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How every Premier League season would have finished after gameweek 29: 2004-05

With the future of the 2019-20 Premier League season still up in the air, Sports Mole looks at how the unforgettable 2004-05 campaign stood after gameweek 29.

The 2004-05 Premier League season proved to be one of the most significant and memorable in the competition's history, with records broken and landmarks set at both ends of the table.

Arsenal had pulled off the remarkable feat of going an entire season unbeaten the previous campaign, but Jose Mourinho's arrival - and immediate declaration that he was 'the Special One' - signalled a passing of the torch as Chelsea became the dominant force in English football.

The Gunners saw their undefeated streak end at 49 when old rivals Manchester United beat them at Old Trafford, falling agonisingly short of the 50-game milestone but still recording the longest unbeaten run in English top-flight history.

Away from the Premier League, Liverpool upset all the odds to lift a fifth European Cup under new boss Rafael Benitez, producing one of the greatest comebacks of all time in the final to recover from 3-0 down against a star-studded AC Milan side in Istanbul.

The football pyramid itself underwent a major rebrand too, with the First Division, Second Division and Third Division renamed the Championship, League One and League Two respectively.

Here, with the future of the 2019-20 campaign still up in the air due to the coronavirus pandemic, Sports Mole looks at how the 2004-05 season would have looked had it been cancelled after gameweek 29.



Chelsea celebrate winning the 2004-05 Premier League title© Reuters

Mourinho certainly talked the talk when he arrived at Stamford Bridge and, while his brash and arrogant style rubbed many up the wrong way, it is impossible to deny that he walked the walk too.

Fresh from leading Porto to a shock Champions League triumph, the Portuguese swaggered into the Premier League and broke all sorts of records en route to leading Chelsea to their first top-flight title for 50 years, well and truly kick-starting the Roman Abramovich era.

The Blues ended the campaign with a record-breaking tally of 95 points, 12 points clear of second-placed Arsenal, and unsurprisingly they were also comfortably ahead after gameweek 29, sitting eight above Manchester United with a game in hand.

Chelsea also remarkably conceded only 15 goals throughout the entire season - a record which is yet to be broken - and by gameweek 29 they had shipped just nine.

Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United lost three of their final nine games after losing only two of their first 29, a late-season run of form which saw them finish third for a second successive season as Arsenal claimed the runners-up spot.

Liverpool and Everton players compete for the ball in a 2005 Premier League match© Reuters

The rest of the top seven remained unchanged over the closing months of the season, though, with Everton just about holding off Merseyside rivals Liverpool to hang on to fourth place and book their spot in the Champions League qualifying rounds the following season.

Liverpool closed the gap from eight points to three over the final nine games of the campaign, although they too secured a Champions League place for 2005-06 courtesy of their miracle in Istanbul.

In a sign of how much things have changed in the intervening years, Bolton Wanderers and Middlesbrough made up the remaining two European spots by finishing in sixth and seventh respectively, with Bolton ending their campaign level on points with the European champions Liverpool.

With the destination of the title evident from a relatively early stage, it was at the bottom of the table where the main drama unfolded and for the first time in Premier League history no team was mathematically relegated before the final day of the season.

West Brom's Geoff Horsfield celebrates survival in 2005© Reuters

West Bromwich Albion had been bottom of the table and eight points adrift of safety on Christmas Day, but had managed to cut that gap to five points after gameweek 29 and went on to pull off the 'Great Escape' on the final day.

Crystal Palace were the team on the other side of the coin as they slipped from 17th after 29 games to go down alongside Norwich City and Southampton - the latter of whom saw a 27-year stay in the top flight come to an end.

Manchester City were the biggest climbers in the final nine games of the season, moving from 12th to eighth, while Charlton Athletic and Newcastle United suffered the biggest falls of three places apiece.

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Arsenal players celebrate winning the title at White Hart Lane in 2003-04
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rhs 2.0
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CLiverpool32282270254586
2Manchester CityMan City32213881334866
3Leicester CityLeicester32167960312955
4Chelsea321661057441354
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd321410851312052
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves321313645341152
7Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd32121193332147
8Arsenal32111384741646
9Tottenham HotspurSpurs32129115144745
10Burnley32136133645-945
11Everton32128124047-744
12Crystal Palace32119122837-942
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle32119123343-1042
14Southampton32124164155-1440
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton32712133444-1033
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham3286183856-1830
17Watford32610162949-2028
18Aston Villa3276193660-2427
19Bournemouth3276193054-2427
20Norwich CityNorwich3256212560-3521

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