🏡 No Liverpool! The longest unbeaten home runs ever

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OneFootball

Padraig Whelan

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There seems to be absolutely no stopping Liverpool at the moment.

The Reds head into Sunday’s game against Manchester United with a 51-game unbeaten run at Anfield behind them.

Liverpool 2
Manchester United 0
Full time

It is now almost 1000  days since Crystal Palace’s April 2017 triumph – the last time the Reds were beaten on home turf in the league.

But they have quite a lot of work still to do if they are to topple the clubs who lead the way in terms of undefeated home runs in league action.

Here are the top 10 …


Porto – 81 (November 2008 – February 2014)

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During this purple patch of Porto success, they weren’t only incredible at home but pretty formidable on the road too.

But it was at the Estádio do Dragão were they were truly unbeatable, settling nicely into a home they moved into just five years previously.

In autumn 2008, they were beaten there by Leixões but it would be the last time they’d taste defeat in league action until February 2014.

An Evandro penalty kick for Estoril 12 minutes from full-time was enough for a shock 1-0 win.

That ended a run of 81 games, 70 of them being victories and 11 ending in draws.


Panathinaikos – 85 (April 1973 – April 1978)

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As the amateur era in Greek football came to an end at the start of the decade, it signalled the start of something special for Panathinaikos.

For much of the 1970s, nobody could lay a glove on the Prásini at home, even as coaches came and went.

The legendary Ferenc Puskás was in fact the man responsible for starting the streak.

Renowned Brazilian tactician Aymoré Moreira took over and kept it going as did the successful Kazimierz Górski before the run finally came to an end five years after it began.


Chelsea – 86 (March 2004 – October 2008)

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For 86 games, Premier League sides tried and failed to topple the Blues at Stamford Bridge in a dominant era at the start of the Roman Abramovich reign.

José Mourinho was the man responsible for much of the run but it was Claudio Ranieri who started it with a 2-1 win over Fulham towards the end of his tenure.

Nobody could get the better of ‘The Special One’ (at that time he still was) in his time in charge and Avram Grant kept that run going.

But Luiz Felipe Scolari’s first loss as the new manager, against Liverpool thanks to Xabi Alonso’s early strike, brought an end to the run.

In total, it lasted for an incredible 1,462 days.


Torino – 88 (January 1943 – November 1949)

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The iconic Grande Torino will be remembered as arguably the greatest Italian football team of all time.

Before tragedy struck on May 4, 1949 when the team was wiped out on a plane crash in the hills above Turin when returning from a friendly in Portugal, they had already established their immortality.

The club’s Filadelfia fortress, backed on by a fervent group of Granata faithful, could not be breached and they often dished out some big beatings to visiting sides.

After a 3-1 defeat to Ambrosiana-Inter in early ’43, that team never tasted defeat again as they conquered all before them and in the four-and-a-half seasons which followed, they lost 14 more games – none of them at home.

Even after the harrowing accident six years later, the team still pulled together to go unbeaten for seven more games before a derby loss ended the phenomenal streak.


Spartak Trnava – 89 (March 1968 – April 1974)

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Spartak Trnava’s golden period began in the late ’60s, where they were rightly considered one of Europe’s strongest and most dangerous sides.

They lifted the Mitropa Cup in 1967 and two years later came agonisingly close to reaching the European Cup final.

Despite a 2-0 win over Ajax in the second leg of their semi-final, a 3-0 defeat in Amsterdam put paid to their hopes but their incredible domestic run is still talked about today.

Club legend Anton Malatinsky started and ended the run, bookending spells in charge for Ján Hucko and Valér Švec.


Cobreloa – 91 (December 1979 – September 1985)

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Chile’s most successful regional team went on an incredible run at Calama into the ’80s.

From December 22, 1979 until September 22, 1985, no domestic challenger could top the Desert Foxes on their own patch.

During that spell, Cobreloa won three league titles and were also beaten twice in the final of the Copa Libertadores in successive years.

Cobreloa’s place on the list is also notable for being the highest ranked side who do not play in Europe.


Nantes – 92 (May 1976 – April 1981)

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Marseille may be the only French side to win the European Cup, Lyon may have been unstoppable in the noughties and Paris Saint-Germain are conquering all before them now.

But it is another Ligue 1 outfit, Nantes, who have a record that nobody has come close to and will likely never beat in French football.

A 2-1 loss to PSG on May 15, 1976 signalled the start of a run of 92 consecutive games at home without defeat, including 80 wins and 12 draws, before Auxerre finally shocked them after 1,768 days.

You have to feel a little for Nice, who were beaten 6-1 (twice), 5-0 (twice) and 4-1 on their five visits to western France, although some divine intervention may have aided them on their run.

“Shortly after I arrived, I received a bag of sand in the post from a Nantes fan from the Ivory Coast,” coach Jean Vincent recalled years later.

“It had a note that said ‘put this sand in front of the goals and you’ll be protected against defeat’. It didn’t hurt to try so I did it and you know the rest!”

Spooky!


PSV – 93 (September 1983 – March 1989)

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PSV have something of a habit of enjoying lengthy runs of unparalleled dominance at the Philips Stadion.

Of the top six undefeated home records in the history of the Eredivisie, they hold half of them, with their most recent ending this year after 53 games.

They also managed 53 between 1989 and 1992 but before that record started in ’89, they were just coming off a six-year, 93-match undefeated tear on home turf.

In the midst of that run came the club’s only European Cup triumph in their history too, in the 1988 season.

A sign of how tough they were to beat at home, no continental side could even overcome them at home on their run to the final.


Red Star Belgrade – 96 (August 1998 – August 2004)

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The Rajko Mitić Stadium. Red Star Stadium. The Marakana.

Whatever name you want to give it, the home of Serbia’s most successful team is one of the most intimidating venues for visiting teams anywhere in Europe.

Backed by a strong playing side and incredible support, they went almost 100 games in succession without defeat, spanning six years from 1998 until 2004.

But even their staggering span of 96 games is a long way off the number one spot …


Real Madrid – 121 (February 1957 – March 1965)

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It is frankly unbelievable that a team could go eight years playing home league games without being beaten.

When it comes to Real Madrid though, anything is possible and that’s what they managed between 1957 and 1965, across 121 fixtures.

Earlier in the 1950s, Los Blancos increased the capacity of their stadium to 120,00 and in 1955, gave it the Santiago Bernabéu name it still has today.

Fans who turned up at the venue in the years which followed were treated to one of the greatest teams ever to play the game who were unstoppable at home.

Alfredo Di Stéfano, Ferenc Puskás and Paco Gento were just some of the legendary names who helped achieve a record that will surely stand the test of time.