Who has gone undefeated for the longest, and when?
The England Under-21s recorded a comfortable 4-0 win over nine-man Austria at Brighton’s Amex Stadium on Monday night as Stuart Pearce’s side continued their preparations for this summer’s European U21 Championship in Israel.
The resounding victory was Pearce and Co’s ninth in succession – a remarkable run in international football – but they still have some way to go to match some of greatest unbeaten streaks.
Here are four other great teams who were – for a period – unbeatable.
Huddersfield Town: 43 games unbeaten
Lee Clark’s men had already gone past the Football League record of 42 matches without defeat in Nov 2011, held by Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest between 1977 and 1978 before seeing their own record run brought to an end 2-0 by the then League One leaders Charlton Athletic in their next contest.
Arsenal: 49 games unbeaten
Arsene Wenger’s ‘Invincibles’ somehow managed to avoid defeat in the English top flight between May 7 2003 and Oct 16 2004, an incredible run that stretched 49 matches before coming to a shuddering halt against Manchester United at Old Trafford – a defeat that ultimately had seismic consequences for the North Londoners.
Jose Mourinho: 150 home games unbeaten
Surely the Special One’s unbelievable run of not suffering a home loss for 150 games between 2002 and 2011 will never be beaten? This record covered the Portuguese’s time in charge of FC Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan and finally Real Madrid, where it was eventually ended by surprise La Liga minnows Sporting Gijon who managed a shock win at the Santiago Bernabeu in April 2011. Still, incredible stuff from Mourinho.
Spain: 35 games unbeaten
From Feb 2007 until June 2009, La Furia Roja did not taste defeat on the international stage, a period so long that it comprised two head coaches, Luis Aragones and the present incumbent Vicente del Bosque.
This record run helped Spain end their long drought without a trophy when they overcame Germany in the final of Euro 2008, before surprisingly being brought to an end at the 2009 Confederations Cup semi-finals in South Africa when they lost 2-0 to the United States.