​So football has rightly been halted pretty much worldwide - barring ​Belarus, that is - due to the coronavirus pandemic.

And while most divisions will still be up for grabs when the beautiful game returns, the Premier League ain't such a competitive league, it turns out. Liverpool have a massive 25-point advantage over nearest competitors Manchester City with 29 games played so far.

James Milner

So what kind of content is there for a football writer to create in such a time? Perhaps a massive list of the first, second and third placed teams in each Premier League season at the 29-game mark? That sound interesting or worthwhile?

I really hope so. Might be an idea to get a cup of tea, 'cos this is long - but worthwhile and entertaining, obviously.


Eric Cantona

By matchweek 25 in 1992/93, Aston Villa had played 29 fixtures and were two points clear of Manchester United - who had a game in hand - at the top of the table. What a time to be alive, eh Villa fans?

Sadly the Birmingham-based side's form dropped off in the latter stages of the campaign, allowing the Red Devils to win the first ever edition of the Premier League by ten points, sitting pretty on 84 from 42 games.

Massive shoutout to Norwich, who finished third that season with a goal difference of minus four.

PositionTeam​Played​Won​Drawn​Lost​Goal Difference​Points​
​1.​Aston Villa​29​15​8​6​15​53
​2.Manchester United​28​14​9​5​20​51


Roy Keane

Just look at ol' Roy there, all young and stuff.

Sir Alex Ferguson's side held a seven-point lead over Blackburn by the time they'd played 29 games and went on to retain the title, winning 27 of their 42 matches.

PositionTeamPlayedWonDrawnLostGoal DifferencePoints
1.Manchester United2920813268


Blackburn Rovers Manager Kenny Dalglish

1994/95's title race went right down to the wire, with Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton's Blackburn matching Manchester United for much of the campaign.

Rovers were ahead by two points by the time the pair had played 29 games each. It went down to the final day as Blackburn confirmed their status as top flight champions despite losing to Liverpool, with Manchester United only able to muster a 1-1 draw at West Ham.

PositionTeamPlayedWonDrawnLostGoal DifferencePoints
2.Manchester United2919643263


Roy Evans

Look away now, Newcastle fans. You might not like what you see.

The Magpies topped the table by the time they'd played 29 games, ahead of United on goal difference, and even had two matches in hand on their title rivals.

Sadly, the story is all too familiar for Newcastle. The Tyne and Wear club, who had been ten points clear at Christmas, lost to Liverpool 4-3 in April in an all-time Premier League classic and ended up four points off United.

PositionTeamPlayedWonDrawnLostGoal DifferencePoints
2.Manchester United3119752864


Manchester United Manager Alex Ferguson

Oh look, Manchester United are top of the table again. Turns out they were really good in the 1990s.

Hot on their heels at the 29-game mark during the 1996/97 season were both Liverpool and Arsenal, but the pair dropped off and finished fourth and third respectively, allowing Newcastle to swoop in and end the campaign in second place - this time seven points adrift of United.

PositionTeamPlayedWonDrawnLostGoal DifferencePoints
1.Manchester United2916942457


Martin Keown

Here, United were nine points clear of Liverpool. Liverpool didn't win a Premier League title during the 1990s, so I think you know how this one ends.

Aha! Gotcha! Arsenal, in their first full season under Arsene Wenger, put together a fabulous run in the second half on the campaign, which included 18 wins in a 21-game unbeaten streak, to pip United to the title by a point.

PositionTeamPlayedWonDrawnLostGoal DifferencePoints
1.Manchester United2918563659


Dennis Irwin and Roy Keane of Manchester United

Oh look, we're back to United being brilliant. What great fun for everyone.

Ferguson's side would win a Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup treble this season but were only ahead of reigning champs Arsenal by four points at the 29-game stage.

The final margin between the two sides would be just one point. Arsenal lost their penultimate game at Leeds, allowing United to swoop in and secure the title with a 2-1 victory against Tottenham on the final day.

