Liverpool have once again turned Anfield into a fortress in recent seasons but their 68-game unbeaten league home run came to a crashing halt against Burnley… but where does it rank among the longest undefeated streaks in Premier League history?
- Liverpool suffered their first home league defeat since April 2017 on Thursday
- Ashley Barnes’ penalty saw Burnley defeat Jurgen Klopp’s men at Anfield
- The Reds had gone an incredible 68 games unbeaten before losing to Burnley
- Here, Sportsmail looks at where it ranks among the longest unbeaten streaks
Liverpool’s home form over the past few seasons has been a real source of strength for Jurgen Klopp’s side.
But as their bid to retain their Premier League crown continues to stutter after their winless run extended to five games, Fortress Anfield also saw its invincibility crack for the first time since April 2017 after a 68-game unbeaten top-flight home run ended against Burnley.
Ashley Barnes netted the decisive goal from the penalty spot to earn Sean Dyche’s men the shock win and ensure the Reds suffered their first top-flight defeat at Anfield since a Christian Benteke double saw Crystal Palace emerge victorious nearly four years ago.
Liverpool’s 68-game unbeaten Premier League run at Anfield ended on Thursday night
Ashley Barnes scored the decisive goal for Burnley to open up a crack in Fortress Anfield
Liverpool’s form at home however in recent seasons has seen them set the new record of 24 successive home league victories in 2019-20 and was an overbearing factor in their ability to end the club’s 30-year drought without a league title last term too.
But where does it rank among the top five longest unbeaten home runs in the Premier League?
Here, Sportsmail crunches the numbers and looks at which sides of the past figure alongside the current Premier League champions in the list.
Liverpool had not lost at Anfield in the league since April 2017 when Crystal Palace won
Sportsmail takes a look at where the Reds’ unbeaten run ranks in the list of the longest streaks
5) Manchester United – 35 games (December 1994-November 1996)
The Red Devils appear twice on this list and given their overwhelming domestic dominance during the 1990s, it is unsurprising they managed to put significant unblemished runs at Old Trafford together during that period.
The first came in a near two-year period midway through the decade having won back-to-back titles in the two seasons prior to the 1994-95 campaign, and were therefore on the hunt for a third straight crown.
That ambition suffered a dent when they were shocked by Nottingham Forest, with Eric Cantona’s strike serving only as a consolation in the end following Stan Collymore and Stuart Pearce’s goals.
Manchester United feature twice on the list having put unblemished runs together in the 1990s
Manchester United’s 35-game winning run at Old Trafford helped them lift the 1995-96 title
But despite a third straight Premier League title being scuppered by Blackburn – with Sir Alex Ferguson’s men having to settle for the runners-up spot that season – the defeat did spark a run which lasted almost two years of 25 league wins and 10 draws at Old Trafford.
United did reclaim their top-flight crown the following season – with Newcastle their closest competitors – as well as stretch out their unbeaten run at home for the duration of the campaign.
It would however not last long into the 1996-97 season, when Michael Duberry and Gianluca Vialli secured a 2-1 victory for Chelsea in early November.
Win percentage: 71 per cent
Gianluca Vialli’s goal however brought the run to an abrupt end as Chelsea won 2-1 at United
4) Manchester United – 36 games (December 1998-December 2000)
The most recent United entry into the list took place during the another one of the glorious peaks for the club under Ferguson.
The year 1999 is and will forever be etched into club folklore and it was during the treble-winning season that their 36-game unbeaten run at Old Trafford would commence.
Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes’ goals proved insufficient for United in avoiding a 3-2 defeat by Middlesbrough on 19 December 1998, but that proved a minor blip in a remarkable season for the club as they claimed the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League titles.
Teddy Sheringham and United won the treble in 1999 which was part of the unbeaten run
A minor blip against Middlesbrough in December did not stop them winning the title
Few teams could handle the likes of Roy Keane, Scholes and David Beckham driving the side behind the likes of Teddy Sheringham and Dwight Yorke, as Arsenal and Bayern Munich would find out at the business end of the season and a return of 30 top-flight home wins during the period would also demonstrate.
The run stretched until nearly the halfway point of the following season before Sportsmail‘s Danny Murphy – who netted three winning goals at Old Trafford during his career – came up trumps for Liverpool in 2000 to ensure a win for the visitors.
