After enjoying an eye-catching start to the season, Arsenal sit top of the Premier League table heading into December, but what happened on the last nine occasions they were top during this month?
Mikel Arteta’s side seem to be more streetwise than last time around and they will have their eyes on the biggest prize this season. With 13 games played so far, Arsenal find themselves in a fantastic position.
However, being top of the table in December is certainly no guarantee of success. We’ve gone back and checked out the last nine times Arsenal were top of the Premier League in December and what then happened next.
The Gunners looked like the team to beat for the vast majority of last season. At the end of December, they even boasted a seven-point lead over Manchester City and looked like the favourites for the title.
However, Pep Guardiola’s side are inevitable. An injury to William Saliba in the second half of the season coincided with Arsenal’s tail off in form which allowed City to leapfrog them in May.
Arsenal played some fantastic football in 2022-23 and they vastly outperformed their expectations from the start of the season. However, despite accumulating 84 points, that was only good enough for second spot.
Arsenal climbed to the top of the Premier League table on December 10, 2015, following a 3-1 triumph against Stoke City. During Wenger’s penultimate season, it seemed as if Arsenal were gearing up for a title challenge in the first half of the campaign.
The Gunners won 10 of their opening 15 matches and the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Theo Walcott were all in fine form. However, their impressive form didn’t last much longer as they slumped in form throughout February.
Arsenal lost their footing in the title race during this period and ultimately finished the campaign in 5th with 75 points. In total, they finished 18 points behind eventual winners Chelsea.
This was the year where Arsenal really should have kicked on. The Gunners looked good in the opening months of 2015-16 as they were able to keep pace with Leicester City who started the season like a house on fire.
Wenger’s side went top of the league on gameweek 16, following a 2-0 away victory at Villa Park. Arsenal even managed to do the double over eventual champions Leicester during the campaign, but that wasn’t enough to secure the top spot.
Despite going unbeaten in their final 10 matches of the season, Arsenal finished second in the table, 10 points behind Claudio Ranieri’s side.
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— Arsenal (@Arsenal) February 14, 2022
Arsenal topped the Premier League table for the vast majority of December 2013. Thanks to the arrival of Ozil that summer, Wenger’s side looked like they were ready for a title challenge.
They topped the table at the midway point, having collected 42 points in their first 19 matches. However, their impressive form from the first half of the season wasn’t sustained in the new year as they eventually fell behind the curve.
Arsenal hit a rocky patch around February and they eventually slumped to fourth in the table and finished seven points behind champions Manchester City.
After a 2-1 home victory against Fulham, Arsenal went top of the Premier League table for one week in December 2010. Despite the firepower from Robin van Persie, Andrey Arshavin and Cesc Fabregas, Arsenal didn’t hold onto the top spot for long.
They spent the majority of the season in second place, but a poor run of form towards the end of the season saw them slump to fourth come the end of the campaign.
Arsenal spent over half of the 2007-08 season at the top of the tree, including a spell in December. Thanks to the prolific form of Emmanuel Adebayor, Wenger’s side looked like the team to beat in the first half of the season.
At the end of December, Arsenal were projected to finish the season with 89 points which would have been enough to see them crowned champions.
Unfortunately, their form took a hit in the new year and they eventually finished the season in third, four points behind champions Manchester United who collected 87 points.
A truly remarkable campaign. Arsenal topped the Premier League table for two weeks in December 2003 and the rest is history. Wenger’s side managed to go the entire season unbeaten and they wrapped up the league title with time to spare.
The Gunners topped the Premier League table throughout the whole of December 2002 and they stayed top until April. However, they were up against a relentless Manchester United side managed by Sir Alex Ferguson who managed to pip them to top spot in the end.
United managed to finish five points above Arsenal in the end as the north London club only won three of their final seven matches. Still, at least Arsenal got their hands on the Community Shield and FA Cup.
Wenger’s side climbed to the top of the table on December 29, 2001, following a 2-1 triumph over Middlesbrough. An immaculate run of form then saw Arsenal claim the league title in emphatic style.
The Gunners managed to win their final 13 consecutive Premier League matches to win the title with a whopping 87 points. No doubt Arsenal fans will still have fond memories of that prolific run to this day.