PositionTeamPlayedWonDrawnLostGoal DifferencePoints
1.Manchester United2917933560


Dwight Yorke and David Beckham

The new millennium! Y2J! I mean Y2K! Robots! The rise of the machines!

That's what United were back in the day. Title-winning robots built for the end of the wor- I mean built to win championships. That's what Roy Keane, David Beckham and co could do year on year.

By the 29-match point in 1999/00, United had built a four-point lead over Leeds - who would drop off as the Red Devils stormed to another title - finishing 18 points ahead of eventual runners-up Arsenal.

PositionTeamPlayedWonDrawnLostGoal DifferencePoints
1.Manchester United2919733064


Manchester United celebrate

Urgh. United win the title again. They were 14 points clear of Arsenal with 29 games played. They ended up storming the league by ten points.

Where are the other teams? The English top flight is supposed to be the best league in the world, right? What's with this utter dominance from one club?

There better be a different title winner coming up sharpish.

PositionTeamPlayedWonDrawnLostGoal DifferencePoints
1.Manchester United2920724767


Arsenal celebrate at Arsenal soccer ground in Lond

Ooof, this is more like it. United are again top of the league with 29 games played, but this time the picture isn't so clear. Arsenal are only one point behind with a game in hand, while Liverpool and Leeds trail by two and three respectively.

This could be tight.

Woah, what have we here? United's three-year run as champions of England comes to a halt as Wenger's Arsenal finish at the top of the tree, seven points ahead of second-placed Liverpool.

United are down in third. What a world!

PositionTeamPlayedWonDrawnLostGoal DifferencePoints
1.Manchester United2918473258


Manchester United's Diego Forlan celebra...

Here, Arsenal held a five-point lead over United. The two teams were undoubtedly the best in England at the time and, as you've probably already noticed, enjoyed numerous title battles during the late 1990s and the early 2000s.

The Gunners' draw with Aston Villa allowed United to move joint-top before a draw with Bolton put the title mathematically out of their hands.

The Red Devils eventually sealed the title with 83 points, five more than Arsenal.

PositionTeamPlayedWonDrawnLostGoal DifferencePoints
2.Manchester United2917752058


Arsenal's L to R Jose Antonio Reyes, Rob

The year of the Invincibles. Arsenal were very good in 2003/04. So good that they didn't lose a single game in the league. Sure, their final points tally of 90 may have been surpassed a fair few times, but managing to avoid defeat for 38 games is still a ridiculous feat and puts Wenger's old side among the best ever in the Premier League era.

They had a nine-point lead over Chelsea by the time each team had played 29 games, with that advantage stretching to 11 by the end of the season.

Oh, and they won the league at White Hart Lane, but they keep that on the down-low, so don't tell anyone, capiche?

PositionTeamPlayedWonDrawnLostGoal DifferencePoints
3.Manchester United2919462661


Chelsea players Petr Cech (L) John Terry

Oh, hello teams that aren't Arsenal or Manchester United! It's been a hot minute​, eh?

2004/05 saw Jose Mourinho and Chelsea shake up the Premier League like we hadn't seen since Blackburn's triumph, with the Blues cruising towards the title by the 29-game mark.

The west London outfit had a lead of 11 points over second-placed Manchester United, ultimately sealing the title with 95.

PositionTeamPlayedWonDrawnLostGoal DifferencePoints
2.Manchester United2918923063


Chelsea players and officials ride on an

The Special One worked his magic again during his second season at Stamford Bridge, his side once again the team to beat.

By the time Chelsea had played 29 games, they had a 15-point lead over nearest competitors Manchester United, with John Terry, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba all enjoying starring roles.

PositionTeamPlayedWonDrawnLostGoal DifferencePoints
2.Manchester United2818642860


Manchester United's (L to R) Mikael Sylv...

Ah, well it was fun while it lasted. Here are United again, being good and stuff. With Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney in outrageous form back in the day, the Red Devils found themselves with a cushy six-point lead over Chelsea.

They kept that advantage over the Blues to secure their ninth Premier League title. They also went close in the FA Cup and Champions League but came up short in both competitions.

