By Brian Sears
4 October 2012
Only five different clubs have gone an entire Premier League season unbeaten at home – the traditional ‘big four’ of Manchester United (three times), Arsenal (three times), Liverpool (once) and Chelsea (four times), plus Manchester City, last season.
The longest unbeaten home run in the Premier League era belongs to Chelsea, who went 86 league games unbeaten at Stamford Bridge between a 2-1 defeat to Arsenal on 22 February 2004 and a 1-0 defeat by Liverpool on 25 October 2008.
That 86-match run was also the longest unbeaten home run in the top division of English football ever, since 1888, smashing the previous record of 63 games held by Liverpool from the late 1970s.
Famously, the 86-match run also encompassed the entire Chelsea reign of Jose Mourinho; between his arrival in summer 2004 and his departure in late 2007, Chelsea did not lose a single league game under him.
That’s the context of the longest unbeaten home run: and now Manchester City are within a handful of games of moving up to No2 on the list of unbeaten home runs in the Premier League behind Chelsea.
At the moment – see graphic below – Manchester United’s 36-game unbeaten run from 1999 to 2000 is in second place, followed by United’s 35-game unbeaten run in 1995 and 1996.
City’s current run of 32 unbeaten games at home comes next, equal with Arsenal’s 32-game run from 2003 and 2004 (when, uniquely in the Premier League, Arsenal went unbeaten home and away in a whole season, 2003-04).
On Saturday, City host Sunderland in a bid to stretch their current unbeaten home run to 33 games.
They were last beaten at home in the league on 20 December 2010, going down 1-2 to Everton.
Since then the Etihad Stadium has witnessed 29 wins and three draws in 32 league games played there.
City are within five games of overtaking United’s second-best run of 36 home games.
Those five games are scheduled as followed:
6 Oct 2012 Sunderland
27 Oct 2012 Swansea
11 Nov 2012 Tottenham
17 Nov 2012 Aston Villa
1 Dec 2012 Everton
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