating Arenal’s Invincibles and maintaining that throughout the entire season. They had built up a tidy six-point cushion over their nearest rivals Tottenham (yes, you read that correctly!) and Pep Guardiola’s Man City were a further point adrift. Alas, for Liverpool, things went somewhat pear-shaped in the latter stages of the campaign and they somehow contrived to finish second… despite clocking an excellent total of 97 points.

The problem was not that they lost too many games, as they only lost one all season (although, crucially, that was to eventual champions Man City). It was that Liverpool drew too many matches: seven in total and four in the back-half of the campaign. They dropped points against Man United, Chelsea and Arsenal, which is fair enough, but less easy to take were the draws against West Ham and – particularly – local rivals Everton. As it was, Liverpool lost out to City by a single point and in the process, they earned the unwanted record of amassing the most points in a Premier League season without winning the title! That their 97 points would have been enough to win the Premier League in most seasons was scant consolation, as their long weight for a title continued.

Halfway Point Conclusions

As we have seen, in most cases, if a team has amassed 50 or more points by the halfway stage of a Premier League season, they go on to win the title. This bodes well for Arsenal, but they shouldn’t get too ahead of themselves and should certainly take note of what happened to Liverpool in the 2018/19 campaign. It should also be noted that their current five-point lead (albeit with a game in hand), is smaller than many of the other teams who hot the 50-point barrier. And with City the team doing the chasing, the Gunners will be aware that they are facing an opponent with far more experience when it comes to squeaky-bum time in a title duel.

Whether Arsenal do go all the way – and even break City’s 100-point record – remains to be seen. But at the halfway stage, they’ve certainly given themselves a darn good chance of landing their first Premier League title since the Invincibles season of 2003/04. Even the most optimistic of Arsenal fans would not have predicted they would be sitting pretty at the top of the table at the end of January.

They have a young, exciting squad but they are inexperienced in terms of challenging for the title. However, we believe their experience of losing out in the fight for a top-four finish last term will help them and expect them to go on and win the 2022/23 Premier League.

Best Premier League Signings of the Season 2022-23 (So Far)

The January transfer window is in full swing and no doubt some exciting moves will be made over the next fortnight before it closes at 11 pm on 31st January. We have already seen Chelsea splash the cash on Mykhailo Mudryk and Benoit Badiashile, and also bring Joao Felix in on loan. Leeds United broke their transfer record to sign young striker Georginio Rutter, Liverpool fought off a lot of competition to land Cody Gakpo and, err, Man United got Wout Weghorst on loan!

It is too early to judge those signings but what we will take a look at now is the many transfers that were made in the summer. In the World Cup-free summer of 2022, PL sides spent around £2bn, an astronomical sum. But which of those players has already well and truly begun to pay back the money invested and who are the signings of the season so far? So, in no particular order …

Erling Haaland, Borussia Dortmund to Man City, £51m

Embed from Getty Images
Haaland is not an original, controversial or surprising addition to this list but even at a fee of more than £50m, he is undoubtedly one of the best signings of the season. It was always clear that his fee was a steal given that the Norwegian was typically valued at around £150m or more. He has hit the ground running at the Etihad, to say the least, and at the halfway stage of the campaign has already broken a number of records.

At present, despite a shocking barren spell of three games(!) without a goal, the hulking forward has 27 goals in 24 games for City. Quite how many he will end the season with only time will tell but there is no doubt he has been a huge success already.

Casemiro, Real Madrid to Man United, £70m

Embed from Getty Images
Many baulked when United paid £70m (£60m up front) for Brazilian midfielder Casemiro. They believed paying such a huge fee for a player who was 30 years old was a major mistake. Former Reds Gary Neville and Roy Keane felt it was a sign of desperation, especially as the former Real Madrid man was given a five-year contract. However, United boss Erik ten Hag said that his new man was “the cement between the stones” and the Dutchman has been proved right.

Critics queried why Real would ditch a player if he still had a lot to offer but United felt the outlay was worth it for a proven winner. Casemiro has been a huge success, adding steel, leadership, guile and even goals (five goal involvements in 15 Premier League games) to United. The Red Devils are flying at the moment and are in with a great chance of finishing third in the Premier League or better, and Casemiro has undoubtedly been a key player for them. Should he guide United to Champions League qualification, his experience in that competition (he has won it an astonishing five times) will also prove invaluable.

Andreas Pereira, Man United to Fulham, £10m

Embed from Getty Images
Fulham have been one of the surprise packages of the 2022/23 season, and they are sitting pretty in sixth at the time of writing. They have played some exciting attacking football and the 27 year old Brazilian has been a big part of that. He signed for United way back in 2012 and though he played over 70 times for them he never established himself fully.

