The Domestic Treble: Can Manchester City Create History By Eclipsing The Feats Of Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea And Arsenal?
Manchester City romped to a simply scintillating 6-0 victory over Chelsea on Sunday as they once again switched places with Liverpool at the summit of the Premier League title, albeit having played a game more than their title rivals.
It’s going to be a captivating run-in through to the end of the season with a number of potential twists and turns on the horizon. Pep Guardiola’s men are remarkably still in the mix for the quadruple: They lead the league table, later this month they lock horns with Chelsea in the League Cup final, this very weekend they face League Two side Newport County in the fifth round of the FA Cup, while they do battle with Schalke in the Champions League last-16.
It would be a staggering achievement if City were to go on and conquer each competition, but let's put their hopes of European silverware to one side for now, and instead take a peek at the club’s chances of winning the domestic treble.
You may be surprised to hear that no male English football team has ever won the top-flight title, FA Cup, and League Cup in the same season.
No Man Utd side under Sir Alex Ferguson side ever achieved this feat, nor have Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, or Tottenham.
Up in Scotland, Rangers have won the Scottish treble a staggering seven times, and Celtic five times, including in each of the last two seasons under Brendan Rodgers.
Over in Northern Ireland Linfield have got their mitts on their equivalent five times, and Derry City once. Welsh outfit Barry Town have done so twice, and Rhyl once, whereas Bohemians won the Irish treble back in 1928.
But not a single English side has. Well, that’s a lie, Arsenal Ladies have done so on no fewer than on four separate occasions, most recently in 2009, as did Fulham Ladies did in 2003.
Man Utd did of course win the Continental treble in 1998/99, consisting of the Premier League, FA Cup, and Champions League. Just seven other European clubs have achieved this feat, with Barcelona the only club to do so more than once.
Joe Fagan enjoyed a stunning first season in charge of Liverpool (1983/84) when the Reds became the first English club to win that particular treble: First Division, European Cup and League Cup.
So, which clubs have bagged an English domestic double? The Sportsman takes a look.
League And FA Cup Double
The English league and FA Cup double has been won 11 times by seven different teams. Preston got the ball rolling back in 1888/89, while Man Utd and Arsenal lead the way with three doubles apiece. Aston Villa, Tottenham, Liverpool, and Chelsea are also part of this elite club, with the Blues the most recent entry in 2009/10.
Man Utd, Arsenal, and Chelsea are the only clubs to do so in the Premier League era.
League And League Cup Double
Five clubs have lifted the English league and League Cup double. Nottingham Forest were the first to do so back in 1977/78, while Liverpool remarkably roared to three consecutive league and League Cup doubles between 1982 and 1984. Chelsea and Man City have done so twice, and Man Utd - perhaps surprisingly - just the one time.
FA Cup And League Cup Double
As for the FA Cup and League Cup combination, this has only successfully been completed three times. Arsenal were first up in 1992/93, Liverpool in 2000/01, followed by Chelsea under Jose Mourinho in 2006/07. In the same season the Blues finished 2nd in the league, and were beaten by rivals Liverpool (on penalties) in the semi-finals of the Champions League.
Can Man City Achieve Mission Impossible?
It’s a titanic ask, but one you simply can’t overlook. Man City are now the favourites to win the league as they bid to become the first club to successfully defend the title in 10 years. Few would back against the Citizens to lift the League Cup at Chelsea’s expense towards the end of the month, given that they swatted away the Blues 6-0 yesterday.
Guardiola’s men have been handed Newport County in the FA Cup fifth round, while it’s important to note that the likes of Liverpool, Arsenal, and Tottenham have already been booted out, plus one of Chelsea and Man Utd will exit in the next round, as they face each other.
With that in mind, City actually have a very decent chance of becoming the first team to complete the English treble (3/1), while they can be backed at just 10/1 to win the quadruple.