With a 25-point gap and just one defeat to their name, Liverpool look all set to finally bring home their first league title in 30 years when Premier League football finally resumes.
Given their ruthlessness, they’re likely to post one of the highest points totals, if not the highest outright, in competition history.
But Jurgen Klopp’s men have some serious competition to contend with if they’re to top the following list of Premier League champions ordered by total points tallies (though some they have already surpassed, as is detailed below).
*Teams with an equal number of points are separated by goal difference.
27. Manchester United (1996/97)
- Points: 75
- Goals scored: 76 (+32)
First on our list is Manchester United’s 1996/97 title win.
As Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Ronny Johnsen and Teddy Sheringham arrived and stalwarts such as Steve Bruce, Eric Cantona and Lee Sharpe made way, this very much felt like a transitional season for the Red Devils.
However, despite posting the lowest points total of any title-winning side, they still managed to finish seven points clear of second-placed Newcastle United, thanks largely to Solskjaer’s 19-goal contribution.
26. Arsenal (1997/98)
- Points: 78
- Goals scored: 68 (+35)
Man Utd weren’t able to hold onto their title in the next season. They threw away a 12-point lead to Arsenal, who went on a 16-match unbeaten run between Boxing Day and May 3rd to topple the Red Devils. Arsene Wenger’s men went on to seal the double with a 2-0 FA Cup final win over Newcastle United at the end of the season.
Despite that incredible run, this was still the second-lowest points total for a Premier League title winner in what was a period of tense battles between Arsenal and United.
25. Manchester United (1998/99)
- Points: 79
- Goals scored: 80 (+43)
The most successful season in Manchester United’s history, although it may surprise some to learn the historic treble-winners sealed the Premier League title with just 79 points. Perhaps that is a testament to just how much tighter the gap was between top-flight sides back then.
Despite Arsenal conceding just 17 goals that season, the Red Devils were able to finish a point clear of their rivals, out-gunning them further up the pitch thanks to the formidable partnership of Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke, who scored 17 and 18 Premier League goals respectively, as well as the likes of Solskjaer backing them up from the bench.
24. Manchester United (2000/01)
- Points: 80
- Goals scored: 79 (+41)
United were comfortably the dominant force in English football by this point and showing no signs of relinquishing their stranglehold on the Premier League title.
In the end, 80 points was enough to finish 10 clear of Arsenal, despite losing their final three games. That winning margin was in no small part down to a 6-1 thumping of the Gunners in February.
Veteran Sheringham finished as the club’s top-scorer with 15 goals.
23. Manchester United (2010/11)
- Points: 80
- Goals scored: 78 (+48)
Another year, another title victory for United, and another Champions League final, although they were once again beaten by Barcelona.
Sir Alex Ferguson had plenty of attacking talent at his disposal with the likes of Wayne Rooney, Nani, Javier Hernandez and Dimitar Berbatov, while the centre-back pairing of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic made sure his side were almost air-tight at the back.
Despite its low billing on the list, this United side is one of only six to ever beat all the other 19 Premier League teams within a single season.
22. Leicester City (2015/16)
- Points: 81
- Goals scored: 68 (+32)
For all Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal and Man City’s greatness at various points in Premier League history, has there ever been a more famous or remarkable title win than Leicester City’s in 2015/16?
Sure, you could argue the top sides were off the pace throughout the season, but the Foxes went from escape artists to champions in just one season thanks to the exploits of Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez, N’Golo Kante et al.
Congratulations to Leicester on winning their first ever English top-flight title.
You heard us: Leicester City! pic.twitter.com/eJrT3rgMsD
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) May 2, 2016
Furthermore, Claudio Ranieri showed he can match the most tactically gifted coaches in the game when required, morphing his side from counter-attacking animals to defensive domineers midway through the season.
21. Manchester United (1995/96)
- Points: 82
- Goals scored: 73 (+38)
The 1994/95 season saw United finish runners-up to Blackburn Rovers and lose the FA Cup final to a heavily unfancied Everton, so something had to change.
Ferguson sold the likes of Paul Ince, Andrei Kanchelskis and Mark Hughes but instead of making a splash to replace them, put his faith in academy graduates David Beckham, Nicky Butt and the Neville brothers.
