The Best Ever Runners-Up in Premier League History

​In the history of the Premier League, we have never seen a title race like this one. Manchester City and Liverpool have both been more than good enough to lift the title, but one of them has to miss out.

The unlucky side will surely go down as one of the greatest to come up short, but we have seen plenty of teams down the years who deserved their own success.

Points don’t mean anything in this list. Here are the best runners-up in Premier League history.

4. Liverpool 2013/14 (84 Points)

Martin Skrtel

The Premier League has seen few attacking trios strike fear quite like Luis Suarez, Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge did for Liverpool in the 2013/14 season.

With Gerrard pulling the strings in midfield, this side racked up 101 goals all season and played some of the most attractive football in recent history. It did not matter who they came up against, opponents simply could not handle them.

This was their title to lose, and the ultimately did so after poor results against Chelsea and Crystal Palace, but that should not distract you from their quality. This Liverpool team were a match for anyone on the planet, but they never had a chance to build on their performances as Suarez was sold to Barcelona.

3. Chelsea 2007/08 & Man Utd 2009/10 (85 Points)

Michael Essien,Michael Ballack

The ​Chelsea side from the 2007/08 season were almost the greatest side in Europe at the time, but came up just short against ​Manchester United in both the ​Premier League and ​Champions League.

The Blues began the season well, but a poor run of form in September saw Jose Mourinho leave the club, with Avram Grant coming in to replace him. The adjustment period was uncomfortable, but Chelsea just knew how to win games. 

The squad was arguably one of the strongest in club history, and the likes of John Terry, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba masterminded wins over some of England’s biggest sides.

Two years later in a reverse of the 2008 title race, Carlo Ancelotti’s Chelsea lifted the title while United (who had a goal difference of +58) had to settle for second place – also earning 85 points.

2. Liverpool 2008/09 & Tottenham 2016/17 (86 Points)

Liverpool's Israeli midfielder Yossi Ben

After dropping out of the cup competitions embarrassingly early, Liverpool’s sights were firmly on the league title in the 2008/09 season. They needed to stop United winning their historic 19th league title, but came up just short.

Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres scored goals for fun, whilst Pepe Reina and Jamie Carragher helped form a resolute defence that proved to be one of the meanest in the entire division. They lost just two matches all season, one of which was a shock 2-0 loss to ​Middlesbrough in February 2009. This side’s problems was their number of draws – they picked up 11 throughout the season – and it proved costly.​

Meanwhile, Tottenham Hotspur ‘s total in 2017 would have won the league in most campaigns, but they faced a Chelsea side who shattered records for the number of wins in a season.

Harry Kane, Dele Alli, and Christian Eriksen were all electric, creating a fluid attacking unit who just did not stop running. 

They were leagues ahead of City, Liverpool and Arsenal behind them. However, like Liverpool eight years before, a run of too many draws early in the season cost them but, once they got going, they were almost unstoppable.

1. Manchester United 2011/12 (89 Points)

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney (R) cel

In the 2011/12 season, United racked up a stunning 89 points, which is currently the record for a Premier League runner-up, until either City or Liverpool take that unwanted honour at the end of the current season with both already exceeding the 90-point mark.

As many fans will tell you, this United side was rarely operating at full strength, yet they had a stunning habit of grinding out win after win after win. Wayne Rooney dominated the goalscoring duties for the team, whilst the likes of Michael Carrick, Rio Ferdinand and Javier Hernandez formed a solid core that just knew how to get the job done.

The only rival they lost to throughout the season was City, who went on to secure the league title on goal difference after United threw away an eight-point lead over the Citizens.


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