PositionTeamPlayedWonDrawnLostGoal DifferencePoints
1.Manchester United2923334772


Manchester United players celebrate with

​Oh lawdy lawd. It looks like Arsenal are about to claim another Premier League title, which would be their fourth overall, surely preceding an expected era of dominance over the rest of the division.

What? We were spared? Oh thank goodness. So while the Gunners were two points ahead of United by the time they'd played 29 games, their rivals had a game in hand. United eventually topped the league with 87 points, just two ahead of Chelsea and four in front of Arsenal.

PositionTeamPlayedWonDrawnLostGoal DifferencePoints
2.Manchester United2820444364


Ryan Giggs,John O'Shea,Jonny Evans

One of Liverpool's Premier League near misses came in 2008/09, when Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard inspired Rafa Benitez's Reds to second place.

By the time Manchester United had played 29 games they were only a point ahead of the Anfield side, but crucially had also played a match less. Ferguson's team ultimately proved too strong and extended their lead to four points by the conclusion of the season.

They also won the League Cup that campaign, but lost 2-0 to Pep Guardiola's Barcelona in the Champions League final.

PositionTeamPlayedWonDrawnLostGoal DifferencePoints
1.Manchester United2920543165


Chelsea players celebrate with the Barcl

United's three-season run was halted by Chelsea - led by Carlo Ancelotti - in 2009/10 as Drogba (29) and Lampard (22) scored goals for fun at Stamford Bridge.

It was very much a three-horse race by the 29-game stage, with United leading both Chelsea and Arsenal at the summit by two points, though the Blues a game in hand.

Chelsea's 2-1 win at United in April was one of the key factors in the Blues pipping their rivals to the title as both teams finished the season strongly, with the London side wrapping the league up in style with a final day 8-0 victory against Wigan.

PositionTeamPlayedWonDrawnLostGoal DifferencePoints
1.Manchester United2920364363


Rio Ferdinand,Nemanja Vidic

As you've probably noticed, back when United were title challengers year in, year out, they always came back stronger whenever disappointment hit Old Trafford.

They proved to be the gold standard again in 2010/11 as the attacking quartet of Rooney, Dimitar Berbatov, Javier Hernandez and Nani led them to Premier League glory. Arsenal were only three points behind United with a game in hand by the 29-match stage but naturally fell away towards the end of campaign.

2010/11 also saw Manchester City establish themselves as legitimate title contenders, eventually finishing nine points behind their local rivals in third.

PositionTeamPlayedWonDrawnLostGoal DifferencePoints
1.Manchester United2917933360
3.Manchester City2915862053


Manchester City's Argentinian striker Se

“Aguerooo...I swear you’ll never see anything like this ever again."

Most people weren't watching their own teams on the final day of the 2011/12 season, such was the drama throughout the campaign.

The teams were neck and neck for much of the term, separated by just a point with 29 games played. A dip in City's form allowed United to open up an eight-point lead before the Red Devils faltered.

Vincent Kompany's goal in a 1-0 win over United was enough to put City ahead on goal difference, with the title going to the Etihad courtesy of Aguero's desperately late strike against Queens Park Rangers.

PositionTeamPlayedWonDrawnLostGoal DifferencePoints
1.Manchester United2922434670
2.Manchester City2922345069


Man Utd v Swansea

Unfortunately for City, their success the previous season meant ​United went out and signed Robin van Persie, the division's premier goalscorer which ultimately tipped the scales in Ferguson's favour.

United were 15 points ahead of their city rivals with 29 fixtures played, racking up 74 points - eight off Liverpool's standing total in 2019/20.

Van Persie ended the season with 26 league goals, with City's title defence never really getting off the ground, as Ferguson ended his reign at Old Trafford in triumph.

PositionTeamPlayedWonDrawnLostGoal DifferencePoints
1.Manchester United2924233874
2.Manchester City2917842559


Vincent Kompany,Manuel Pellegrini

While Ferguson left United more than amicably, Roberto Mancini's send-off from the City higher-ups wasn't so lovely, the Italian being booted out two days after City's FA Cup final defeat to Wigan.

