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5 teams that were more entertaining than the eventual League Champions

Zeeshan Ali
SENIOR ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
12.46K   //    21 Mar 2018, 16:40 IST

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‘There’s not a day that doesn’t go by that I don’t think about it'

Football can be a cruel sport. It can haunt you for years and, sometimes, entire lifetimes. If this is what football can do to us fans, we can only wonder what the men who actually live it go through.

The game is such a wonderful leveller. Ninety minutes with two teams of 11, backed by millions. And nothing else matters. What history recounts is who won in the end.

Yet, every once in a while, there is a team that leaves a mark on the fabric of the game despite the records not reflecting the whole truth.

So.. In fond recollection of 5 times such teams gave us some magical memories despite losing out on the league title, we've decided to create this compilation.


#5 Tottenham '16/17 (Champions - Chelsea)

Last
Bust-ups between the two London sides have now become a common sight.

Last year was a season fought intensively in the capital of England. Tottenham and Chelsea both pushed each other right till the end of the season.

The rivalry forged during last season will remain for some time to come but finds its roots in the season that preceded it when Chelsea handed a blow to their neighbours by beating them at Stamford Bridge and duly handing the title to Leicester City.

Tensions peaked last season though, as Tottenham found a way to keep their form going from the previous campaign. The eventual champions got off to a decent start in the league - winning all of their opening 4 fixtures. Liverpool managed to end their unbeaten streak at Anfield and bossed the game right from the off.

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Things got worse on Conte's first visit to the Emirates with Arsenal hammering their rivals 3-o on the night. Chelsea looked far from their best on the night, but the defeat resulted in a change in outlook of the manager who reverted to his familiar tactics of three at the back.

The adjustment worked wonders as Chelsea went on a 13-match winning streak with victories against United (4-0), Spurs (2-1) and City (1-3) included in the run.

Although the humiliation of former Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho may have been merited, but the wins against Spurs and City were from from. Spurs bullied the West London side no their home turf right through the first half and should have added at least a few more to Christian Eriksen's opener.

The second half was more of an even contest but the Blues still can't claim they had control over the match, but luck was on their side as Chelsea managed to sneak in an equaliser right at the stroke of half-time before winning it in the second. Tottenham couldn't understand what had hit them and failed to recuperate in the remainder of the match.

If the match against Tottenham was fortunate, the one against City was smash and grab.

Chelsea once again got dominated all over the pitch and failed to make any impression right uptil the hour mark, when Costa finally managed to bully his way to goal to draw them level. Two other attempts on the counter were enough for Chelsea to put the game to bed, and Pep's team's inability to finish off their chances cost them dearly.

This in addition to the lack of fixture trouble for the Blues, owing to an early exit form the EFL Cup and absence from any competition in Europe, was enough to help them find a way ahead of Spurs in the final League standings.

Meanwhile, Spurs held their own against the top 6 teams, beating Chelsea in the reverse fixture, drawing and beating Arsenal in the league, and humbling United at White Hart Lane. Only Liverpool managed to take more points off of them with a draw and a win in the two fixtures.

Anyone who followed the entire campaign properly will tell you that the team playing all the football that season were Tottenham Hotspur, but Chelsea managed to eclipse them by doing all the winning.



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Zeeshan Ali
SENIOR ANALYST
"Played 38, Won 26, Drawn 12, Lost exactly none!"
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