Premier League: The numbers behind remarkable title battle between 2 gladiators


Sergio Aguero and Mohamed Salah

Manchester City have sealed the Premier League title, needing a 14-game winning run to keep themselves above Liverpool - the best second-placed team in English top-flight history.

It felt like an absolutely relentless battle between two great Premier League sides. But do the stats back that up?

The best top two ever

Most points from top two

It has been a title race of unparalleled quality and the numbers bear that out.

This is the form guide for the second half of the season:

Man City: WWWWLWWWWWWWWWWWWWW

Liverpool: WLWWDDWDWDWWWWWWWWW

The top two have amassed 195 points - a top-flight record for the champions and runners-up. They actually passed the previous Premier League record in their 36th games of the season. They also recorded the most combined wins (62) for a top two.

In both those instances, the previous record was last season, although City had provided a much greater share of the combined figures than second-placed Manchester United.

City and Liverpool have also broken the record for the fewest combined defeats - five. The top two in 2004-05 (Chelsea and Arsenal) and 2008-09 (Manchester United and Liverpool) had six defeats between them.

Best title race ever?

All season the title race has seemed too close to call, not least because the lead at the top has changed so many times.

In fact, it has never changed hands so many times in a season.

By the time the title was won, it had switched 32 times at the end of a day this season, although plenty of those came as a result of staggering City's and Liverpool's games.

The previous record had been 2001-02, when the lead changed 28 times. Arsenal won the title that season, but both Manchester United and Liverpool had led in the final 10 games - and Newcastle and Leeds were both top over the festive period.

Liverpool have spent 141 days top of the Premier League - 16 more than Manchester City. Chelsea spent nine days top - and Manchester United were top for one day, beating Leicester 2-1 in the first game of the season.

The last time Liverpool spent more days on top in a season was 1990-91 (163 days), when they also finished second. They are far away from the Premier League record for a team spending the most time top without winning the league though - Newcastle United's 212 days in 1995-96 may never be surpassed.

Man City - relentless and free-scoring

 
Brighton 1-4 Manchester City: Pep Guardiola 'so happy' with back-to-back titles

City's points haul in itself was not record breaking - mostly because of their 100-point tally in 2017-18. But they have broken plenty of other records.

Only five top-flight title-winning teams have ever won 30 games in a season, including football before the Premier League and 42-game seasons. City's record 32 wins last season put them on the list, and this season's vintage are on it again with the same figure.

And they are the first team in English Football League history to win 30 games in three different seasons (2001-02 First Division, 2017-18 and 2018-19 Premier League).

City have also scored more goals than any English top-flight team in a season. They have managed 163 in all competitions. They also had the previous record, 156 in 2013-14. In fact City have three of the top five scoring seasons, with 143 in 2017-18.