However, Manuel Pellegrini's introduction saw City top the English football pyramid for the second time in the Premier League era, holding off a late charge from Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool.

The Citizens actually had plenty of catching up to do, having played three games fewer than Chelsea who led the standings at the 29-game mark.

PositionTeamPlayedWonDrawnLostGoal DifferencePoints



Five or six years ago, it was a crime to write off a wounded Mourinho. Chelsea had been in the title hunt for much of the previous season - which was the current Tottenham manager's first in his second spell at Stamford Bridge.

However, no such late season slip materialised during the second campaign as the Blues charged to another title, with the tempestuous Diego Costa leading the line.

They held a six-point advantage over Manchester City with a match in hand with 29 games played, eventually winning the title by a margin of eight.

PositionTeamPlayedWonDrawnLostGoal DifferencePoints
2.Manchester City3018753461



It took quite a long time for people to accept Leicester as genuine title challengers in 2015/16, but when Claudio Ranieri's side started to squeeze out regular 1-0 wins around March and April the impossible looked more and more likely.

Thankfully for the Foxes they lacked a tried and tested title contender, with Tottenham doing their best to look formidable despite lagging five points behind their rivals at the 29-game mark.

Spurs slipped away as all top six sides were left to rue what might have been, with Leicester writing themselves into the history books with a ridiculously unexpected title triumph.

PositionTeamPlayedWonDrawnLostGoal DifferencePoints


John Terry

Ah, well that feel-good story was nice while it lasted, eh? Back to the serial winners now.

​Chelsea had started their maiden campaign under Antonio Conte in inauspicious fashion, notably getting smashed 3-0 at Arsenal early on in the season.

However, in that very game the Italian boss switched to a formation consisting of three centre backs and two wing backs, which seemed revolutionary at the time. It wasn't really, but it definitely, definitely worked.

While Tottenham were good in what turned out to be their best ever Premier League season, a few too many draws left Mauricio Pochettino's side seven points adrift of Conte's by the time the pair had played 29 games each. That margin of victory remained intact, with Chelsea finishing on 93 points to Tottenham's 86. A fitting end for John Terry, who played a minimal role before departing for Aston Villa.

PositionTeamPlayedWonDrawnLostGoal DifferencePoints


Vincent Kompany,David Silva,Nicolas Otamendi,Fernandinho

After observing the room, so to speak, in his first season in England, Pep Guardiola and his City side made a ruthless assault on the Premier League in 2017/18.

Winning 25 of their first 29 games, the Citizens were so clearly better than anything else in the division at the time - even if their Champions League exit to Liverpool set up an intriguing rivalry between the two clubs for the next few years.

City eventually won the title by 19 points, ahead of Mourinho's Manchester United.

PositionTeamPlayedWonDrawnLostGoal DifferencePoints
1.Manchester City2925316378
2.Manchester United2919553462


Brighton and Hove Albion v Manchester City

Probably the least exciting 'exciting' title race in recent memory, Liverpool and City both kept winning during the second half of the 2018/19 season. The quality on show was incredible, yes, but fans held little hope for potential slip-ups when looking at their rivals' upcoming fixtures.

City were a point ahead of their Merseyside challengers with 29 games played. Both teams won their remaining nine games, meaning City finished on 98 points and Liverpool 97.

PositionTeamPlayedWonDrawnLostGoal DifferencePoints
1.Manchester City2923245671


Jurgen Klopp

And here we are. Football has been halted throughout the world due to the coronavirus pandemic.

And while this fast-spreading disease is absolutely more important than football, ​Liverpool fans understandably are hating the enforced inactivity, knowing their side need just two more victories from their final nine games to be crowned ​Premier League champions for the first time ever.

They're 25 points ahead of nearest challengers and current holders ​City, but it remains to be seen when football will return to our screens and stadiums around the world.

PositionTeamPlayedWonDrawnLostGoal DifferencePoints
2.Manchester City2818373757

For more from Jude Summerfield, follow him on Twitter!