Fewest Defeats In A Season: Chelsea Come Close, But Arsenal Still Hold The Record In Modern Football

Chelsea lost just 4 competitive matches in 2014-15, which puts them joint fifth in the all-time English football record table for fewest defeats in a season.

Chelsea lost three in the League and once in the FA Cup. They picked up the League Cup without a loss and didn’t lose in the Champions League either, going out on away goals after two draws in the round of 16.

Arsenal bettered this in 1990-91, losing just once in the League – to Chelsea – and once each in the League Cup and FA Cup. The absence of European football due to the last year of the Heysel ban meant it was a domestic season only for English clubs.

The only clubs to equal or better Arsenal’s three defeats in a season were all over 100 years ago. Here’s the record table:

Fewest matches lost in a season

Preston North End’s record of no defeats in the inaugural League season is unlikely to be equalled with top clubs now having to play four competitions rather than two. Liverpool also went undefeated in the League, though it was in the Second Division, and they lost an FA Cup match. Bristol City’s three-defeat season was also in the Second Division.

Of those who’ve lost four matches, Aston Villa achieved this in the nineteenth century, becoming the second club to do the domestic Double. Nottingham Forest equalled that total the first year they won the European Cup. They also won the League Cup, but finished runners up in the League due to drawing a far higher number of games than Liverpool.

Man Utd lost just four times in their treble winning season of 1998-99, though they did also lose in the pre-season Charity Shield match – 3-0 to Arsenal. It’s debatable whether this counts as a competitive fixture.

I believe that’s all those who’ve lost only four matches in a season, but please advise me if you know of any others.

For contrast, Arsenal’s Invincibles of 2003-04 – the only team to ever equal Preston’s top division record of going undefeated in a League campaign – lost a total of six matches that season. (In the League Cup they managed to lose both legs of the semi-final.)Invincibles match record v2Does that make the Invincibles more or less special?

Twitter: @AngryOfN5

By the way, for all Arsenal match stats, go to the excellent site run by Andy Kelly (@Gooner_AK) at www.stats.woolwicharsenal.co.uk.


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