Now Playing

Now Playing IconNow Playing:

Evolve Radio

Artist Name

Album Art

Three-way PL title races: How does this season’s rank?

Just one point currently separates the top three heading into a blockbuster Super Sunday, making this one of the most exciting battles for the Premier Leagues in recent memory. When did we last have such a closely fought three-way title fight, and has one ever gone down to the final day?

The Premier League has been decided on the last day of the season on nine previous occasions, however those thrilling climaxes have never involved three teams.

This rollercoaster campaign, though, could be the first to see three sides go into the final matchday all still in with a chance of being crowned champions as joint leaders Arsenal and Liverpool, as well as title-holders Man City, just a point back in third, vie for the league.

Live Super Sunday

Sunday 31st March 12:30pm

Sky Sports Premier League HD Sky Sports Premier League HD

This is the first time in a decade that three teams have been separated by just a point after 28 games, but can the current contenders maintain their title bids and take this thrilling race all the way to May 19?

So, when else in Premier League history have three teams been so close at the top at this stage of the campaign, and how deep into the season did those trios go before their championship bids came to an end?

Sunday 31st March 4:00pm Kick off 4:30pm

Sky Sports Premier League HD Sky Sports Premier League HD

United edge out Villa & Norwich in 1992-93

Sir Alex Ferguson celebrates Manchester United winning the title in the newly-formed Premier League
Image: Sir Alex Ferguson celebrates Manchester United winning the title in the newly formed Premier League

The inaugural Premier League was a classic as, yes, Aston Villa, Norwich City and Manchester United all battled it out for most of the season to be crowned champions.

In fact, despite the Canaries’ 5-1 hammering at Tottenham Hotspur on April 9, just two points still separated the top three – albeit with Norwich (65 points) having played two more games than leaders Villa (67 points) and second-placed United (66 points) – heading into what turned out to be a pivotal Saturday in the title race.

While Ron Atkinson’s Villa side surprisingly were being held to a goalless draw at home by struggling Coventry City, United memorably came from behind to beat high-flying Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 at Old Trafford thanks to two late, late Steve Bruce headers.

Steve Bruce celebrates his second goal for Manchester United which gave them a 2-1 win over Sheffield Wednesday and the Premier League title, April 1993
Image: Steve Bruce celebrates his second goal for Manchester United which gave them a 2-1 win over Sheffield Wednesday in April 1993

Alex Ferguson’s men were now top of the table with only five matches to go and after slipping up in agonising fashion 12 months earlier, would not be making the same mistake again as they kept on winning, while Villa continued to drop points.

In the end, the Red Devils claimed a first top-flight title in 26 years, finishing 10 points ahead of Villa and 12 clear of Norwich.

Manchester United won the first Premier League title in 1993
Image: Manchester United won the first Premier League title in 1993

Latest point in the season just two or less points separated the top three: April 9, 1993

Newcastle’s collapse hands United the title in 1995-96

Everyone remembers the 1995-96 Premier League as being a two-horse title race that was turned decisively when Manchester United won 1-0 at leaders Newcastle United in early March.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

In 1996, Liverpool and Newcastle were both gunning for the title and during their fixture at Anfield, they produced an all-time classic

However, despite that demoralising loss at St James’ Park, Kevin Keegan’s side still controlled their own destiny with games in hand on the Red Devils and Liverpool, the sometimes forgotten team in this particular three-way title fight.

And after Ferguson’s men were held to a 1-1 draw at Queens Park Rangers a fortnight later on the same day Liverpool beat Chelsea, just two points separated first-placed United and the third-in-the-table Reds.

5 Mar 1996: Eric Cantona scores the opening goal for Man United during the Newcastle United v Manchester United Premier League match at S.James Park
Image: 5 Mar 1996: Eric Cantona scores the opening goal for Man United during the Newcastle United v Manchester United Premier League match at St James Park

Newcastle were sitting in second on goal difference, but crucially with two games in hand on the other two and when they beat West Ham United 3-0 on Monday Night Football, the title seemed theirs.

