5 Premier League teams who collapsed in the second half of the season
Chelsea were sitting top of the Premier League table on Christmas Day this season. But how significant is that milestone? The Blues have previously capitalised on their mid-season lead, but over half of the 24 teams who have been on top of the Premier League at Christmas have slipped from the summit.
So what went wrong for those teams after the turn of the new year? Were injuries a major problem or did everything come down to inconsistency in the end? Or did they simply collapse under the weight of sheer expectation?
Here, we take a look at five teams that blew a Christmas Day lead.
#5 Norwich City – 1992-1993
The very first team to top the Premier League at Christmas, Norwich City barely managed to stay in Premier League, with just three points separating them from the drop zone having won just eight games all season. Come the end of the 1992-1993 season, the Canaries were playing top flight football.
Their first game looked to be a repeat of their previous season’s proceedings with Arsenal leading 2-0 at half-time. However, new manager Mike Walker brought on Mark Robbins and that substitution changed the game.
The former Manchester United player scored two goals to produce an incredible turnaround as The Canaries beat the Gunners 4-2. Nine games on and Norwich had lost just once, but against the better teams, they were getting whipped. A 7-1 demolition by Blackburn Rovers, and 4-1 against Liverpool, but despite that, they went through November without a defeat. This meant that come their visit to Old Trafford, Norwich City were going with an eight-point advantage.
However, they were beaten by a solitary Mark Hughes strike which gave United the game and marked the end for Norwich. They slumped to a five-game winless run which cost them in the long run and after a positive start, they began to turn into an inconsistent side.
The Canaries soon found themselves six points off the top and in desperate need of points, but their comeback came too late in the season. In the end, they were pipped by Manchester United and Aston Villa and two seasons later descended to the Championship.