What is the biggest loss in the Premier League?

Not all Premier League losses are created equally. A team battling on the road to a 3-2 or 4-3 defeat can actually have a positive impact, especially if that team was the underdog and almost outplayed the eventual winners. Even a close 1-0 loss can be seen as a good thing, mainly because conceding just one goal in a Premier League game is pretty impressive.

The results here, however, are not good losses. They are bad losses. Very, very bad losses. They type of defeats where players start to wonder if they have any business being in the Premier League in the first place.

What is the biggest loss in the Premier League? The biggest loss in the history of the Premier League is 9-0. This score line has happened on three separate occasions. The first was Manchester United beating Ipswich Town in 1995. The second was Leicester City beating Southampton (away from home) in 2019. The third was Manchester United (again) beating Southampton (again) in 2021. No single team has yet to score 10 goals in a Premier League game, regardless of opponents scoring or not.

Here is a look at those three games (and a couple of bonus entries) in more detail.

Manchester United 9, Ipswich Town 0 – March 1995

This was both a result out of nowhere and a result that people should have seen coming. Ipswich had actually beaten United 3-2 in the reverse fixture earlier in the year, but the defending Premier League champions had recovered to sit second in the table. The Portman Road club, on the other hand, were sitting second bottom at the time of the match.

United were without mercurial Frenchman Eric Cantona, the player considered by many to be the best at the club. Cantona was in the middle of his nine-month suspension for kicking a fan in the stands in a game against Wimbledon earlier in the season.

With United up 3-0 at the break thanks to goals from Roy Keane and a brace for Andy Cole, the win looked inevitable. What was not so obvious, however, was the United would explode with six more goals in the second half for a Premier League record win. Cole added three more, while strike partner Mark Hughes picked up a brace. Paul Ince was the other United goal scorer.

Not only was this a Premier League record result, it was also the biggest victory in the league for United in 103 years. Cole’s five goals in one game were the most in a single match in the Premier League and the first time that this had happened in England’s top flight since 1983. Cole’s record has never been broken in the Prem, though it has been tied by four other players (Alan Shearer, Jermaine Defoe, Dimitar Berbatov, and Sergio Aguero.)

United went on to finish second in the league at the end of the 1995 season as they were pipped to the title by one point by Blackburn Rovers. Ipswich finished bottom and were relegated.

Southampton 0, Leicester City 9 – October 2019

This win by the Foxes over the Saints is the biggest loss in the history of English top flight football by a home side.

City came into this game joint third in the table with Chelsea, while Southampton was in 17th place. Southampton certainly weren’t helped when a studs-up challenge by Ryan Bertrand in the lead up to Leicester’s first goal scored after 10 minutes by Ben Chillwell resulted in a red card after a VAR check.

From there nothing really went right for the hosts. Leicester had 73% of the ball and had 25 shots to just six for the home side. Leicester were three up after 19 minutes and a Jamie Vardy goal on the halftime whistle sent the Foxes into the sheds with a commanding 5-0 lead.

Vardy completed his hat-trick with a penalty in second-half stoppage time, joining Ayoze Perez in scoring three goals each. This was only the second time in Premier League history that teammates had scorer hat-tricks in the same match.

Southampton won the return game 2-1 at the King Power Stadium later in the season. Leicester finished the season in fifth after a late slide and Southampton were comfortable in 11th.

Manchester United 9, Southampton – February 2021

It is astonishing to think that in 30 English Premier League seasons and thousands upon thousands of games that Southampton has two of three heaviest losses in the history of the competition. More so, those two matches came in a span of just 15 months and the Saints didn’t get relegated for the Championship on either occasion.

Alexandre Jankewitz will live in Saints infamy for his red card two minutes into this one for a reckless challenge on Scott McTominay. It was Jankewitz’s first start for the club. United built up a 5-0 halftime lead as Southampton were passengers. The home club had 74.6% possession and 24 shots to just three from their overwhelmed visitors.

The game was only 6-0 in the 87th minute when defender Jan Bednarek was red carded for a professional foul that led to a converted penalty from Bruno Fernandes. Two goals in stoppage time, the final one by Dan James, blew the score out to 9-0. Interestingly, Anthony Martial scored twice and was the only United player for score more than one goal as they had eight different goal scorers (including a Bednarek own goal).

United finished second in the league at the end of the season, albeit well adrift of crosstown rivals Manchester City who claimed the title. Southampton was 15th, finishing a comfortable 16 points out of the relegation zone.

Other games of note

Portsmouth 7, Reading 4 (Sept 2007) – Not close to the biggest defeat, but this game holds the record for the most goals scored in a Premier League match with 11.

Spurs 9, Wigan Athletic 1 (Nov 2009) – Ridiculous game that saw Spurs 1-0 up at the break before scoring eight in the second half. Remains the game with the most goals scored in one half (nine) and the most by one team in one half (eight).

Chelsea 8, Wigan Athletic 0 (May 2010) – Notable because this result combined with the one directly above meant that Wigan lost twice in the Premier League by eight goals in the same season.

Manchester United 8, Arsenal 2 (Aug 2011) – Early in the season these two perennial title favorites met at the Theater of Dreams. It soon became the theater of nightmares for Arsenal as a rampant United team put them to the sword. United would go on to lose the 2012 Premier League title after the whistle had gone in their final game when Aguero netted late against QPR to win the title for cross town rivals Manchester City.


Life long Portsmouth Fan and have followed football since 1993. Is there a better sport on earth?

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