History gives hope to Man City chasers

14 Nov 2017
Gabriel Jesus, Man City

Leaders have squandered bigger advantages than City's eight-point gap over rivals, and much later in the season

With 10 wins from their opening 11 matches, Manchester City's eight-point lead is unprecedented at such an early stage of a Premier League season.

But history gives hope to the chasing pack and should be cited against anyone who thinks the 2017/18 title is sewn up, because Premier League leaders have given up bigger advantages before and at much later stages in the season.

The previous closest gap after 11 matches to City’s eight was the seven points Manchester United had in 1993/94 over Norwich City.

Sir Alex Ferguson's side built on their 28-point total to win the title that season by eight points, ahead of Blackburn Rovers, in a 42-match season.

But bigger leads have been overhauled on five occasions.


In December 1992 Norwich had an eight-point advantage, after 18 matches. But after 23 matches Mike Walker's side had dropped to third - and that is where they finished, with United concluding their campaign 12 points ahead of them.


Three seasons later, in January 1996, Kevin Keegan's Newcastle United had a commanding 12-point lead. But a run of five defeats from eight matches allowed Ferguson's United to overtake them and win the crown again.


Ferguson found himself on the other end of the equation in 1998, however.

His team were on course for glory with an 11-point gap and 10 matches to go. But Arsenal, who had two fixtures in hand, strung together a 10-match winning streak to win the championship by a point.


It was Arsene Wenger's turn to be overhauled in 2003, when the Gunners' eight-point lead at the beginning of March was ceded to United.


That latest such big lead was overhauled was in 2011/12, when United’s eight-point advantage on 10 April were squandered in the face of a winning streak by Man City, who pipped their city neighbours to the title on goal difference thanks to Sergio Aguero’s memorable stoppage-time winner against Queens Park Rangers.

So despite their impressive lead at this early stage, Aguero and Co know all about the dangers of complacency, ahead of their trip to Leicester City on Saturday.

Leads squandered
LeadersPts aheadLatest date of leadFinal pos
Man Utd1106/03/19982
Man Utd810/04/20122

See: Aguero on his 178 Man City goals

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