Manchester United 2003/04

Apologies Manchester United fans, but we’re kicking off with another stale Red Devils title defence – just look to the silver lining that it’s not further down on the list.

In the 2002/03 campaign, the Old Trafford side strolled away with the English crown in their customary fashion, fuelled by a 25-goal haul from Ruud Van Nistelrooy and another 14 from Paul Scholes, as regular title rivals Arsenal finished five points behind them in second place.

But a year later, as the Gunners ascended to Invincibles glory and went the entire 2003/04 term undefeated, United found themselves some way off the pace, finishing up with just 75 points – 15 behind the North Londoners, and eight less than the year previous.

Admittedly, an eight point difference is hardly what you’d describe as a woeful attempt at a title retention, especially in the Premier League. But it did see the Red Devils end the season in third, even bettered to the runner-up slot by a new-look Chelsea side with the Billionare backing of Roman Abramovich.

It also instigated a three-year title-less run for the Carrington club until their next Premier League triumph in 2007 – their longest spell without the top flight prize since the competition began.


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