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FootballNewsFortress Big Four: Why Man Utd, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool still rule at home

Fortress Big Four: Why Man Utd, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool still rule at home

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By Brian Sears

14 October 2010

Life for the Premier League’s ‘Big Four’ (B4) must seem a little less secure this season, especially for Liverpool, and not just off the pitch. That Anfield defeat by Blackpool a fortnight ago was tough for fans to take. They’re not alone in being upset on home turf though; Arsenal losing at the Emirates to West Bromwich Albion was a shocker of similar proportions.

How shocking? Well it was the first and only time to date in any of West Brom’s spells in the Premier League that they had beaten a B4 side on B4 turf, just as Blackpool’s win at Anfield was the first time, albeit in a debut season.

In fact it was West Brom’s first victory at a Big Four den in 19 Premier League attempts, with three of those attempts coming in the first three away games this season.

West Brom’s first four away games this season: Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal, and now Manchester United this weekend. Gadzooks! How cruel can a fixtures computer be? And yet they’re pushing for a Champions League slot. Ahem.

As our table below shows, the B4 have by far the strongest fortresses in the Premier League since it started 18-and-a-bit seasons ago. United have lost just 29 home games in nearly 19 years, and Arsenal just 42, with Chelsea on 46 and Liverpool 49. Of the other ever-present sides, all have lost closer to 100 games at home each, with Everton on 97 Premier League defeats at Goodison, Tottenham on 91 at White Hart Lane and Aston Villa on 84 at Villa Park.

Of those games that the Big Four sides have lost, the teams most often beating them have come from with the B4 themselves.

United have lost most often at home to Chelsea for example, while Arsenal have lost most at home to Liverpool, Chelsea have lost most at home to Arsenal, and Liverpool have lost most at home to United.

Within the current Premier League there are three clubs with multi-season experience who have yet to notch a single win between them at a Big Four ground: Wigan, Wolves and Stoke.

And a further five clubs have recorded just one win at a Big Four ground in their time so far in the Premier League, including Blackpool and West Brom this season. For the record that quintet are:

  • Sunderland: who won 4-2 at Chelsea on 17 March 2001
  • Fulham: who won 3-1 at Manchester United on 25 October 2003
  • Birmingham: who won 1-0 at Anfield on 6 November 2004
  • West Brom: who won 3-2 at Arsenal on 25 September 2010
  • Blackpool: who won 2-1 at Liverpool on 3 October 2010

Just as West Brom go in search of a second lightning strike at Old Trafford this weekend, so Birmingham seek one at Arsenal.

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