Liverpool has continued its apparent march to the Premier League title, with a 4-0 thrashing of rivals Leicester to open up a 13-point lead with a game in hand.
This is the fifth time the Reds have led the Premier League at Christmas — the most recent was last year. The previous four times they failed to go on to lift the title.
Leicester may be second on the table, but after big losses to Liverpool and Manchester City, they are realistically out of calculations for the title race.
The only side that could produce the comeback of the century is City — and that would deliver not only the ultimate dagger for Liverpool fans but burnish Guardiola’s legacy with the Citizens.
But realistically, it is hard to see the Reds slip up enough times to lose it from here.
ABC reports that the undefeated, and seemingly having the answer to their rivals, the question now being raised is whether the Reds are, or could be, on the way to the greatest Premier League season ever?
There are many possible metrics to use in answering this — you have the raw numbers of most wins, most points, least losses.
You can look at who played the best football, or who dominated the most, who beat the biggest challenge. Depending on your focus, you might come up with a number of different answers.
There was Leicester City‘s fairy tale season that shocked the world in 2015/16, where Claudio Ranieri‘s men went from favourites for the drop before the start, to Premier League champions.
If you want the greatest upset storyline, go no further. Players like striker Jamie Vardy, winger Riyad Mahrez, and dominant midfielder N’Golo Kante were crucial to the title win.
But it was a case of the team being much greater than the sum of its parts — and while it was an admirable and stunning performance from players and manager, Leicester was incredibly effective rather than overwhelming that season.
Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal team of 2003/04 has gone down in history as the “Invincibles”, as the only team to make it through an entire Premier League season without losing a match.
Their 26 wins and 12 draws gave them an impressive 90-point total, but more than that it was the way they played that stood out. Wenger’s attacking philosophy saw his team combining flair and skill with a steely control, conceding four fewer than their nearest rivals.
Manchester United won the title in 1998/99 — an unmatched third straight crown — as part of an unprecedented treble, with Sir Alex Ferguson‘s side also claiming the Champions League and FA Cup.
However, that side’s Premier League triumph was more stamina and determination than dominance, with three losses and 13 draws from 38 games leaving them with a single-point margin over Arsenal.
Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea side won back-to-back titles in 2004/05 and 2005/06, as the Portuguese maestro and his team imposed their will on the rest of the league.
In 2004/05 they led from the opening game to the finish, and in 2005/06 they overcame the challenge of Manchester United, melding the league’s equal top-scoring attack with the stingiest defence to defend their title.