Football didn’t begin in 1992 when the Premier League Era started, no matter how much Manchester United wants you to believe that it did. Nor did it start in 2003, when Chelsea got their very own bottomless pit of oil money. Nor did it in 2008, when Manchester City repeated the trick.
However, the “Premier League Era” is coming up on its fourth decade, so it’s not an altogether useless period of time for comparing teams.
Specifically, for the purposes of this post—yet another lauding this great, record-breaking Liverpool side—there have only been four teams to defeat every opponent they’ve faced in the Premier League Era.
Or rather there were four. After last night there are five. And no other team has defeated all other 19 opponents faster than Liverpool. In fact, no one comes close.
It took just 24 matches to defeat all 19 opponents in the Premier League. It’s even more impressive that Liverpool managed to complete the trick against West Ham—after the match had been postponed for over a month. Otherwise, it would have been Matchday 22, after the Reds saw off United.
Centurions Manchester City only managed to complete the trick in 31 matches in 2017/18, and 37 matches in 2018/19. Chelsea and Manchester United each took 36 matches to defeat every opponent, doing so in 2005/06 and 2010/11, respectively.
Of course there are mitigating factors. Scheduling is largely luck-of-the-draw, and Liverpool were lucky to have faced the one team that they drew—United—so soon in the second half of the campaign.
Still, it’s impressive. And the teams that they’ve joined, especially Chelsea 2005/06, and the Manchester City sides of the last two years, are rightfully recognized as some of the best squads of the Premier League Era.
This is rarefied air. Soak it in.