Win percentage: 83 per cent
Danny Murphy’s goal ended the run as arch-rivals Liverpool won at Old Trafford in 2000
3) Manchester City – 37 games (December 2010-December 2012)
The beginning of Manchester City’s emergence as a force domestically can be traced back to the 37-game unbeaten run they put together on home soil over a two-year period, as the flexing of their billionaire owners’ financial muscle reached new heights.
David Silva, Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero were recruited by Roberto Mancini and the core in particular helped the Italian raise City’s profile all around the world with some stunning displays in a remarkable run which saw them record just four draws.
Goals from Tim Cahill and Leighton Baines helped 10-man Everton beat City, who could not avoid defeat despite Carlos Tevez halving the deficit in the game which took place five days before Christmas more than a decade ago.
Manchester City have the best win percentage of any side in the list after their two-year run
Their incredible home run ensured that they won their first Premier League title in 2012
However, the defeat did little to harm City as they finished third that season before winning their first Premier League crown in the following campaign thanks to Sergio Aguero’s iconic stoppage-time winner against QPR on the final day of the season.
The streak would continue for a few months still before Dutch striker Robin van Persie ended the run in the cruellest of manners with an injury-time winner of his own in the Manchester derby in United’s 3-2 victory at the Etihad.
Win percentage: 89 per cent
Robin van Persie conjured up an injury-time winner for Manchester United to end the run
2) Liverpool – 68 games (April 2017 – January 2021)
An incredible run from Jurgen Klopp’s side than lasted more than three years, the German has certainly restored the imperious aura that has surrounded Anfield in years gone by.
Former Liverpool striker Benteke returned to Anfield to thwart his ex-team-mates in April 2017 with a double to claim victory for Palace after Philippe Coutinho had opened the scoring for the hosts.
But in the seasons that have followed Liverpool have kicked on domestically, challenging Manchester City all the way in 2018-19 before winning the title last season, and their home form was key behind Liverpool’s incredible points tally of 97 and 99 in those campaigns respectively.
Mohamed Salah established himself as a Liverpool star during the Reds’ 68-game run
The Reds drew just 13 of the 68 games that comprised their unbeaten run at Anfield, which has been the scene of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane establishing themselves as one of Europe’s most deadly attacking forces.
Home form in Europe was also a key factor in their 2019 Champions League title but the Premier League results at Anfield stands as the more impressive feat before the ground’s impregnable defences were breached by Burnley on Thursday.
Klopp however will hope the defeat was just a blip and that their top-flight rivals remain daunted when they have to make the trip to the north west as they aim to recover from their first concerning dip in form for a few seasons and keep alive their bid of retaining the title.
Win percentage: 81 per cent
Jurgen Klopp’s side home form last season saw them end their 30-year wait for the title
1) Chelsea – 86 games (February 2004 – October 2008)
The record for the longest unbeaten home run in the Premier League era remains intact for the Blues, whose stunning 86-game streak at Stamford Bridge ran for more than four calendar years and came under the same number of managers.
The run started after the Blues suffered defeat in late February 2004 to the team that would become Arsenal’s Invincibles side, with Patrick Vieira and Edu scoring for Arsene Wenger’s side after Eidur Gudjohnsen’s opener inside 27 seconds.
The final few weeks of Claudio Ranieri’s tenure passed without a further home league defeat, and the Italian was then replaced by the vibrant, charismatic personality of a fresh-faced Jose Mourinho.
The Portuguese turned the Blues into a relentless winning machine, with Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard and John Terry some of the key figures in the side as they went on to win back-to-back titles in 2004-05 and 2005-06.
Frank Lampard and Chelsea went more than four years without losing a home league game
The run ensured the club recorded back-to-back titles in 2004-05 (above) and 2005-06
They ceded their crown to Manchester United the following season, but Ivorian Drogba was top scorer and their stunning record at Stamford Bridge in the top flight remained untampered with.
The record – which included 62 victories – also resisted the shock of the Portuguese astonishingly leaving the club in September 2007, with Avram Grant put in charge for the remainder of the season before Luiz Felipe Scolari was appointed in July 2008.
And while visiting sides continued in failing to win in west London under the Israeli, the record finally came to an end under Brazilian Scolari at the 87th time of asking when a deflected strike from Xabi Alonso saw Liverpool claim a 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge in October 2008.
Win percentage: 72 per cent
A deflected strike from Xabi Alonso saw Liverpool emerge victorious in October 2008
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