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FootballNewsChelsea aim to continue four-year, 165-match “bounce back” record

Chelsea aim to continue four-year, 165-match “bounce back” record

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By Brian Sears

19 November 2010

Chelsea head into Saturday’s game at Birmingham on the back of last weekend’s 3-0 home defeat to Sunderland but with an astonishing “bounce back” record to their name.

They have not lost consecutive Premier League games for more than four years, or for 165 games to be precise.

The last time Chelsea lost back-to-back fixtures was at the end of the 2005-06 season, and even then it only happened after they had secured the title.

Since then, their 20 defeats have come one at time; and the 19 “bounce back” games to date have resulted in 15 wins and four draws. Chelsea simply don’t lose twice.

So to the 20th “bounce back” game – Saturday’s at Birmingham. For what it’s worth (and as a statistician I’d say it’s worth several decent anoraks), the statistics say that Chelsea will win at Birmingham to nil. Why? Because in every “bounce back” game played away from home since 2006 (six of the 19), Chelsea have won to nil.

For the record: they won 2-0 at Blackburn on 23 Aug 2006 having lost at Middlesbrough in the match before; they won 1-0 at Blackburn on 23 Dec 2007 having lost at Arsenal; they won 3-0 at Hull on 29 Oct 2008 having lost at home to Liverpool; they won 2-0 at Bolton 6 Dec 2008 having lost at home to Arsenal; they won 2-0 at Newcastle on 4 Apr 2009 having lost at Tottenham; and they won 2-0 at Wolves on 20 Feb 2010 having lost at Everton.

Chelsea’s bouncebackability is even more impressive when we consider the last time they lost consecutive games that actually meant something; those to Blackburn and Newcastle at the end of the 2005-06 season were meaningless because the title was already in the bag.

The last time they lost consecutive “live” Premier League games where the result mattered was in late February and early March 2003, when they also lost to Blackburn and Newcastle.

As our ‘Chelsea consistency’ graphic below shows, Chelsea are the only Premier League team in the past four and a half years not to lose back-to-back league games at least once. Manchester United have just one instance of “two at a time”, while Arsenal have lost back-to-back as many as seven times in the same period.

At the less consistent end of the Premier League, West Ham have had hat-tricks of defeats seven times in the period, have lost four in a row twice, five in a row twice and even six in a row, while Wigan have had losing runs of eight in a row. Twice!

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