Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

The 10 closest Football League finishes

This season has been the most exciting and unpredictable in living memory and - until recently - it looked like the unbelievable fairytale story of Leicester City would lead to a first-ever title for the Midlands side. But one sending-off later and an impressive performance by Spurs and suddenly it's game on. Could it even go down to the last game of the season? We wouldn't bet against it - after all, it's happened before.

Interesting fact: if the Premier League title race can't be decided on points, it goes to goal difference, then goals scored. If there's still no winner, there's a play off. Alas, that's incredibly unlikely. In fact, the last time one of Europe's big five leagues (England, France, Spain, Italy and Germany) had to be decided by a tie-breaker was in the Series A back in 1963-64. However, the tie-breaker in Italy, in those days, was used as the way to separate sides who finished on equal points. Goal difference was ignored. So, essentially, it's never happened.

Prior to 1976, goal difference wasn't used to separate teams that finished on the same points, but rather goal average, calculated by taking the number of goals scored and dividing it by the number of goals conceded. Bright sparks spotted that this actually encouraged scoring less goals so goal difference was created, which favoured sides that score more. You'll find both methods in the following list.

Crikey, that was a very long-winded intro into our top 10 closest English top flight finishes. Hopefully we've all learned something...

(Images: Rex, Getty, Manchester City)

Related

Vardy-cover-shot.jpg

Leicester City: The greatest underdog story in Premier League history

harrykane1.jpg

Harry Kane: "I'd play in goal for England"

hero4.jpg

Football's 15 biggest fashion blunders

jurgenklopp.jpg

Football's Greatest Comebacks

Vardy.jpg

6 things we’ve learnt from the big England friendlies

leicester1.jpg

This is officially the world's unluckiest football fan

Comments

More

Anthony Joshua wants to fight on the Mayweather-McGregor undercard

The big showdown just got bigger

by Dave Fawbert
22 May 2017

Power and Pain: The incredible loneliness of being superhumanly strong

What drives a person to gain super strength? We travel with strongman Laurence Shahlaei to find out...

by Matt Blake
19 May 2017

We have a contender for the greatest own goal ever scored

Move over Jamie Pollock

by Dave Fawbert
17 May 2017

Conor McGregor has agreed a deal with the UFC to fight Mayweather

Terms have seemingly been arranged

by Dave Fawbert
16 May 2017

Anthony Joshua's next fight has been pencilled in for October

And it won't be at Wembley

by Dave Fawbert
16 May 2017

Spurs fan leaves farewell note to pillar that blocked his view

So long, White Hart Lane

by Dave Fawbert
15 May 2017

Football is on a journey to finally dealing well with mental health

Aaron Lennon's recent situation has led to other players approaching the PFA about their own mental health, but the sport still has a long way to go

by Tom Victor
10 May 2017

Kings of Leon's bassist learnt the hard way not to slag off wrestling

Don't go after WWE, because it'll come back at you much harder

by Matt Tate
09 May 2017

Leo Messi lookalike in trouble for looking too much like Leo Messi

Carnage on the streets of Iran

by Matt Tate
09 May 2017

Angry manager Nelson Vivas has the best reaction to getting sent-off

A manager ripping his shirt off in anger is everything we never knew we needed from football

by Dave Fawbert
08 May 2017