Manchester City put their recent loss at Norwich City behind them by scoring eight goals without reply against Watford over the weekend.
The record-laden result was all the more frightening when you consider Raheem Sterling was an unused substitute by Pep Guardiola.
This was the fourth instance in Guardiola’s decorated managerial career that he’s masterminded a league game ending 8-0, but the first time City have experienced such a scoreline in the Premier League era.
Consequently, this was Watford’s heaviest defeat in the competition, which has got us thinking. Of the 20 sides currently playing in England’s top flight what are their best and worst results of the Premier League era? Read on to find out.
BEST RESULT: 7-0 v Everton (May 11, 2005) and v Middlesbrough (January 14, 2006)
Arsenal have been a Premier League club from the very beginning. However, the period before Arsene Wenger took over wasn’t exactly known for them expressing themselves in a ruthless manner, that changed when the professor took charge and in the mid-2000s – a few seasons after they went an entire league campaign unbeaten – they registered a pair of 7-0 wins. The first came at home against Everton in 2005, which saw Robert Pirès bag a brace, before Middlesbrough felt the same wrath a few months later. Thierry Henry with a hat-trick on that Saturday afternoon in January.
— Premier League (@premierleague) August 28, 2018
WORST RESULT: 8-2 v Manchester United (August 28, 2011)
The last decade of Wenger’s tenure was a far cry from the glory days when Arsenal were among the most-feared teams in England; a combination of questionable transfer practices coupled with others strengthening eventually saw the Gunners leaving the room and watching from the outside. Their lowest moment came at feared rivals Manchester United who spanked them 8-2 in a bewildering game that began the early calls for the Frenchman’s resignation. Robin van Persie, who scored one of the Gunners consolation goals, would leave for the Red Devils the following summer compounding further misery on the north London side.
BEST RESULT: 7-1 v Wimbledon (February 11, 1995)
In the early years, Aston Villa were a force, notably pushing Manchester United all the way in the league’s inaugural season. So, it comes as no surprise to know their biggest win to date came in early 1995 when Wimbledon returned to London having suffered a devastating 7-1 defeat at the hands of Brian Little’s men. Tommy Johnson was the star that day having registered his first and last Premier League treble.
WORST RESULT: 8-0 v Chelsea (December 23, 2012)
It’s not been easy since those halcyon days especially as they’ve recently suffered the ignominy of relegation. The gulf between the league’s regular Champions League participants and the rest really began to show in the early 2010s and Villa would suffer an 8-0 lashing by Chelsea – even the struggling Fernando Torres got himself on the scoresheet – just 48 hours before Christmas Day 2012.
BEST RESULT: 6-1 v Hull City (October 15, 2016)
The fact that Bournemouth are Premier League mainstays is down to the work undertaken by manager Eddie Howe and those above him. Their promotion in 2015 seems a lifetime ago given how they’ve assimilated in the big time. A tentative first season was followed by the Cherries getting their elbows out, Hull would suffer a 6-1 loss to them, making it their biggest win to date.
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) October 15, 2016
WORST RESULT: 5-0 v Tottenham Hotspur (December 26, 2018)
Reality, though, has crept in these last few years. No matter the amount of money awash in the league there’s still a hierarchy. Spurs, now flying under Mauricio Pochettino, produced a statement result last Boxing Day when they put five past them at Wembley, their temporary home. Son Heung-min, becoming increasingly important, was one shy of a hat-trick.
Brighton & Hove Albion
BEST RESULT: 4-1 v Swansea City (February 24, 2018)
Another newish outfit. Brighton & Hove Albion ended a 34-year absence from English football’s top-flight in 2017 when they became the 48th different Premier League club and, against all odds, have maintained their status since then. Their first campaign, which saw them finish 15th, also produced the Seagulls’ best result to date: a 4-1 win over soon-to-be relegated Swansea City.
WORST RESULT: 5-0 v Bournemouth (April 13, 2019)
Survival the following season was a lot more challenging; then-manager Chris Hughton kept them up by the skin of their teeth, but that wasn’t enough for him to keep his job. A month before the league concluded they were humbled 5-0 by Bournemouth with three of those goals following Anthony Knockaert’s late sending off.
