Following a convincing win vs. United, the fact is if we beat Stoke next week, that will be our best start after five games in the Premiership.
Best Starts To The Premiership After Five Games
1. 93/94 : WWWLW = 12
2. 96/97 : DWDWW = 11
3. 07/08 : WDWWD = 11
4. 08/09 : WWDW = 10 (with one to play)
5. 94/95 : WWWDL = 10
6. 98/99 : WDWWL = 10
7. 00/01 : WLDWW = 10
The best at the moment is 12 points from the first five games in 1993/94, win the next game and it will be 13 points from the first five games in 2008/09.
So, 5 times Liverpool have won three out of their opening four games, but only once managed to win game 5, twice if successful against Stoke next weekend.
So what happened in the 1993/94 season after Liverpool beat Sheffield Wednesday on the opening day with a couple of goals from Nigel Clough, 3-1 win away vs QPR, a comprehensive slaughtering of Swindon at County ground 5-0, 1-2 loss vs Tottenham and then finally 2-0 win vs Leeds where Ian Rush scored his 200th league goal?
Liverpool lost three games in a row after this brilliant start finishing in 8th place, which is still an all-time Premiership low. Souness was sacked mid season, Evans doing the damage control.
We are hardly in a situation now for a similar disaster, but as you say... one swallow doesn't make a summer.
Facing The 'Big Four' Rivals Early In The Season
Fourth game of the season we've played Man Utd, and won for a change - in recent seasons anyway. It seems like we're always getting the 'big four' rivals early in the season, is this true and is it a good thing or a bad thing?
First fixture of the season against Man Utd, Chelsea or Arsenal
08/09 : 4 Man Utd (h) - Won
07/08 : 2 Chelsea (h) - Drew
06/07 : 4 Chelsea (a) - Lost
05/06 : 4 Man Utd (h) - Drew
04/05 : 5 Man Utd (a) - Lost
03/04 : 1 Chelsea (h) - Lost
02/03 : 9 Chelsea (h) - Won
01/02 : 10 Man Utd (h) - Won
00/01 : 2 Arsenal (a) - Lost
99/00 : 5 Arsenal (h) - Won
98/99 : 2 Arsenal (h) - Drew
97/98 : 9 Chelsea (h) - Won
96/97 : 2 Arsenal (h) - Won
95/96 : 9 Man Utd (a) - Drew
94/95 : 2 Arsenal (h) - Won
93/94 : 9 Chelsea (a) - Lost
92/93 : 3 Arsenal (h) - Lost
Average = 4.76
Most frequent = fixture 2 (5 occasions)
So 12 seasons out of 17 in the Premiership so far, we've faced Arsenal, Chelsea or Man Utd in one of the first five fixtures of the season. Interestingly, of those 12 played in the first five fixtures only three have been away while nine have been at home (75%)
Fixtures 1-5 : P12 W4 D3 L5 - Won 33.33%
Fixtures 6-10 : P5 W3 D1 L1 - Won 60.00%
Home : P12 W7 D3 L2 - Won 58.33%
Away : P5 W0 D1 L4 - Won 0.00%
Our record under Rafa isn't so good in these first fixtures against the rest of the 'big four', yesterday's win was the first : P5 W1 D2 L2.
And by rival :
Man Utd : P5 W2 D2 L1 (H3,A2) - Won 40.00%
Chelsea : P6 W2 D1 L3 (H4,A2) - Won 33.33%
Arsenal : P6 W3 D1 L2 (H5,A1) - Won 50.00%
So yes we do face the rest of our 'big four' rivals early season quite a lot, latest being the 10th fixture of the Premiership season. We do fare pretty well except against Chelsea, with four of those six early season fixtures against them coming since 2002/03. In the last five seasons, all under Rafa, the only problems facing the 'big four' rivals early season comes away from home. That is no surprise as Rafa has a pretty poor away record against them
Rafa vs 'big four' rivals away
Premiership : P12 W0 D2 L10
Other : P6 W0 D3 L3
Total : P18 W0 D5 L13
Both Premiership away draws came last season against Arsenal and Chelsea. Overall the record isn't great, not such a problem except against Man Utd - yesterday was our first league win over them under Rafa. The only other time we beat Man Utd under Rafa, we won that competition ............................
Copyright - Alex for LFChistory.net