Friday 30 March 2012
As Manchester City continue their fight for a first Barclays Premier League title, a separate remarkable achievement comes a little closer into view.
City, only three points behind Manchester United with eight matches left to play, have won every single home League match they have played at the Etihad Stadium this season.
Roberto Mancini's men have played 15 matches thus far, accumulated 45 points, scored 44 goals in the process and conceded a paltry seven into the bargain.
"I know we have broken the record for wins at home, but the record I most want is the title"
- Roberto Mancini
Four more wins and City will become the first team in the history of the Premier League to win every home League match in one season.
City have already set new benchmarks in their hunt for a first English League title since 1967/68, with their five consecutive wins at the Etihad at the end of last season contributing to a new Premier League record of 20 in a row overall among them.
Defender Joleon Lescott says City now go into every home match feeling as though they are going to win.
"It's not something we set out to do at the start of the season, we didn't say: 'We've got to win every game at home'," said Lescott last month. "But we go into matches now really confident because of our home record.
"We're comfortable at home and teams know that. It's not something you can really put your finger on, because we set out to win every game whether it's home or away.
"Our tactics aren't that much different when we play at home. Maybe it's the opposition who change, because we've done so well at home."
City have four matches remaining at the Etihad, with Sunderland (31 March), West Brom (11 April), Manchester United (30 April) and Queens Park Rangers (13 May) the only teams left to visit.
"The last team to win every home league match in the English top flight was Sunderland in 1891/92"
But Mancini knows that City could end up with their record-breaking 100% home record and no Premier League title to show for it at the end of the campaign, if they are not careful.
"I know we have broken the record for wins at home, but the record I most want is the title," said the Italian after their 2-1 victory over Chelsea last week.
And as the statistics below show us, there is precedent in English football history that should keep City honest in the final few weeks of the 2011/12 Barclays Premier League season.
The last team to go through an entire English league season winning every home match was Brentford in the 1929/30 Division Three South, with all 21 fixtures at Griffin Park resulting in victory.
A wonderful achievement of course; except the Bees missed out on their main objective that term, which was to win promotion.
20: Most consecutive home wins in Premier League
15: Most consecutive home wins from start of season in top flight
15: Club record home wins in a Premier League season
18: Most home wins in one season (Chelsea 2005/06; Man Utd 2011/12)
29: Most overall wins in a season (Chelsea 2005/06)
21: Most consecutive home wins in the top flight (Liverpool 1971/72)
25: Most consecutive home wins (Bradford Park Avenue 1926/27)
1891/92: Sunderland, 13 matches, First Division
1893/94: Liverpool, 14 matches, Second Division
1894/95: Bury, 15 matches, Second Division
1899/1900: Sheffield Wednesday, 17 matches, Second Division
1902/03: Small Heath (now Birmingham City), 17 matches, Second Division
1929/30: Brentford, 21 matches, Division Three South
1995/96: Manchester United
1999/2000: Manchester United
2007/08: Chelsea, Arsenal
2010/11: Manchester United
Champions: Manchester United (Won 15; Drew 4; Lost 0)
Best home record: Newcastle United (Won 17; Drew 1; Lost 1)
Champions: Manchester United (Won 12; Drew 5; Lost 2)
Best home record: Newcastle United (Won 13; Drew 3; Lost 3)
Champions: Manchester United (Won 14; Drew 4; Lost 1)
Best home record: Arsenal (Won 14; Drew 5; Lost 0)
Champions: Manchester United (Won 15; Drew 2; Lost 2)
Best home record: Arsenal (Won 15; Drew 3; Lost 1)
Champions: Arsenal (Won 12; Drew 4; Lost 3)
Best home record: Liverpool (Won 12; Drew 5; Lost 2)