But a late-season collapse saw the Magpies lose their next two league games at Arsenal and famously 4-3 at Anfield to hand United the initiative, one they never let go as they claimed the title by four points from Keegan’s side on the final day of the season, with Roy Evans and Liverpool 11 points further back in a distant third.

 Eric Cantona celebrates scoring the only goal of the match against Newcastle United at St James's Park.
Image: Eric Cantona celebrates scoring the only goal of the match against Newcastle United at St James’s Park

Latest point in the season just two or less points separated the top three: March 17, 1996

Gunners hold off Liverpool and United surge for Wenger’s second title

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger with Tony Adams after his side do the double in 2002
Image: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger with Tony Adams after his side do the double in 2002

Some may recall Arsenal’s 2001-02 title win as being a canter for Arsene Wenger’s men, who would eventually go on to win the Premier League by seven points from Liverpool – but that was not the case with the Reds and Manchester United pushing the Gunners all the way.

In actual fact, the three heavyweights were separated by only two points following Arsenal’s 2-0 home win over Ipswich Town on April 21, setting things up for a nerve-jangling finale to the season.

The north London side did, crucially, have a game in hand on second-placed Liverpool and United, in third, which saw them beat West Ham United 2-0 at Highbury three days later to open up a four-point advantage over Gerard Houllier’s team.

Arsenal players celebrate after a premier league match win over Manchester United at Old Trafford 08 May 2002. The win secured Arsenal the double after winning the cup final, 04 May 2002.
Image: Arsenal players celebrate after winning the title at Manchester United in May 2002

When Liverpool’s long unbeaten league run then came to an end at Arsenal’s fierce rivals Tottenham the following Saturday, followed by the Gunners’ 2-0 victory at Bolton Wanders two days later, that season’s three-horse race for the title was over.

And Wenger’s second Premier League was soon confirmed with victory at Old Trafford at the start of May.

Latest point in the season just two or less points separated the top three: April 23, 2002

City, Liverpool & Chelsea fight it out almost to the final day a decade ago

The 2013-14 Premier League title race was an absolute classic as Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea battled it out at the top until virtually the final day of the season, with each side enjoying different periods as league leaders.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 11: Samir Nasri of Manchester City celebrates scoring the first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester
Image: Manchester City’s players celebrate winning the 2014 Premier League

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho had tried to play down his team’s title chances, calling them a “little horse that still needs milk and to learn how to jump” after masterminding a 1-0 win at City in February 2014.

However, it was Liverpool who then took control of the championship thanks to an incredible 11-match winning run, but with both City and Chelsea on their coat tails, Brendan Rodgers’ side could not afford any slipups.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

We look back to an emotional night at Selhurst Park which ended up costing Liverpool the Premier League title and left Luis Suarez in tears

Defeat at home to the Blues, though, followed by a 3-3 draw at Crystal Palace, despite leading 3-0 with just over 10 minutes to go, opened the door for Manuel Pellegrini’s men, who now trailed Liverpool by just a point, having played a game fewer, and with Chelsea only two points behind in third after being held to a costly goalless draw at home by struggling Norwich City.

Everything, therefore, hinged on City’s midweek game in hand, which saw them dispose of Aston Villa 4-0 to turn a three-way fight for the title into a final-day showdown between the new leaders and Liverpool, two points adrift.

A Manchester City fan shows off a banner mocking Liverpool
Image: A Manchester City fan shows off a banner mocking Liverpool after edging out the Reds to claim the 2013-14 Premier League title

City held their nerve, seeing off West Ham 2-0 at the Etihad to win the title by two points, with Chelsea finishing four points off top spot in what is the longest-lasting three-horse title race in Premier League history.

Latest point in the season just two or less points separated the top three: May 6, 2014

Sky News
(c) Sky Sports 2024:Source