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The last 10 Premier League sides top on Christmas Day and what it means for Man City

Vincent Kompany lifts the Barclays Premier League trophy for Manchester City after Liverpool slumped to second in the league

For the first time in four years Manchester City will be first in the Premier League table on Christmas Day but being top of the tree on December 25 doesn’t always guarantee success come May time.

Twice before the Cityzens have been at the summit at Christmas with both Roberto Mancini and Pep Guardiola going on to lift the trophy at the end of the season.

And while history suggests topping the table at this stage increases your chance of domestic glory, City need only look at title-rivals Liverpool for circumspection.

The Reds have let the Premier League title slip through their fingers no fewer than three times in the last 10 years.

Three times Liverpool have let the league title slip away from them after topping the table at Christmas

Daily Star Sport examines how the top-flight leaders on Christmas Day have fared over the past decade…

2011/12 – Manchester City

A season that needs no introduction for Manchester City fans.

Roberto Mancini’s men recorded a first-ever Premier League title in dramatic circumstances with City scoring twice in stoppage time to snatch the crown away from bitter rivals Manchester United.

Can anyone stop Manchester City from claiming back-to-back Premier League titles? Let us know in the comments section.

Sergio Aguero scored a dramatic late winner as Manchester City recorded their first Premier League crown

Sergio Aguero scored a dramatic late winner as Manchester City recorded their first Premier League crown

Leading the Red Devils by two points on Christmas Day, the Cityzens had to rely on their superior goal difference to claim a first top-flight honour in 44 years when the season came to its sensational conclusion.

A 1-0 win over United in April knocked Sir Alex Ferguson’s side off their perch and despite doing their best to throw the title away, Sergio Aguero’s 94th-minute winner handed the blue half of Manchester its first Premier League crown.

2012/13 – Manchester United

In Sir Alex Ferguson’s final season in management, Manchester United stormed to the title with an eventual 11-point margin over closest rivals Manchester City.

Sir Alex Ferguson bows out from management, lifting his 13th Premier League title with Manchester United

Sir Alex Ferguson bows out from management, lifting his 13th Premier League title with Manchester United

And by Christmas time it was pretty evident who would go on to lift the Premier League trophy with the Red Devils having already claimed scalps over Man City, Chelsea and Arsenal who would go onto to finish 2nd, 3rd and 4th respectively.

In fact, United spent 191 days at the top of the table during the 2012/13 campaign with 177 of those coming consecutively.

After a 3-1 win over Queens Park Rangers on November 24, Sir Alex Ferguson’s side remained top of the table until the final day of the season.

2013/14 – Liverpool

The first of three league titles that got away from Liverpool over the past decade.

Steven Gerrard’s slip lets in Demba Ba to strike a blow to Liverpool’s title hopes

In a closely fought race, Brendan Rodgers’ men led the Premier League on goal difference on December 25 but fell to fifth just two games later.

Back to back losses against title rivals Manchester City and Chelsea wasn’t the ideal way to end 2013 but with star man Luis Suarez banging in the goals, the Reds always had an outside shot at the title.

And it seemed more than just an outside shot by springtime 2014.

Liverpool won 11 games on the spin from February 8 to April 20, putting themselves five points clear of second-placed Chelsea with three matches to go.

Vincent Kompany lifts the Barclays Premier League trophy for Manchester City after Liverpool slumped to second in the league

But a colossal fall from grace saw them slip up in staggering circumstances.

Steven Gerrard’s famous slip against the Blues was compounded through letting a 3-0 lead go to waste versus Crystal Palace and Manchester City capitalised by winning their final five fixtures to pip the Reds to the title.

2014/15 – Chelsea

Jose Mourinho once again orchestrated his famous second-season success with Chelsea battering the rest of the competition away.

A 3-1 victory away at Burnley sent the Blues to the summit on the opening day of the season, where they would stay until its conclusion in May.

They led second-placed Manchester City by three points on Christmas Day before extending their superiority during the second half of the season.

Chelsea finished the campaign eight points clear of City, yet Mourinho would last just a further seven months at Stamford Bridge.

