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The 5 best defences in Premier League history

The current Chelsea and Spurs defences may end up as the two of the best in Premier League history — if things carry on the way they’re going.

While we were waxing lyrical about the qualities of Alderweireld, Azpilicueta and co we moved our discussion to the greatest back lines of all time.

This is what we came up with, in no particular order…

1 Jose Mourinho’s first Chelsea era



In 2004/05 Chelsea only conceded 15 goals all season — a record that still stands.

The addition of Ashley Cole in 2006 strengthened the back line on paper just at the time John Terry reached the peak of his undeniable powers.

A special shout-out to the diligent Paulo Ferreira at right-back.

2 “1-0 to the Arsenal”



This Arsenal defence ruled by reputation.

The ‘Famous Four’ made life very difficult for visiting forwards at Highbury through unmatched discipline and a strong mutual understanding.

Martin Keown replaced Steve Bould without compromising the structural integrity one iota.

3 United’s return to dominance



Alex Ferguson responded to Mourinho’s challenge with a period of dominance between 2006-2009.

Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand may very well be the best centre-back partnership in Premier League history.

And the full-backs weren’t half bad either.

Unless your name is Fernando Torres, this United team sheet meant you were in for a fruitless day.

4 The Invincibles 



Going a whole season undefeated screams one thing — solid defence.

The lovable Kolo Toure played the football of his career alongside man mountain Sol Campbell.

Second appearance in this list for Ashley Cole; whatever you think of him, he was one of the very best in his position for years.

5 And now for something a little different…



Okay, so we’ve gone a little rogue for our last pick.

This Liverpool team won every cup available in 2001 (except the Premier League of course) with the arrival of Markus Babbel from Bayern Munich ensuring quality defenders in all four positions.

Not the best unit if you want to play out from the back though…

Honourable mentions:

  • Neville, Stam, Johnsen, Irwin
  • Mills, Ferdinand, Woodgate, Harte
  • Pearce, Hendry, Berg, Le Saux

NEXT: The 9 worst players to ever score 50+ Premier League goals