With Liverpool and Manchester City duking it out for the Premier League title, there can only be winner, and the runner-up can only wonder about what might have been. Both these teams have produced football of a very high quality and are clearly the two best teams in the league.
There have been teams in the past that came close to winning the league title, only for their rivals to take it away from them.
Here are five teams that were extremely good and came close to winning the Premier League title but failed:
5. Arsenal – 2007/08
In the summer of 2007, Arsenal sold their record goalscorer Thierry Henry to Barcelona and everyone expected the team to struggle. Instead, the team seemed to thrive in the absence of their talisman, and remained top of the table in their first 15 league games.
In fact, they only lost three games in that entire league campaign but could not sustain their title challenge despite being at the top of the table for two-thirds of the season. At the end, Arsenal had to settle for third place, behind Manchester United and Chelsea.
4. Liverpool – 2013/14
Liverpool had a great Premier League campaign in the 2013/14 season and almost broke their duck of not having won the title. They led the league title going into the final month before an unfortunate loss to Chelsea and a terrible 3-3 draw to Crystal Palace curtailed their hopes, and finally conceded the title on the last day to Manchester City.
Had they managed to win, their legendary captain Steven Gerrard could have ended his career with the only club trophy that he was not able to win and complete his trophy collection.
3. Manchester United – 1997/98
Manchester United led the league table for much of the season, and by the time March had arrived, opened up a 11-point lead over their rivals. The lead was thought to be unassailable and even bookmakers paid out early for punters who had bet on a United title win.
However, it all unraveled for the defending champions after that, as they dropped points continuously, while Arsenal went on a winning streak to close the gap. The Gunners ended up winning their first title in seven years, and it was also their first Premier League title.
2. Newcastle United – 1995/96
Newcastle United were so far ahead of the chasing pack in the 1995/96 league campaign that they had at one point opened up a 12-point gap. But the second half of the season went terribly for Kevin Keegan’s team, with their form dwindling disastrously.
Manchester United cut the deficit soon enough, and ended up winning the title along with the FA Cup that season. The Magpies never did well enough after that to come close to contending for the league.
1. Manchester United – 2011/12
Manchester United and Manchester City went head to head for almost the entire season, with the city rivals one upping each other throughout the campaign.
It was so tense that the title fight went to the final game of the season, with City requiring to match United’s result to lift the title on goal difference. On a dramatic night, with United picking up an easy win, the Sky Blues had to depend on literally the last kick of the game to get the much-needed victory and win their first league title since 1968.
Looking at five teams that were very good and came close to winning the Premier League title but did not