BEST RESULT: 4-0 v Bournemouth (September 22, 2018)
Burnley are currently enjoying a third Premier League spell and it’s fair to say this one is proving to be the more successful. Then again, they went straight back down after their opening two campaigns whilst currently it’s four seasons and counting. The last few years has seen the pragmatic Clarets come alive with their 4-0 victory over Bournemouth in September 2018 a turning point of sorts.
WORST RESULT: 6-1 v Manchester City (April 3, 2010)
Let’s go back to that inaugural 2009/10 season because it’s where you’ll find their most humbling of losses. It came in April 2010 when the growing force that is Manchester City arrived at Turf Moor and left with a 6-1 win. Emmanuel Adebayor helped himself to a brace whilst Patrick Vieira and Vincent Kompany also found themselves among the goals.
BEST RESULT: 8-0 v Wigan Athletic (May 9, 2010) and v Aston Villa (December 23, 2012)
Following the takeover by Roman Abramovich prior to the 2003/04 campaign Chelsea have transformed from being an also-ran into a juggernaut. Despite the many managerial changes, the Stamford Bridge-based club continue to pick up silverware. The first two years of the 2010s saw them flex their muscles on the pitch; beating Wigan 8-0 before allowing Villa to suffer that same fate. Current boss Frank Lampard would strike in both games.
— Premier League (@premierleague) May 12, 2019
WORST RESULT: 6-0 v Manchester City (February 10, 2019)
Before the appointment of Lampard, Maurizio Sarri had been expected to be at Stamford Bridge for the long haul. However, indifferent results and performances midway through the 2018/19 season put his future into serious jeopardy, matters weren’t helped when Manchester City ruthlessly brushed them aside 6-0, their worst league defeat since Nottingham Forest thumped them 7-0 in April 1991.
BEST RESULT: 5-0 v Leicester City (April 28, 2018)
Given their Premier League presence stretches back to the mid-90s, albeit having also spent a large chunk playing outside the top division, it’s surprising to find Palace’s biggest win came in the Roy Hodgson era. The would-be victims were Leicester City, who two years prior shocked the sporting world, on that April day in 2018 the Eagles had no fewer than five different goal scorers including full-back Patrick van Aanholt.
WORST RESULT: 6-1 v Liverpool (August 20, 1994)
As touched upon, Palace were there in the early days, so were Liverpool who tonked them 6-1 at Selhurst Park on the opening day of the 1994/95 season, veteran Reds marksman Ian Rush scoring twice after the break, it proved to be a sign of things to come as they would suffer relegation and would not return for another 10 years.
BEST RESULT: 7-1 v Southampton (November 16, 1996) and v Sunderland (November 24, 2007)
Everton are what you’d call a ‘sleeping giant’, despite so many promising starts it might be a while before they awaken. Twice in the Premier League era have they recorded their biggest win, a 7-1 scoreline, first against Southampton in late 1996 and then 11 years later against Sunderland, another team that wears red-and-white stripes and begins with ‘S’.
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) May 11, 2019
WORST RESULT: 7-0 v Arsenal (May 11, 2005)
It’s telling of the grand history of this club that losing 7-0 to Arsenal in May 2005 is their record defeat in any competition. Back then Wenger’s boys were as vicious as any side in league history, and Everton were the unfortunate opponents despite having a good season, securing a top four finish. Among the goals that day were Robin van Persie and Dennis Bergkamp, two Dutch greats from different generations.
BEST RESULT: 5-1 v Queens Park Rangers (May 24, 2015)
Before they shock the world Leicester City were fighting to maintain their Premier League existence, they managed to do so under Nigel Pearson with his final game being a 5-1 victory at home to QPR, scoring that day was Jamie Vardy who couldn’t have known the season he was about to enjoy.
WORST RESULT: 6-1 v Arsenal (December 26, 2000) and v Tottenham Hotspur (May 18, 2017)
North London teams have not been kind to Leicester down the years. Thierry Henry helped Arsenal pull off a 6-1 win over them on Boxing Day in 2000, the Frenchman scoring yet another Premier League hat-trick, before Harry Kane put four past them as Spurs registered the same scoreline in May 2017.
