Arsenal finished last season with 68 points from 38 games
Arsenal are currently on 60 points from 25 games.
Arsenal are on course for 91.2 points
United are on course for 88.2 points
Chelsea are on course for 82.1 points
To put that in some kind of perspective, last season Liverpool came third with 68 points. Currently, Chelsea will exceed that total by a huge distance but finish no higher. In fact, they’ll as good as match their total of 83 points from last season, which meant United needed only 84 points to win the league (they got 89). 84 points wouldn’t see a team come close as it stands.
Both Arsenal and United would’ve won the 2006/7 league by current standards
In 2005/6, the top three had a higher points tally, with Chelsea, United, and Liverpool finishing on 91, 83 and 82 points respectively. Again though, Chelsea realistically only needed 84 points to win it, which both United and Arsenal are on course to reach comfortably.
Before the weekend, Chelsea were on course to have enough points to again win the 2005/6 season. This season, they’re on course to miss out by nine points
This pattern follows all the way back. In 2002/3 and 2001/2, United won the league with 83 and 80 points respectively. That wouldn’t even come close nowadays.
There are sides who have won the league with 90+ points before (Chelsea with 95 three years ago is the record), but the point is, they’ve never actually needed to gain that many to win the league.
The key statistic: How many points did the winning club need to win the Premiership each year, i.e. what points tally would’ve beaten the side in second place? To answer that, we need the points total of every second placed team in Premiership history:
1992/3, Aston Villa, 74
1993/4, Blackburn, 84
1994/5, Man Utd, 88
1995/6, Newcastle, 78
1996/7, Newcastle, 68
1997/8, Man Utd, 77
1998/9, Arsenal, 78
1999/0, Arsenal, 73
2000/1, Arsenal, 70
2001/2, Liverpool, 80
2002/3, Arsenal, 78
2003/4, Chelsea, 79
2004/5, Arsenal, 83
2005/6, Man Utd, 83
2006/7, Chelsea, 83
Remember, United are on course to reach 88.2 points, and still finish second. Second placed teams usually get in the high 70s or low 80s, and United themselves hold the record, pushing Blackburn all the way in 1994/5. That year, Blackburn won the league with 89 points.
Before this weekend, United were on course to reach 90. What chances two sides hitting the 90 point mark this season?
So there you have it – if the top teams keep churning out results as impressively as they are doing right now, the champions will have earned their status more than ever before, because they’ll have fought off the strongest losers in Premiership history.