Liverpool beware: Eight wins from eight is not always a good title omen

Liverpool’s perfect start to the Premier League season does not necessarily point to a title win if history is anything to go by

Liverpool are one of only six clubs to have won all of their opening eight matches of a top-flight season in England.

Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Leicester City, courtesy of a James Milner penalty deep into injury time, means Jurgen Klopp’s side have matched a feat the club first achieved back in 1991.

It also stretches Liverpool’s run to 17 consecutive league victories, putting them just one short of matching the record set by Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City between August and December two years ago.

City have never opened a season with eight wins in a row, though. Chelsea, Manchester United, Tottenham, Sheffield United and Everton are the only teams apart from Liverpool to have managed that.

Surprisingly, such a start has mostly led to an unsuccessful bid to win the top-flight title.

Of the seven occasions that a team has won eight from eight at the start of the season, only twice has that side gone on to become champions of England in that same campaign.

Chelsea managed it under Jose Mourinho in 2005-06, but you have to go back to 1961 for the only other instance when Tottenham won their second and most recent league title.

In 1991, Liverpool finished second to Arsenal after their perfect start, while Manchester United could only manage fourth after winning their first 10 in a row in 1985-86.

Sheffield United ended up down in seventh after storming to eight straight wins to kick off the campaign back in 1904, and Everton were league runners-up to Sunderland in 1894-95.

Can Liverpool buck this trend in 2019-20? Their first game after the international break might give some indication when they will look to match City’s 18-match winning run – by beating Manchester United at Old Trafford.

 

 

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