There were times when they were stretched, pushed, and shoved, but they hung on, drawing games that they could have lost, and winning games that they could have drawn. Liverpool have been crowned the Premier League champions for the 2019-20 season. A feat that they were craving for the past three decades. No more of 'since Liverpool won the league' and that 'Gerrard slip'. A trophy can change so much around the club. It's a day meant for celebration in Merseyside. Not even a pandemic could stop them in their pursuit of greatness!
And when they are officially the league champions, conversations have turned, rather expectedly, to how this Liverpool team rank among the greatest sides of the past, with many pundits proclaiming them to be the best the league has ever seen. Are they better than Wenger's invincibles or Mourinho's blues or some of Sir Alex Ferguson's United teams?
In pic: a smiling Jurgen Klopp and Andy Robertson
Ranking football teams and players from different eras is rarely a straightforward matter, with several factors such as changes in rules, advancements in technology, increased player power, and financial incentives along others playing significant roles in altering the course of the game.
Holding that thought, we at Chase Your Sport, have given it a try to put the Premier League's greatest ever sides head-to-head. We have taken twelve sides that we consider the best of the best and have ranked them in tiers ranging from 'underrated' to 'GOAT'. Check out our final selections below:
Manchester United (1999-00)
Everyone remembers the season previous to the 1999-00 season. Of course, United won the coveted treble. But United were criminally underrated the following season, despite winning 12 more points than them. And this time, winning the Premier League with much convention. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and co the company achieved the 90-point mark for the first time in the Premier League.
How quickly have people forgotten Antonio Conte's champions? In a season that was marked by the return of the rivalry between Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola, it was Italian to steal the show. The blues made history with their then record-breaking 13-games unbeaten steak and some of the football that was simply out of the world. Not to forget the 3 men backline which was reinstated in the Premier League after a decade.
In pic: Manchester United, PL champions 2007-08
Manchester United (2007-08)
And how can we not credit the first season in which Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney truly shone for United? 87 points might not be earth-shattering, but their dynamic partnership was enough to keep the Chelsea side at bay who lost just three times. The perfect starting point for a record-breaking following season.
Leicester City (2015-16)
To put it frankly, Leicester City is by no means the most convincing champions in history. It was a time when all the top six clubs were at their all-time low. But this is the least which we can do for them after combating 5000-1 odds to rise from a relegation battle to conquering the world's most competitive league.
Manchester City (2011-12)
Manchester City's first Premier League crown is simply worthy of this tier because despite not collecting the most points or playing the best football, they managed to win it in the most dramatic manner. Of course, against the second-best runner-up in history.
Chelsea retained their title in the most dominant fashion in 2006, becoming the first Premier League side to beat all the other 19 sides at least once. And they did so with an ominous tally of 91 points. An incredible feat in itself.
A crowded category and we will start with the easiest option. You could argue that the current Liverpool side is worthy of the very top tier. But we are not going to jump the gun because the season is just not over yet. Who knows what will happen next?
In pic: Arsenal's invincibles
And then, there are the 'invincibles' who despite being overrated in various places, can't be considered anything less than legendary. They really achieved something that has not been done in over 100 years of English football.
Manchester City (2018-19)
Pep Guardiola's defending champions started the season on the average side but picked momentum just at the right time, closing the season with 14 consecutive wins, and ousting the greatest runner-up in the entire Premier League history. They showed how to maintain a lead, how-so-ever small that maybe.
In pic: Jose Mourinho at Stamford Bridge
But Jose Mourinho's arrival in England totally revamped the Premier League and in many forms, the world of football. Chelsea's first Premier League crown in half a century saw them set numerous records, including for most points (95), fewer goals conceded (15), most games won, among others. While few of these records are still intact, others have been surpassed.
Manchester United (2008-09)
The 2009 United side is also worthy of mention in this tier because of the fact that they claimed more points and won more games than the invincibles. This also included an insane 14-game clean sheet streak thanks to Edwin van der Sar and company.
In pic: Manchester City, PL champions 2017-18
Manchester City (2017-18)
And here we are, the city's centurions and the greatest ever Premier League team, for at least the next month. Their run of 100 points with 32 victories in 38 games was the stuff of legend. But they didn't just grind the results week in week out. They were improving with every passing day. And produced the most remarkable tiki-taka football that had the shades of Guardiola's Barcelona at times. They are the undisputed GOATs.
But they are all champions (nearly)...
Remember that every Premier League winning team is truly special in itself and we have only been so harsh because we're comparing greats. Any team that has conquered the world's most competitive league holds a case at the table of football gods.