That fee of £10m, which includes add-ons, really looks like a steal now, with his two goals and five assists in the league helping the Cottagers massively overachieve. His crossing ability from open play and set pieces is a huge asset with a big target man, Aleksandar Mitrovic to aim for. Playing centrally, he has been hugely creative and few players have created more chances this term in the English top flight.

Wilfried Gnonto, FC Zurich to Leeds United, £4m

Embed from Getty Images
That Leeds managed to sign Gnonto, a full Italy international, for a fee of just £4m, was largely down to the fact that the striker was entering the final year of his contract. In addition, he was very young, just 18 at the time, and with little experience. Even so, his capture can only be described as one of the major bargains of the Premier League based on what we have seen so far. Capped at every level by Italy he has a huge future and could prove to be an astonishing signing for the West Yorkshire outfit.

In Leeds’ recent defeat to Aston Villa the attacker, who can play anywhere across the pitch behind a number nine, was superb. Gary Neville, commentating, could not contain his excitement, eulogising endlessly about Gnonto’s understanding of the game and his positional sense, his bravery and his skill. The former Man United man suggested Gnonto looked very much like a Man City player, in terms of his style but Leeds will want to hold onto him for a good while yet. He has a little bit of everything, with pace, control, vision and strength meaning he can beat a man, hold up play, find the killer pass and score as well.

Best Five Players in the EFL Championship

The Premier League is the place to be, but the EFL Championship is one of the best football leagues in the world, and there are a whole host of top players plying their trade in England’s second tier. The Championship is arguably the most unpredictable and exciting division around and is hugely well supported.

Some players use the Championship as a stepping stone to the Premier League, while others work their way up from the lower leagues. The division is glittered with talent and here are the top five Championship players. These are sure to be on the radars of some EPL sides and could get their dream move in the January window.

Ismaila Sarr – Watford

Embed from Getty Images
When Ismaila Sarr arrived at Watford for a reported £30m, big things were expected of the Senegalese star. It has not quite worked out yet, as the Hornets have been relegated from the Premier League twice since his arrival. However, the 24-year-old has bags of potential to flourish in the Championship.

Sarr rose to fame when he netted a brace against Liverpool in the Premier League in February 2020. The 3-0 Watford win ended the Reds’ 44-game unbeaten run in the league.

In terms of transfer value, Sarr is right up there with the highest in the Championship. Can the exciting winger get the goals and assists to fire Watford to another promotion to the Premier League? Or will he get snapped up before then?

Joao Pedro – Watford

Embed from Getty Images
Sarr’s teammate Joao Pedro is also one of the best players currently plying their trade in the Championship. Pedro made the switch to Vicarage Road when Watford were last in this division and helped his side to promotion in his first season.

The attacker is not afraid to run at players, whether out wide or through the middle. Pedro shone in the Premier League at times last term, but the Hornets failed to stay up. The Brazilian is too good for the Championship and will surely be back in the Premier League, one way or another, in the not-so-distant future.

Ben Brereton Diaz – Blackburn Rovers

Embed from Getty Images
Ben Brereton Diaz has been in the form of his life for Blackburn Rovers over the past couple of years or so. Now a fully-fledged Chile international and cult hero, the former Manchester United youth player deserves his chance in the Premier League.

Diaz’s goals of late have turned Rovers into genuine promotion candidates. Last term, Brereton Diaz scored 22 Championship goals, with just Aleksandar Mitrovic and Dominic Solanke netting more. He was heavily linked with a move to the Premier League last summer, and it is surely only a matter of time until we see the Stoke-born striker grace the promised land.

Max Aarons – Norwich City

Embed from Getty Images
When Max Aarons broke on to the scene at Carrow Road in 2018, the full-back caught the eye right away. In January 2022, Aarons made his 150th appearance for Norwich in a Premier League match against West Ham United, which shows how far he has come in such a short space of time.

Keeping Aarons at Carrow Road as they push for yet another promotion to the Premier League will be high on Norwich’s priority list, but Aarons is destined for another crack at top-flight football. The former England U21 international is without question one of the best defenders in the Championship and offers plenty in attack too.

Josh Brownhill – Burnley

Embed from Getty Images
Josh Brownhill was mightily impressive for Bristol City from 2016 to 2020, with Sean Dyche bringing him to Burnley in the Premier League as a reward. The midfielder has been consistent and has become a vital cog in Burnley’s midfield machine since arriving at Turf Moor.

Brownhill can burst forward and has chipped in with some important goals. His passing is effective, and he can drop back and defend when called upon too.

The Clarets were relegated from the Premier League at the end of the 2021-22 season, with Brownhill featuring in 35 of their 38 league games. The Lancashire club look a good bet to make an instant return to the top flight under Vincent Kompany, and Brownhill will no doubt play a huge role in their success if they go on to secure promotion.