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Going down to the wire

Steven LynchMay 2, 2014
Sergio Aguero and Manchester City celebrate their late goal © Getty Images
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With the Premier League going down to the wire I wondered if anyone had ever won it on goal difference before? And who recorded the most points without winning it? asked Howard Mills.

The Premier League has only once been decided on goal difference - two years ago, when Manchester City edged out Manchester United after both teams finished up with 89 points.

United's 89 points in 2011-12 is a record for a side that ended up second in the Premier League: they also recorded 88 in 1994-95, but lost by a point to Blackburn Rovers (there were 42 matches that season, though, compared to 38 now). Liverpool were runners-up with 86 points in 2008-09, the year after Chelsea finished second with 85, as did Manchester United in 2009-10.

On only three occasions so far has the team finishing third managed as many as 80 points: Liverpool had 82 in 2005-06, Arsenal 83 in 2007-08, and Chelsea 83 the following season.

The record number of points in a Premier League season is Chelsea's 95 in 2004-05. They added 91 the following year. Manchester United had 92 (from 42 games) in 1993-94, 91 in 1999-2000 (when they finished a record 18 points in front), and 90 in 2008-09.

Manchester United finished top in 1996-97 (the first 38-game season) with only 75 points, ahead of three teams on 68.

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