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Power ranking the 8 greatest Premier League champions

Chelsea won the title at the weekend, but where do they rank in comparison with other champions?

8. Chelsea 09/10

Britain Soccer FA Cup Final Source: AP/Press Association Images

THEY MAY HAVE only won the league by one point, but it was an unmistakably talented Chelsea side, with a number of world-class players who were at — or close to — their prime.

And to cap it all off, Carlo Ancelotti’s men broke a Premier League all-time record by scoring 103 goals (which still stands to this day).

Best XI: Cech; Ivanovic, Cole, Terry, Carvalho; Mikel, Lampard, Ballack, Malouda; Drogba, Anelka.

7. Chelsea 14/15

Britain Soccer Premier League Source: AP/Press Association Images

Yes, it has not been the most competitive of Premier League seasons this year, but as the old saying goes, you can only beat what’s in front of you.

Chelsea are on course to secure one of the best defensive records in Premier League history.

And while it hasn’t always been thrilling to watch, the Blues have still managed the second-highest number of goals of any team in the Premier League.

Accusations of being boring are therefore exaggerated. Their goals scored tally is respectable when compared with many of the teams on this list — they only need four more goals, for instance, to match the overall tally of Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles,’ a team regularly perceived as epitomising free-flowing, attacking football.

Best XI: Courtois; Ivanovic, Terry, Cahill, Azpilicueta; Matic, Willian, Oscar, Fabregas, Hazard; Costa.

6. Manchester United 93/94

MARK HUGHES TESTIMONIAL SOCCER Source: EMPICS Sport

There is an argument to be made for this side to be even higher on the list, but an ignominious failure in Europe slightly detracts from their legacy.

That said, with a league and cup double, and a domestic campaign that encompassed 27 wins and only four losses, they are undoubtedly deserving of their place on the list.

Best XI: Schmeichel; Parker, Irwin, Bruce, Pallister; Ince, Keane, Giggs, Kanchelskis. Cantona, Hughes.

5. Arsenal 97/98

Soccer - FA Carling Premiership - Arsenal v Everton - Highbury Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images

This team deserves praise alone for winning the league for the first time, having scarcely even come close in previous seasons — a feat that seldom, if ever, tends to be achieved.

They also had incredible quality throughout the side, with a reliably solid back four as well as no shortage of flair in attack, as provided by the likes of Bergkamp, Overmars and Vieira.

Best XI: Seaman; Dixon, Winterburn, Adams, Bould; Parlour, Vieira, Petit, Overmars; Wright, Bergkamp.

4. Chelsea 05/06

BRITAIN SOCCER Source: AP/Press Association Images

There is a case to include their 04/05 counterparts ahead of them given that they had more points, yet man-for-man, this team was stronger, with Didier Drogba fully establishing himself as Chelsea’s main striker.

They also lost their last two meaningless end-of-season matches, which taints their points tally if not their legacy.

Best XI: Cech; Gallas, Carvalho, Terry, Del Horno. Makelele, Essien, Lampard; Cole, Drogba, Robben.

3. Manchester United 07/08

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Wigan Athletic v Manchester United - JJB Stadium Source: EMPICS Sport

It may have been partly achieved under the fortuitous circumstances of penalties, but it was a United side that firmly merited their league and European double.

Cristiano Ronaldo was on fire and had developed into one of the world’s best players by then, while other players such as Rio Ferdinand, Paul Scholes and Carlos Tevez were at the height of their powers.

Best XI: Van der Sar; Brown, Evra, Ferdinand, Vidic; Carrick, Scholes, Giggs, Ronaldo; Tevez, Rooney.

2. Arsenal 03/04

Arsenal victory parade Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images

A team that was strong in every position, and illustrated their ability in the form of a relentless succession of positive results.

They arguably should have won more — had they not been beaten by a late Chelsea goal, only Monaco and Porto would have prevented them from European glory. Nevertheless, their achievement in going the entire league season unbeaten in itself is enough to guarantee immortality.

Best XI: Lehmann; Lauren, Campbell, Toure, Cole; Vieira, Silva, Pires, Ljunberg; Henry, Bergkamp.

1. Manchester United 98/99

Soccer ... Carling Premier League ... Manchester United v West Ham United Source: EMPICS Sport

What more can be said about the treble-winning team?

To be good enough to win the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup in one season makes them worthy of comparison with any great collection of players from down through the years rather than simply British sides of the past decade or two.

Best XI: Schmeichel; Neville, Irwin, Stam, Johnsen; Keane, Scholes, Beckham, Giggs; Yorke, Cole.

*N.B. All best XIs are judged by appearance figures during the season in question.

A version of this piece was originally published on 24 October, 2014

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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