4 Teams Who Failed to Win the PL Title Despite Ending the Season With the Highest Goal Difference

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The team that scores more is guaranteed to win a football match, but not necessarily the league title. In the 25 years of Premier League, the winners mostly edge ahead the pack in terms of goal statistics. However, how these goals are distributed into winning or losing causes can tell a different story. So, having the best goal difference sometimes does not lead to better results, and hence the title.


Here are four prolific teams whose higher goal difference could not lead them to the Premier League title.  

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4. Liverpool - 2008/09 (+50)

​Liverpool’s long wait for an elusive Premier League title was prolonged in the 2008/09 season, finishing just shy of winners Manchester United in the table. This was their sixth runners-up finish since the league’s inception in 1992. 


Standing at the top of the table on New Year’s Day, the Reds soon faltered, and saw their titles ambitions dented after winning only two in the next seven matches. However, they came back strong and won 10 out of the next 11, including a 4-1 humbling of United at Old Trafford, and came close again. But a frustrating 4-4 draw against Arsenal later on ended their hopes for good and they ended up four points behind the eventual winners.

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3. Manchester United - 1994/95 (+49)

​In one of the first ever Premier League title races to be decided on the final day, an unlikely Blackburn Rovers edged out reigning champs Manchester United by a single point to win their first top flight title in 81 years. Although United had beaten Rovers twice throughout the campaign, had a better goal difference and fewer losses, they were left undone by 10 draws compared to Rovers’ eight. 


Blackburn’s loss to Liverpool meant that the Red Devils had to beat West Ham United to win the title. However, they could only manage a point, thanks to a string of thunderous saves from the Hammers goalie Tim Flowers late in the game to keep the score tied at 1-1. 

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2. Newcastle United - 1996/97 (+33)

​After closely missing out on the title a year before Newcastle United seemed certain to go the distance in 1996/97 as they started the campaign with a win streak culminating into a 5-0 thumping of the holders, thanks to new signing Alan Shearer’s goalscoring prowess. 


However, a form slump into the new year threw them of the track. A late surge in the final weeks was not enough for the Magpies as they finished behind the Red Devils on points, but ahead on goal difference, again, thanks to the sheer class of Shearer. 

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1. Tottenham Hotspur - 2016/17 (+60)

​Although Chelsea swept away the title in an emphatic fashion last season, Tottenham Hotspur probably were more deserving winners. Despite scoring more goals and being the only side unbeaten at home, Spurs could not produce a devastating win streak like their London rivals towards the business end of the season. 


Already trailing by four points, a 1-0 defeat to West Ham United all but ended Spurs’ hopes for the second season running.

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