- Top Tens home
- Top two-horse races
Sky Sports picks 10 of the best two-horse title races as the Manchester clubs battle for dominance in the Premier League
Since seeing dark horses Tottenham fall away in the Premier League title race this season, focus has rested firmly on rivals Manchester United and Manchester City.
City have occupied the top spot for large chunks of the current campaign but slipped up at an untimely moment. However, going into an unmissable Monday Night Football clash with United, it's all to play for again.
Here, Sky Sports looks back on some of the most memorable two-horse title races to have graced the top flight.
Chelsea v Manchester United - 2009-10
The two Premier League heavyweights have battled for dominance regularly during the modern era and the title tussle went down to the final day of the season in 2010, with third-placed Arsenal having fallen behind to sit some 11 points behind leaders the Blues. Carlo Ancelotti's side clinched their first title since 2006 by just a point after thumping Wigan 8-0, while defending champions United were denied a fourth successive trophy, despite their 4-0 defeat of Stoke on the same day.
Manchester United v Chelsea - 2006-07
With Liverpool and Arsenal embroiled in a battle for third place, the Red Devils and the Blues were left to brawl for the title again in 2007, and this time Sir Alex Ferguson's side came out on top. The championship was decided on the penultimate weekend of the season when Chelsea could only manage a draw at Arsenal, leaving them seven points behind United with two games remaining and unable to overthrow Ferguson's men as they lifted the trophy for the ninth time in 15 years.
Manchester United v Arsenal - 2002-03
Defending champions the Gunners had looked on course to retain their crown as the season reached its climax, sitting eight points clear of nearest rivals Manchester United at the beginning of March. However, the Red Devils pulled off a massive comeback, shaking off third-placed Newcastle to storm the table and leapfrog their North London rivals into the top spot, with Arsene Wenger's men surrendering the title three games before the end when they collapsed in a 3-2 home defeat to Leeds United.
Arsenal v Manchester United - 1997-98
Wenger's side went head-to-head with United for the trophy in 1998 after leaving a tight scrap for UEFA Cup places in their wake. In the Frenchman's first full season as manager, Arsenal's campaign sprang to life over the final three months as they made the most of their three games in hand to overhaul the Red Devils' 11-point lead. The Gunners knocked United off the top spot in April and ended their title hopes in their second to last encounter, thrashing Everton 4-0 to clinch the crown.
Blackburn v Manchester United - 1994-95
Fuelled by the funds of owner Jack Walker and under the tutelage of manager Kenny Dalglish, Blackburn took the 1994-95 Premier League by storm, leaving all but Manchester United in the dust. Rovers occupied the top spot for much of the season but the Red Devils pushed them all the way and it was not until the final day of the campaign that Dalglish's men eventually secured the silverware. United could have picked up their third title on the bounce had they found a winner against West Ham but they were held in a 1-1 draw, meaning Blackburn were crowned despite losing 2-1 to Liverpool.
Liverpool v Aston Villa - 1989-90
The Reds claimed their last league title to date in 1990 and were forced to overhaul Aston Villa in order to do so. On just their second season back in the top-flight, Villa looked primed to take the crown after shouldering Liverpool out of the top spot going into March. However, the Reds' experience proved telling as they sailed through the run-in, winning seven of their final nine league encounters, while successive defeats to Manchester City and Crystal Palace saw Villa slip out of contention and lose out on the gong.
Arsenal v Liverpool - 1988-89
One of the most dramatic climaxes to a season in top-flight history came in 1988-89, when Arsenal clinched the championship in the last minute of the last game of the season against their title rivals. After seeing the Reds slash their 15-point lead from earlier in the season to nothing, Arsenal were neck-and-neck with Liverpool heading into their final encounter of the campaign at Anfield and needed to win the clash by two goals to lift the trophy. The seconds were ticking down and the Gunners were only a goal up but Michael Thomas saved the day in the last minute of stoppage time, firing home to hand the North Londoners the title.
Leeds United v Liverpool - 1973-74
After a season-long battle with the Merseysiders, Leeds almost let the title slip beyond their reach when a surprise defeat at Stoke in February triggered a run of just one win in seven games heading into the business end of the season. However, the Whites rallied in the final few weeks to keep the heat on Liverpool and were eventually handed the trophy for the second time in their history after Arsenal sprang a shock defeat at Anfield with two games still left to play. That result meant the Yorkshire club could enjoy their final encounter under no pressure and were seen home in style as Allan Clarke scored the winner against QPR.
Arsenal v Leeds United - 1970-71
The Whites missed out on the trophy three years earlier after a hard-fought battle with Arsenal to clinch the top spot, with the Londoners claiming the title by a single point. Leeds finished the season a whopping 12 points ahead of third-placed Tottenham but could not edge out the Gunners, despite heading the table for much of the campaign. Leeds beat the capital side at Elland Road at the end of April but even that success was not enough to overthrow their rivals, who clinched the title by winning their final game of the season at neighbours Spurs.
Manchester United v Leeds United - 1964-65
One of the fiercest rivalries in English football intensified in the 1964-65 season when Manchester United and Leeds went head-to-head not only for the league title but also in the FA Cup semi-finals. The Whites advanced in the cup but it was United that edged the title race after Chelsea fell behind in the closing weeks of the campaign. Victory in their final match away to Birmingham would have handed Leeds the championship but they could only manage a 3-3 draw and United took the title on goal average.
Related Top Tens
Sky Sports counts down ten of the best North London derbies ahead of Sunday's clash.
We pick out the star pupils from the 2012 draft class, including a pair of record breaking quarterbacks.
Twenty years after joining Manchester United, we look back at Eric Cantona's top 10 memorable moments.
We count down 10 summer signings who will get their first taste of the Premier League this weekend.
Thomas Hill takes a look back at 10 memorable moments from Community Shields gone by.
Sky Sports counts down 10 players who are attracting persistent transfer speculation this summer.
We look at 10 footballers worth keeping an eye on at this summer's London Olympics.
Sky Sports takes a look at 10 players who will feel they need to impress in the Premier League.
Ahead of England's Euro 2012 quarter-final clash with Italy, we look at 10 previous contests.
With Euro 2012 up and running, we take a look at the top 10 upsets in the history of the event.