Manchester City clocked up another win at the weekend as their Premier League lead extended to 11 points thanks to a win over Manchester Utd.

It really does look as though City are going to win the league with them playing some wonderful football and the plaudits have been non-stop.

One has really caught the eye recently, though, with Guillem Balague saying that this is the best football we’ve ever seen in this country.

We thought we’d take a look at a bit of history, then, and came up with these five sides from the last close to 40 years that would have something to say about that, whilst plenty of teams before then would also have claims to such a tag…

Liverpool 1987/88

Liverpool were the dominant force in this country from the mid 70’s to the end of the 80’s and the trophy haul they accrued in such a period remains unrivaled.

It was during this period they asserted themselves as THE force in British football whilst their European standing also made them a feared side across the continent.

It was towards the end of their dominance where perhaps their most talented side took to the stage, though.

Despite Ian Rush being sold at the start of the campaign the likes of John Barnes, John Aldridge and Peter Beardsley combined to plunder a total of 87 goals as they conceded just 24 in a 40 game season.

They went 29 unbeaten to start the campaign and lost just the twice overall as they wrapped up the title nine points clear of Man Utd.

Nottingham Forest 1978/79

Forest had won the first division the season prior – their first back in the top flight – and now they were aiming to conquer Europe under Brian Clough.

The Reds had the perfect blend of style and substance making them a formidable foe for any side.

They could play you off the park or they’d be willing to have a fight and duly the rest of Europe found that out as they took the first of their European Cup trophies.

With the likes of Gary Birtles up front, Forest enjoyed a fierce battle with Liverpool for the league title but could not defend it in this season as continental glory took centre stage.

It was Forest’s first foray into Europe and then, for good measure, they won the thing again the following season.

Manchester United 1998/99

Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup – is there anything else to say?

Manchester United have very much been the side to beat in the last two decades or so and it was at the turn of the Millennium where they achieved their most ultimate of feats.

Few sides in the history of the game have completed the treble and United did it in the most dramatic of ways with their last ditch turnaround against Bayern Munich in the Champions League final.

This was a side mixed of experience, power, speed and some of the best youngsters to come through for the Red Devils for years, yielding them a place in the hall of fame for the club game.

Arsenal 2003/04

The Invincibles.

Very few sides go a league season unbeaten, especially in one of Europe’s biggest leagues and so Arsenal’s side has to be included.

They had all the ingredients of a successful side. World class players like Thierry Henry, physical leaders of men like Patrick Vieira, a side that could out-work and out-class anyone in the division and a defence that was as hard as granite.

The record was on the line a few times during the season but they always responded and it was that winning mentality and sheer belief that they were not going to lose that fired them to glory.

Chelsea 2004/05

Arguably Jose Mourinho’s best Premier League side.

Again, style and power were mixed as the Blues blew everyone away in the top flight.

The spine of the side was one of the best in Europe and tactically, Mourinho was a step ahead of anything we’d seen in this country for some time as he proclaimed he was ‘The Special One.’

The Blues didn’t just win the league, they smashed everyone in their path and but for one loss they’d have gone unbeaten just as Arsenal did the year before.

The Portuguese manager may appear slightly embattled at United at the moment and accused of defensive football but this season showed that he can win this league with attacking verve as well as pragmatic performances.

 

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