BEST RESULT: 7-1 v Southampton (January 16, 1999)
Given how they are playing under Jurgen Klopp it won’t be long before Liverpool break the record for their heaviest Premier League win which incredibly came in January 1999 when Gérard Houllier’s team swatted Southampton 7-1 with current pundits Jamie Carragher and Michael Owen scoring once each while Robbie Fowler grabbed a hat-trick.
WORST RESULT: 6-1 v Stoke City (May 24, 2015)
Back then Steven Gerrard had yet to establish himself in Liverpool’s midfield, but it wouldn’t be long before he did becoming a legend of the club. His final game for his boyhood team before relocating to LA Galaxy was away to Stoke City, a nightmarish ending as they’d lose 6-1 with the former England captain scoring their consolation goal.
BEST RESULT: 8-0 v Watford (September 21, 2019)
City were in no mood to play when Watford visited following their recent loss at Norwich City, but no one could have foreseen the damage they would inflict on a low on confidence Hornets side, the defending Premier League champions raced into a 5-0 lead after just 18 minutes – a league record – before striking three more times in the second half.
2008: Middlesbrough 8-1 Man City
2019: Man City 8-0 Watford
Manchester City are the first team in the Premier League era to both score and concede 8 goals in a single game. pic.twitter.com/C3xwch51I1
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 21, 2019
WORST RESULT: 8-1 v Middlesbrough (May 11, 2008)
A game involving Manchester City with one of the participants scoring eight is nothing new. More than a decade ago, a team consisting of Michael Ball, Stephen Ireland and Darius Vassell, led by Sven-Göran Eriksson, were put to the sword at Middlesbrough whose 8-1 victory was spearheaded by future Three Lions head coach Gareth Southgate.
BEST RESULT: 9-0 v Ipswich Town (March 4, 1995)
It felt that City would become the first Premier League club to reach double figures, instead the league’s record win still belongs to city rivals Manchester United who famously scored nine against Ipswich Town in March 1995 with newcomer Andy Cole coming one goal short of registering a double hat-trick.
WORST RESULT: 6-1 v Manchester City (October 23, 2011)
During the reign of Sir Alex Ferguson, there were some memorable defeats but nothing more galling than when the ‘noisy neighbours’ showed up one Sunday afternoon at Old Trafford in October 2011 and left with the mother of bragging rights, a 6-1 victory that saw Roberto Mancini’s team score three times after the 88-minute mark.
BEST RESULT: 8-0 v Sheffield Wednesday (September 19, 1999)
Newcastle United are unlucky not to be previous Premier League champions. In the years following Kevin Keegan’s ‘entertainers’ the Magpies would register the biggest victory which their old boss would have been proud of. Sheffield Wednesday were the unfortunate party in a game that saw Alan Shearer bag five goals.
#OTD in 1999…
Sir Bobby Robson got off to a dream start as @NUFC manager, as his side beat Sheffield Wednesday 8-0 in his first match at St James' Park.
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) September 19, 2019
WORST RESULT: 6-0 v Manchester United (January 12, 2008) and v Liverpool (April 27, 2013)
It’s not been an easy time of late for those who see the world in black-and-white. Cristiano Ronaldo scored his only league hat-trick for Manchester United at their expense in January 2008, five years before Liverpool also defeated them 6-0, however on this occasion the painful loss came in front of their supporters.
BEST RESULT: 5-1 v Everton (September 25, 1993)
Norwich were a top-three side following the first-ever Premier League season which saw them run out 5-1 winners against Everton at Goodison Park early on, striker Efan Ekoku scoring four times, a result that remains their biggest win in competition history.
WORST RESULT: 7-0 v Manchester City (November 2, 2013)
Since those high-flying days Norwich have gone through a cycle of promotion and relegation. During their third Premier League spell they’d suffer a 7-0 loss against would-be champions Manchester City, two of those however were own goals from Bradley Johnson and Russell Martin.
