Friday, Dec 19, 2014

Review: A fluctuating EPL title race

Liverpool spent 59 days at the summit while Manchester City led the field for just 15 days before being crowned champions (Reuters) Liverpool spent 59 days at the summit while Manchester City led the field for just 15 days before being crowned champions (Reuters)
By: Reuters | London | Posted: May 11, 2014 10:34 pm

A look back at a thrilling Premier League title race during which the lead changed hands 25 times.

Arsenal spent 128 days at the top of the table, more than any other side and double that of Chelsea who led for 64 days.

Liverpool spent 59 days at the summit while Manchester City led the field for just 15 days before being crowned champions after Sunday’s 2-0 win over West Ham United.

August

Jose Mourinho returned to Stamford Bridge after a six-year absence and his Chelsea side set the early pace.

Having sold Gareth Bale to Real Madrid for a world record fee of 100 million euros ($137.56 million), Tottenham reinvested heavily, signing seven players including the likes of Paulinho, Roberto Soldado and Erik Lamela.

The integration process under Andre Villas-Boas started well as Spurs finished the month tied in third place, level on six points with Liverpool and second-placed City.

New Manchester United manager David Moyes got his reign off to a flying start with a 4-1 victory at Swansea City while his successor at Everton, Roberto Martinez, began in solid but unspectacular fashion, drawing his first three games in charge.

September

With the transfer window closing at the start of the month, Arsenal, who lost 3-1 to Aston Villa on the opening day, snapped up Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid for a club record fee of 42.5 million pounds ($71.6 million).

After enjoying a 1-0 victory over north London rivals Tottenham, Arsene Wenger’s side shot up the league to end the month with a two-point lead over Liverpool.

Spurs remained in third, while Everton, who beat Chelsea 1-0 at Goodison Park, climbed into the top four and were the only unbeaten side remaining in the league.

Both Manchester clubs endured difficult months, United losing 1-0 to arch-rivals Liverpool and City losing 3-2 at Aston Villa.

October

Arsenal remained top at the end of October, two points ahead of Chelsea who beat Manchester City 2-1 to continue Manuel Pellegrini’s lacklustre start as manager with his side stuck in seventh, six points adrift of the leaders.

Across Manchester, Alex Ferguson’s successor Moyes looked to be settling into his role at Old Trafford, with his team claiming seven points from their three league games to sit eighth.

November

Arsenal continued their early title charge, with Aaron Ramsey in inspired form, as they won three out of four league games to top the table by seven points from Liverpool, Chelsea and Everton.

Newcastle won all four fixtures during November, including a 2-0 victory over Chelsea, to climb to fifth, while sixth-placed Manchester City enjoyed thumping 7-0 and 6-0 victories over Norwich City and Tottenham.

The heavy defeat by City capped a torrid month for Spurs as they dropped to ninth, claiming one point from their three matches continued…

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