The term ‘Big Four’ relates to the four teams that dominated the top four places in the Premier League table during the 2000s:

  • Manchester United
  • Arsenal
  • Chelsea
  • Liverpool

The Big Four teams took all top four places in five out of six seasons from 2003-04 to 2008-09. Between the top-class managers and the incredible skill of the players, these teams showcased expertly the talent and excitement of the Premier League.

Manchester United’s finishes 2000-2010

Champions: 6

Second place: 2

Third place: 3

Fourth place: 0

Total top four finishes: 11

These figures clearly show Manchester United’s dominance during this period. This includes the three titles in a row that Sir Alex Ferguson’s team won from 2006 to 2009.

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Arsenal’s finishes 2000-2010

Champions: 2

Second place: 4

Third place: 2

Fourth place: 3

Total top four finishes: 11

Arsenal won the league without losing a single game in 2003-04; the only time this feat has been achieved to date. This team include the likes of Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry, and became known as ‘The Invincibles’ under manager Arsène Wenger.

Chelsea’s finishes 2000-2010

Champions: 3

Second place: 3

Third place: 1

Fourth place: 1

Total top four finishes: 8

Chelsea’s first league title in 2004-05 coincided with the appointment of manager, José Mourinho. Chelsea finished the year with a record 95 points, and went on to win the league again the league the following year.

Liverpool’s finishes 2000-2010

Champions: 0

Second place: 2

Third place: 3

Fourth place: 3

Total top four finishes: 8

Despite never having won a Premier League title, Liverpool’s constant presence in the top four made them one of the most feared clubs during the period 2000-2010. Away from domestic football, Liverpool became champions of Europe in 2005.

Their fourth place finish in the 2003-04 season was enough to allow them to go all the way to Champions League glory for the fifth time in the club’s history and to do so very much against the odds.

During the 2009-10 season, Tottenham Hotspur broke the hold the Big Four had over the Premier League. They did this by finishing fourth in the table and gaining the last Champions League spot under the management of Harry Redknapp.

The media now refers to a Big Four which includes Manchester City and excludes Liverpool. Yet the ‘original’ Big Four were the teams whose achievements outstripped all others during the first decade of the 21st century.

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