Will Chelsea win the Premier League? Five famous chokes to give Tottenham hope and Blues fans the jitters

 
Joe Hall
Follow Joe
Chelsea fans nervous
Reasons to worry? Chelsea hold a four point advantage over second-place Tottenham (Source: Getty)

After beating Stoke in mid-march, Chelsea stretched their lead over Tottenham at the top of the Premier League to 13 points. Chelsea required just 21 points from the remaining 30 available to be mathematically certain of clinching the title.

Fast-forward barely more than a month and the apparent coronation has been derailed. Chelsea have lost twice in four league fixtures — at home to Crystal Palace and away at Manchester United — while a resurgent Spurs have pulled to within four points.

It couldn't happen, could it?

Chelsea may have seized the psychological advantage over their pursuers with a 4-2 semi-final win at Wembley on Saturday and enjoy the easiest fixtures on paper with six games remaining, starting with Southampton at home tonight.

Unfortunately for the West Londoners, however, there is plenty of precedent for Premier League champions in waiting choking when it comes to the crunch time in the league.

Read more: Why the title race is back on after Conte's mistake

Liverpool 2013/14


(Source: Getty)

Biggest lead: 5 points

Final position: 2nd

Eventual winners: Manchester City

Brendan Rodgers’ buccaneering Liverpool side came to within just four games of lifting the Premier League trophy for the first time.

Following a seemingly pivotal win over Manchester City, Steven Gerrard vowed not to let the title slip from their grasp. You know what happened next. Chelsea came to town with Liverpool three points clear of City, who had a game in hand and a superior goal difference - a draw would have kept the Reds in pole position.

Instead, a victorious Chelsea left Anfield with Gerrard red-faced, Luis Suarez frustrated and City in pole position.

Read more: Why Kante was the only choice for player of the year

Manchester United 2011/12


(Source: Getty)

Biggest lead: 8 points

Final position: 2nd

Eventual winners: Manchester City

With six games to go Manchester United, still in Sir Alex Ferguson title-winning machine mode, enjoyed a healthy eight-point lead over pretenders Manchester City. Things looked sewn up.

Then United lost 1-0 at soon to be relegated Wigan. Still, a five-point gap with five games to go is pretty insurmountable, right? Wrong. United then blew a two-goal lead to draw 4-4 at home with Everton. Even then, the title was still within their grasp if they could get a result in the Manchester derby. They couldn’t. And City won their remaining two games to win the title. Just.

Read more:

Arsenal 2007/08


(Source: Getty)

Biggest lead: 5 points

Final position: 3rd

Eventual winners: Manchester United

Read more: Kane - Tottenham won't stop fighting for Premier League despite FA Cup defeat

Arsenal led the Premier League for two thirds of the 2007/08 Premier League season, opening up a five-point gap on their rivals with 12 games to go.

Emmanuel Adebayor and Eduardo da Silva were ripping defences to ribbons before the latter sustained a career-threatening injury away to Birmingham. The incident rocked the Gunners and triggered a five-game winless streak. By the time the Gunners next won they were six points adrift of eventual champions Manchester United.

Arsenal ended the season on 83 points, still a record for any team finishing third in the Premier League.

Arsenal 2002/03


(Source: Getty)

Biggest lead: 8 points

Final position: 2nd

Eventual winners: Manchester United

Another coulda-woulda-shoulda for Arsenal is the 2002/03 season when they held an eight point lead over Manchester United with less than 10 games to go.

Although United had a game in hand, bookmaker Paddy Power paid out on bets for Arsenal to win what would be a second league title in a row.

Yet the Gunners’ loss at Blackburn a week later offered United a way back. Sir Alex Ferguson’s men won all their remaining games with the exception of a 2-2 draw at Highbury.

A 3-2 loss to Leeds in Arsenal’s penultimate home game of their season ended their title hopes.

Newcastle 1995/96


(Source: Getty)

Biggest lead: 12 points

Final position: 2nd

Eventual winners: Manchester United

This was one of the most thrilling title races of all time between the ultra-attacking Newcastle entertainers and Fergie’s fledglings, yet it is a moment off the pitch that most people remember.

“I would love it if we beat them,” a vexed Keegan blustered into the microphone in reference to United after his side had surrendered a 12 point lead held in mid-January.

Newcastle won just five of their final 13 games - a run that included the legendary 4-3 loss away to Liverpool, a classic Premier League thriller.

Related articles