Aston Villa’s stunning home form stretched to a club-record 15 games as Saturday’s success against Arsenal took them into elite Premier League company.
Here, the PA news agency takes a look at fortress Villa Park.
History is made. pic.twitter.com/2Hk8iXF2tw
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) December 9, 2023
Going into their midweek game against Manchester City, Villa’s run of 13 home league wins dating back to last season was already their longest of the Premier League era – but with the champions and their main challengers coming to Birmingham back-to-back, the fun looked set to end.
Instead, winners from Leon Bailey and John McGinn saw Villa kick on to the longest run in their history as their resurgence under manager Unai Emery gathers pace.
Crystal Palace, Brighton and Fulham, twice apiece, Bournemouth, Nottingham Forest, Newcastle, Tottenham, Everton, West Ham and Luton are their other victims.
They have scored 39 goals – conceding only seven, and never more than one in a game. Ollie Watkins is their top scorer in that time with nine goals, one ahead of Douglas Luiz.
Villa’s streak ranks among the five longest home winning runs in the Premier League era, with Emery matching Pep Guardiola’s recently concluded streak of 15 with City – who won 10 straight to end last season and their first five this term before draws with Liverpool and Tottenham.
Next in Villa’s sights is Manchester United’s 19 successive home wins between October 2010 and October 2011 – a far cry from United’s current home form.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s side had the chance to stretch their run to 20 and a full year with maximum points at Old Trafford, only for the run to end in astonishing style as Mario Balotelli inspired City to a 6-1 derby romp.
City hit 20 earlier in their current era of dominance, Roberto Mancini’s side with a perfect Etihad Stadium record from March 2011 to March 2012 when Sunderland, vanquished 5-0 earlier in the sequence, drew 3-3 – the only two points dropped on home soil that season by Mancini’s title-winners.
The record belongs to Liverpool, who won their final seven home games of 2018-19 as they pushed champions City all the way and then their first 17 of their title-winning 2019-20 season – again, the 1-1 draw with Burnley that ended the run marked their only dropped points at home.
They went on to win their next eight and went 68 league games, and over three-and-a-half years, unbeaten at Anfield before remarkably then losing six in a row – a warning to Villa regarding how suddenly things can change.
Villa top this season’s home league table with eight wins from eight. Liverpool also have a perfect record but from seven games, while Newcastle have won seven out of eight.
They are third outright with 35 points, only the fifth time in their history they have had such an impressive record after 16 games.
The other occasions when, converting to three points for a win, they would have been on 35 or more are their 19th-century title-winning seasons of 1898-99 and 1899-1900, a runner-up finish in 1910-11 and their most recent title in 1980-81.