2015/16 – Leicester City

Having dramatically survived relegation the previous season, Leicester ploughed on to dizzying new heights under new boss Claudio Ranieri with the Italian taking the plucky little Foxes to the top of the Premier League in time for Christmas.

And while everyone assumed their impressive run would come to its inevitable end at some point, Leicester were determined to prove themselves as title winners.

After slipping to second at the turn of the year, the Foxes rallied, losing just one Premier League game in the second half of the season.

With Jamie Vardy breaking top-flight records, Riyad Mahrez turning defenders inside out and the ubiquitous N’golo Kane covering every blade of grass, Leicester City were champions of England.

2016/17 – Chelsea

A 3-0 defeat to London rivals Arsenal was the catalyst for change at Chelsea with new manager Antonio Conte switching to play with three central defenders for the remainder of the season.

Antonio Conte led Chelsea to Premier League glory in his debut season in England

The change proved a masterstroke with the Blues winning their next 13 matches in the top flight.

They went top of the table in November after beating Middlesbrough 1-0 at the Riverside Stadium and would stay there for the rest of the campaign.

Conte’s men were six points clear of Liverpool at Christmas and stormed to the title with 93 points only two-shy of their record-breaking 2005/06 campaign.

2017/18 – Manchester City

Manchester City broke a host of Premier League records on their way to winning the title in 2018

13 points clear by Christmas, the question of who would be crowned Premier League champions was already wrapped up by December as Pep Guardiola’s side continued to break record after record on their way to domestic glory.

Recording 100 points by the end of the campaign, City reached a historic century with the most wins, most goals, best goal difference and most consecutive victories in a Premier League season.

The Cityzens finished 19 points of second-placed Manchester United, lifting the trophy after the Red Devils 1-0 defeat to West Bromwich Albion with five matches still to play.

2018/19 – Liverpool

It was the same old story for Liverpool in 2018/19.

Despite leading the league at Christmas, Liverpool once again missed out on the Premier League title

Still awaiting a first league title since 1990 the Reds topped the table at Christmas with a four-point led over Manchester City but were once again beaten to the title by the Cityzens in remarkable circumstances.

Finishing the season with 97 points, the Reds would have won the league in 25 of the past 27 seasons but Jurgen Klopp’s side had to settle for second place with City pipping them to the league by a single point.

After a 2-1 defeat away at Newcastle, Pep Guardiola’s men won their final fourteen matches to crush scouse dreams and claim a second successive Premier League crown.

2019/20 – Liverpool

19/20 was a historic season for so many reasons.

After a 30 year wait, Liverpool were once again Champions of England

A global pandemic, empty stadiums and temporary away dressing rooms situated in press rooms but the 2019/20 campaign was also the first time Liverpool didn’t bottle the league title after leading at Christmas.

The Reds feature four times on this list over the past decade but have just one Premier League crown to their name.

But even the specialists couldn’t throw away this title with a 10-point buffer over second-placed Leicester on Christmas Day.

And their sole Premier League crown was recorded in style with seven matches to spare – the earliest the league has ever been won since its rebrand in 1992.

2020/21 – Liverpool

Liverpool are the only team in the past decade to have led the league at Christmas and not be crowned champions in May

Liverpool are the only team in the past decade to have led the league at Christmas and not be crowned champions in May

Ah Liverpool, the only name on this list that continues to top the table at Christmas, only to end up without silverware come the end of the season.

For the third season in a row, the Reds were at the summit of the Premier League whilst the country was tucking into its turkey but the eight-point lead over Manchester City would not last.

After a poor start to the season, the Cityzens were languishing in eighth in the top flight but surged to win 15 matches in a row and capitalise on Liverpool’s new year slump.

Manchester City were crowned Premier League champions in May after taking advantage of Liverpool’s poor form in 2021

The Reds lost eight of their opening 12 Premier League matches in 2021, slumping as low as eighth in the table before eventually rising to third on the final day of the campaign.

City though finished 12 points ahead of second-placed Manchester United and were crowned champions for the third time in four seasons after their rivals lost 2-1 at home to Leicester City.


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