Eric Cantona also returned from his eight-month suspension in October and finished as the club’s top scorer with 19 goal across all competitions, firing the Red Devils to the title with a four-point gap over Newcastle United, who had led by 10 points just before Christmas (this is the season that gave us that Kevin Keegan rant).
N/A. Liverpool (2019/20)
- Points: 82
- Goals scored: 66 (+45)
However likely this outcome is, here’s where Liverpool would place were the Premier League to call the season and base any ensuing decisions on current standings as Ligue 1 did. Also unclear is how those who handle Premier League records would look upon the disrupted 2019/20 season, of course.
20. Manchester United (2002/03)
- Points: 83
- Goals scored: 74 (+40)
Despite being outscored 85-74 by Arsenal across the season, United were fantastic defensively in 2002/03, conceding just 34 Premier League goals. This was largely thanks to the then-British record £29.1m acquisition of Rio Ferdinand from Leeds United.
United spent only six weeks at the top of the table during 2002/03 — the final six weeks of the season — but were able to win the title thanks to an 18-game unbeaten run from December 28th through to the end of the campaign.
19. Manchester United (1992/93)
- Points: 84
- Goals scored: 67 (+36)
Manchester United won the inaugural Premier League title, and their first in 26 years, with 84 points despite having to deal with an intense three-way battle between themselves, Aston Villa and Norwich City.
Sure, 84 points isn’t a huge total, especially in a 42-game season, but the fact they lost just six of those games is impressive in itself.
It was the season Eric Cantona was signed from Leeds United, a watershed moment for English football, and it culminated in Ferguson winning the first LMA Manager of the Year award. Ryan Giggs also won something called the Young Eagle of the Year.
18. Manchester City (2013/14)
- Points: 86
- Goals scored: 102 (+65)
As title races go, few have been as dramatic as 2013/14, where Man City beat Liverpool to the title on the final day by just two points.
City (102) and Liverpool (101) scored a ridiculous 203 goals between them that season in what was a precursor of modern Premier League title races. But, in the end, it was City’s far superior defence which saw them over the line. That, and a little help from a Steven Gerrard slip and Crystal Palace.
17. Chelsea (2009/10)
- Points: 86
- Goals scored: 103 (+71)
Many remember Chelsea’s title-winning sides as defensive juggernauts but 2009/10 was truly the year of Didier Drogba, who fired 37 goals across all competitions – 29 in the Premier League — to help Carlo Ancelotti to a Premier League and FA Cup double.
The Blues also illustrated their dominance that season with 7-2, 7-1, 7-0 and 8-0 home wins over Sunderland, Aston Villa, Stoke City and Wigan Athletic, respectively.
16. Chelsea (2014/15)
- Points: 87
- Goals scored: 73 (+41)
With Jose Mourinho back at the helm, 2014/15 was much more workmanlike and defensive for Chelsea, but it still resulted in a title, and this time, they finished a comfortable eight points clear of second-placed Manchester City.
Diego Costa scored 20 league goals that season, but it was the defensive efforts of John Terry, Cesar Azpilicueta, Gary Cahill and company that won the day.
15. Arsenal (2001/02)
- Points: 87
- Goals scored: 79 (+43)
Having lost a dramatic FA Cup final to Liverpool and finished second to Manchester United in the league the previous season, Wenger was hell-bent on putting things right for Arsenal in 2001/02.
They did so in real style, scoring in all 38 league games and remaining unbeaten away from home to finish seven points clear of second-placed Liverpool, while they also brushed aside Chelsea 2-0 in the FA Cup final to secure another domestic double.
14. Manchester United (2007/08)
- Points: 87
- Goals scored: 80 (+58)
This was the year Cristiano Ronaldo truly exploded as a Manchester United player and once he did, there was absolutely nobody who could stop him.
The Portuguese sensation netted 42 times across all competitions — 31 in the Premier League — as Ferguson’s men finished four points clear of Arsenal in third and two clear of Chelsea in second, also beating the latter on penalties in an all-English Champions League final.