BEST RESULT: 6-0 v Tottenham Hotspur (March 2, 1993)
Sheffield United finished mid-table in the inaugural Premier League season, with city rivals Wednesday seven places above them in seventh (out of 22 teams). A rare highlight was a 6-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur in March 1993, on that day Ian Bryson scored his second and third goals of the season.
WORST RESULT: 4-0 v Newcastle United (November 24, 1993) and v Liverpool (February 24, 2007)
A few months later the Blades were on the receiving end of a beatdown. Recently-promoted Newcastle United sent them home from St James’ Park with a 4-0 defeat to think about, nearly 14 years later Neil Warnock’s men would suffer the same feeling, but this time on the road at Anfield.
BEST RESULT: 8-0 v Sunderland (October 18, 2014)
Southampton under Ronald Koeman were, at times, fun to watch. His eighth match in charge saw Saints claim an 8-0 win over Sunderland, incredibly they were only leading 3-0 at half-time, on the scoresheet that day were Dusan Tadic and Graziano Pellè.
— Premier League (@premierleague) October 18, 2014
WORST RESULT: 7-1 v Everton (November 16, 1996) and v Liverpool (January 16, 1999)
Given the topsy-turvy nature of Southampton in recent times you’d think their heaviest defeat would be more recent than 1999 when Liverpool slapped a 7-1 loss on them, which equalled their biggest loss initially handed to them by Everton in November 1996.
BEST RESULT: 9-1 v Wigan Athletic (November 22, 2009)
Manchester United are not the only Premier League club to score nine in a single game. Spurs managed that feat in November 2009 at lowly Wigan’s expense. It’s a game best remembered for Jermain Defoe scoring five goals across 36 minutes in the second half. What’s also remarkable about this 9-1 success was Spurs went into half-time with a 1-0 lead.
WORST RESULT: 7-1 v Newcastle United (December 28, 1996)
Spurs today are nothing like what they were two decades ago. Capable of giving any side a game, they fell short in terms of challenging for top honours, the mid-90s saw Newcastle United stand out as Man Utd’s biggest league rival and the Magpies would give their North London opponents a 7-1 drubbing jus days before the New Year.
BEST RESULT: 5-1 v Cardiff City (February 22, 2019)
Javi Gracia’s time as Watford boss lasted for 57 league games. Early in 2019, he’d lead them to a 5-1 win at struggling Cardiff City, with mercurial winger Gerard Deulofeu scoring a 45-minute hat-trick.
— Cardiff City FC (@CardiffCityFC) February 22, 2019
WORST RESULT: 8-0 v Manchester City (September 21, 2019)
Two games after Gracia’s sacking, which saw Quique Sánchez Flores return at the helm, the Hornets suffered that 8-0 defeat at Manchester City’s hands.
West Ham United
BEST RESULT: 6-0 v Barnsley (January 10, 1998)
Harry Redknapp felt his West Ham team should have amounted to more than what they achieved. Their 6-0 win over Barnsley in January 1998, which saw a young Frank Lampard open the scoring, was a highlight in a season they’d finish eighth.
WORST RESULT: 7-1 v Manchester United (April 1, 2000) and v Blackburn Rovers (October 14, 2001)
Paul Scholes scored the first of his two Premier League hat-tricks against West Ham in April 2000, and that 7-1 defeat against Man Utd was equalled by Blackburn Rovers more than a year later, incredibly each goal was scored by a different player.
BEST RESULT: 4-0 v Blackpool (February 26, 2011)
Wolves became a Premier League club for the first time in 2003 but wouldn’t truly make an impact until they returned five years later. Their third ever season saw Mick McCarthy’s men defeat fellow strugglers Blackpool 4-0 with Sylvan Ebanks-Blake bagging a brace.
WORST RESULT: 5-0 v Chelsea (September 20, 2003), v Fulham (March 4, 2012) and v Manchester United (March 18, 2012)
Going back to 2003 they couldn’t have been given a tougher welcome than when Chelsea beat them 5-0, a record defeat since matched by Fulham and Man Utd, the latter two results being separated by 14 days.