The English Premier League is home to some of the best teams in soccer. Not only do they produce memorable performances in domestic competitions, but they have also proven their superiority time and again in Europe.
Many of the said English clubs have made a habit of controlling the narrative. They look to take the lead early in the game and do everything in their power to stop their opponents from regaining their foothold. Today, we will analyze the data from Opta to check out the top 10 Premier League clubs that have been successful in doing so this season.
Here are the 10 teams that have held their lead for the longest period (% of match time) across competitions in the 2023-24 season:
Special note: This data does not take UCL or UEL Matchday 4 fixtures into account. Cutoff date: November 6.
#10 Brighton & Hove Albion – 31%
Brighton & Hove Albion have been firing on all cylinders under manager Roberto De Zerbi this season. They have been ahead for 31% of total minutes, which is considerably better than what Manchester United (15.8%) have managed.
The Seagulls are currently in seventh position in the Premier League rankings with 18 points on the board after 11 games. They also have a good chance of securing Round-Of-16 qualification in the Europa League, with them currently sitting in third place in Group B, level on points with second-place AEK Athens (4 points) after three games.
#9 Chelsea – 31.4%
Mauricio Pochettino’s Chelsea have claimed the ninth position, having been in the lead for 31.4% of total minutes played in the 2023-24 season. The Blues are currently in 10th place in the Premier League rankings, but a change of fortunes could be around the corner.
Chelsea famously beat Tottenham Hotspur 4-1 on Premier League Matchday 11, which marked their biggest victory this season. Owing to a 12th-place finish in the English first division last season, the Blues are not competing in Europe, but they have quite impressively qualified for the Round-Of-16 of the Carabao Cup.
#8 Everton – 33.1%
In eighth place, we have Sean Dyche’s Everton, who find themselves in 16th place in the Premier League standings. As per Opta, the Merseysiders have been ahead for 33.1% of total match minutes this season, suggesting they have let their advantage slip when the going got tough in the latter stages.
Having narrowly escaped relegation last term, Everton are also not competing in any European competitions. They, however, have made their way into the Carabao Cup quarter-finals where they will face Fulham.
#7 Tottenham Hotspur – 33.4%
Tottenham Hotspur, who are in second place in the Premier League standings, have been in front for 33.4% of total match minutes played across competitions in the 2023-24 season.
Ange Postecoglou’s side finished in eighth place in the English top flight last season, meaning they are not competing in any European competitions this term. Additionally, they have been eliminated from the Carabao Cup after losing to Fulham in the Second Round.
Spurs were at the top of the Premier League rankings until Matchday 10, after winning eight times and drawing twice. On Matchday 11, they shockingly fell to a 4-1 home defeat to Chelsea, allowing City to claim the top spot.
#6 Aston Villa – 35.9%
Unai Emery’s Aston Villa have performed admirably in the 2023-24 campaign, managing to keep their noses in front for 35.9% of total minutes. The Villans’ resilience and efficiency have helped them climb to fifth place in the EPL standings this season.
Villa have also done well in the UEFA Europa Conference League. With six points on the board after three games, they are in second place in Group E, only trailing Legia Warszawa on goal difference.
#5 Arsenal – 37.3%
Last season’s Premier League runners-up Arsenal are in fifth place, having been on the right side of the scoreline for 37.3% of total minutes played in the 2023-24 season in all competitions.
The Gunners enjoyed an explosive start to the campaign, going 10 Premier League games without defeat. However, the last week has not been kind to them. They yielded that Premier League record after losing 1-0 to Newcastle United on Matchday 11 and were eliminated by West Ham United from the Round-Of-16 of the Carabao Cup. The fourth-placed EPL side sit at the summit of their Champions League Group B, but a defeat to Sevilla on Matchday 4 could change that equation.
#4 West Ham United – 38.9%
According to the data from Opta, West Ham United have been in front for an impressive 38.9% of total match minutes this season. Surprisingly, their dominance has not helped them yet in the Premier League, with them toiling in 12th place after picking up just 14 points from 11 matches.
In cup competitions, however, the Hammers have been a force to be reckoned with. They sit at the top of Europa League Group A and recently beat Arsenal 3-1 in the Carabao Cup Round-Of-16 to move into the final eight.
#3 Liverpool – 39.9%
After a poor 2022-23 campaign, which saw them finish outside of the Premier League top four, Liverpool have returned with a vengeance. They have been playing eye-catching soccer this term, scoring early goals, and doing an excellent job at preserving the lead. As per Opta, Liverpool have been ahead for 39.9% of total match minutes in the 2023-24 season.
Picking up 24 points from 11 games, Liverpool are currently in third place in the Premier League rankings. They have won seven, drawn thrice, and only lost once so far. Additionally, they have a perfect record in the Europa League Group E after three Matchdays and have moved into the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup after beating Bournemouth in the Round-Of-16.
#2 Newcastle United — 47.3%
Having led for 47.3% of total minutes across matches in all competitions, Newcastle United have claimed the second spot on the rankings.
The Magpies have not been at their best in the Premier League this season, sitting in sixth place with 20 points after winning six, drawing two, and losing three games. In the UEFA Champions League, they sit at the bottom of Group F after securing just four points from as many matches.
Carabao Cup is the only competition Eddie Howe’s side have excelled at this season, having beaten Manchester City and Manchester United in consecutive rounds to move into the quarter-finals.
#1 Manchester City – 47.9%
Manchester City have once again emerged as the most dominant Premier League team, having been ahead for 47.9% of total match time in all competitions. Their superiority has shone through brightly in the league and Europe, with them emerging as leaders in both competitions.
Winning nine of their 11 games (2 defeats), Pep Guardiola‘s side have claimed top spot in the Premier League. They sit at the top in their Champions League group as well, having won all four of their Group G games. The Carabao Cup elimination to Newcastle United has been their only notable setback this season.