13. Blackburn Rovers (1994/95)
ON THIS DAY: In 1995, Blackburn Rovers won their first and only Premier League title, ending 81 years without a league trophy. 🏆 pic.twitter.com/UAI2PYhMkd
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) May 14, 2017
- Points: 89
- Goals scored: 80 (+41)
Jack Walker’s millions, Shearer and Sutton’s “SAS” partnership, Blackburn Rovers’ 1994/95 title win has gone down in folklore.
That they sealed the deal despite losing 2-1 at Liverpool on the final day, with none other than Reds legend Kenny Dalglish at the helm, just adds to the poetry. Lucky that West Ham made up for their 2-0 defeat of Rovers just a couple of weeks prior with a final-day 1-1 draw with Man Utd, huh?
12. Manchester United (2012/13)
ON THIS DAY: In 2013, Sir Alex Ferguson announced his retirement from football, after 26 years at Man Utd.
Enormous trophy cabinet. 🏆 pic.twitter.com/EIt56yGaeD
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) May 8, 2017
- Points: 89
- Goals scored: 86 (+43)
Not to be outdone, Ferguson brought Robin van Persie in from rivals Arsenal and made damn sure City wouldn’t topple him for a second year in a row.
With Van Persie bagging 26 Premier League goals, United once again posted 89 points. This time, though City were 11 points back having been massively outscored by their rivals 86-66.
The season marked the end of the Premier League’s most enduring managerial tenure as Ferguson stepped down after 26 years in charge.
11. Manchester United (2006/07)
- Points: 89
- Goals scored: 83 (+56)
2006/07 was United’s first season without legendary captain Roy Keane, while Ferguson also let the likes of Ruud van Nistelrooy and Tim Howard leave the club.
No matter, though. Michael Carrick arrived from Spurs to dictate the tempo in midfield, while Ronaldo and Rooney fired United to the title with 17 and 14 Premier League goals respectively.
It was heartbreak elsewhere, though, as United lost to Chelsea in the FA Cup final and crashed out of the Champions League at the semi-final stage, losing 3-0 to AC Milan in the second leg having taken a 3-2 lead at Old Trafford. Milan’s opponents in the final? Liverpool. Oh, what could have been.
10. Manchester City (2011/12)
- Points: 89
- Goals scored: 93 (+64)
Remember when we said few title races are more dramatic than 2013/14? Well, this is one of them.
Manchester rivals City and United battled it out all season for the title, with Roberto Mancini’s men winning 6-1 at Old Trafford but intermittent defeats stopping them from capitalising on their close neighbours.
In the end, it went down to the final day, and although United won 1-0 at Sunderland, that came just 15 seconds before Sergio Aguero served up the Premier League moment, scoring in the final seconds to seal a 3-2 stoppage time comeback win over QPR.
City won the title on goal difference, Martin Tyler lost his head and the Etihad pitch became invisible amid a horde of fans desperate to celebrate with their heroes.
9. Manchester United (2008/09)
- Points: 90
- Goals scored: 68 (+44)
After a ridiculous 2007/08, Ronaldo slowed down somewhat and scored just 18 Premier League goals in 2008/09 — totalling 26 strikes overall.
However, it was still enough to seal a third Premier League title in a row for the Red Devils, as well as a move to Real Madrid, while United also won the League Cup and were runners-up to Barcelona in the Champions League.
That Liverpool outscored United 77-68, while Arsenal and Chelsea both matched their goal tally, speaks volumes of just how important Ferdinand, Vidic and goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar were to this particular title win.
8. Arsenal (2003/04)
- Points: 90
- Goals scored: 73 (+47)
You can call them lucky all you want, but the fact Arsenal went the entire 2003/04 season unbeaten is as remarkable as it is legendary.
The Gunners boasted serious firepower up-front that season in the form of Thierry Henry, Robert Pires and Dennis Bergkamp, while the defensive exploits of Sol Campbell, Kolo Toure and Co ensured they conceded just 26 goals all season.
Given their dominance at the time, you wouldn’t have thought this would be Arsenal’s last title win to date, would you?
7. Chelsea (2005/06)
- Points: 91
- Goals scored: 72 (+50)
Having just won the title a season previous with a record-low 15 goals conceded, Mourinho’s Chelsea once again wrapped up the Premier League in 2005/06. Although they were a little leakier than last time, they still conceded just 22 goals all season, while Frank Lampard helped himself to 16 Premier League goals.
