EPL Table Ranking: What happens if you tie?

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The English Premier League (EPL) is regarded as one of the most competitive leagues in the world and the EPL table ranking is proof of that claim.

Every season, there is always stiff competition for the Premier League title. Due to that, the gap between the first place and the second place is always very slim. Sometimes, the gap between the first and the second-placed teams on the EPL Table Ranking becomes so slim that many will start to speculate that the season could end in a tie.

What does it mean for the EPL Table Ranking of a season to be in a tie?

When the EPL Table Ranking is in a tie, it means that the first-placed team and the second-placed team finished the Premier League season with the same number of points.

For instance, let’s say Manchester City finished the 2021-2022 season with 92 points same as second-placed Liverpool, then, the EPL Table Ranking for the season is in a tie. Hence other criteria will be considered.

Has a Premier League season ever ended in a tie?

Since 1992 when the Premier League era started, the Premier League season has ended in a tie once. The Premier League season ended in a tie for the first and only time in the history of the league during the 2011-2012 season.

During the aforementioned season, Manchester United and Manchester City were tied on points until the last day of the season. Manchester United was hoping that Queens Park Rangers (QPR) will defeat or draw with Manchester City in the last matchday. Unfortunately, Sergio Aguero scored a goal against QPR that gave Manchester City the needed victory.

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The win made Manchester City and Manchester United finish the season with 89 points apiece but City topped United with a superior goal difference to win the club’s first Premier League title in its history.

EPL Table Ranking: What happens if you tie?

What will happen if EPL Table Ranking for the season ends in a tie?

During the 2018-2019 season, the world thought the Premier League will record another tie on the league table when Manchester City and Liverpool were separated by just a point. During the aforementioned season, many football enthusiasts while wondering what would happen if the season ends in a tie.

Fortunately for the league, the 2018-2019 season ended with Manchester City finishing top on the table with 98 points. While second-placed Liverpool finished with 97 points. Hence, there was no need for further permutations.

EPL Table Ranking: What happens if you tie?

But when Manchester City won the Premier League in the 2011-2012 season with equal points as Manchester United, the league board had to consider the goal difference between Manchester United and Manchester City. Fortunately, City had a superior goals difference which was used to declare them the winner of the Premier League in the aforementioned season.

Hence, if EPL Table Ranking ends in a tie, that is, the first-placed team and the second placed team finish the season on equal points, the next thing that will be considered is the goal difference between the two teams.

How does goal difference determined in the EPL table ranking?

The goal difference is determined in the Premier League and other major leagues across the world by subtracting the total number of goals a team scored from the total number of goals a team has conceded.

For instance, let’s say a team like Manchester City scored 94 goals and conceded 22 goals in a Premier League season, 22 goals will be subtracted from 94 goals which will give you 72 goals. This means that Manchester City’s goal difference for such a season will be 72 goals.

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Hence, if the Premier League season ends in a tie between Manchester City and second-placed Liverpool, the league body would check whether Manchester City has a higher goal difference than Liverpool. If they do, City will be declared the winner.

What will happen if the teams are tied on points and Goal differences?

What will happen if the teams tie in points and Goal difference?

If the first placed team and the second-placed team are tied on points and goal differences, the next aspect the Premier League body will consider is the number of goals each team has scored in the league season.

Any team which has scored more goals will be considered the league leader and subsequently declared winners of the league season.

If the Premier League title contenders finish the season with equal points, equal goal difference, and an equal number of goals scored in the league season, the next thing the league body will consider is the head-to-head points of the contending teams.

Let’s say the contending teams are Manchester City and Liverpool, and they both have the same number of points, goal difference, and goals scored, the league body will add up the points the two teams were able to get from each other.

For instance, if Manchester City beat Liverpool in the first league meeting of the season, that is three points; and then Liverpool draws with Manchester City in the second meeting in the league season, that is four points for City and a point for Liverpool.

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Based on that, Manchester City will be declared winners of the Premier League on a head-to-head basis.

If that fails to settle it, that is, the two teams finish the league season with equal head-to-head points, the next thing the league body will consider is head-to-head away goals scored.

For instance, if Manchester City beat Liverpool 3-2 in the first leg of a league season at home and loses 1-0 away from home to Liverpool, the league body will use Liverpool’s two away goals to confirm Liverpool as the winner of the league season.

What will happen if the contending teams end the season on the EPL Table Ranking with the same points, goal difference, goals scored, head-to-head points, and head-to-head away goals scored?

If Manchester City and Liverpool, for example, end a Premier League season with the same points, goal difference, goals scored, head-to-head points, and head-to-head away goals scored, the last option left for the league body is a play-off.

Manchester City and Liverpool will be taken to a neutral stadium to play a one-off play-off which must produce a winner like a regular cup final. Any of the two teams that win the league game will be declared winners of the Premier League for that season.

Note that in the recorded history of the Premier League, a league title winner has never been decided using a play-off method. The most complicated season in the history of the Premier League in which the winner of the league was determined by goal difference was the 2011-2012 season.

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