Following Napoli’s loss versus Inter Milan in Serie A last night, there are no remaining unbeaten teams in any of Europe’s “big 5” leagues this season.
Inter inflicted the Serie A leader’s first defeat of 2022/23 with a tense 1-0 win at the San Siro. Former Man City striker Edin Dzeko got the only goal of the game with a fantastic header.
Despite this, Napoli still hold a five-point lead at the top of the Italian league. AC Milan, in second, reduced the deficit from eight points via a win at Salernitana. Inter, meanwhile, moved up into fourth place with the win. They are still eight points away from top spot, though.
Most notably, this meant that with just four days passed in 2023 we no longer have any unbeaten league leading teams.
No “invincibles” this year: where each league’s unbeaten teams suffered their first defeat
After Napoli, the next-longest streak without losing belonged to Paris Saint-Germain. Their run in Ligue 1 came to an end on New Years’ Day.
Still missing World Cup winner Leo Messi, and with Neymar suspended, PSG’s attack almost looked light during this top-of-the-table clash against Lens. However, it was actually their defence that folded first.
Hosts Lens took the lead of the match after just five minutes. Wing-back Przemyslaw Frankowski was the scorer, turning the ball home when Donnarumma couldn’t deal with a cross.
But Les Parisiens responded quickly. Hugo Ekitike equalised just three minutes later, suggesting that PSG had a foothold in the game. This did not last long, though.
On 28 minutes, summer signing Lois Openda put Lens 2-1 up, a lead which they carried into half-time. Following the break, Alexis Claude-Maurice added a third to move Lens within four points of top spot.
Barca, Bayern, and Arsenal all suffer losses before World Cup break
In contrast to Napoli and PSG, the leaders of the other three top leagues all lost a match in the first part of the season.
Barcelona had the longest streak, going undefeated domestically until matchday nine. Real Madrid beat the Blaugrana 3-1 in October, bringing a run of six Barca clean sheets to an end. Goals from Karim Benzema, Fede Valverde, and Rodrygo sealed this El Clasico win; Ferran Torres scored Barca’s sole goal.
These two European giants have been evenly matched throughout 2022/23. Although Barcelona are top, Los Blancos are on the same points as them. Xavi’s side do have a better goal difference, though.
Switching to Germany now, and Bayern Munich suffered a surprise 1-0 defeat to Augsburg back in September. At the time, this left the Bavarians fifth in the Bundesliga. But Bayern responded to this loss with seven wins from their last eight games before the World Cup.
They have a four-point cushion at the top of the Bundesliga as a result. Additionally, Bayern have a massive +36 goal difference – the only positive GD in Germany’s topflight in double figures.
Finally, Premier League leaders Arsenal saw their first loss come at Old Trafford, also in September. Man United inflicted a 3-1 defeat on the Gunners in a game where Antony got his first United goal.
In fact, Manchester City remained undefeated in the league for longer than Arsenal. They did not lose until 22 October, when Liverpool beat City 1-0.
Despite this, Arsenal have an eight-point advantage over Pep Guardiola’s side in second. So, Arsenal’s 2003/04 Invincibles still hold a unique place in Premier League history – for at least one more season.