6. Manchester United (1999/00)
- Points: 91
- Goals scored: 97 (+52)
Being treble winners is bound to put a big target on your head but, to United’s credit, they coped incredibly well with the pressure in 1999/00, losing just three Premier League games and finishing a whopping 18 points clear of second-placed Arsenal.
The Red Devils caused controversy by not competing in the FA Cup, but they still had the Fifa Club World Championship to contend with, which they crashed out of with just one win from three games. Ferguson could still rest easy, though, knowing his Premier League dominance was secure.
5. Manchester United (1993/94)
- Points: 92
- Goals scored: 80 (+42)
Another 42-game season, United absolutely dominated in 1993/94, remaining top of the table from the fourth game onwards.
Led by the fearsome Cantona — who netted 25 goals across all competitions — and backed by the exciting trio of Kanchelskis, Sharpe and Ryan Giggs, the Red Devils were a counter-attacking monster and finished the season on 92 points, eight clear of Blackburn.
Interestingly, they thrashed Chelsea 4-0 in the FA Cup final that year and were only denied what would then have been a first-ever domestic treble thanks to their 3-1 defeat to Aston Villa in the League Cup final.
4. Chelsea (2016/17)
- Points: 93
- Goals scored: 85 (+52)
In a tactical sense, at least, you could argue there hasn’t been a more important team in the Premier League than Chelsea’s 2016/17.
Struggling during the early part of the campaign, Antonio Conte famously switched to a back-three after a harrowing 3-0 defeat to Arsenal in September. However, from there, Chelsea gained a stranglehold on the title and never let go, winning the Premier League with 93 points.
As worked out by Michael Cox, the season prior saw a back-three used just 31 times in the Premier League across all teams. But thanks to Conte, the system was used 130 times in 2016/17, with 17 of the 20 clubs trying it out at one stage or the other. Furthermore, it was the first time a team using a back-three had lifted the English top-flight since Everton’s 1962/63 success under Harry Catterick.
3. Chelsea (2004/05)
- Points: 95
- Goals scored: 72 (+57)
Chelsea invested heavily in the summer of 2004, replacing Ranieri with Mourinho and bringing in the likes of Drogba, Petr Cech, Paulo Ferreira, Arjen Robben, Ricardo Carvalho and Mateja Kezman.
Roman Abramovich’s approach more than paid off as the Blues stormed to the title picking up an incredible 95 points, losing just once and conceding a record-low 15 goals.
Mourinho’s first title win in England was the one moulded most in his image.
2. Manchester City (2018/19)
- Points: 98 (+72)
- Goals scored: 95
Although the title wasn’t won on goal difference a la 2011/12, you could argue Man City had to work even harder to lift the Premier League in 2018/19.
Pep Guardiola’s men were pushed all season long by a rampant Liverpool side who lost just one game all season, 2-1 to City at the Etihad in January 2019.
City eventually won the title on the final day with 98 points, the second-highest points total in competition history, while Liverpool finished on 97, the third-highest points total in competition history. Guardiola’s side sealed the domestic treble that year.
Interestingly, Jurgen Klopp’s side went on to become European champions that summer, while it took until February 29th 2020 to lose another league match.
1. Manchester City (2017/18)
- Points: 100
- Goals scored: 106 (+79)
Here we are, the highest points total in Premier League history.
With the title already long wrapped up, you’re unlikely to see a late final-day winner at Southampton celebrated so exuberantly, but that’s exactly what happened when Gabriel Jesus netted to make Manchester City the first-ever Premier League side to notch 100 points in a single season.
So the Manchester City Fc team of 2017/18 was better than this Liverpool FC of 2019/20… With the 18 games consecutive league wins.
Liverpool FC it's time to push the boundaries of Legendary status!
— Gambit King (@IamValhustle) February 26, 2020
Furthermore, the Centurions set even more records, including: most away points (50), most points ahead of second (19), most wins (32), most away wins (16), most goals (106), best goal difference (+79) and most consecutive victories (18). They also equalled the record for the earliest Premier League title win, wrapping things up with five games to spare, beat every other team in the league throughout the season and recorded the most consecutive away wins (11).